Looking for general reactions on the following basic rack. I already have Subharmonicon, 2nd case, power, and the helix; this will be paired with an SQ-1 sequencer, and external patching from Reaktor (through cv.ocd). Audio out to a mixing board with send effects (Strymon El Capistan).

My goals are relatively "conventional" in the sense that I'll mostly be doing music with discrete pitches, manipulating melodic and harmonic polyrhythms, some of the good old LPG bongos. I have mucked around briefly with the sub+helix combo, and can clearly see the need for an additional envelope generator and VCA/mixer (which I guess I knew in advance). I'm not in any rush to complete the case, and am deliberately limiting myself to one module at a time until I've learned it well.

My question is for those with more hands-on long-term experience:
--Does this make sense as a unified system? Is anything clearly missing?
--Are any functions seemingly redundant? Some switch out you'd suggest?
--Is this ergonomically sensible?

ModularGrid Rack


If you want bongos you're looking to hear, you want a nice set of vactrols, no?

For a digital solution I really rate MI Streams - the emulations in that thing really are super and cover a lot of ground in the bongo field!!

Or maybe if you are feeling flush, a juicy Rabid Elephant Natural Gate? That think kicks ass and I absolutely love the responsive stuff it does - very nice indeed!

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!

Also, I think you really need a delay :D

I hold a personal belief that a modular is not a modular without at least one delay in there somewhere ;)

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 Kel,

Thanks for the reactions. The Helix does have a LPG at the end of the chain (I think it's the same as the standalone Pittsburgh dynamic impulse filter), but I'm wondering if you were suggesting that more LPG options are in order? I like the one on the Helix very very much, but after checking the Rabid Elephant Natural Gate out for a minute I start to wonder if I should make more space for that (and then lose the Ripples filter in the process).

For delay, I agree with the sentiment for sure. I had very seriously considered the Mimeophon. It would eat up a lot of the rest of the space (so it would be Helix and Mimeophon and not much else), but the Mimeophon itself has so many possibilities!

And now the "you're gonna need a bigger rack" idea starts to come into play, eh?

Here's a possible alternative that does incorporate the delay, keeps the Joranalogue contour, and loses the Ripples:

ModularGrid Rack

Natural gate would replace the Mimeophon, I guess, with a smaller delay unit.


Oooh I did not know that - I did just have a read of the description for it though and confirmed what I thought in that it is a complete voice.

I don't think you necessarily need more, but with the envelope VCA combination I assume you are looking for different flavours of envelope which is why I suggested the things I did - does that make sense?

If you are happy with the sound and are looking for ways to extend the functionality, I would probably go for more modulation, maybe some S&H, maybe another flavour of wave folder and definitely some kind of FX, my natural choice would be a nice complex delay... DLD, Rainmaker, Tapographic, 1-Bit, Chronoblob, any of them are awesome and will let you do incredible things with those bongo hits, have a listen to this to hear the effects you can get with a delay, my favourite is the Berlin style syncopation where the delayed notes interplay with the newly generated notes... magic!

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!

Just seen your edit, yes, that definitely looks like a LOT more fun!

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!

Just seen your edit, yes, that definitely looks like a LOT more fun!
-- Kel_

Thanks for the advice. This is all good stuff to think about while my country hopefully straightens itself out election-wise (not getting political here, but it's been a roller coaster week!). Modular therapy.

I had wondered if you proposed the Elephant LPG to increase flavors--you were right in thinking that's why I had proposed the envelope VCA combination. Which is to say, you got it right.

The Berlin reference is spot on, that's a lot of what I'm going for. I'll check on Tapographic and Chronoblob, at first blush they both look very interesting. While I initially leaned a little bit against adding delay since I do have a send delay that's a distinct pedal, having something very exotic and expressive in the rack has a lot of possibilities.


Excellent! Yes, all of the above are highly recommended and will add a lot to your little rack!

I hear you, I use have effects on sends too, but I tend to set and forget, so I think you will get a lot more from a delay in your modular than you will on the mixer because you will probably start to modulate more and play with it because it is just there, but maybe that's just my way of working?

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!