Hello modular gridders,
in the last weeks I have built lots and lots of different iterations of a small footprint modular that will not break my bank and does the following things on day 1:

befaco MIDI THING, 2hp CV, befaco A*B+C, befaco MIXER, befaco OUT v3 in a 98hp Jumpskiff:
+ It does not have loose cables flying around (that's why I'm planning with the Jumpskiff instead of a even cheaper tiptop audio)
+ It can act as a midi playable synth voice, preferably rough and bassy.
+ It can feed in more than one gate and CV from the midi device. To modulate the voice from ORCΛ for example

When everything goes well, I'm going to also solder the more interesting part with a Rampage + Muxlicer and something like 2hp hats to spice it up:
2hp hats, befaco RAMPAGE, befaco Muxlicer
+ Get another voice or LFO from Rampage, and generate an envelope for the Bass voice mentioned above
+ Have Muxlicer self trigger some fun multistep sequences in combination with the 2hp hats
+ Let Muxlicer be controlled from midi with clock to sync with the rest of my setup
+ Get funky with Rampage EOC and Muxlicer

The setup after these two steps would look something like this and would leave room for things I've missed/might want later. I have also planned to get some of the befaco passive mults and a bunch of 20cm + 30cm cables 20 in total.
ModularGrid Rack
Yeah, and I might need more Attenuverters and VCAs. (s&h, and lfo or rather the great looking befaco kickall)

Now my question to you all. I've tried to setup a similar system with VCV rack and felt pretty confident that this will workout in real live too. Am I somewhat on track or have I just made a huge mess?

yours

(edit: removed the gigantic images, not necessary for my point)


Update: I ordered the case and first befaco kits!

I'm still thinking of getting either the 2hp VCO or 2hp SINE as a first "debug" voice which should be fine, right out of the box and then look into the even VCO as a stable and interesting main voice.

What would you recommend to get fore a barebones kit: SINE or VCO?

Thank you in advance
Alex


Hi Zuggamasta,

Welcome to modular synthesizers and have fun with your purchased system. My advice is to build up some experience first with what you got now and once you gained experience you will sooner or later yourself notice what's missing or what isn't.

Have fun, enjoy and kind regards, Garfield Modular.


Thank you Garfield Modular,

It is great to have such a warm welcome after Lurking around here for ages. Without building the kit I already spotted the big hole: I havent planed for a nice filter.
But I will take your advice by heart and first get up and running with the most basic setup, so I can judge the further build better.

yours


Hi Zuggamasta,

You are welcome! Filters, yeah you are going to need them :-) There are two filters I would like to recommend, the Doepfer - A-124 Wasp filter (or if that one is "too heavy" for you consider then the Doepfer - A-106-5 SEM filter) these both are lovely filters, affordable and easy to use. The second one I like to recommend and if you are going to look for a dual filter, you might want to have a look into Erica Synths - Black Dual VCF, it's a bit crazy one but I love this one. This filter is just lots of fun to use it and puts a smile on your face while using it.

Naturally there tons of filters but don't start with too expensive filters and too "wild" ones, start easy then look around for the more "adult" stuff ;-) Once you gained more experience on filters, then you might want to look into QPAS from Make Noise, a special filter as I may say so but don't straight away buy that one, it's not recommended for beginners however you could consider to put it on your watch list for later.

Well have fun, enjoy your modular system and good luck! Kind regards, Garfield.


Hey Garfield,

thank you for your reccomendations! The A-106 5 is a little deep for my humble skiff. The wasp looks pretty fun but I also got my eyes on the bastl Cinnamon now, to pack a lot of function in 5hp instead of the 8hp of the wasp. I will solder and build everything I bought first and then look into this deeper again.

Just as a kind of status of the Rack right now: We have lift of and are able to create Singal, A*B+C is in the soldering process, MidiThing is waiting and Rampage + Muxlicer are on their way :)


Hi Zuggamasta,

Oh yes, you got a nice sound there :-) With a lot of reverb... what effects-"machine" are you using here?

Have fun and kind regards, Garfield.


Hey Garfield,

this is my trusty Reverberation Machine ;) TC Electronic ARENA. I'm not using this for my Guitars too often but I enjoy the diffrent reverb types and colors for all other sound mangling. In the Patch I use the "Mod" color, where there is also some chorus/lfo modulation in the Reverb.
There is also a programmable Slot where you can create a Custom Reverberation Profile. I'm using one that can takes all the attack from your signal and you can build a fat drone from an electric bass for example.

Current diy-build status:
Muxlicer 80% done - but I'm waiting for a missing thonkiconn jack
Rampage 40% done - the mainboard is complete but now there is the control board on the list.


Just some small notes:

You don't always need filters, although they have a habit of creeping in everywhere, FM synthesis is perfectly capable of creating sounds that sound like they are filtered.

You patch 01 sounds great, I like the huygge reverb too!

Please consider using something for blank panels, all it would take is one errant cable and you could create a short and be very unhappy with the result! Even some cardboard will do!

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Hi Zuggamasta, nice start. I think that build with our hands is very good to understand what using and where put the hands for future experimentations.


Hello Kel,

thank you for your reccomendation around FM synthesis. I also have the Rampage which can use one function generator to also do a lowpassfilter if it's free. The open case was scary as hell so I got a nice strom 3mm foam board to cut my own blank panels. It's not the 2mm like the panels, but close enough!
And thanks frank! I'm really grateful for all the post on here wich tought me to first understand what to do with just little things I I can then expand. I also did my mistakes already as I now see how the 2hp sine might have been a little weird of a choice instead of a basic 2hp vco which would have square saw triangle and FM input. But thats just how it goes.

here is a look at the barebones with the diy blanks
barebones jumpskiff


Annnnnnnnd..... relax :D

That's much better!!! Good idea on the foam board, does the job nicely!

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Hi Zuggamasta,

Yes! That looks nice and tidy! Good luck with the DIY modules :-)

Enjoy modular and kind regards, Garfield.


It's really GOOD to see someone taking their time and building SLOWLY!!

Really good!!! It's the best way and how it should be done!! In all but the most exceptional of circumstances I don't like it when someone just buys a bunch of euro all in one go or a very short space of time. Grumble... grumble... :D

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Hey you two :)

The DIY modules where all fun and games, but the Muxlicer was annoying as hell: first a missing part, then a burned in switch due to overheated joints and now I noticed one LED did not sit perfect while soldering...

But it is working a at last. there is still so much to do and learn with this setup but I thought it would be nice to document what I was able to quickly come up with today. And after some tests before hand a Patch that is not controlled by midi this time!

I read a bit into the syncing of the pocket operators again and found the befaco outputs cue really useful to attenuvert the signal. And having a clock divider inside of the Muxlicer is great for converting the clock.

Onto more musical patches! And thank you for your kind words!


Hi Zuggamasta,

He, he, looks like you are enjoying modular synthesizers and the nice thing of all, you made it all by yourself :-)

I noticed you got a Teenage Engineering module too, how is that one, do you like it?

Keep up the good work and thank you very much for sharing this. Kind regards, Garfield.


Yes 100% fun support from me too... modular bleeps and bloops and I love your attitude and approach - spot on!!

Right now you have enough to spend some serious time learning... stick with what you have right now and experiment.

Try some tutorials on how to create classic modular patches, I didn't look too closely, but you probably have enough to create a Krell patch - this should be your next video - hint hint ;)

I very rarely shout anyone out for their entry into the world of modular, but you really made me smile :)

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

I think this thread here is a good space for people that want to get into Modular and DIY with Befaco, so I will and some more examples what this thing sounds and feels like.

A Krell patch is not really feasible as of now, without filter and good random source. But this here was at least Krell inspired, main focus: Having really slow clock times for the Muxlicer and sampling from random positions in the sequence:

Now that I built most of this Rack from Kit's I have these on my watch list:
Zlob Entropy: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/zlob-entropy2
Bastl Cinnamon: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-cinnamon-aluminum-panel


Cinnamon is a definite recommendation, small footprint for a SVF with built-in distortion and input-related cutoff frequency modulation. I couldn't get my hands on the DIY kit since they were out of stock for months so I invested some of the lock-down time to build my own replica based on their schematics. In addition to that it uses the same IC as the Xone Filters in the A&H Xone 42/92 series. Maybe I'm biased because of that ^^ It's a quite straightforward design if you have some experience with filters.


Nice, what I was trying, and probably failing, to say was...

by trying to do these things you come across stumbling blocks, this does two things:

1) it lets you know what is missing in your system and what to go for next

2) as you have shown very nicely, it makes you think about how you could achieve something similar without the correct tools

2, imho, is a significant portion of what modular is all about for me, it's about thinking laterally and trying things you would not normally do with a classic synth architecture.

I have just built 2 Entropy to sell!! I know you probably want to do this yourself, but if you are interested and in the UK or EU, it would help me out to have a sale - of course absolutely no trouble if not :)

Good choice by the way, I really rate the Zlob stuff!!

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Thank you warlock016, good to hear that you could make good use of the quarantine time! My Filter building knowledge is limited to solder different kinds of capacitors in electric guitars, but thats it. I will keep my eyes peeled for a new kit.

For starters I'm going to build my own short bus / gate combiner, I found the schematics on the doepfer A-100 DIY page http://www.doepfer.de/DIY/a100_diy.htm and found additional input in a muffwiggler thread. While writing this post I remembered that might still have some parts from a baby 10 sequencer I (failed to) build back in 2013! So now I even have something to measure the fitting for a 5hp version:
diy module

Now I'm checking parts. I really want to get some of the sexy befaco bananuts for any DIY kit thats coming, and I even found a seller here that has black and red in stock! Getting only a few diodes will be annoying tho, so I'll check if I can get myself a good kit of basic resistors caps and diodes again.

@Kel_, Thank you for poiting me to the Krell Patch. It's really a fun exercise to create solutions to these kind of challenges for me. The entropy is a tempting offer, but exploding shed has the kit in stock and I want to order the jacks trough them anyway so I can also save a little bit on shipping.

Coming back to @GarfieldModular I have two of the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators but don't intent do solder them in the rack. I read a bit about it but they don't sound nice enough to waste 12hp. It's still fun to trigger the respective clock in via the cue out on the headphone jack. Right now I'm also using the Teenage Engineering OP-Z to control the rack via midi, but need to setup a computer in between, as it doesn't come with native midi but only with an extension card.

More sonic explorations with the Rack here:


Hi Zuggamasta,

I love the picture you made when you where busy with the front panel. A nice, clear and sharp picture putting exactly the front panel DIY work into focus; love it! :-)

He, he, and your track here above is a lot of fun too. It's nice to see your work is progressing, the case being slowly filled up and I am curious where your DIY modular journeys goes to. I hope you will share more of that. I feel it's very enjoyable!

Thank you very much for sharing this and kind regards, Garfield.


All good, like the diy diy!!!

How about a quantiser? Not necessarily something that would appeal to everyone, but I can se it fitting into what you are doing here :)

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Quantizer sounds like a doable thing, yep...and if this is DIY, check this one out: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/kassutronics-quantizer Looks like trouble...12 user-definable scales, methods for shifting scales as part of a patch, etc.


Wow... that quantiser looks great!! Nice find, never heard of Kasutronics - thank you again :D

I am taking commissions for module builds again - finally!! DM for details :)

Tapographic FS or TRADE - whatcha got?

You can find my modular synth album here https://kel-audio.bandcamp.com - enjoy!

Oh yes, the quantizer looks super useful! I need to look deeper into surface mount technology though. I know some test/training kits; Which I want to order before. For now I have zlob entropy, and zlob SVF kits on the way due to the small form factor and the bastl cinnamon not being available. Also some thonkiconns to build a little or-combiner to go with the Muxlicer!

I'm having the a lot of fun just noodling with the small skiff without all the other tools and toys I have available.
Here are some more bleeps and bloops, again raw from the headphone jack :)

Thank you all for being so kind and helpful, it is great fun to read all the threads on modularGrid!


Hi Zuggamasta,

You got yourself some nice Befaco modules :-) All DIY, right? Do you have other brand DIY modules as well? There are other DIY brands out there than Befaco, but I guess you knew that already :-)

Have fun with your rack and kind regards, Garfield.


Yes! I might just loved the function to hp to price ratio I could get from these starter befaco modules. I’m having my eyes open for a beefy multi VCA and landed at befaco again. So let me know your recommendations 🤘😎


Hi Zuggamasta,

I am myself not so much (not at all ;-) ) into DIY of modules. I solder my own patch cables but that's about it.

However besides Befaco, manufacturers like Erica Synths, Bastl Instruments and Polaxis have DIY sets/kits. Naturally there are many more manufacturers, it's just that I don't have experience with them.

Have fun with the DIY part and kind regards, Garfield.