some thoughts:

don't skimp on case or power, especially if you find modules to be expensive - the case protects them and the power gives them life!

if it was me I would next want a better modulation source (I like Maths as a first modulation source*) and some basic utilities next (links, kinks, shades or similar functionality in different modules - wmd/ssf toolbox for example goes a long way to covering a lot of basic utilities) and then possibly a stereo mixer - before adding any more sound sources or modifiers

-- JimHowell1970

Hi Jim,
I've looked over your first response as I've made some changes over the past week. Seeing similar builds has led me to make some adjustments. I would love to hear your thoughts on the changes:

ModularGrid Rack

Case: Considering power, size, reliability, etc., and cost, I'm probably going to go with a 6U 84HP Doepfer low cost case. I'll message the Case From Lake owner as well. As much as I want a custom pretty case with polished walnut wood, etc., the LC6 seems to be a steady workhorse and solid choice for a first case. Plus, the extra money in my pocket can go towards some utility modules.

Modulation: I've added Maths and Pam's for some modulation and extra clock sources.

Utility: Following your advice on utility, I've added MI's links, kinks, and shades. I've also seen these utility modules echoed in other posts here and on r/modular for builds that are similar to mine.

Stereo Mixer: Since I'll eventually have Beads and Arbhar, two stereo modules, any recommendation on a stereo mixer? Will I need something that has multiple stereo ins / 2 outs? It's hard to make sense of what would work with my build, or what's overkill for my sound sources. There's so many choices. Beyond that, it looks like I'll still have a little room to spare for additions down the road. Thanks in advance!


@JimHowell1970

    "don't skimp on case or power, especially if you find modules to be expensive - the case protects them and the power gives them life!"

This makes a lot of sense, especially when full cases can exceed several thousands of dollars. Thank you for your input.

    "the psu looks to be a standard meanwell power supply - great if you are only using low powered modules - but not so good if you want to use something high powered - the fact that the builder states the number of power headers, but no the available power may or may not be a cause for concern - I would at least ask before buying"

I admit this is where my lack of knowledge comes into play. I had no idea this was something to keep an eye out for - I just assumed "powered case" would be enough to power any combination of modules that fit into the case. Thank you for the advice.

    "personally I prefer the mantis over either of these cases - but that may just be me, partly because the mantis power supply is clean enough for video (less ripple up to much higher frequencies) whereas by all reports the intellijel supplies are not so quiet"

I would probably already own a Mantis case if I wasn't also so picky about aesthetics (even though it's a little bit larger than I'd like)! I like making videos with my synth gear and having a good looking case that appeals to me is part of the whole package. You mention the possibility of video "noise" and some power supplies not being clean enough. Is there a proximity effect to this? i.e. Would I need to be careful about how close my camera gets to my gear if my case happens to have an "unclean" power supply?

I've done a lot more searching around the net and have come across another small but seemingly reputable eurorack case builder from France that mentions a LOT more detail about the cases they make: Modulaire Maritime.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/663523749/modulaire-maritime-accra-6u-eurorack

Can you speak to the power supply used in this build? The size is exactly what I'm looking for (I have decided on 6U, 84-88 hp would be more than enough for a long term build) and I really like the aesthetics of it.

    "not many people can afford to go out and fill a case with modules on day 1 - and it's not often recommended either - whilst most modules are relatively simple to understand, lots of them all at once is not - and those that do need a bit more time generally fail to get it when purchased in huge batches - so starting with a few modules and learning them in depth before expanding is a great idea"

Again, another great point made and something I instinctively abide by. I've been working with two Moog semi-modulars for just over a year now and still have more to explore with them. Although it's time to augment that setup with this new modular journey :)

Thank you for all of your recommendations around how to output, modulation, attenuation, etc. Definitely gives me a solid starting point and feeling a little more comfortable with my starting module choices and some ideas on how to support them with more utility.

@defragmenteur
Thank you for the info about the MIDI modules.

@Lugia
Thanks, I appreciate the advice. I've decided to go with a larger case (6U, and 84-88hp) as it will allow more room for expansion and won't be too overwhelming in my studio.


Hey all, I have a mother 32 and subharmonicon and want to expand with a fully modular system. I currently record into a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 audio interface and record into Logic Pro X. I really like the idea of generative ambient with random triggers, audio manipulation, etc. so my first system will eventually include 4 main modules: Plaits, Arbhar, Marbles, and Beads. I also occasionally do video game covers, so it would be cool to send MIDI from Logic Pro into Plaits like I do with my Moog setup. Here's the case I've come up with so far:

ModularGrid Rack

It's 104HP single row, so I know I'll need to leave room for utilities, VCAs (I threw Veils in there for now), MIDI I/O, etc. I have some questions though:

  1. Everyone says get the biggest case you can afford. Although I like the idea of a low profile 1 row case, it looks like I'm quickly going to fill it up once I add some utility modules to it, and thus probably won't have room to expand. Should I just go bigger, or could I make the 104HP single row work? I did see a 6U, 88HP x2 row case I liked on Etsy, although it only has power and no extra utility: (https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/513149542/)

  2. If I stayed with a smaller case, could a 4U 104HP Intellijel Palette be a good choice? It seems to have a lot of utility built into it (sums, mults, MIDI, 1/4" outputs), and also has the 1U row for more. This seems like it would leave me enough open space for expansion in the 3U row?

  3. I can't afford to buy everything at once, so I'm wondering what modules would be good to get me started? I was thinking maybe Plaits, Marbles, and Beads (Arbhar will likely come later as it is so damn expensive). Would I need any utility to go along with these choices? I've been told that for this setup I might want to add attenuators, stereo mixers or filters? Or maybe an output module if my case doesn't have outputs?

That's about it I guess.... I have a really good idea of what I want to do sound-wise, just sort of stuck on how to actually "start" with something usable. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!