Hi all ! Merry Xmas !!

All right, it’s my time to ask for advice and opinions on how to extend my rack. This is what I currently have (and already enjoy a lot):

ModularGrid Rack

I use my setup to generate most of the synth lines in my music, the drums, one shots and what not are handled by an MPC Live (mk1 so no CV outs) which also sends MIDI sync to the Hermod. I of course sample the LIP and BIA quite a bit for drum duties, but it’s a quick sample/loop that goes straight in the MPC. I also sometimes use the rack on its own to jam so that why you see the Prok HH there, although the main reason was that I wanted to build something lol. For those who want to get an idea of the sort of « music » I make (although I haven’t posted much of the modular music yet):
The placement of modules follows the patching I found myself making the most because that’s what made most sense in my head but I also often patch the C-sL into Sisters or Belgrad so there is nothing fixed.

And this is the plan I have for now:

ModularGrid Rack

Let me explain the changes:

  • I need more VCA’s ! I’m coming from a smaller setup with less everything, where the Quad VCA made sense but it’s clearly too little now. Even the mixer I use to mix & match waveforms from the C-sL could be a Quad VCA instead, it would probably be more fun, being able to control the mix by hand AND cv ! So I removed the Mixup and added a Quad VCA from Doepfer and a small double VCA in the 1U row. For now…

  • I need multi tracking ! For now I thought of adding the expander for my mixer, I’d lose the effects on the recording but I suppose I should consider the Mimeophon as a 1 track effect (like the Chorus from the 1U effects, for example) instead of a send, it’s a bit noisy as a send anyway. I’m very open to ideas on how to do things better, though !

  • I like having 2 different filters with the C-sL but I miss a proper stereo VCF for that voice I feel, so I thought of repurposing the Viol Ruina to an effect duty, and introduce the Erica Stereo VCF in the mix (if I can find one, I think they’re discontinued but I see some on the 2nd hand market).

  • I don’t like having to sacrifice the Disting for logic duties (or worse, Maths), so a Kinks could come in very handy I reckon.

  • I’m using one of the Intellijel Mixups which are remains of my old build as mixers for feedback paths and what not, but a matrix mixer would be so much better, so I think building the AI Synthesis is almost a must-do for me.

  • Added the ResEq in the hope that I could figure out how to properly order parts for the build. Or buy one already made. Anyway, looks like a lot of sound timbre fun to be had, I mean, it just ticks too many boxes of what is fun for me (feedback, distortion, band rejection, oh boy).

  • The times when I wish I had more cv inputs on the Zadar are sorta rare but I figure those + the trigs for each channel would be nice to have.

  • Finally I’d like to have some sort of hands-on controller, to be able to trigger voices and or modulation, the Tetrapad seems like a perfect fit, probably a lot more so than the Pressure Points. I still need to investigate how necessary Tête really is.

Anyway, enough of what I think, let’s hear what you think ! What would you change ? What do you think of my plan for the future, am I missing something glaringly obvious (or very obscure) ?
Looking forward to read your opinions and thank you in advance for your time !

Take care !
D.


Hi Diego,

Nice to hear from you again! :-) Lovely track by the way! I remember another track from you, is that this one or is this another track. Love the tension you are building up there.

For a new VCA, I can strongly recommend the Waldorf - DVCA1, from all my VCAs, this is the one I like most so far. I loved it so much that I bought a second unit of it, fantastic dual VCA!

I see that you are planning to get the Black Dual VCF from Erica Synths, I got that one already, it's a lovely filter, together with the Doepfer - A-124 VCF5 WASP filter my most favourite filters. The SEM Filter A-106-5 from Doepfer is quite nice too! That Black Dual VCF is still available from Erica Synths own website, so try it there; if you live in Europe you have to add 21% VAT (I think it was) to their mentioned prices though...

I am looking for a second mixer in my rack, how do you like the WMD - Performance Mixer? Is it worth an arm or a leg? Does it bleed? My Doepfer A-138p's do bleed a little bit :-( Even when putting volume of the channel to zero and mute it...

Good luck with your rack planning and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Dear Garfield,

Thanks for your comment, I think it's not the same track I shared earlier, but maybe it was, I clearly don't finish enough music, I need to dial down on the pointless jamming in favor of more output... :-)

I'll see if I can demo the Waldorf DVCA somewhere but from the get go, I'm not sure I could take advantage of its particularities. It's 20HP for 2 VCA's where the new Veils offers 4 of them in only 10HP or something like that. From where I stand, the color knob needs to be incredible to justify the extra HP and cost, but maybe I'm missing something ? In all honesty, I probably lack imagination, in my mind the only advantage a VCA module could have over another is the interface, buttons/knobs/jacks placement etc, but not the sound, am I wrong ?

You might be right for the availability of the Dual VCF, it's just that some stores already marked it as sold out, which usually means it's getting rolled out. Also, it's heavily discounted on Erica's website which also usually means they're trying to sell off the stock. Wait & see, I guess, I'm still not entirely decided on what to do, although I do want a dual filter, and this one with all the individual outs seems like a very useful one for my setup and the way I patch, plus it sounds pretty good... There's one for sale locally, might just give in...

Finally, about the WMD mixer: it's probably the best euro mixer I have tried, but I didn't try them all hehe. Let's clear your doubts first: no bleed whatsoever, or noise for that matter, it's very clean. Looking for cons, maybe the panning knob's curve could be smoother (still very workable, I'm being a Karen here), or returns could be stereo and I'd like to have 3 sends instead of 2. How much would the mixer cost in the end if everyone got what they wanted ? Too much, probably.

Take care,
Diego


Went nuts...
ModularGrid Rack
OK, this is different from your rework in some ways, similar in others.

The top row, I decided to consolidate the "main voice" part there, and have the voice module at the end. The two main oscillators are still there, followed by one of the Mixups for summing. Main VCFs next, then the Quad VCA was repositioned by this so that you can have VCA control over the Befaco's inputs. One of the Lesters went next to that to take advantage of the stereo I/O on that.

First tile row starts now with a buffered mult (yep, it's likely to be needed here), then everything's much the same until the end, where I put in a Stereo VCA to deal with the Lester's output levels to the final mix.

Row #2 is where I started going off...the row is bookended by your passive mults (yep, this is big enough for that), then the quad switch is next to give you a bit more routing control for various functions. Then Disting, Octa, Ochd...and I added a 4ms QPLFO so that you've got some ultra-slow (out to 70 minutes-ish) duty cycles for the modulation section. This is a nice thing because you can also tap tempo with it, or ping it with triggers to determine the duty cycle...in theory, the Varigate 8+ can do this admirably, with the result being that you can sequence (kinda) your four LFOs' rates. The Doepfer minimixer is next to sum those first sources, if needed, then the Blender got used here to crossfade modulation signals...yet more modulation automation. Added a Quadrax/Qx pair for 2 or 3-stage envelopes, looped envelopes, complex function generation, all that fun stuff, then I put a Happy Nerding 3xVCA for VCA control over mod levels. Two ADSRs are after that, then we get into the drum voice.

Now, that looks like it'll be fun...the hats are paired with the indecipherable whateverthing for your percussives. After this is the Violin Ruiner + the WASP VCF for processing these. Now...that next thing isn't a mult, it's a fixed-pan stereo mixer! The white-ringed jacks are the L and R outs, and you put the signals where you want them in the stereo field jacks in between. And yeah...the other Lester is here, and can be used as an "effect" VCF for the drums or, if you like, a second stage of Lester after the one above. Or maybe for the Bitbox...? Your call!

Next row, a very necessary thing with all of this sequencing: LOGIC! This provides the typical Booleans, plus inverters, three flipflop switches, and a clock divider. But that's not all, as I added the Fractio Slumnus after that to allow clock division or multiplication (ie: ratcheting), then I paired this with the 16-step sequencer. Then Stages, Maths, Zadar (WITH the expander!) and the Bitbox. Effects are next: Mimeophon, and the Pico DSP, then a submixer to sum effects (or most anything else you might need in tandem with the mixer). I dropped the Verb (seemed redundant with the Pico DSP) in favor of getting the Fractio down by the timing section.

Next tile row: the unbuffered mult, then the Noise Tools because it adds some useful functions (S&H, slew limiter, clock, noise). Oscope tile next, the delay, then another stereo VCA (intended for tandemmed level control of the Bitbox) before we get to the audio I/O.

Bottom row: Hermod, Pams, Voltage Block...and then, the Varigate 8+ for trig/gate sequencing as well as memories for the Voltage Block. Last is the WMD Performance Mixer, where I added the mute expander which ALSO allows CV control over the AUX sends on channels 1-4.

The only two dropped modules from the original were the aforementioned Verb, as well as that set of fixed HPFs. The latter, I just didn't see the point of having, and by dropping it I was able to put in the fixed panning mixer for your drum modules + their VCFs.

So, yeah...it's not the same as your shot at it above. I went in a direction that didn't necessarily add anything to the sound, but the end result is that the functionality you had before is now VERY bolstered by redoing the signal flow ordering and adding some choice modules to jack that functionality way on up. Result feels more intuitive, and the additions will allow a lot of new modalities that either weren't all there yet, or just weren't there, period.


Hi Diego,

Well yes, if you look at it like that, then go for the Veils :-) I was thinking of the Veils to, just under the motto: "You can't have enough VCAs" however for me the user interface counts as well, the knobs on the Veils look pretty close to each other. Besides that, you don't have separate CV input for Linear and Exponential behaviour of the VCA; the beauty of the DVCA1 is that you can use both at the same time.

I agree, the Colour option is a nice to have but, at least for me, not a must have.

I am not saying that between these two particular VCAs there is a quality difference, however in general there can be quality differences between VCAs, depending on the quality of the components (and other possible reasons) why on one VCA the sound sounds better than on another VCA.

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience about the WMD - Performance mixer, I might consider it perhaps, bit expensive though :-(

Regarding (dual) VCFs... yes difficult one, another idea might be the triple State 700 Mk2 from Frequency Central, but I prefer the Black Dual VCF. How about the QPAS from Make Noise, that one is quite nice, bit different from the Black Dual VCF, naturally but really not too bad, you can do some nice stuff with the QPAS.

Good luck and looks like Lugia gave you quite a few hints & tips too; so tons of things to check for you there :-) Have fun and kind regards, Garfield.

Edit: Removed typo.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Hi fellow knobs wigglers !

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS !!
I actually wrote an answer yesterday, forgot to save somewhere else and didn’t have time to write it again after that. Oh well

@Lugia: My God, this is excellent, are you getting tired of me thanking you for the knowledge sharing ? Because I’m not tired of reading your rack rehauls, so many ideas !! I have many questions as well, sorry for the wall of text but I feel it makes things clear at least.
- Modulation section: Finally, it looks like something that makes sense as a whole. I was not considering those logic functions you included, for some reason those eluded me during my VCVRack training sessions, but I’ll definitely go try asap as it sounds like fun. I really like the group you made, with crossfader, mixer and VCA, I think I’d feel more at ease even with only the modules I own but grouped like that.
- Quad LFO: I have the O&C that I use exactly for that when I need slow LFO’s, the Quadraturia app offers an incredible range, from audio rate to several hours for a single cycle (lol) and also offers the tap tempo functionality (which I never use, maybe I should, here’s an exercise). Plus between Ochd and the Octasource, there’s already a lot of LFO fun to be had. Zadar can also do some crazy stuff.
- Quadrax and double ADSR: same remark as above (makes sense, EG and LFOs are similar in nature), there is the Piqued app which offers me 4 envelopes when needed. Not the same as above though, this is the app the O&C ends up on most of the time, and Stages is often used for that as well. I’m not sure I need yet another EG, but freeing the flexible O&C and Stages for other things on a permanents basis isn’t a bad thing. Quadrax (how useful is the expander ?) will therefore stay if there is room, or the ADSR, maybe both. I prefer the added crazy functionality on the Quadrax of course…
- Fractio Solum: I like the idea of having a separate clock divider, or rather I should say I hate “wasting” PNW’s outputs for clock division duties; I’m thinking I could, instead of investing in a 3U modules, get one of those Shakmat Time Apprentice to replace the 1U passive mult on the second 1U row. Big bonus is that I get to build that one myself from a kit, that’s always fun (and cheap).
- Varigate 8+: I’ve been hesitating a lot with including another gate sequencer in my rack. In fact, I still have my Robaux SWT16+ for sale right now, an excellent 16 tracks (!) gate sequencer with a bunch of cool features. I just felt like I was hardly ever using it, it was meant to be used with percussions modules most of which I sold after getting the MPC but now I usually generate simple patterns with PNW or use one of the Hermod tracks to trigger the HH and Bitbox. The way I use Bitbox is mainly to record loops out of other voices, and trigger them by hand, I’ve considered getting rid of it too, the MPC can do all that very well, and turning it on next to the rack isn’t a big effort. Am I crazy, should I keep the SWT16+ or buy a Varigate ? Really can’t decide here…
- Mutes: nice gotcha on the cv control over AUX sends, I always forget that. Not sure how useful that would be for me though, I don’t see myself modulating that so much, I usually set and forget values. Mutes is a nice to have, but since I’m hardly ever using both inputs on the Mixer, I often can use the A/B switch as a mute, by not using the second input. I’d probably skip this, especially if it means I get space for something like Tetrapad.
- Panning Mixer: whaaaaat ? I had no idea something like that existed. Can you use something like that with different VCO outputs ? Imagine that… If I can get my hands on one, I’ll bite, the issue will most likely finding one at a decent price but I definitely want to try it !

This is where I’m starting to get lost:

  • Percussions and Bionic Lester n°2: Hahaha, excellent, hadn’t realized there was a second Lester hiding behind the PH (at least that’s how I see it). I don’t actually have 2, unfortunately, that’s just a bug I have sometimes. And I like the thing, but 2 of them, one on percussions? Sure, I’ll try my BIA into the one I have, that experiment is due anyway, but the Lester is in my view, somewhat of a specialist filter, I’m not sure I’d know what to do with it on a percussions section. Using it on the output of the Bitbox makes sense to me though, but again, do I prefer that over using the MPC and its very decent filters ? I guess not, if I’m honest. The more I think about this, the Bitbox is extraneous, I’d just keep the BIA (is it drums, is it a synth ? who knows, who cares, it’s bloody awesome), and the HH just because I built that myself, but I don’t think a Eurorack rhythm section is for me…
  • Voices: I’m very lost here lol. You grouped the 2 main VCOs, do you see them more as a single voice ? You removed the Dual filter from Erica, you didn’t like the idea (as I said above, I’d like another stereo VCF if I consider having 1 C-sL and PH as separate voices, plus I think the many simultaneous outputs are a really interesting feature that could go well with my setup) ? Is the Lester at the end of the 1st row meant for the LIP or for the big synth voice ?
  • What about Tetrapad ? That’s probably my most desired module right now, mainly to greatly improve the way I can play my patches, to play the thing more like an instrument. I’m willing to make sacrifices to include it in the rack.
  • I like experimenting with feedback, so what about that Matrix Mixer ? I feel like that and an Instruo tanh[3] could be very useful for that kind of noise, and could perhaps make my desire for a ResEq much less pressing.

@GarfieldModular: I had never considered that side of things, I only have Intellijel VCA’s for now and found them absolutely clean, I should probably carefully experiment and compare when I get a chance. Also never considered feeding both exponential and linear CV into a single VCA, but now that I think of it, it has a few interesting implications. But I can’t bring myself to dedicate 20HP to 2 VCA’s.
Re QPAS, I actually had it for a while, but just didn’t gel with it. I liked having the simultaneous outputs there, and the interface is great, but the sonic character of it wasn’t for me. I tried to make it work and even had fun with it (of course), but didn’t see myself keeping it in the long run. The Erica one sounds great with audio rate modulation, from what I hear in demos, what is your experience with that ? How controllable is resonance, when you bring it at the edge of self-oscillation ?

Take care !
Diego


Hi Diego,

Perhaps you should buy an additional (monster) rack and get less worried about HP space ;-) I got quite a few VCAs but that Waldorf - DVCA1 is the best so far. I still want to try the ACL - VCA I have high expectations (on the quality) there too, but from a user interface point of view, I love the DVCA1, it's seriously worth it, that's why I bought a second unit quite some while ago and now I am considering to buy a third unit of it, it's that good :-) You don't have to CV (can "to CV" be a verb? :-) ) both linear and exponential, I usually CV only the exponential but manually you can adjust the knobs for linear as well as exponential and that gives it the extra touch. Beside that, and because of that (lin+exp both at the same time possible) you can boost the signal quite seriously (it can cause a distortion if you go too far with that; easily to be detected by a red LED that quite accurately indicates if you are going over the edge, i.e. going into distortion). If I have soft/low signals, I usually use the DVCA1 to boost it up. I am sure there are VCAs that can boost the signal even stronger than the DVCA1 can do but for me it's enough at +13.5 dB.

But okay, if you insist on not going bigger with your cases, then check out the Patching Panda - Punch module (I got the old version, it was a special offer; there is now a newer version 2 I think), that's really a punchy VCA module, I love that one too, totally different from the DVCA1 though and sometimes I feel the Punch module is unclear in usage but if you have sharp/punchy fast repetitive sounds that needs to get some kick in the a*** then Punch comes in handy!

If you hold a gun at my head and I have to make a choice between QPAS or the Black Dual VCF, then it's definitely going to be the Black Dual VCF. It's more direct control, easier to understand (at the beginning, on a more deeper level both modules shouldn't be under estimated their complexity though), and more... how to put that under words... direct fun (with QPAS it's a longer learning curve kind of fun)? If you want to play with the resonance then this Black Dual VCF module is yours! It can get totally crazy nuts but it's rather easy to keep the resonance under control as well. If you want an example of how this Black Dual VCF sounds, check out this track of mine:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/forum/posts/index/8963

I demo there exactly this module! :-)

That kind of "searching for the frog" sound, I am "searching" that with this Black Dual VCF module, almost everything you hear here is almost all done by this Black Dual VCF!

For some more details please read my text at/in the above link and listen to that demo track, it should convince you to get this module! :-D

In this demo track I brought the resonance (far) over the edge :-) But you can control it a bit more subtle than I did here too.

I copy one of my comments here from that post:

I just can't stop playing with this filter, it really invites you to play around with it.

I hope that demo track will convince you and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads

Had a reply, MG ate it. Grr...

Logic 202 + Fractio: These are key to a lot of sequencing and timing trickery. For example, let's say you want something to appear in the mix every once in a while. Just feed the clock and the appropriate clock division to an AND gate, then you'll get a gate outputted from that that ONLY appears when both clocking signals are present. Another great use for the division is to slow down the sequencer it's next to so that you can sequence transpositions...or you can multiply the clock for TaDream-style ratcheting. That whole area is designed so that ALL of the sequencers...even external ones...can have their timing messed with really hard by everything from Boolean logic to random signals, and there's ample capacity for "abuse potential".

The Qx expander for the Quadrax is what's necessary to "chain" the Quadrax's EGs, with the potential of generating other complex modulation curves in a similar manner to the Maths. But you'll also notice that the Maths has capabilities to mess with the Quadrax via the Qx, and so on. Again, look at the modulation section as something which, if desired, can work as one HUGE mod generator with all sorts of possible outputs. And you can then avoid using the o&C for just LFOs by making use of the QPLFO and use some of the more twisty things the o&C is capable of...the unique stuff!

Varigate 8+: there's another purpose there, and that's its sequence memory. You can set up 99 different memories in the Varigate for it AND the Voltage Block. And having preset, ready-to-drop sequences that you can switch on the fly RULES. Plus, don't forget the timing section and how you can screw with these via that as well.

Bitbox: Keep it. You can use it to loop audio on the fly, play stored samples, and a bunch of other things. It's "stereo voice 5". Which brings up the voicing...

There are actually THREE voice sections on the top row. The first, optimized for pads, washes, atmospherics and the like in stereo consists of the Cs-L and Piston Honda, which sum in stereo via the Mixup. Then the second, intended for leads and the like, consists of the Belgrad and Sisters with the Veils being used for...well, a lot of trickery. For example, you could split the output of each of those VCOs to two VCAs...then take a couple of LFO signals to control them AFTER you've also split them and inverted one of each LFO split, with the result being stereo autopanning! Then, it's also possible to sum this AND the first "voice" via the Befaco for the Lester's inputs...or you can break out any of that and send it to the filters by the percussive setup. Then the THIRD voice is the Loqualis itself, which allows you to concentrate on specific results, such as bass. Also, there's a stereo VCA under it that can be used for stereo modulation of the Loqualis. But each subsection of the top row can ALSO be fed to the respective Performance Mixer strips, along with the stereo percussives. Hence the second Lester...it can either be used to process one of the above subsections along with the other one, or you can use it for stereo filtering for the percussives. And the Wasp and NE VCF are down there for alternate filtering...either on individual percussive outputs, or if you process the percussives via the Lester, this frees those two up for other duties. In short, you could configure this whole voice scheme whichever way you'd want, and in most every configuration, you've got sheer POWER.

Also, you'll notice that much of this build is designed FOR STEREO. You can stereoize most any of the above, in a huge variety of ways. Even the percussives have that Takaab stereo fixed-pan fixed-level mixer so that you can place the individual parts in the stereo field wherever you wish, and then either drop the output of that down to the Performance Mixer, or feed it to the Lester.

Similarly, the entirety of the modulation section is intended to work as something of a single "device", cued by the various gate/trigs from timing and sequencers, or from other modulation sources. You could even chain up the entire thing as a single, self-regulating and insanely-complex modulation source, given enough patchcords and madness. This then opens up the use of the modulation section as a "feedback" system, with everything intercontrolling everything else, which then gets fed back to other things. This is super-important if you ever opt to do generative work; as a generative mod source, that section is aces!

Now, the Tetrapad...it and its expander aren't on this because my idea would be to mount them...plus your matrix mixer...in a powered 4ms Pod of the right size. This would then be an expression controller par excellence...and since it's in a small pod cab, you can then position it anywhere you want, instead of having that stuck in the case. By putting these modules in a Pod, you're upping the ergonomic ease of use, basically turning the Pod into a super-overkill version of the usual mod/pitch wheels that can be placed by your keyboard controller, and connected to the main cab via whatever patchcables are needed for a specific patch. This would be just about perfect, and make it easier to make use of the Tetrapad and matrix mixer (which are great for modulation "global" changes...that's what my 3x3 Wonkystuff one is for, as it's intended for a fifth AE cab that'll house controllers and that system's Performance Mixer).

What I'd suggest is this: just STARE at the build for a while, with a pad and paper handy to make notes about patches, groupings, and the like. After several hours, you'll probably have a melted brain...but you'll ALSO have a clearer idea of what this thing is capable of. Also, keep in mind that, while this is one hellacious system, it's ALSO expansion-friendly. If you think about how the ARP 2500 was intended to be used, this would be the "Main" case...and later, you can add "wing cabs" to this and make things even wilder without needing to disrupt anything in this case. But also like the venerable 2500, you have your expression controls handy beside the keyboard controller. So, yeah...there's a half-century of ideas in this mo'fo!


Let me start by saying that I’m really enjoying this conversation, it’s challenging my way of seeing my build and what’s possible with what I have. This is the exact reason I started this thread, and boy did I get what I asked for ! My brain hurts, but it’s a good hurt :-)

@ both
Garfield, you mention the second big rack, and Lugia talks about a 4ms pod. I also still have my 7U from Intellijel which I started on, it’s the case I use during short holidays to focus on some aspects of my modules. As much as possible, I would like to stay within the bounds of 14U for now. First of all, I do intend to move and I might get a bigger space and therefore a bigger desk, but that’s far from guaranteed and my desk is really cramped. I’m not dismissing the idea entirely but it would at least need to wait until March when I’m in the new house and I know what I can work with. There’s also the fact that confining myself to 14U is a good way to not go completely broke in the next months, if you know what I mean ;)

@GarfieldModular: To CV is a verb I use on a regular basis, definitely a thing lol.

The case you make for different kinds of VCA’s is pretty compelling. I have a switch for a +6db boost on each channel of the Intellijel Quad VCA which has been enough for me so far, but it's limited in use and it’s true that sometimes an extra « oomph » could come in handy, yet I still can’t bring myself to consider such a change for now. As Lugia said, I need to make a few theory builds, look at his take on it, and think for a long while. With this discussions, I’m starting to see patching my system in a new light so who knows, in a few days I might just change my tune regarding a « big » change in VCAs for the rack. I’ll definitely check out the demos of Punch !

Thanks for sharing your demo of the Erica Dual VCF, you got some really crazy sounds out of it :-) The more I look at that module, the more I want it. It wasn’t on my radar anymore after we talked about it almost a year ago I think, but now I remember why I wanted it in the first place, I really like the features and I/O it offers, very inviting to experimentation. What I’m after is filters that will go crazy in a « musical » way (to me, of course) when messed with, like the Belgrad for example. Playing with the span of the peaks while also bordering self-oscillation and a generous touch of cross-mod (thank you, Tito switch), I get such beautiful noises, it’s poetry to my ears. I have the same high hopes for the Erica filter… If I’m honest, I’m already very convinced, but I have a principle to at least sit for a while on buying decisions of that importance, for money as well as for build consistency reasons.

@Lugia:

I’m sorry you also lost your answer and more importantly, thank you for taking the time to write another one, it must have taken you a while so thank you for that !

Logic & clock: I’m definitely convinced the Logic 202 is going to find its way in the build, now I’m even thinking 202 first and Kinks second. Because yes, I think that I should be able to manage a Kinks in there too and I feel like it would come in very handy as well, I’ve been eyeing it for a while already. Would it be too much with the 202 already in there ? For the clock, I’m still leaning on me being able to get the effects you describe (cool ideas indeed, all going in my little « to try » modular notes) with a Time Apprentice in the 1U section and sometimes an output or two from PNW. Definitely going to stare at this for a while as you very well put it, that remark will remain valid for the rest of this post :)

EG-like modules: I’m now starting to see what you describe, a big modulation section working as a CV orchestra of sorts, and yeah, it has my grey cells working triple shifts, but it’s beautiful. I have already approached patches of that nature thanks to having Maths and the crazy Zadar now in the build, but I never saw things in the light of a wider approach. I’m very sold on the Quadrax and its expander, a little less on the QPLFO, although I do understand your point and of course fully agree that using the O&C for LFO’s is somewhat sad. I removed the double ADSR for now to have more room, I’m thinking Stages can provide one (at the cost of 4 channels, but OK) and I could also install Hemisphere on the O&c and use a side to produce ADSRs. Also, I don’t find myself using those so much in the way I patch so far, actually that came as a surprise to me when I went from classic synths to modular. Less ideal, though, so if I can find a way for it to come back in the rack, why not.

Varigate8+: aargh, you make such good points and the more I think about it, the more I see it’d be a very very good idea, so much power. Must resist … the dark side…. My wallet just rose an eyebrow in disapproval, but he’s seen worse.
I already get a glimpse of the power of ready-to-drop sequences with the little memory on the VB, and it’s very nice indeed, I use it a lot. Having a hundred of those would be almost too much. I also need to think about wether or not it introduces too much complexity in the system, it’s not that I don’t like menus but I want to keep a relatively small number of menu/complex button combo based modules in the rack, in order to keep the flow going when I patch. Manual reading, demo watching and more pondering will happen before I actually buy anything anyway, but I have a sort of plan presented below and it’s in there. Feels a bit like a waste to sell a large gate sequencer (my Robaux SWT16+) just to get another, but I did get the Robaux before getting my VB, and now VG makes a lot more sense… Oh well, you live, you learn.

Bitbox: keeping it for now, but we’ll see in the long run, it would free up some nice cash and generous HP space, and I can do sampling easily in the MPC too. How easy and practical the workflow really is, I don’t know yet, still have to test the waters a bit but so far so good, which is why I haven’t touched my Bitbox lately. When it's all running together though, I'd have to see how practical it is to add sampling on the fly in my MPC workflow instead of the ease of having the Bitbox always there...

Voices: Wow, I just got schooled :-) Using the filters as voices is clearly something I don’t do often enough. I mean, I know of it, and I’ve done it a few times (even with the Viol Ruina which doesn’t really track 1/oct haha), but how ready am I to commit to that and rock those as VCO’s on a sort of permanent basis, man, we’ll see. But all these ideas you shared, pure gold. Believe it or not, I never patched a voice comprised of the PH and C-sL together, not once, shame on me. I guess my excuse is that they’re so complex in themselves, there’s so much to explore, that exploring them as a voice with another VCO is something that completely eluded me, maybe I was already having too much fun as is. I also can’t believe that I can only remember one unique time when I played with Belgrad as a voice, despite loving it so much (what a fun time that was). The build proposed below is still organized like I did it before but essentially it retains the same functionality if I’m not missing anything, and I’m thinking about copying it to another rack on MG and playing with module placement to try different approaches, or maybe copy your reworked build and start from there.

Stereo: yes, yes, and more yes, in fact that’s also an important reason why I’d like to get the Erica Dual VCF in there. It would also be my second Lester of sorts, I have this idea that it’s better to try different flavors when it comes to modules so closely tied to sound timbre, more variety at my disposal and all that, could be a gross misconception on my part, I really don't know but it's worked for me so far. Otherwise I would already own 3 or 4 Belgrad filters, and using them as voices wouldn’t be so rare anymore :-) That Takaab is a no brainer though, almost feels like I could use a couple (second eyebrow raise by my wallet).

Modulation: this is the section that I have the most ease approaching for some reason. It all makes sense, it’s like a word you’re looking for and someone just says it out loud for you, now sparse ideas that I could never link together in my head are starting to make sense. I guess it’s like with Maths, I’ll start getting new ideas by patching and experimenting, that is what makes it so hard for me to chose how to evolve without having tried that new build.

Tetrapad: aargh-bis, excellent arguments again. I’ve explained the situation above about extra cases but yeah, I totally see the power of casing that in a 4ms pod or some other small case. For now, it’s still in the 14U plans, but I’m not buying all the update at once anyway so I’ll have a lot of time and some practice with new modules to decide how things will go. My wallet just tore his eyebrows off in anger, I'll go patch to calm him down.

New version of the build I have as a result of your kind help, the first wave of pondering, thinking and other slight headaches (the extra bottom row is modules that I would sell as a result of the reshuffling - I may decide to keep the Mixups anyway, they come in real handy when I make smaller systems in the 7U travel case) :

ModularGrid Rack

DHL is coming tomorrow to pick up the Intellijel Quad VCA going in repairs (kuddos for an incredibly efficient and nice support team @ Intellijel) so I’ll be without proper VCAs (quite a few hidden in the system, not as flexible though), and even before that I didn’t have enough, far from it. Therefore I’m going to place an order soon for the double VCA 1U and I’d like to add another, probably the new Veils although Garfield did make me want to investigate more on that. Depending on finances (the house move might hurt a bit, I might need some extra furniture and all that), I’ll order soon after the Quadrax + expander and then the Tetrapad+Tête, in that order of priority. I have a local deal on the Erica VCF so I’ll check that out, and I’ll also order the Shakmat clock divider if DIY shops do deliver, I want to get on that soldering iron again, so much fun. Speaking of uncertain deliveries, does anyone know if EMW has retailers in the EU ? MG lists only Thomann but they don’t seem to have the Logic 202 on offer. If no one here knows, I’ll write them an email to ask if they can get it, we’ll see, EMW says on their website that due to COVID, their sales are temporarily paused so that might not be for the very near future :-(

Well, that’s it for me, I’ll go back to patching my current system and try some of the experiments Lugia suggested, this will help me think and decide what I buy first in a week or so.
Thank you as always for all the help and the time you spend on this, on top of helping countless others.

A little early, I’m wishing you all the best for 2021 and I send you all good vibes to inspire you while you make music !

Take care,
D.


Hi Diego,

Yes good point to chew for a while on something before buying it, can't harm :-) Just don't wait yet another year because then indeed it might be difficult to get that Black Dual VCF module...

Thank you very much, I wish you, Lugia and everyone here in this forum a Happy New Year too and let's keep CV-ing in 2021 ;-) Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads