Hi All,

This is my first thread so let me say Hi to all of you :)

Im new into modular world but i have some experience with sound design and music in general.
Right now im trying to complete the initial mockup of a rack that i would like to build.
The purpose is to create music without computer - the computer would be used only to record and do a post production.
I do not have any sequencer choosen as i completly do not know what will fit my needs so for starters i would go with korg seq 64 i think.
I aim for ambient/ electronic music (Abul Mogard; Alessandro Cortini like).
The area where i struggle is selection of utilities: envelope generators (although i have the maths, tides and doepfer); lfos and a good delay.
I would like to ask for a review of my current selection and a little bit of guidence :)

link to rack - ModularGrid Rack

Thanks in advance,

It seems like you have plenty of LFOs and a good delay in the rack (the Soma) so I'm wondering what's not working about those? Do you find you still don't have enough LFOs? And is the Soma disappointing you or do you just want more?

Editing to add that I see now this is a planned rack not a real one, so I'll second all the responses below. Cascading VCAs, another filter, and some good analog oscillators feel like nice additions, and going slow is always good advice.

I'd suggest to get the case and then start building it up from there. I had a good time slowly and steadily filling my initial 98hp and can already use it for my kind of tunes.
One suggestion for your row of VCAs there are some 6x VCAs like the zlob CNICURSAL VCA you need 2hp more but I'd argue you get a lot more playability. The 2hp trim pots right next to each other are close to not manipulable with jacks connected. Also you get a sum out so it acts like a CV controlled mixer, too.

Hi Karolziober,

Welcome to Modular Grid and modular synthesizers :-)

You have already quite some interesting modules in your rack planned. I agree here with Zuggamasta to start to slowly fill your rack, don't buy everything in one go.

A few remarks about your planned rack:

  • To start straight away with 4 the same VCAs from 2 HP, might be not a good idea, as Zuggamasta already mentioned if you put them next to each other you are not going to have a comfortable access to your modules. Another thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't start straight away to order double modules. Get experience first with one of them, see if you like it indeed that much and then consider a second, same module; however not directly start with 4 the same VCA modules. You could consider other VCAs as well. The VCAs I love to use are Patching Panda - Punch (nowadays Punch version 3) and the Waldorf - DVCA1 (getting sold out though); but of course there are other good VCAs as well
  • Though the Erica Synths - Black Octasource is a serious fantastic module, it is one, not to be recommended for beginners, it's a tough one to tame so to speak. I would recommend to add that module later to your rack, when you are ready for some crazy fun :-)
  • For the setup you have here, I feel you are missing a few oscillators of the "normal sort". The Telharmonic is a great module but extremely difficult to put it into the direction you want it to go, I would not recommend it to start with; you can add it later when you gained some experience with modular synthesizers and when you think: "Now it's time for a module I will barely get under control" ;-) It's actually not that dramatic but I do think Telharmonic is better to get started with when you gained some experience. I don't have any Noise Engineering modules myself so I can't comment on that oscillator you planned here, might be totally all right. There are quite a few members who love Noise Engineering so you should be fine with those. But other than these two (Telharmonic and Loquelic Iteritas) I don't see any oscillator, you could consider to add one more oscillator (and not yet that Telharmonic), which can be either a rather standard oscillator, say the Doepfer - A-110-1 or a more fancy one like Mutable Instruments - Plaits; up to you (or any other oscillator of your likings)
  • You might want to have a look at filters, yes I see you have the QPAS there, a good one indeed but just having one filter in your rack becomes sooner or later a bit boring, you might want to look into at least a 2nd filter, if not a 3rd one for future extension
  • Those 3 passive multiples of Doepfer, the A-180-2s, mwah... look at my website and read those review reports about multiples. I haven't tested the A-180-2 yet because I don't have one yet but I would recommend to go rather for two A-180-3 buffered multiples than 3 passive multiples like the A-180-2. Again, here applies the "same rule" that I would recommend to start with just one module, if you are happy with it, get either the same one again or consider another type and brand. So start with one A-180-3 for example and gain some experience

Overall you have here a nice rack, with some adjustments you can have a lot of fun with it. Good luck with the planning and if you want yourself to do a real favour, start straight away with a 3 rows 168 HP rack :-) The space you will need sooner or later. Kind regards, Garfield Modular.

Edit: Removed typo

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

One other point about those 2hp VCAs: you have no mixbus between them. If you go with things such as Happy Nerding's 3XVCA or Mutable's Veils or Intellijel's Quad VCA, you ALSO get a mixer thrown in for "free". And this can come in handy quite often; fact is, you should always try and look for additional functionality whenever possible, as this ups the build's capabilities while keeping the "sprawl" down.

Thank you all for the suggestions. they are very helpful. As mentioned I will start "small and simple" and i have already sketched up new case - ModularGrid Rack