About the expense I certainly agree ;)
What do you use as an output module to run the rack into the amp?
Intellijel 1U Audio I/O module. With the 1U 1/4 jacks installed on the right side of my rack.
Interesting... Do you run your rig into the pa or into your amp?
I run it into my amp, and also split the signal into a USB audio input for recording, and I use monitor speakers. I don't have a PA since I don't gig, just mess around in the studio for now.
Overall my opinion on eurorack as a guitar effects is that standard pedals are probably better and more powerful (and loads cheaper)... However, having all the patching options will let you make different and interesting sounds.
I have been experimenting trying to get my guitar to work with eurorack, and I have to agree that it's quite difficult.
Essentially it requires setting up the patch first, and cleverly, so that you can control the rack with minimal effort when it's time to record. I use the Planar2 to switch between settings, as I can bump the joystick very easily. I also use Ears as an envelope follower, and the CV from that gets patched into Felix (which is a buffered-mult with attenuvertors on each outputs), which sends the expression basically to all the parts of my rack.
Well so far I've not made anything musical out of it yet... basically setting up takes too much farting around with the sound design and tuning and things. Tuning your guitar with the eurorack is a PITA. At this stage, I'm learning this totally new workflow of doing all the knob-twiddling first, fine tuning the range, and then linking it up to controllers so I can use my feet to control the synth.
@Ronin1973 Very cool rack! Lots of tasty stuff there, I like that set of filters. 14U, with 2 Intellijel rows and a TON of Quadratts, that's nice. Although I'm not sure I could hang with that crowded BL Mixer.
@ecstatic I recently installed the 1U Audio I/O on my rack, and I'll never look back. Having proper 1/4" jacks makes using the modular much less awkward. If you want to input sounds from a guitar or other instrument frequently this is a good thing to have on your rack. I also have Mutable Ears, and I also really LOVE it. The piezo output from my acoustic guitar is much lower than line level, so I need both the input +20db and the Ears +18db to bring the piezo pickup fully up to modular levels. I started out with Ears as my only input (with a mic), and yes, you can just patch that straight into Rings, or other resonators/filters, and get great sounding effects that way! The envelope follower on Ears is perfect for getting interesting expression CV out of your acoustic instruments, I highly recommend this module if you want to mic acoustic things or control your modular with sound.
That Intellijel QuadVCA is a good choice overall, Ronin1972 even has 2 because VCAs are so useful, but the max gain is only +6db (with the boost switch). Those Exp/Lin continuous knobs are more useful in practice than I had expected they would be, very good for fine-tuning how punchy things are.
However, also take a look at the Mutable Veils, which is a very similar quadVCA. Veils has much more gain than the QuadVCA, up to +20db in Exp mode, and so you can use Veils as a line-level input - or 4!
If you really want to do outboard mixing, you don't necessarily need a whole lot of VCAs as was being suggested here.. that'd be a horrendous waste of useful VCAs in your limited rack IMO. Especially when you can just use passive attenuators to turn the levels down from your 10V modular to ~1V mixer levels.
Look into getting some attenuator adaptor cables like this:
The attenuator is built into the cable so you don't have to use any rack space to go from your modules straight to the mixer.
Or if you don't want a bunch of dongles, then you can use a module like the Levit8 that would have many attenuators packed in a small space. There are quite a lot of options for you to consider.
I do all my mixing in-rack, however, as I like how streamlined that is. But this is also the most expensive possible option.
My eurorack is continually evolving. Here's where I'm at now. I have my DFAM off to the side now.
Here is my first album. This is a set of 10 live tracks from my modular:
I'm calling it Platy Codon, which refers to the flower carved on the back panel of my modular.
I saw your post from last year and completely agree...should have referenced or "+1'd" your request as well.
I wouldn't remove it altogether though. I definitely get -some- use out of it...just want it to be even better.
Hmm. Well I'd love for it to be fixed too!
I am just being realistic... The feature is totally broken and has been for as long as I've been visiting the site. It says I have 26 modules in common with a rack that has only 10 modules in it, and really we have only 1 module in common. It might as well just pick random racks for that matter.
The site is run by the one dude, and frankly, I'm just happy the site is on a stable server after being pwned by the Chinese spammers. I really need MG for only one thing, and it does that perfectly! :-) Thanks again!
A requested upgrade for the "similar racks" feature: limit returned racks to one per user to increase relevance and variety of the returned racks.
I did a "search similar" this morning and the return set was the same rack over and over again...all from the same person:
* RackName (copy)
* RackName (copy) (copy)
* RackName (copy) (copy) (copy)
* and so on
If the return set were limited to one rack per user, I would be able to see (more useful) racks from other people.
Additionally/alternatively, return multiple pages of similar racks...I'd be happy enough to page through multiple results.
For that matter, it would be nice if the 'search similar' would only count one copy of each module. I have a OTool+ on my rack, and the most similar rack is one that has 49 more OTools, I guess we have 50 modules in common the way the script does math...
Basically the feature doesn't work at all, maybe you should just remove it altogether. That would be the easy solution.
The Zularic Repetitor is a trigger sequencer. It takes a clock signal and output different patterns of beats.
The Loquilic is an oscillator, just makes a fixed tone, so to get it to make pulses of sound it's plugged into the LXD through that mixer. The signal is being multed to the 2x channels of LxD so that two different drum sounds can be made from the same oscillator.
The LXD is a low pass gate acting on the oscillator, the top and bottom channels sound a little different, and it's being struck by the gates from the Zularic, this makes like a little drum sound each time the gate excites the LXD.
I built the 7U myself out of cherry, it's 220HP. I plan to eventually make a matching 7U that stands upright to go where the 84HP intellijel is right now. But I do get your point!
Rack space is freaky expensive, it's also a great luxury to have all the modules right there and immediately patchable. I know that moving the DFAM out of the rack will mean it gets patched less.
Here's the thing, I'm not really using the DFAM nearly as much anyways. I really love the module, but it has some drawbacks that make it difficult in a larger rack setting:
1) It lacks a 'reset' input, so it's a pain in the ass to sync to other sequencers, you have to manually advance the trigger.
2) It has only coarse tuning knobs, and they are very fiddly.
3) Tiny-ass trim pots.
I think I may have just outgrown this module. I am using it mainly as hi-hats or as a paraphonic voice. I'm thinking of these guys as the more satisfying upgrade: CS-L, DPO, CIP, or maybe that upcoming Panharmonium thing. And maybe I'd still have room for a Maths and a Veils.
This is what I'm playing with now.
The top rack is an 84HP 4U Intellijel case. I designed it so that it could be a fairly fun stand-alone synth when taken away from the 7U bottom.
I like the setup so far, but I've boxed myself a bit into a corner... I think I have to move the DFAM back to it's original case in order to grow any more. Suggestions welcome!
Yeah. You'll need a small mixer and output. I like the NE Xerest Pola for compactness, mute switches, and headphone out, but there are a lot of good options. I love all the NE stuff!
You'll also want a trigger or gate sequencer to power those envelopes. NE has a lot of options for those, the Bin-seq is only 4HP wide as a gate sequencer. Probably you'll want a small sequencer too, maybe shop for one that has a built-in quantizer (O+C can do that, for example).
I happen to have a 220HP 7U case and I keep my DFAM inside the case... it's basically the center of my rack and I patch it to everything, so it didn't make sense to pull it away and have 10 cables of spaghetti between the DFAM and the rest of the rack. If I were you I would eye a slightly larger rack space with the thought that basically one row is already spent on your DFAM and Erebus. In larger racks power consumption is the biggest limitation, and the DFAM/Erebus don't draw as much power per HP as a lot of tiny digital modules, so it works out well actually.
I have been thinking of splitting my rack into 2 as well, using one as a controller for the other. I was going to use the new Intellijel Octalink for linking the two systems up. Since you don't have any 1U, in 3U scale there is the equivalent Doepfer A-180-9.
For routing/mixing there are many many options.... Here are two options that just happen to be too big for my rack but seem to be really popular:
Personally, I am going for something smaller:
In my rack I use 2x Quadratts for mixing, but since you don't have 1U, you might consider getting a couple Shades or Triatt modules. Or do what @Lugia was saying and look at some of the rad 8x stuff that Erogenous Tones makes (like Levit8 or VC8).
I have 2x quadratts and a Noise tools, and I can vouch that it makes a pretty sweet 1U row!! :-)
Ok, now just for thought...
I very recently managed to make myself a Poti in only 2HP of 1U space (and I see you have a 2HP gap). This didn't even require soldering to assemble, mainly you have to very carefully drill 3 holes in a blank panel using a template.
As for the dual ADSR, if you wanted to free up some more space.. You could go for a Doepfer A140-2 8HP 2XADSR. I've personally been eyeing the upcoming Doepfer A-142-2 which is 2x AR envelopes+VCAs with ducking, in only 8HP (bonus, you get more VCAs!).
Well, that'd make 9HP more to play with. Rather than going super-high-density, you could use the HP to replace some of those really tiny 2HP modules with bigger and better of the same.
Keep in mind that the Pitch CV from the DFAM is bipolar, and the A-156 only takes positive CV. You'll need to rescale your CVs from the DFAM to use the whole range of the knobs.
You might consider getting a module like Triatt or Shades for that. Alternatively, if you want to go bigger, maybe consider getting a four-quadrant multiplier like Blinds: it can do CV rescaling, VCA, ring modulation , and mixing for 4 channels. I use Blinds almost exclusively to construct my LFOs before I quantize.
For quantizing, I really like the Toppobrillo Quantimator, it can do a lot of scales and the arrebesque feature is cool. I find it more useful than the A156 personally. I would suggest pairing this with a clock divider and sample+hold.
If you want to sequence that with both channels of the DFAM, you can use one sequencer channel to control pitch and the other channel to either transpose or change scale - having the 2nd channel go through a sample+hold triggered to sample on an odd beat (like 7 or 9) out of 8 will result in a lot of variations.
EDIT: Oh! Almost forgot to mention it, you are really gonna need a bigger power supply than that Zeus for 9U, especially if you plan on filling it out. Power is expensive, but worth it, so plan for what you think you might need plus another 20% (you need extra power at power-up for some modules).
Ok, after spending way too much time looking at this.... I have some questions
What do you use a Phase Locked Loop for?
That Klavis Mixswitch looks pretty interesting, and you've got 2x of em. How do you use it?
Also, the Tallin VCA seems pretty unique, with some different distortion options. I really love XAOC's Batumi. I am not sure why I would simultaneously want to use Lin and Exp CV on a VCA, what is that used for?
Awesome setup!!! Almost no overlap at all with my own case except for Batumi and Filter8, it's fun to see a different approach.
Um. I do see a small space for another module there at the bottom! I would have put an OScope in there personally, not sure how you can function without one.
Looking forward to hearing what you can do with that new filter!
Ok, thanks for all your input @Lugia! I will give the LxD another chance, it's not really all that bad just as a VCA, maybe I will just use the 12db channel strike for hats and clicks. I will hold off on judging too critically till I get my power supply cleaned up better.
BTW Did you see all the linked pictures I posted of the finished box in cherry? There are some additional touches to do when the rest of my power supply parts arrive, but until then it is packed with modules (and maxing out my uZeus :-( yikes! ).
@Lugia Cool, I went for the Filter8.
I am playing with a new LxD now and I have mixed feelings about it, the bottom channel is really nice and rings out long but the top channel is just so sharp and it pops like I'm plugging in a hot mic! The strike input is also not quite sensitive enough for me, I need to put my triggers through a VCA first to get it to ping loud enough to hear. I am very tempted to return it and swap it with a Kinks (to put next to Batumi).
With the rest of the build I finally reached a decision point on what VCA to get:
After fiddling around with the Batumi I realized that many of my modules (like doepfer quantizer, and NE modules) only take +0-5V, I was getting really frustrated at having to use up 2 of my attenuverters just to do a +5V offset, (or use 3 channels to do an offset+scale). That was when I had an AH-HA moment, and decided to swap the Intellijel QuadVCA with a MI Blinds in my modulargrid and the stars aligned! This must be a match made in heaven, CV offset/scale in every channel plus mixing, I can't imagine a better pair.
Update time. I had some time to work in the garage.
Here's the wood in the messsssy ass garage.
Here's all the parts cut out, with the little paper templates still glued on.
Parts glued up and sanded, now I'm out in the hot sun putting finish on.
Ok. Finish dries really fast in 100F.
Now let's load some modules into it. Here is the mostly-finished box side by side with Sub37.
My favorite feature of this case. The back panel is removable so you can tinker more easily, I put M3 screw mounts in.
The power supply section of the build is still waiting for key parts in the mail. So once those arrive, I'll add a power-entry port on the removable back panel and mount up the TPS80 and BUS to the baseboard (which I also made removable via threaded inserts).
Awesome, the Passive Bus Block works great! Good suggestion! I just pulled the extra tile-tails right off and put them away for later, now it is more compact and I still have enough headers to go around.
@Lugia, what do you think of the new Joranalogue Filter 8? The few demos look pretty interesting. I am really considering pre-ordering it instead of the Polivoks, as it looks like it has every filter feature you could want in 12HP plus more, although it also seems a bit more tame and domesticated compared to the Polivok. Anyways, it has features abound, you can select between 1-4 pole LP and 4 other filters that are output at the same time. Bonus, the low end doesn't drop out when you crank up resonance (for comparison the droffoff is so pronounced on the Moog DFAM that I use resonance as a mute knob), and it triples as a ultra-wide-range VCO that does octature.
I think what you are describing is a simpler version of Pamela's New Workout.
Also take look at the different trigger sequencing modules by Noise Engineering.
To make a swing beat, you can send a LFO to another LFO-pitch CV, and then patch that to the clock-in on any module that takes triggers.
The Zularic Repetitor has extra 'random' modes that do basically what you are asking for.
A106? Wow, that's a beast. Is it really worth the space of the 2 other filters? I don't really use HP sounds much, so the LP normalling to the HP is something I'm not sure I am into. The resonance in/out is interesting, I guess you can make it scream if you crank up the CV here.
I am realizing a couple things. 1) I need to countersink the metal otherwise my modules won't fit all the way up to the edge. 2) The 1U row only has a single mounting point, so I need to add some bracket or something so it won't spin! 3) It is tempting to just put my modules in this thing already since I don't have room in my other rack.
Edit: Yep, too tempting, I put all the parts together
Next I have to figure out where the power-entry is gonna go, side or back panel. Also need to figure out some kind of flying-bus or something for the 1U modules, as I have more than 20 parts but only 20 headers on the board.
Yay, my rails arrived from Clicks and Clocks, and I have to say that they just look super excellent. I will post photos very soon.
Now that the parts are here, I can finally start to measure wood and start to make cuts! I had to wait for the rails to make the design exactly to the right size.
In the meantime, I've been rearranging my modules a bit... and it seems like a smart idea to make at least the top row of this box a little bit deeper than initially planned, enough for 60mm modules. The newest re-arrangement has me swapping the precision adder for a dual-quantizer (it can transpose, which is what I wanted it for). I'll just have to fine-tune an attenuverter to 1V with the OTool if I need to do octaves (does that work well enough??)...
Also, I've changed my mind on Three Sisters (seems to weird), and decided maybe the Polivoks + LxD is more to my taste. I went with the Harvestman version because it has a mixer going on in addition. Any thoughts on filters to pair with BIA and the new Lifeforms?
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I've avoided some major design errors with your help.
I ended up ordering a full set of 7U 110HP rails and endplates from Clicks and Clocks. Stefen sells beefy M3 rails with machined endplates for a really good price, and so I just got the whole set from him (including the odd Intellijel 1U format ends yay). I was happy to find the prices including shipping were very reasonable.
So for phase 2. I ordered a Intellijel TPS80W, it's almost 2x my power requirement. I am imagining I'll use a flying bus board cable for 6 of my lowest-power modules (maybe the attenuators and mults) since I only have 20 headers on the board. I got the matching power entry 1U tile from Intellijel, and I'm going to make a 1U-sized hole for it on the rear of the box so I don't have to do any actual wiring of electrics.
Once the parts arrive I'll start to refine the shape of the design to make sure everything fits right, but I have this so far:
See side view of box here: http://prntscr.com/k3d9gc
My main concern now is to make the internal size of the box large enough for the power supply and cables (and I've pushed this a bit towards skiff dimensions to match the side-profile of the Sub37). Deepest module is 50mm on the top row. Looking at my wood stock, I have some 1in cherry for the sides and some walnut from pallet-wood for the front and back.
It would be really nice if the "show similar racks" only counted the modules once per each copy of the module you have in your rack. I mean, it's just silly that because I put an OTool in my rack plan that the number one suggestion is a joke rack with 48 more Otools in it... ditto for most of the other popular modules. This would eliminate a lot of the 'spam', and make the feature more useful for people trying to do research on what modules are popular combinations with their existing setup.
I think what you want to find is a clock-divider module. It's the opposite of a clock multiplier, but much more common and usually cheaper. You'd run the 2x or 3x division into your sequencer, and then the 1x main clock into your faster sequencer. I love the clock-divider, it's the heart beat of my modular system, there are so many uses for one of these if you do anything with rhythm.
I have one of these, it doubles as both clock + divider, and has lots of switches to make it quite interactive.
There are ton of different options out there for this, so be sure to look around and see if some of the different versions fit your needs better. For example, if you already have a clock module, and want just a single channel divider/multiplier then you could get this one (which has a neat CV input):
But I still prefer the 4hp one I have because it is also my main clock, plus has 4 simultaneous outputs with 3 division modes and a reset.
Just a suggestion.. you could just buy a fairly cheap $100 PSU then you wouldn't have to dance around getting only modules with special power consumption specs. A PSU is small and cheap compared to even a 3HP module, so just get a PSU, it's hard to justify spending so much effort building a case without one!
Oh Yikes! Thanks for that. I was planning on using the metal 4U and 3U endplates that Pulp Logic sells, but this changes everything. And maybe the 1U will look better at in intermediate angle... I could put the racks at 10,20 and 30°. I didn't really think of that.
Do you know of any 1U endplates that will fit the Intellijel 1U? Or do they just have some beef against DIY? I now realize that if I get 2x of normal 3U endplates, the 1U row will be need something the same thickness at each end or it won't fit snug..
EDIT: I found this rather obscure website that sells 1U mounting brackets for Intellijel format, so this could be it!
OK, after much thinking and wiggling knobs on what is currently assembled, 84HP is just going to be too small for my plans.
I have been doing a lot more planning. Does this look well-balanced?
I found 108HP Vector Rails are sold by Pulp Logic, and I think they are usable with Intellijel 1U modules. The 108 is also just wide enough to fit an extra intellijel 1U tile compared to 104HP.
The case I am thinking of building is going to go next to a Sub37, so I am trying to match the shape a little bit:
sorry for the wonky links, I don't know how to show pictures here...
The bottom is at a 10° angle, and the back is at 25°.
Basically the functions I am looking to get in the next 100HP are in order of need:
Attenuation, Touch Controller, Multimode Filter, 4X VCAs, Scope Utility, 4X LFOs, Logic, Rhythm and CV sequencing, Precision Adder, Utilities, Buffered Mult.
Solid looking rack! About time I saw one on here that I made me immediately jealous.
I'd go with the Noise Engineering lunchbox mixer in the same size.
Regarding the tiny computer screen trend: I would personally swap out the Pam and the O+C for something else more immediately usable. Maybe a Turing Machine or Mimetic Digitalis, and a regular clock/divider, LFO, and quantizer. More knobs and switches on the panel and less fussing with interfaces.
I started to wonder what the Sub37 would look like if it was built all out of Eurorack... so I planned it out as a thought experiment.
Wow I think it would be quite a beast, and it makes me appreciate just how much you get in the box!
--and back to the topic of the actual thread..
I found shooting different envelopes from my DFAM/modular into the Sub37 Filter input sounds awesome BTW.. Also, sending pitch CV from a quantizer lets the Sub37 change keys along with the modular, so that works if you can solo in C on keys. While it might not integrate fully with a modular, with some creative patching it can really sound integrated.
Hope that helps!
Oh indeed! It can be any size, 84 seemed an easy standard to find. 7Ux126HP is a bit larger than I am ready for just yet, all that empty space will drive me nuts and lead me to want to expand too fast.
I picked 84HP to try to limit my build out of the system. I guess I'll end up with a hermit-crab like series of slightly
larger shells that way. Maybe there will be someone else out there that wants a wood 84HP box at the end of this journey... I could post pictures of the build as it goes, I have the DFAM + 60HP currently mounted with plywood sides that copy the 2-tier rack look (but in wood) and it looks and feels nice as a unified instrument.
Does anyone have any helpful opinions on what to do next?
Just Friends is in the mail...
So far I am really really happy with the setup, the modular is way more fun than I had imagined. But! For example, a LxD would maybe be useful to smooth out digital aliasing the BIA produces (and 2x VCAs in only 4HP). I also don't have CV attenuation or utilities, so CV control that doesn't just go from -5 to +5V requires some planning... (I use the env outs of the DFAM, and tempo-sync LFO to get a little bit of adjustment).
I think I want to stick with this setup for a bit (since I really can't afford another module for a while), but I plan on building a 84HP wide box maybe around the end of the year, maybe with a 1U row of utilities. I'm handy with woodworking, so I'm making the case myself out of cherry or walnut (and that means 84HP could be 85HP or whatever it needs to be!). What would YOU add?
My current short list fills in the gaps with helpful utilities:
µModII 4 quadrant multiplier
All that would still leave another 24HP, I really have no clue what I'd put there that makes sense at the moment.
Staying at a measly 60HP size, would you swap out any modules in the short-term? I keep wondering how much I need that LFO over the LxD, for example..
Thanks for your help!
I am rather new at this stuff, but I think you will probably need a VCA module in addition to the LFO and envelope modules.
The way it works is that a LFO generates your waveform, and you connect it to a VCA to control its volume. Then you link up the envelope generator to the CV of the envelope stage so that when you trigger the envelope you get a sound out through the VCA.
Both the Tides and the Doepfer modules are two different styles of envelope generators, so you might just pick your fav if you want to have fewer parts. The Doepfer is more of a standard East-coast Moog-style signal ASDR, while the Tides is like a new West-coast thing that other fancy features behind menu-pushbutton selection options. The downside to the Tides is that you have to read the LEDs to know what function it is set to, the knobs change their purpose depending on the mode.