First time posting here and happy to receive advice or suggestions on the below:
Having spent a number of months researching, I started putting my rack together earlier this year. I'm loving the journey so far but as for many, am trying to find a balance between sources, modifiers, modulation and utilities and figuring out what works best for me....
My aim is to create an instrument for sonic experimentation (initially studio-based but to be performed with further down the line)- with inspiration found in the patch programmability and feedback systems of Serge, the timbral possibilities unique to Eurorack sound modifiers and sample manipulation. The above system will be accompanied by a control skiff at some point in the future, additional modulation is currently being sourced from VCV via Es9, mixing is being done externally and sequencing (rarely) being done in a DAW. I also have a PNW which will end up in the skiff.
I'm particularly looking for advice on utilities/modulation that might open up the system further (still considering whether Genie, Compare 2, Levit 8, HN MIA/VCAs are best use of the space available), whether there are any massive oversights or just modules that could be lots of fun to explore.
There's a lot of big modules here, which might be ok but I'd probably want to fit a ton more little things in here to really leverage the power of the bigger modules. I know you're planning on using the ES-9 but personally I like getting away from the computer, so ideas that come to mind: Links, Kinks, Rnd Step, Ochd, Cold Mac, Crow, Ladik across the board, Tirana, Turing Machine or 2HP TM, more VCAs (the VCA matrix is less flexible in reality than it looks on paper), Serge NCOM (though you do have a Compare 2), DC coupled ring modulators (in particular the Befaco A*B+C), clock dividers... that's what I can think of for now at least.
To start, I'd drop the Rainmaker and the Tripler Waveshaper (kind of redundant since your oscillators are complex already, plus the other Serge wavefolder is generally regarded as superior) and see what of the above makes sense to you to fit in. IMHO you'd come out with a far more flexible and adventurous rack.
Hi! thanks so much for this- yep, these are modules I'm currently looking at and will definitely explore further following this. The TWS is in there alongside the ResEQ to form a little self-patching chaotic feedback corner of the case although I take your point about the VCM which does sound great...also v. interested in the NCOM.
never underestimate doepfer especially for utilities
And to that, I'd have to say that Ladik is another of those "little space, big results" manufacturers where utilities are concerned. Especially rather esoteric ones, such as some of their clock mod and logic offerings. Cost-effective AF, too!
-- re: modules, yes, Ladik and Doepfer have a lot of interesting modules you might look at. You have Genie from Non Linear Circuits in the rack above, have you looked at their other modules? They have a ton of interesting stuff IMO, I don't own any yet but I will be adding some of their Chaos and other modules in the next year. Metabolic Devices Coherence is interesting and also on my wish list -- I would call it an "esoteric comparator" basically. ADDAC has a lot of good and interesting modules, too many to name here. Erogenous Tones (which you already have in your rack) -- their Radar and Blip could give you a lot of additional fun, Radar is more than just 8 more envelope / lfos (as if that wasn't enough).
-- quickly eyeballing your setup, I'm not seeing a lot of logic or derivator modules. IMO that's a category you could beef up on especially given your experimental interests. Doepfer, Ladik, NLC have a lot in these regards. https://www.analogueresearch.com/product-page/artificial-neural-network when it is back in stock later this year is an interesting option.
-- I know you mentioned you sequence from the DAW. If you ever want to change that, Five12 Vector is something new for me I'm loving. A great sequencer with a big expander unit -- lots of firepower.
-- I'm very interested in eurorack control schemes, this TLDR post of mine interests me a lot and has gotten a whopping zero replies. BUT if you check out the 3 threads referenced near its top, you'll find a lot of interesting discussion, suggestions, and demo rack builds especially some generative rack builds by Lugia, see here: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/forum/posts/index/9906
-- beyond the question "what additional modules" I would suggest you consider "what proportions of what module types" as an interesting and helpful guide. I know JimH has many times said something like "sources < modifiers < control signals < utilities" -- that is not verbatim what Jim said, but kind of close. Some of your text above tells me you're probably already considering in a similar manner? Anyway, I think its a good suggestion from Jim and bear repeating; it has helped me to think of classes and #s of various modules first, then of "what specific next module do I need?" second. This helps build a coherent setup and have real synergies with the modules one already has.
The ideas above are not linear or exhaustive, just a bunch of responses that came to mind when I saw your setup and inquiry.
BTW the build you have above is already something I would be excited about. Good luck with your future explorations!