The idea of this rack is to have a small modular system which I can use for bassline + one or two melodies. I may also use it for drones and textures and it would be paired with an external drum machine.

I've been thinking of a system with two complex voices or up to four simpler voices, which I would use to produce slow techno / dub techno and to allow the exploration of more ambient / drone territories.

I also tried to use as many of the modules I already own, that's why I'm using a 6U rack instead of a larger case too. From the modules I own there are a couple I wouldn't mind replacing as I'll probably sell them at some point anyway, the plaits and the zadar.

Plaits is a fantastic module and can produce a wide range of sounds, but working with it sometimes feels like going through presets instead of creating something new from scratch, I find much more enjoyable using analog VCOs. Something similar with the zadar, great module with tons of functionality built in, but I've learnt that menu-diving doesn't suit my workflow.

So this is my current rack, which is currently paired with a minibrute 2s.

ModularGrid Rack

And this is what I've been thinking to do, this one would be standalone and not using the minibrute, just a desktop drum machine:

ModularGrid Rack

Is there enough modulation? do I need more VCAs? Would this work for my goal? can it be improved?

it would help us help you if you made your rack public - so we can click through and get infomatics etc

I think 4 voices is too many for a 6u

how are you intending on sequencing if not with the minibrute

Oh yes, it would help making the rack public, of course

There you go, the rack:

ModularGrid Rack

As you see I was planning to use the Varigate 4+ as a sequencer.

ok varigate 4+ as a sequencer - read this thread on muffs:, if you haven't already, not a great v/oct sequencer by the sound of it! but maybe it suits you

there's quite a bit of functional duplication in the crossfader department - I don't actually think I've ever seen a rack with so many before definitely not this size! I would start with one - which will help free up space for a better sequencer, if that's what you decide - maybe keep the antimatter audio one - gain 10hp

there are other things that could be reduced in size or removed:

do you really need an output module? - maybe - if it's just for headphones then there's a 2hp alm hpo module that will do that - gain 4hp

the z5000 could be replaced with an fx aid xl - gain 2hp

the quad vca could be replaced with something smaller - either another veils or the 3 channel happy nerding vca perhaps - gain 6hp

the function could be replaced with a second pip slope - gain 4hp

maybe if you replace the sequencer you will get one with a built in clock - so you do not need the horologic solum - gain 4hp

plus the varigate 4+ for another 12hp

if you do all those things that would give you about 40 hp to put a sequencer in - which will give you a much better choice - you can always put another crossfader back in after finding the right sequencer

even if you are looking to stay with the varigate - I'd consider all those possible changes - definitely something to think about, as it will leave you some space to explore

Hahaha yes, it seems like I got too excited with the crossfaders! I'll try removing some, thanks for pointing that out.

I wasn't totally sold out on the Varigate 4+ and that link certainly helps. I'll give it another thought, but maybe it would be a good idea going with an external sequencer instead.

Regarding the voices, would I be ok with four VCOs or do you think it would work better if I replaced two of them for a complex oscillator? something like the DPO maybe?

Thanks for your feedback, I definitively need to work a bit more on this rack.

regarding vcos - it's something that you have to work out yourself - listen to as many examples as possible of the ones you are interested in

I'd be tempted to buy your favourite pair of the 2 you have already chosen and live with them for a while - you may find you like th freedom too patch or you may find you want somethign that is more pre-patched (or at least organised) for you