If possible, replace all of the Mutable and Mutable clones with smaller versions. This will open up some rack space and perhaps you can have BOTH options for both concerns.
Check out the Moog Grandmother or the Matriarch. I don't think they are going to sound like the M32 but they do have that Moog sound. Both are semi-modular compatible but don't require any patching to work for your most basic sounds.
If you're looking for polyphony, patch recall and so forth... a traditional all-in-one synth would definitely suit you better. Most stand alone synths operate at line level. Eurorack operates at "synth level" which is a lot hotter... more volts... than line level. So if you want to use Eurorack to process your sound then you'll want some line to synth level converter to go into your Eurorack and probably synth to line level to get into the rest of your set-up. There are a lot of ways to do it, but this is the sure-fire way. It is possible to also sync your stand-alone synth to Eurorack components. Some forward thinking synths have CV and gate outs. Others you'll have to find a MIDI to CV converter to go from MIDI clock to eurorack clock.
There's nothing wrong with finding a pure Eurorack set-up not-for-you. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote that it's not worth it to spend so much time tweaking modules when you want something that is relatively simple most of the time.
Hello and welcome to Eurorack.
Your first step is going to be a semi-modular synth. Cool. They come in two basic flavors... even though they aren't technically the same. The first is a true semi-modular synth. It's stand-alone in its own case with its own power supply. The other notion is a "synth-voice" which is a Eurorack module that's a complete synthesizer. You'll find both out there so take a look around.
If you buy a true semi-modular that can be mounted in a Eurorack case... don't mount it in the case! At least if you're starting out. There's no reason to do so unless you're looking to be mobile often. Use the saved rack space to build your Eurorack module collection.
The Moog Mother is a good choice. There's also the Behringer Neutron, Behringer Crave, Minibrute (no keyboard), and others. I'd consider your budget and your skill level. If you're new to synths or analog then I'd start out small and cheap and THEN start adding RackBrute or another case later. Don't try and buy everything all at once. You'll probably spend a lot on stuff you either won't use or won't care to use. The Moog's big advantage (other than that Moog-sound) is that it has a built in sequencer.
For your rack... consider effects like reverb, delay, ring modulation etc. You may also want modules like logic (AND,OR, etc.), attenuverters, small DC coupled mixers, filters that are unlike what you have in your semi-modular, low pass gates, or even a complex oscillator.
So here are my initial thoughts:
I see two passive mults. Passive mults aren't bad. But if you're going to dedicate rack space to mults go with active (powered) mults. When you passively split signals you might experience a voltage drop in the splits. When it comes to triggers, gates, and audio that's not a big deal. If you're splitting control voltages... especially pitch... that will be an issue.
The Morphagene, Monsoon, Pico, and Disting are all capable of stereo outputs. You also have a Dixie, a dedicated percussion module, etc. You don't have a mixer that will handle stereo and the Optimix is more of a low-pass-gate. You probably want to invest in a stereo mixer. There are a few on the market ranging from about $250US to well over $700. Blue Lantern, Happy Nerding, Roland, etc. are good brands to look at. I have a Blue Lantern Sir Mix A Lot. It's inexpensive and does the job.
The Batumi can always use a Poti expander (3HP) to get to all of those jumper settings that offer additional waveforms, sync and reset.
I don't see any dedicated envelope generators. For the basics, Doepfer just came out with their slim-line modules. I would have a couple. Don't underestimate the instant tweak-a-bility of a dedicated ADSR. The Maths is okay but only offers attack and decay. You have some digital modules capable of envelope generation... but you might find them a bit fiddly to change on the fly. Keep your mind open about adding them.
As far as ergonomics, you seem to have some like modules grouped together and others just scattered about. For example, I'd put the Braids after the KickAll. The Braids can be used for snares, hats as well as traditional sounds. I'd group all of your oscillators together.
If I get some time I might rework the rack for you with some suggestions.
My rack looks awesome!
Your link isn't to your rack but a generic link. Go to your rack and copy the link from your browser to your post.
It should look like
The link is right up to the very end where it's missing the slash and the number. I can't post a full link example else it won't show the pathing.
Your welcome. Also, I forgot to mention. The noise module from Intellijel also has a slew limiter that can be accessed independently.
The Morgasmatron is also capable of self oscillating. Pair it with a VCA (Shakmat and Intellijel are BOTH coming out with 1U VCAs) and some envelopes from the O_C and you can generate some decent kick drums. Filter some pink or white noise through the other filter and you have snares and hi-hats.
By modulating the Morgasmatron's mix knob at audio rates you can get a ring modulation kind of effect.
The Shuttle is tasty. But I strongly feel having the O_C for some onboard sequencing that can also be clocked and reset by the Shuttle will give you lots of additional modulation possibilities.
All of these modules should stay very useful should you want to expand or expand in a different direction.
Your English is fine and your English as a second language doesn't bother me... as it should not.
Okay. Now I understand what you're going for. The Eurorack is going to function more like an effects processor.
If you're wanting to add a filter I would recommend the Intellijel Morgasmatron. But it's 20HP. So you'll want a bigger skiff!
It has two multimode filters that can work independently, parallel, or series. The knobs are very good for live adjustments. One side has a switch for overdrive and the other has a phase-flip. There's also a mix-mode for blending the sound of the two outputs that can also be modulated. So you will get a lot of usage out of it for processing your effects.
The other filter I would recommend is the Joranalogue Filter 8. It's only one channel but all filter outputs are available via 3.5mm jacks rather than selecting a filter going to one jack.
The one thing I think you're missing is a mixer. The Blue Lantern Stereo Sir-Mix-A-Lot would work... but again, it's a big module. But the price point is under $300US. Six inputs, two stereo returns, two stereo aux sends, mutes, panning... there's a lot of value there.
If you're going with a skiff... find one that's 104HP. I don't think 84HP is going to be enough. I've reworked your case. I used Monsoon rather than uBurst as you'll get more functionality out of it. I also used a micro version of rings. I added the Morgasmatron and the Sir-Mix-Alot. For the remaining 8HP, I added a micro Ornaments & Crime module for some internal modulation, envelopes, sequencing, LFOs, etc. You could also replace the O_C with a VCA module should you want to use this as a synth and rely on the Shuttle for all of your modulation. I'd replace the buffered mult with the Intellijel dual VCA when it's available.
My ultimate recommendation would be an Intellijel 104 4U case. I'd get that. I stocked the 1U row with some line to Eurorack modules, noise/sample&hold, a quadratt for submixing, inverting, attenuation, and a buffered mult.
Filters? Where are they? Your missing filters unless I can't see them (can't access your rack, it's private).
As far as envelope generators:
Ornaments & Crime
Have envelope generating possibilities. One or two EGs might be nice. Intellijel makes a useful dual envelope generator that I would recommend. I also have two Tip Top Z4000s that I like but aren't as easy to use as the Intellijel. You might also want to consider the Zadar if you want long, evolving envelopes... especially to modulate your filter... wherever that is. :)
You have a collection of modules but nothing you can really use to produce anything meaningful. VCA? Filter? Modulation?
The vast majority of modules are not self-contained synths. Buying a module doesn't give you "that sound" unless its in conjunction with other modules.
Find VCV Rack and download it. It's free. Once you've managed to create some ambient music on VCV Rack, then I would consider buying modules and putting together a system. But I doubt you're going to get anything useful in that space to produce anything like what you're hearing in the videos. In the space provided, you could probably make a simple one or two oscillator set-up with a filter, LFO, and a few VCAs. But for what you'll spend, you'd be better off getting an all-in-on synth like a Deepmind 12D for $600US. You'll have to throw a few thousand to duplicate the racks in the video.
It's a lot harder to get something useful out of a limited amount of modules on a limited budget in a limited amount of space. So you're really fighting an uphill battle to get what you want under these conditions without any experience assembling a case.
I'm not trying to discourage you or be mean. Quite the opposite. I would put together a $2000-$3000 budget for starter case or buy a preconfigured case+modules.
A micro Ornaments & Crime would be nice here or a Temps Utile... especially for its Euclidean Rhythms and internal logic.
A Noise Engineering Mimetic Digitalis would fit in that space. It's a great little sequencer, especially for CV of filter cut-offs.
Effects, sequencer, slew rate limiter?
The Brute has a sequencer in it... but what about smaller sequencers for controlling additional CVs... especially one that can be sync'ed to the Brute's internal sequencer.
The Brute also only has one full ADSR. So you may want to add at least one other ADSR and possibly some more VCAs.
Play with the effects in the Disting and see which ones you'd want from a dedicated module.
I just bought a new 4U Intellijel case to make a control case for the rest of my set-up: sequencers, attenuverters, and the SSSR Wobbla (4 units) looks pretty tasty.
It's difficult to critique the system because it seems like everything is covered and it's a question of personal taste. As far as control units and since you play (rather than make weird noises), have you considered something like a Waldorf case/keyboard unit?
Ditch the varigate and get a Pam's New Workout or a Temps Utile. Each of those modules can generate multiple clocks among other features. You can set one output to be your reset. The others can be clocks, Euclidean patterns, even custom sequences.
You can have more room by using clones of the Mutable stuff. Just balance size with performance if you're going to want to play live.
My opinion is that you're not ready to drop thousands of dollars on modular yet. You should learn more about the functionality of basic bits of kit (including attenuators/attenuverters) before buying a bunch of modules and a case. There's nothing wrong with learn-as-you-go. But unlike a self contained synth, it's very possible that you put together a collection of modules that really don't cover as much functionality as you'd need. You'd be better off buying a pre-configured system if you really want to be in the Eurorack environment without knowing how to purchase the parts for a custom system. In my opinion, the smaller of a system you're trying to put together, the harder it is to get something useful out of it. At the same time, because of real world budget limits... small systems are the entry point for people new to Eurorack.
The preconfigured systems from Roland, Pittsburgh, Erica, Make Noise, etc. are great if you have the budget to start there. Semi-modulars work on the same principle... except rather than being individual modules they are all baked into a stand-alone device.
Bottom-line... up your knowledge of synthesis before spending a lot of money on Eurorack. You'll have a better experience.
I feel you on the "avoiding screens" sentiment. A good part of my own personal requirements is that a module be intuitive to use. I do not want to remember that obscure three-button combination times however many modules that I own. Unless you go exclusively East-Coast classic, you'll probably have some sort of menu diving in your system.
A restart or reset is nothing more than a gate or trigger used for that purpose. You send the gate to any module with a "reset" input to indicate that it's time to go back to the beginning and start playing from there. The only requirement is that whatever module is generating the reset is capable of transmitting the signal at the desired time(s).
Anything that can generator a slowly changing CV is a modulation source. When you're looking at LFOs and envelope generators... how slow can it go? A simple 8 step sequencer locked to a slow clock, followed by a slew limiter... that works too. Get a copy of VCV Rack and do some experimenting with slow modulations. It'll help you define what you're looking for in a real world module or modules. You don't need a varigate specifically for resets/restarts.
The Ornaments & Crime has an acceptable amount of menu diving for what you can get out of it. The same with Temps Utile. If you get the micro versions of each, you get some really nice tools to use in your patch that take up minimal space.
The Mimetic has a reset input called "origin" that takes the sequencer back to the upper left corner (if you're following the lights). So you'll need another source that is sending out a gate/trigger after five beats. There are a few ways to accomplish this. Temps Utile, Pamela's New Workout, Befaco Muxlicer, a MIDI track in your sequencer dedicated to one gate output of the Mutant Brain.
The Basilimus Alter would make a better module for kick drums and simple snares than the Loquelic. It can do both with the right modulation at the right time (those non-sexy modules Lugia mentioned).
If the modular that your building doesn't have LFOs, envelopes, sample and hold, quantizers, attenuators, etc. then you have a really expensive synth that isn't even capable of doing what a semi-modular (like a $300 Neutron) can do.
Noise Engineering offers a lot of its hardware offerings as virtual plug-ins. You'd save a bunch of money and have a much more capable system keeping it all software (even if you have to buy Reason for Rack Extensions).
You can buy this rig but the amount of satisfaction you'll receive from it... not as much as you'd hope for the price.
For the size of the rack and the amount you're spending... your results are going to be very limited. Ambient requires lots of subtle (blatant?) changes over time. That means multiple sources of modulation. That will require a lot of purchasing if you're looking for something that is generative (hands-off) in nature.
Your CV pal has two gate and two CV outs. That's going to leave you wanting. If it's capable of using one of those gate outputs as a clock a hardware sequencer locked to the clock would be helpful. Problem is that if one gate is used for clock... you probably want some way of resetting your modules....
Restarting LFOs, envelope generators, and sequencers yields more predictable results... even if you're only retriggering things on the first downbeat.
The Batumi is only half complete without the Poti expander. Get it.
Do you need to timestretch samples in real time? If not, then just use Ableton to get your samples to the right length then export them. Speaking of... if you can do without the time stretching then 1010Music's BitBox is a good choice. It also has two alternative firmwares that you can load giving you a complex digital oscillator or a multi-effects box.
In order to get their sound you'll have to spend the $$$$$ on modules... to BEGIN with.
There aren't any shortcuts. Honestly, I'd change your focus. You're going to have to be comfortable in a modular environment first before you can make it applicable towards any kind of meaningful production.
The power of Eurorack is to go beyond a stand-alone, hardwired synth. As Lugia said, the gold is in all of the modules that aren't in the audio path but CV control.
In my experience, having a DAW involved in sound creation is very limiting because it's difficult/time consuming to modulate your DAW sequence from the Eurorack.
Well, I don't have great answer for you since everyone uses their rig differently. You have several directions you COULD go in. But each one requires a substantial investment.
So, let's start with your MiniBrute. You have basically a "synth voice." It's a complete synth architecture with semi-modular jacks.
What is the MiniBrute lacking for you? You can always add Eurorack effects. Eurorack effects can differ from pedals or outboard gear especially if attributes of the effects can be controlled via voltage. Take for example Tip Top's Z-DSP. The effects are fine. But what makes them shine is the ability to modulate them. Think of a Clouds clone, distortion/overdrive, ring modulation, etc.
Filters. Having different choices in filters rather than just what comes with the MiniBrute might be a tasty choice as well. You could also add different types of VCOs or sound sources rather than what comes with MiniBrute... then run those VCOs through the MiniBrute architecture.
But for now, there's a limited amount of money to go around. I would try this: whatever you've already bought... put it in the rack. Get the Disting module and try out ALL of the effects in it. The Disting is a pain in the ass to use. But it's basically a nice collection of different module functions you can try out with your MiniBrute. If you find something that you use over and over... then maybe you should get a dedicated module? Take for example the quantizer or the sample playback functions. If you're constantly using one of these functions, then start looking for a dedicated quantizer or sample playback module. Then you have a roadmap to which module(s) you should get.
I think Ornaments & Crime has been revamped by someone to work in a Pulp Logic 1U row. You might want to check it out. It may have been Temps Utile.
Noise Engineering just released three different 4U distortion modules. I see a lot of NE in your rack. I would check that out too.
I can't answer all of your questions. But here's what I have.
Compare the NerdSeq to the 1010 Music Toolbox sequencer. See if one workflow is better than the other. I think the Toolbox will be better for instant gratification but the NerdSeq will be better for building songs.
The Expert Sleeper FH2 requires configuring before you access it with your DAW. If you wish to reconfigure it, then you have to quit out of your DAW, open the browser interface, make your changes, load up your DAW again and see if the changes are to your liking. You can make changes via the module's front panel. But the menu'ing system isn't that intuitive. That's been my experience. I would take this into consideration unless they've improved the USB interface.
Instead of a 2HP LFO, have you considered a 2HP switch instead? Being able to switch between different modulation sources might be more useful than another LFO.
Slew limiters are great. Being able to plug in a simple CV sequence and then slew between the values at a slow rate might be tasty for drones. The Rampage or Maths work well at this with individual controls over rising and falling CV. Both can also be used as a basic envelope generator as well as having comparative or even mixing functionality (Maths). If you have the space, one of these is a great utility module to have about.
Another filter would be nice. Maybe a QPAS or Joranalogue?
You could use a Pamela's New Workout or Temps Utile to generate some gate/trigger patterns. Speaking of which, smaller sequencers can be wonderful for modulating sounds; not just generating note information.
Consider getting clones of the Mutable stuff. They are smaller so not as convenient if you're using them live... but the savings in HP are well worth it if you've not purchased yet.
I see multiple oscillators. How do you intend on mixing them together? I see one device for generating random CV. I don't see any LFOs or step sequencers.
You're creating generative sounds and you only have one filter. So how will your sounds evolve over time? I realize you also have the Mini-Brute... but that's not going to get you very far.
Most definitely, Lugia. I like letting my modular take the reigns when figuring out the rhythm. The results are often much more complex and inspiring than programming in my own gates. I'll use a logic module two blend two sets of gates together. I have also found that summing gates offers lots of variation. Instead of running the two signals through a logic module, I pass them through my Intelligel VCA. If you keep each signal under the trigger threshold, you get an "AND" quality when they are summed together. By controlling the VCAs with another sequencer you can choose between 1, 2 or the sum if you're careful about your levels (some experimentation as to how hot of a gate is needed for the module being addressed), you get tons of variation.
To get external audio into your Eurorack case, it's best to have something to boost the levels to synth level. There are several modules with this amplifying feature. Most manufacturers with a full product line offer a product that will do the job: Intellijel, Roland, etc.
My general VCA is an Intellijel Quad VCA (two of them actually). The module is very flexible and offers a lot of control over shaping of the CV inputs. It also functions as a mono mixer and has a boost feature on every VCA if you need a bit more volume or want a little overdrive.
My path through modular was this in a nutshell:
Download a copy of VCV rack and begin getting familiar with the nuts and bolts of patching the basic modules.
Put together my first rack on modular grid.
Go through SEVERAL virtual set-ups, tweak, research (lots of Youtube videos and manual reading), tweak again, start over, tweak, read... etc.
Break down two cases worth of modules I'd like to one case of modules that would work as a starting point.
Hold breath and order first round of modules. Then order additional modules planned for case one. Between each order I played with what I had for some hands-on experience and then made a qualitative judgment if things were going to plan. I adjusted what to order next based on observations with previous order and some assumptions/errors that I made.
I bought an Expert Sleepers FH2 early on. I'm not sure if it was a good decision. I found trying to flow between Ableton and Eurorack to be a bit clunky. The FH2 has to be configured before loading Ableton. So if you want to change the set-up as you're jamming, you have to stop, quit out of everything, change, then reload. If you never change your set-up then you're good to go. But if you're trying to take advantage of envelopes, LFOs, etc in the FH2... it's rather clunky. I found keeping everything inside of the case to be better for my workflow. I'd hope to save a few dollars by relying on the DAW... but I just didn't like it. I still have the FH2 as the firmware is constantly being upgraded.
The biggest compromise is budget. There's a ton of stuff I want...there's only budget enough for a fraction of it. :)
This is my current set-up. There's a Pittsburgh microsequencer that I pulled out because I wasn't using it and didn't like it. There is also a Behringer Neutron and Behringer Model D that float as they don't need to be in the rack.
I'll probably add a third case within the next year. The 2HP reverb and delay are okay. But I want stronger modules with more modulation options. I'd like a 1010 Music BitBox, more modulation sources including a Zulu trigger sequencer, some switches, faders, a pair of matching Dixie II+ oscillators, and possibly another full sequencer as the Toolbox is great but not great for chaining sequences into songs.
You're thinking in terms of "main sequencer." That's fairly okay.
Where sequencing gets juicy (in my opinion) is combining different types of sequencers to perform different roles. I often combine stand alone trigger/gate sequencers with stand alone pitch sequencers to create something complicated. The sequencer might control an aspect other than pitch and the main volume VCA. It will run in tandem with my "main" sequencer using resets triggered from the main sequencer.
For example, I might have a Noise Engineering Mimetic Digitalis modifying my filter's resonance with a Temps Utile running a Euclidean pattern that triggers the Mimetic and another Euclidean firing off an envelope controlling the FM of the filter cutoff. Both Temps and Mimetic are reset by the main sequencer (usually a 1010 Music Toolbox). The main sequencer is still controlling the oscillator's pitch and the main VCA via another envelope.
You can substitute many different modules but the point is to get out of the idea that one sequencer of one type is going to get you interesting results. It's always good to have other sequencers in your set-up as they can really add some polish or interesting modulation to whatever you have going.
A VCA can be used to attenuate the signal. But that's just one signal. With a mixer, I assume you will have multiple channels of Eurorack level audio. So you'd need an attenuator for each signal. Six signals would mean six attenuators. If you're using a VCA for each, that's six VCAs. Which is expensive for just simple passive attenuation. Your mixer may have enough headroom without it and then you can turn down the input trim if possible. It really depends on the design of your mixer.
I wouldn't plug Eurorack levels directly to a powered speaker. You might end up blowing it up with high levels overloading or high levels of DC current being powered through the amps if the speaker isn't guarded against DC.
You can always conservatively try out the inputs by using an attenuator pot'ed all the way down then bringing up the levels while carefully listening and watching the meters on the mixer. But I wouldn't do something like taking the raw output of an oscillator and plugging it into the mixer.
The are less expensive than mixer modules.
They offer more features.
They don't eat up HP space.
Operate at synth level.
Can offer CV controllable features like pan, volume, etc.
Fit conveniently in your case.
If you're using an external mixer, you output synth levels from your case into line level inputs. Some mixers can handle it... others can't. You may need some sort of synth-to-line-level converters. If you pass an output from the mixer back to Eurorack, the volume levels will be a lot lower and you'll have to boost the signal somewhere (which can introduce problems with noise-floor, etc.). If you want to use a Eurorack effects unit from an external mixer's aux output... you'll see what I mean.
Eurorack mixers are bloody expensive with only a handful of channels and they take up a lot of HP. If you're lucky they might have EQ and maybe one or two aux sends but usually not.
So it comes down to needs, knowledge, and budget. Each approach offers pros and cons and there really isn't a "best practice" model out there. You just have to pick your poison.
I started out intending to use Ableton as part of my Eurorack set-up. My conclusion was that it's just a very clunky solution that requires lots of compromise and pre-planning. I found that keeping everything "in-the-case" to be a much smoother workflow. At the end of the day it's about getting the sounds that you WANT rather than trying to manage an ad-hock set-up.
$0.02. Your results may vary. But don't get locked into a solution that looks good on paper but is a real pain in the ass in reality.
You have an oscillator, a filter, and a VCA. The Maths can pull duties as a envelope generator, but basically a very simple one in most cases.
How do you intend to control the pitch of the oscillator and trigger the envelope generator to then control the VCA? How do you intend on hearing the output? What about modulation of some of the CV inputs throughout the system?
The power of Eurorack lies in the modulation opportunities and being able to build complex chains of modulation to get something unique. For the amount of money that you're spending for the basics here, you can buy an entire synth voice in Eurorack or a semi-modular synth that's Eurorack compatible for a lot less money and with a lot more features. If you do a search on Synth-Voice in the module section, you'll have tons of options to get yourself going. The Manther looks pretty tasty to me. Take the money that you save and buy some sort of sequencer, effects, and some other useful modules. A proper synth voice will stay useful no matter how large your system grows. Sometimes it's a lot more convenient than patching up a basic sound if that's what you need.
I've seen a few posts regarding Eurorack as a guitar processing rig. Has anyone successfully pulled this off in a live set-up? I ask because modular is a very hands-on format requiring at least one hand and guitar almost always requires two. How do you go about tweaking a Clouds module in the middle of a song?
I can see using modular for post processing especially if you're reamping the signal through modular. But I'm most curious about the ergonomics of actual use rather than being able to theoretically put it into practice. I'm not a guitarist by trade and it's for my own edification.
I find the 2HP reverb to be kind of meh...
As a utility reverb for a smaller part, it's fine. But due to the form factor you only get a handful of controls.
Another option would be the Expert Sleepers Disting if you just need some sort of utility quality reverb. Plus you get quite a few other effects to choose from. Under $200US.
This post was necro'ed (brought back up to relevance) recently. Interesting read.
Behringer is definitely cloning. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about it. I like it. It's what people have been asking for but it's either ignored or the prices are extreme.
Surface mounted electronics have brought down the cost of electronics manufacturing. The levels of automation allow for smaller design and much better quality control. But the savings, generally, were not passed on to the consumer.
Behringer's costs of production and even R&D are the same as any other major music manufacturer or at least within their realm of possibility. Affordable, great sounding instruments seem to be Behringer's mantra... and they are going back and giving everyone a taste of the classics.
More over, the experience gained in redesigning what is starting to shape up as every major analog synth of the 1970's and 1980's gives their engineers an advantage when producing new instruments. They've had hands-on experience with anything that was popular.
I detest their marketing versus delivery. Only a handful of models have hit the market, yet they've been marketing and hyping a vast number of synths and instruments that have still yet to hit the market several months after their announcement and prototyping.
Sweetwater and other dealers had to wait and wait as the Neutron was pushed back and back. But the huge numbers of pre-orders seemed to make up for it. If your inventory is sold before it even arrives, you already have a successful product.
Take "maximum depth" with a grain of salt. How many rackspaces have access to this maximum depth and how many are much shallower due to components (like power supplies) eating up that depth?
Before you buy a case, research it thoroughly even if it means emailing the manufacturer. Nothing will destroy your rack layout faster than a miscalculation of actual depths of your case and the reality of your modules and how you'd like to place them in your case.
Your VCA unit only offers attenuation via CV. This will limit your abilities to make the most use out of your VCAs. You don't necessarily want your VCAs to fully close. You may also have use for them to manually attenuate a signal. They also lack trims for the CV-IN portion, which means you have to use an external device to attenuate the signal.
IMHO I would ditch that VCA and possibly the Ears and the Malekko send/return unit to make space for a better and bigger VCA unit. The Intellijel Quad VCA is a good choice. There are tons out there that vary in size and capabilities. I'd only get the one you originally selected as a secondary unit to free up my more complicated VCAs and not take up too much space.
Noise Engineering makes mutes that are 4HP for four independent mutes with normalling to the set of mutes. The mutes are passive but have active indicator lights if you choose to plug it into your power.
I have two units. They tend to work their way into a lot of my patches to create variation: controlling modulation. I tend to mute with a Eurorack mixer (Sir Mix A Lot) with built in mutes for audio.
As well as DivKid's mutes, check out Joranalogue's Select Four. It has three-way switches for mute/unmute/momentary usage as well as a selector knob for a separate channel using one of your four inputs.
If you're looking for automation of your mutes then you're getting into -switch- territory. The principle is the same except you can use a control voltage to select an input. Of course, if nothing is plugged into an input it serves as a mute.
Now that you're moving in a different direction, start a new thread. People will get confused by reading your original post and tracing the evolution is time consuming.
As far as integration with Ableton, another option is the FH2. Basically it's MIDI to CV. It's less expensive than the ES8. But has no option to record audio. I would really investigate both of the modules and see which is the better fit for your workflow.
You've made some changes to the rack above. But those changes aren't reflected in this thread.
If you're using the modules as place-holders... umm... okay.
But there are some issues in your approach. The first thing is power and HP. The more modules that you cram into a smaller space, the more you'll be dealing with issues like heat, overtaxing your power supply (supplies), and simply running out of headers to plug everything into.
If your end goal is to create an advanced system, I would first concentrate on finding a much large case or multiple cases.
The 2HP modules tend to run deep because they are only 2HP... you'll end up compromising on features since there's only so much real estate in two rack spaces. Again, those micro-pots are going to be an issue even if your fingers are child-like in size.
Populate your rack with units that you'd actually want. It's a bit like designing a parking lot to only work with sub-compact cars then expecting a full sized vehicle to be able to comfortably park in there. My opinion is that you're setting yourself up for an expensive lesson in Eurorack if you pursue your ambitions down this path.
Ergonomics. Your rack is dominated by 2HP units. If you have 2HP to fill or if its a module that doesn't see a lot of time between your thumb and index finger... fine. But take a step back and think of how much you're going to be tweaking a knob and you'll grow to hate working with those micro-pots... especially if they are crowded together.
A lot of Eurorack is finding the "sweet-spot" by turning a knob. So be careful about making HP the main consideration. You'll get more modules... but they'll lack in functionality and ergonomics.
Congratulations on getting the sync going. I looked over the 2S patchbay and there's also sync (clock) out. This will be useful if you have to share sync with other modules. If that's the plan, then look into clock dividers/multipliers. I use the Temps Utile for this as it can divide, multiply, sequence gates, Euclidean, etc. Sometimes you will want modules to be triggered at a different rate than your master clock and not all modules can divide/multiply on their own. Also check into the "reset" functionality as a useful way to always keep modules in sync. This will be useful if you need to reset a secondary sequencer to its beginning position or reset an LFO to the beginning of its cycle.
At the moment I have a 2 input audio interface (Scarlett 2i4). It's not very practical for recording multiple parts at once. I'll be upgrading to an 8 input interface by the end of the year. Another option is the Expert Sleepers ES8. It has 6 inputs at synth level and can output USB audio to your computer or ADAT audio to an interface that supports an ADAT input. You'll have to decide what's practical... especially if you're using a computer that can't stack multiple interfaces. Again, read, read, read...
Asking which sequencer is best is like asking what beer is the best. Now... if you're looking to get intoxicated... well beer is beer. If you're all about the journey to inebriation... you can branch off into sub-category after sub-category and still not cover them all.
Buy a small, inexpensive sequencer or module with sequencing built into it. Chances are you'll probably keep it around... since most sequencers can be clocked externally and synced to another sequencer... and sequencers can do a lot more than trigger notes.
As you build up some proficiency with your inexpensive, "simple" sequencer you'll start to develop a taste for what you like about it and what you don't. You could even buy two different types of inexpensive sequencers and see how you get on with them. Once you have some wiggle time under your belt, you'll probably feel more confident about selecting a larger sequencer.
I'm not recommending modules here but telling you about my own experience.
I started with an Ornaments and Crime module paired with a Temps Utile. I could get a fair bit done between the two modules.
I then bought a Pittsburgh Modular Micro Sequence. It looks pretty simple at first glance... but accessing features using long and short button presses and remembering which and what blinking light means what was infuriating. I pulled it from the rack in anger.
I bought a 1010 Music Toolbox because of the screen. I use it a lot but it isn't something I'd want to structure an entire song on. But it's really flexible and offers quite a few neat features like recording CV and audio (in a limited way). I also bought a Mimetic Digitalis from Noise Engineering around the same time. The Mimetic does almost everything the Micro Sequence can do and more.
I'm considering a Westlicht Performer... however they have to be built as they can't be bought retail. It's similar to the Eloquencer... which is something I thought about getting.
My recommendation is start small with the sequencer and don't be afraid of using small ones sync'ed together rather than trying to find a large one that does everything in multiples. You can never have enough VCAs... and you can never have too many sequencers. Also... anything that wasn't pulled from the rack in anger has an easy to manage interface. That's also a requirement for me as well.
I think Lugia alluded to this, but I'll go into a tiny bit more detail:
When you first power on your case, there's a spike in current. Everything is snapping on all at once. Your modules might draw a certain amount of power once they are on and warming up. But the instance that you turn on the case... spike.
This is especially the case if you're using tube gear for example. Manufacturers like Erica created a line of tube modules and part of the work around was a secondary power supply to handle the additional overhead in power when turning the module(s) on.
Are you relying on Modular Grid to tabulate your amps or have you worked this out for yourself? Some modules on here have the wrong power values and some don't have any at all. So don't take what you see on MG as gospel. Do the math yourself and see how close you're pushing to the maximum. You can get the specs directly from the manufacturers.
A fuse is your last line of defense from some really nasty outcomes (including a FIRE). It's worth the time to investigate. Depending on your set-up... you just might need a larger power supply... or have a bad module or bad power supply.
I agree. Some serious study in VCV rack would go a long way.
But if the OP is dead-set on getting into Eurorack ASAP... I would recommend a preconfigured system if you have money burning a hole in your pocket.
Several manufacturers like Roland, Pittsburgh Modular, Make Noise, Erica Synths, Doepfer, etc. provide this.
Dealers like Perfect Circuit also offer their own in-house pre-configured systems. The median price is around $2000US. This isn't a bad entry point if you really just want to start wiggling knobs and learn-as-you-go.
Another and much cheaper alternative would be a semi-modular synth (as inexpensive as $300)... and a small skiff for external modules to be populated after you have a handle on the semi-modular.
Each solution has strengths and weaknesses and I'm not advocating any of them as being the best way to go. But they are better than your current plans.