Generally a good idea, however I am not sure about your heuristics. Medium-sized and big racks often will employ one type of module several times. That's certainly true for mults and VCAs, but also for bigger modules such as Maths.

Now, if someone builds his rack over time, there is a chance, that the original module he used is no longer available, so he will add another, functionally equivalent module later (or switch to DIY modules because the original budget has been used up). Also, there are certainly people who like to experiment with various modules, and by intention would buy, let's say, a Rampage, instead of a second Maths (as I did). That strategy also has a practical advantage: by employing similar modules of different vendors, you can replicate the basic common features, but at the same time, you have always the choice to use features specific to Maths or Rampage, should you need them.

So the heuristics you propose needs to be extended, somehow, or maybe replaced by a possibility for users to manually propose similar modules, ideally with a field to describe similarities and differences of the two modules (that would be really useful to make educated decisions before buying)


My current setup

Dear community, I'm really new into synthesizers, but was hooked up immediately by the almost psychedelic effect of (interactive) journeys through modular soundscapes, be they rough and stormy or calm and meditative.

My first rack is almost assembled, the budget (for now) exhausted. I still want to add elements, though, on a low-cost DIY basis. Maybe you would have any suggestions or ideas?

The rack is build on top of a (semimodular) Arturia MiniBrute 2S.
Additionally, I am using the (polyphonic) Arturia Keystep with both MIDI and CV out.
Four studio monitors are placed in a quadrophonic setup.
Module list here

  • I already assembled an Arduino-based "scaler" which uses the Doepfer CV2MIDI module as a quantizer, scales the input to a chosen scale and root note, and puts it back into the rack through the polyphonic MIDI2CV module. I plan to add dedicated CV ins and outs to my "scaler box" later, in order to harmonize several CVs in parallel. Also, a "chord builder" or "arpeggiator" stage could be added.

  • A friend helps me to fit 12 Fonitronik attenuverters into an external "attenuating box" (12 inputs, 12 outputs, 12 control knobs)

  • I started a "random switch" box, to mimic the effects of the Random Rhythm module. My box is based on an Raspi 3B+ with the specialized PiSound card and the Sonic-PI "live coding" platform. I plan to attach 8 trigger inputs and 8 trigger outputs, the inputs most likely will be connected to the clock divider and logic section in the rack. The likeliness of a trigger signal being passed will be controlled by the sliders on a Korg NanoKontrol 2.

  • Once this is done, it shouldn't be hard to add a few CV outputs, to simulate additional "Turing Machines". Again, those should not be hard to script using Sonic-PI.

  • The same hardware will be used as a configurable multitrack looper (I already found a Sonic-PI script).

Looking forward for more ideas, or comments regarding this experimental rack. My focus is on exploring generative patches and to get a grasp of various styles and possibilities.

Thank you very much