I recommend saving up for a Doepfer A100 Basic system 1. That is what I did and was under 2k and included a great case/power, basic modules from Doepfer plus 84HP free to add whatever special modules desired. It came with the essentials like a dual VCA, MIDI to CV which is super useful to connect to an Octatrack that I have in my studio as well plus a decent filter, VCO, LFO, envelope and mixer module.

Jim is correct,

I recommend the Intellijel Quad VCA as it has lots of useful features like attenuators, CV control, boost control in small modular and works great. I also recommend logic modules and sequential switch and good clock source with clock divider/multiplier as these help with generative patches. You have Maths which is a great modulation source for functions and envelopes but a mixer/quad VCA would really help out your setup quite a bit.

I have a Batumi quad LFO and IME/Harvestman Kermit MK3 modulation sources in my two setups and both are superb. The new Divkid 0chd looks great for a small powerhouse of modulation with 8 free flowing LFOs in a small 4hp module:


That would be fun to add.

I have a varigate 4+ and it is just ok not precise enough and probably not great for what Garfield wants. I recommend the Winter Eloquencer or 512 Vector those are superb sequencers that have all kinds of great options.

@Garfield, the eloquencer is nice! I met a guy who had not one but FOUR in his setup.

My pleasure Garfield,

Really fun sharing and sad to see so many dislikes by many unknown or mean spirited visitors to my channel who cannot appreciate modular sound creation and experimentation.

Thanks Garfield!

I was really just messing around trying patch combos and settings while reading the manuals and watching video tutorials on the new modules. Man, the Kermit, Bionic Lester and Quadrax are super DEEP powerful modules that can do what would normally take a dozen individual modules to achieve! Some menu diving and learning hidden combos but worth it for small setup to play full tracks.

Hi Garfield,

In that case take a look at the Hermod, Eloquencer and 512 vector sequencers. Those seem to offer the features you want in a sequencer for modular stuff.

The System M0ffenzeef looks hella fun

I used my Make Noise 0-coast as a background drone noise to thicken up the sound and had fun tonite again. Ran out of patch cables. So time to order more as well as stackables.

One thing is certain: the IME Kermit MK3, Bionic Lester and Intellijel Quadrax are super complex deep modulation tools that are simply incredible amounts of features and functionality in small package! For a small setup, they can do quite a bit!

Nah one can never have too many VCAs :-)
I want the VC8 by Erogeneous tones that way never run out.

Hi Garfield,

Nice! I thought that you already had a setup? Anyways, I am new and well and learning with my new setups. Ok let me take a stab at it!

To help:

"By the way, what does LFO, VCO, VCF, ADSR, EG and VCA stands for?"

LFO= Low Frequency Oscillator
the slow moving oscillator that modulates other things like VCOs and can have different rates of control.

VCO= Voltage Controlled Oscillator
The main sound sources of a modular system. They oscillate as sound waves back and forth nonstop. I use a scope to view them for example there are various wave types of VCOs- square, triangle, sine and so forth.

ADSR= Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Often part of an envelope generator. Helps manage how long a note lasts and things like that.

EG= Envelope Generator

VCA= Voltage controlled Amplifier
Lets you do all kinds of useful things for managing volume and voltage stuff with sound and modulation sources. More is better :-)
My two setups have 12 VCA total and I only have 2 VCOs and 2 drum type modules so have it ok for now.

I highly recommend the book Patch & Tweak and the Youtube channel and website by Chris Meyer he is a master teacher of modular synthesis.


If I am wrong here feel free to correct my oversight as I am just a humble beginner to modular as well.

Had fun tweaking and patching tonite and experiment with LFOs and Noise Engineering modules. Here is my jam:

Nice! Had not heard of the ADDAC voice drum modules before. How do you like them? They seem like good value for beat making in modular. Pair up with Erica Synth Bassline and VPME drum voice module and support modules for beat box. I may pick one up to pair with my BIA in the future.

You definitely need more attenuators/inverters/offsets, logic module, sequential switch and more VCAs :-)

Check out 3xMIA by Happy Nerding and Klavis Logica XT as well for these sorts of things. I like the Intellijel Quad VCA module quite a bit as it has extras like attenuators and boost for signals.

Ace! Love how you get the bird singing intro going then layer on drums and bass gradually then leads. What modules are you using for the drums and bass?

For a great sequencer, I would check out the following:

WMD Metron

Metron looks awesome for drums and bass. Here is what it can do even for a very small basic setup.


512 Vector

IME Stillson Hammer MK2

I am saving up for a new case and sequencer and mixer and fx setup. Would love a high end sequencer and mixer with all the expanders and support tools and FX/sampler to go with it. Very expensive part of modular next to building a setup with modular drum voices. Personally, I like the workflow of sequencer, mixer, FX and controls by my fingertips and the modules with oscillators and stuff separate all neatly patched for a show. Then I can get wild on the sequencer and filter controls and not accidentally unplug a patch cable.

So I added more attenuators/inverters/offset and mixers to my planned setup as well as clock modulator and support modules:

ModularGrid Rack

I plan to use external sequencers. Thoughts? Is it missing anything essential?

Thanks Garfield!
Yeah I try to use my modules together even as I build. The Anti-Oscillator is like multiple VCOs plus VCA vactrol (I think) and LFO built into one module with wave shaping options as well. I love it. I do wish Malekko support was better. So many issues with Varigate 4+ and Malekko Quad envelope. At least Intellijel support responds as does Noise Engineering with my questions. WTF is up with Malekko anyways?

Check out Pamela's New Workout- that has tons of super features including clock multipliers, dividers, all types of sequencer rhythm type features. Pair it with a good sequential switch and should get you closer to your goal. For sequencers, the 512 Vector has ratcheting and host of features. As an IME/Harvestman fan, the Stillson Hammer looks incredible as well.

Messed around with modular today after work and came up with some fun tones:

The Cursus Iteritas is one wacky module can get flutes, trumpets, percussion and birds out of that module. Very different than the percussion focused BIA.

Thanks Jim! Very helpful as always. I have the hang of this very useful module now in my Doepfer system as well as the handy A-148 Dual S&H module and A-118 Noise module. Combined are super great for patching generative melodies in concert with LFOs and VCOs.

I have it in my setup and it is ok- it does the basic oscilloscope monitoring and has a tuner. I like the small size and easy to use functionality. I do wish that it had more tools like a voltage meter and quantizer.

Thanks Garfield, the BIA is a superb module for percussion. To get the sound I feed it thru several LFOs at different rates to each of the BIA patch points for pitch, S/L/M, B/A/T and so forth. That adds wide variety and functions as well as layers to increase the wall of sound exponentially. I use a lot of stuff from the IME/Harvestman Kermit MK3 as well for S&H, noise and random LFO generator to add bite to the Noise Engineering BIA and Cursus Iteritas. This allows me to run a full set on only a few modules plus VCAs/mixers, attenuators and so forth. I am still learning the ins and outs of Intellijel Quadrax and the Kermit and Bionic Lester. Those are super deep modules and can do incredible stuff. I love Quadrax plus the expander for self patching happy accidents. Many modes of envelopes and filter cutoffs possible with that module plus it can function as LFO as well.

Thread: kermit mk3

Mine came as well and still learning to use it as it has sooo much to it in one module. Here is a quick demo of mine:

I love turning it into a single voice with the dirty oscillator, S&H, random, and LFO. It breathes life to boring Doepfer basic VCOs.

Agree well for my future larger system, I plan to build something with the WMD Performance Mixer and 512 vector with add on module and some other goodies.

For dark industrial techno, you need super modulation and the best all in one module: IME Kermit MK3!

That module can be LFOs, EGs, dirty oscillators, S&H, noise generator and combine them as you like. True modulation gem for your style. Here is what you can with it:

I also recommend looking at the IME/Harvestman Double Andore it has dual VCA plus lots of tricks for techno and envelopes in one. I may pick one up along with Piston Honda MK3 or Hertz Donut MK3 to go with Kermit and Bionic Lester. I would ditch the Erica Synths modules and use an external drum machine or perhaps just get the smaller Erica Synths sample drums and save rack space and cash. I use my Elektron Octatrack for samples and drums and it works great.

Fun jam I threw together this afternoon after work:
Kermit is a powerhouse of modular in one.

Agree if I was building a large setup like this Levit8, VC8, and Radar would be on my shopping list for key ingredients as well as a good performance mixer like the WMD Performance mixer.

Besides utility and functional support modules like Kinks and Links, a good mixer helps a great deal. For filters, I like dual mode filters that offer a wide palette of modes in one module and the ability to mix CV for modulation. The Dual Borg filter and IME Bionic Lester MK3 filters that are in my setup are bonkers and offer tons of variety in patches. I recently discovered logic and offset modules thanks to folks here who gave me such advice and these really add spice as well. Where are your LFO modules? Modulation is a big part of modular systems and I don't really see any here. I am a big fan of the Batumi LFO so easy to use with 4 independent LFOs that can work together as well. Kermit is a beast of a module but I don't recommend it to beginners as it is super deep and more of a computer super modulator than an LFO.

I have the Dual Borg filter and love it. Get that one.

Hi Jim,

Well so far I have not have to use anything but sequencer, VCAs, mixer and mults in my patching learning experience. Below is my second rack and I am open to suggestions and recommendations before adding more voice modules. Right now I just have 2 the BIA and Cursus but the Kermit can be a quad LFO, EG, dirty VCO or combination of these which is unique in a module.

ModularGrid Rack

I will check out Sloths, Shades and Streams modules to see what they can do for my setup. I do want to add Pamela New Workout for clock duty and ALM Busy Circuits Boss Bow Two - 8 way sequential switch in the short run as these would open open patch ideas for clock generator, clock divider and switch patches.

I just picked up the Industrial Music/Harvestman Bionic Lester MK3 and that is one crazy complex and deep dual filter that can do a million things. For LFO, I really like Batumi Quad LFO a lot and IME Kermit MK3. Both have quad LFO options and the Kermit can do even more like function as an envelope, S&H, oscillator and more. But lots of programming so have to be open to a super deep module.

Thanks Lugia,

I have a Befaco Hex VCA, Doepfer DVCA, and Intellijel Quad VCA in my two 6u racks and passive mults, buffered mults as well as Kinks for offsets/logic. My follow up question regarding utilities and support modules is this:

How many support/utility modules would I need in a setup for each voice? Like if I have 4-6 VCOs and 4 LFOs, how many logic modules, matrix mixers, switches, VCAs, EGs, and logic/offset modules would I realistically need for a good setup?

By offsets are you referring to mixers, rectifiers and inverters? I use the ones in Kinks to good effect with LFOs and envelopes quite a bit now that my Kinks arrived. WMD SSF makes a nice offset combo module as well as Mannequin Cold Mac. How many of these would you recommend per 6U rack that has 3-5 voices? Logic modules are fun as well. I want to get another offset module and logic module.

We all know that the sexy voice modules and filters get the screen time on Youtube whenever Divkid or someone else promotes the gotta have it big module. BUT support and utility modules while not sexy are super essential sauce for a good modular setup. What are your top ten must have ones in even a small setup and why?

Here is my list:

Mults- passive and buffered
Logic: Kinks, Cold Mac, Klavis Logic xt
Clock and clock divider
Mixers: audio and CV
Switches: ALM Busy Circuits Boss Bow Two, Doepfer sequential switch

So far I have Links, Kinks, tons of passive mults to plug patch cables into as well as mixers and attenuators in both my small setups. Looking at getting WMD/SSF Toolbox and Mannequin Cold Mac and perhaps an Expert Sleepers Disting EX.

Sure thing Garfield! Same here, I plan to visit places in socal after covid ends to try out verbos and buchla gear for fun as well as some other more esoteric things. Endorphin.es has some cool modules worth checking out as well. Would love to try out the ground control, drum modules and shuttle system. Yes, it can get seriously expensive. Best to do it gradually. I have plenty to keep me busy for at least a year or two now. Only really need a clock and switch and these are not expensive modules fortunately. Maybe get Hertz Donut MK3 if it comes in stock toward end of the year.

Hi Garfield,

Well I never expected cool sway like the cute wooden toys with Mutable Instruments purchases so that is nice touch. They do look good on my case but a cat would be better hehe. Yeah, IME modules are super hard to come buy here in the USA and I am in California so not really that far from Portland and Seattle where IME/Harvestman makes the gear. Friends of mine have older versions of their stuff and I was impressed by the sounds and design and happy with them so far. Expensive modules but do quite a bit. The Kermit can be a quad LFO, quad EG, dual VCOs and S&H noise generator- plus presets and create and save custom wave forms of your own. WOW! I don't know many modules that can do that in one device except maybe some of the Rossum or 4ms stuff. Plus they are very gritty industrial hardcore nasty tones perfect for my work as well as bell tones. I was able to get an angry growling dog tone out of mine last night which was cool. Plus Scott Jaeger of IME/Harvestman is a genius. He keeps adding features and making his stuff better with each version.

Regarding Noise Engineering- they make really good techno industrial modules. I love my BIA and Cursus Iteritas. Easy to use many wave shaper options and less expensive than IME/Harvestman and way less complex to learn as well. Pair them with an LFO or two to trigger multiple tones out of each module works wonders. I can get a bass lead and kick drum out of BIA and similar results with Cursus. Their panels are very simple but effective and easy to use controls. Complete opposite of IME/Harvestman modules which seem to require lots of patiences, reading manuals, watching videos and time to learn to program their computer like interfaces.

I love Make Noise! My 0-coast was my first step into modular patching world. Just got the 0-ctrl which is a very fun touchpad sequencer controller. I am saving for a Make Noise Shared System since it would work better for me than to create a set of the same modules in another case. But I wanted variety hence why I did not buy Maths or Rene yet and just save for that complete system to pair with my 2 racks :-)

Erica Synths is great- the black polivoks filter is fun to use. Would love to try out the techno system one day after Covid ends.
Heard the drum sequencer is not that great however. I may get the sample drum or pico drums at some point and the smaller LPG they make.

I like Doepfer- dead simple and basic. Perfect for using with crazy modules as a baseline and scratchpad. Easy to learn. Functional and affordable. It lets me concentrate on learning the more difficult and esoteric modules like Kermit so I can just plug in the Doepfer basic VCO module to it and test and not get distracted with a crazy whizbang VCO. The Doepfer VCS A171-2 is great module and lots of sound shaping options on par with half of a Kermit or half a Maths.

Xaoc Devices is superb. I love my Batumi Quad LFO quite powerful and easy to use. Want a Belgrad and Odessa but every synth shop is out of these two modules so will wait until future when I have bigger 12u case to get them. The Zadar looks amazing as well. On par with IME/Harvestman for power packed features.

Modular is the most fun I have had with music since I started learning guitar a few years ago. I still love my hardware synths but the patch madness is therapeutic and ultimate freedom in creativity. Expensive as you want it to be like anything in life but less than a house, exotic car or 100 year bottle of scotch at least.

Definitely need more VCAs. I use a Befaco Hex VCA and that gets heavy use in my new setup. Quad VCA by Intellijel in my other case is great as well.

Hi Garfield,

Thanks, yeah with COVID lockdown and recovery from a broken ankle, I need a fun hobby to do for now and into the future. It is expensive but a vacation to Europe each year costs as much and at least the modular system gear lasts forever if you take care of it. I probably won't add much to it for a while due to how much more complex the IME Kermit, Bionic Lester and Quadrax modules are to fully learn plus how to route CV with Kinks and Links to create self generative patches. Fortunately, the other modules are out of stock so it puts my spending on hold for a while. I will get a way bigger 12u case next time. So far, out of the modular companies, I really dig the Noise Engineering and Industrial Music Equipment/Harvestman (IME) modules a lot. Intellijel and Mutable Instruments make amazing products as well. I like how Mutable Instruments send you a nice wood toy with each purchase! That is nice gesture of sway for buying their stuff. Now I see why Jim likes that company so much! You get cool modules that sound great and have tons of utilities and wood custom hand made toys as well.

Hi everyone,

Been having fun with new modules thus far in second rack. I am planning to complete my setup with the following configuration and wanted to gather your feedback on what can be improved or changed below.

ModularGrid Rack

I use external sequencers but want to make sure that I have sufficient utility modules to create self generative patches that allow the rack to play itself for hours with cool variations and glitches. Everyone here from Lugia to Jim to Garfield has been super awesome and helpful. I would have screwed up before and never considered things like Kinks or Links to use.

Really having fun with the new IME modules Kermit MK3 and Bionic Lester so deep and wild plus loving Intellijel Quadrax with Expander and Noise Engineering modules. A quick jam I came up with this evening:

The Hex VCA and Mixup is great combo with mutes for the mixer.

Very cool! Yeah I have a wave shaper already and drum type VCO so adding FM synthesis module to my setup would be perfect balance. Probably decide between Akemie castle and IME Hertz Donut MK3. I like the preset options and so forth in the Hertz Donut MK3 and it would match the orange knobs aesthetic of my other 2 IME modules but the coolness of just knobs no screens in the AC module and heritage of Yamaha FM chips is hot.

Yeah this looks awesome for FM synthesis along with IME Hertz Donut MK3. But need very large rack for these ginormous sized modules! Maybe when I get a new much larger case like a 12U setup that can hold 500HP of these beast sized modules then I will bite.

Hi Garfield,

Excellent, I have the new modules working and really enjoy how crazy the Noise Engineering Cursus Iteritas sounds especially when modulated by LFOs can get serious industrial sounds. It pairs well with the Kermit and Bionic Lester. Plus super easy to learn. On the other hand, IME modules like the Kermit demand time as they have tons of hidden features as does the Intellijel Quadrax with expander a take on the Buchla 281e function generator with self patching CV options, LFO and EG features galore. It shares a lot of the similar design so west coast based.

Get a bigger case? Add in Noise Engineering BIA for drums and bass perhaps.


Agree, no rush. New gear will keep me busy for quite a while especially learn the new IME Kermit and Bionic Lester modules as well as Kinks, Links and Quadrax! BTW- Mutable Instruments gets mad props for coolest modular company. They sent me cool swag case candy with each module - hand crafted wood toys! But I am less impressed with IME they did not even send bloody screws! WTF?

Thanks Garfield,

My new modules arrived today for my second case. Really digging the Noise Engineering Cursus Iteritas with the Basimilus Iteritas Alter and using the Erica Synths Black Polivoks Filter along with Intellijel Quadrax and IME Kermit MK3 modulation machine! Bloody brilliant modules that sound ace. These will take some time to really learn as they are super deep. For clock, I am going to wait until few months when sales come up again and most likely pair the Pamela's New Workout with the ALM Busy Circuits Boss Bow Two switcher that would be a killer clocking and routing options when mixed in a matrix mixer and apply Kinks and logic to it. I am holding off on a sequencer until next year. I have a few that get the job done and if I need complex sequencer, my Elektron Analog can do that as well as my Octatrack. Probably get Mantis case put a nice sequencer and FX mixer in it maybe?

I use portable folding DJ desks that work well and also great for live performance and an external mixer but will get a matrix modular mixer in the future.

What are your thoughts on the 512 Vector sequencer with expansion module and the WMD Metron sequencers? Both are large and have tons of features. I am also looking at Winter Eloquencer and Nerdseq but not sure if I would gel with a tracker based sequencer or not until I can try one in person. No rush- won't buy this year but try them at synth shops after COVID ends. Beatstep Pro may be a good low cost option at this point but I've heard of issues with them. I can try one and always return it if I don't like it.