Thread: Giant Steps

Colour Scheme

M32 - Green
Disting mkIV - Blue
DixieII - Red
Plaits - Yellow

Maths - Orange
Peaks - Grey
A MIX/Cinnamon - Purple

Polyend Poly/ADDAC200B - Black

Thread: Giant Steps

MIDI Routing

This patch represents my most complex MIDI Routing setup to date, involving the Quadra THRU and Quadra MERGE devices from MIDI Solutions.

Follow link for MIDI Routing Diagram!AsdkBRIREHjWisl3dGNzTRA4pM9_Dg

Thread: Giant Steps


The modular system covers the Lead (Solo) and Bass lines for the arrangement.
The Lead Line is played by the Mother 32 and ES Disting mkIV set to algo B8 (VCO with Waveshaping)
The Bass Line is played by the DixieII and MI Plaits set to algo 1-1 (Pair of Classic Waveforms)

Gates and Pitches are sent from the Polyend SEQ both directly into the Mother 32 (for Lead voices) and into to Polyend Poly to be routed and multiplied later on.

The pitch tracking for the Lead Line is handled via MIDI directly into the M32's MIDI DIN Input, where as pitch tracking for the Bass Line is converted from MIDI to CV and sent to the second ES Disting mkIV H3 algo (Dual Quantizer) for added stability.

Both of the oscillators used in the Lead Line are filtered using the Ladder filter on the Mother 32 in Lowpass mode.
Both of the oscillators used in the Bass Line are mixed (1 source from Dixie and 2 sources from Plaits) and filtered using the Cinnamon filter in Lowpass mode.

There are envelopes for the Filter Cutoff and VCA CV for both the Lead Line and the Bass Line. The Filter & VCA Envelopes for the Lead Line are handled by MI Peaks set to Expert Mode so that there are 2 unique ADSR envelopes (Output A is for the Filter ENV; Output B is for the Amp ENV). The Filter Cutoff on the Mother 32 is manipulated by BOTH the Peaks Filter Envelope and the MIDI Velocities from the ASSIGN Out. These are sent to the internal VC MIX and the VC MIX CTRL is adjusted via the Keyboard Output on M32 and attenuated by Maths Channel 2. The Filter Envelope for the Bass Line is sent from the Unity Output of Maths Channel 1, where as the Amp Envelope for the Bass Line is sent from the Synthrotek ADSR.

MIDI Velocities were meticulously specified in the Polyend Poly for the Lead Line (as of March 31st, but might add velocities for the comping and Bass Line later on), and they are captured inside the M32 via the ASSIGN Output (set to Option#9: MIDI Velocity).

Mordax DATA is used extensively to monitor Oscillator tunings and Octave distributions.

are there any good substitutes? it works perfectly for me, but only has 32 steps. I play on a higher bpm for syncopation, so those 32 steps are essentially 16 for me. I need more steps! in the end, it sounds like you're looking for something more complex than just a typical CV/gate sequencer, something that has some "theory savvy" to it, either in the sequencer itself or via a quantizer setup that can deal with the chordal functions. I would suggest looking at modules along the lines of the Squarp Hermod, Orthogonal's ER-101/102 pair, ACL's Sinfonion, Winter Modular's Eloquencer, Five12's Vector, 1010 Music's Toolbox, The Harvestman's Argos Bleak, or a third-party build of the Ornament and Crimes. Also, pairing this with something along the lines of an external controller that can also sequence or handle chordal duties would be a good idea; check out the very useful Arturia Keystep, Kilpatrick's Carbon, Squarp's Pyramid, Conductive Labs' NDLR, or the Future Retro Zillion.

So I'm a keys player, when I compose I choose a key and write chord progressions, etc. Whenever I watch videos of tutorials/performances on modular unit I can never find out how the aspects such as key signature/melodies and other such 'gestures' are inputted. Does that make sense?

I'm looking into MIDI to CV converters for playing a keyboard - but how would I sequence/'capture' what I play in? Or what are the other methods?

I hope this makes sense, I've just been unable to find out how so far.

ModularGrid Rack

The new Intellijel Palette case seems like the perfect opportunity to work out my new additional case I want to add.
To my already existing setup. I want to ad a small synth which only focus on playing melodies. The style that I'm aiming for is:

(This clip is really packed with the things I want to achieve with this addition.)

The meaning is only to receive a clock signal from my main synth. As you can see the 2-voice modular will be focussed around 2 noise engineering modules. But I cannot get further than that... First of all a need some CV generation. I tried the Qubit Octone but I will need 1 for each voice which will take up a lot of space. I also thought about the Varigate 4+ but after watching some movies it seems to work better as a drum sequencer. The other options that crossed my mind were the Noise Engineering mimetic digitalis in conjunction with a proper sequencer (disting MK4? , 2hp).... I can't figure it out.

Second, What modulation should I add since this are already complete voices... an ADRS, some LFO's, filters....

Then should I add some audio processing such as the TallDogg uClouds?

I'm really blocked on the start. I hope to have some input from the guys who know more about a wider range from the existing module's so I can get off and fine tune it to my desires. I got a LOT help with my first synth which I enjoi! I hope we can achieve the same here.

Thanks in advance!


Edit: what about the 1U modules?

wtf lol

Don't worry about aesthetics at this point. Keep in mind that you're going to want to go through numerous builds on MG before committing to the actual device. Also, using an overly-large cab in your MG build will help in that you can overbuild, then pare things down to something approximating your final result. But again...expect to do that a number of times before you start spending.

Anyway, by "inputting pitched sequences" do you mean that you want to play notes in and have them recorded as a sequence, or are you talking about more typical sequencer usage?

Ok cool thank you for the advice. I am planning on buying a 104hp 6u rack, I just like the aesthetic of the 3u on here when i have so little modules. I intend to include Tune by 2hp, so along with PNW and Arp, do you think that will enable me to input pitched sequences in selected musical keys? Thats an area that is still mystifying me slightly.


Other modules to consider:
Blue Lantern Subharmonics Generator

AHH! Thanks for all the great advice. I have been on my honeymoon and just got back to these little babies. Just as an update I have added marbles to the mix, so far it's been a blast. My next piece will be either the Tiranna II or the Mirco Sequence.

Hey Eddy, I started modular extending from DFAM too! From my (really small) experience, the modules that gave the most out of the DFAM are envelope generators. I went for the Zadar and it's been a game changer. Pamela new workout and Befaco burst did great too. Hope it helps

This looks great. Two small suggestions: First, I would drop the mult. You don't need it, and you can use a couple of stackcables instead. Second, you probably need a way to get interesting non-fluctuating pitch voltages (apart from the PNW's random voltage). For this, you could add an S&H (e.g., Doepfer A-148 or MI Kinks) or a quantizer (e.g., Doepfer A-156). Alternatively, you could add a Disting Mk 4, and it will do S&H, and quantizer, along with about a hundred other things that you will eventually realize that you need.

Other than that, start with a case that is way bigger than you ever imagine you will ever need. Go slow. Have fun. :)

I have the same 'problem'. I don't know if it's normal...but i feel it's to much.
Did you find a solution meantime?

@nosp for Erica Synths Black PFL expander.
@ucture for Befaco MIDI thing.
All good!

Any opinions on this setup with regards to functionality with ambient music? I'm trying to be realistic with my current budget as i'm not going to be able to spec out a fully versataile unit that is capable of everything straight away.

ModularGrid Rack
I changed the conformation a bit, I already have several modules so I can't radically change the structure, I also want it ordered, predictable and without disturbing visual elements. Also below on the left I put 2 more 40hp rows with controls and utilities ..
pe as far as the midi interfaces are concerned I already have 2 gate and 4 control voltage from the subsequent 37cv, I don't need anything more,. I state, I use it to play and not for random improvisation .. If anyone has ideas or advice of any kind they are welcome .. thanks
ModularGrid Rack

Yes, @mosorensen, the 2HP DC looks like it was made for this. Thanks.

Go to Modules
Find the module in question
Edit the module (upper left corner)
Make changes as necessary

Note: Once the module has the green "manufacturer approved" seal,
regular users can no longer make changes.

Bump. I was going to make a similar thread. EMW Alias needs the power specs and I found them.

@Armstrongbe for a really easy and quick transaction.
bought a lifeforms sv-1

@Lucapiombo92 and @dunk are both very pleasant buyers. Thanks!

I would think a digital sample and hold module would be the ticket for this. You need a sample and hold circuit that will stay accurate for a long time.

With that, your panning position should hold until you choose to update it. Trigger the sample and hold circuit again to update the signal to whatever your current incoming value is.

-- Ronin1973

That's a great idea, thanks.
-- RelaxedNapper

The Disting Mk4 has a digital sample and hold routine. I would try there first. But you will need a CV controlled stereo panner that takes a single CV input to control panning like an ADDAC System 805 or two sample and hold modules, two VCAs, and two CV sources to control the level to each VCA to adjust panning in the stereo field. I'd go for the stereo panner. You can also find CV controlled panning on the Roland 500 series mixer or the Happy Nerding PanMix.

I agree with all of the above replies and will add my 2 cents:

Start off small, experiment and learn. I think the initial setup you have there is a really good start and will be able to make some interesting sounds right away. Maths is an amazing module and the STO will sounds great and give you a sub octave out that can be used to get sort of second voicing. One thing you might to consider is instead of the Optomix, take a look at the Make Noise Dynamix. Works great as a mixer, VCA and can do side-chaining fx as well. Since you have a Digitakt, a midi to CV module like the Mutant Brain will allow you to get tight sequencing and melodies out this setup right away so spring for that if you can.

Thanks @uebl, very kind during the transaction and shipping was super fast! Recommended! :)

I would think a digital sample and hold module would be the ticket for this. You need a sample and hold circuit that will stay accurate for a long time.

With that, your panning position should hold until you choose to update it. Trigger the sample and hold circuit again to update the signal to whatever your current incoming value is.

-- Ronin1973

That's a great idea, thanks.

I would think a digital sample and hold module would be the ticket for this. You need a sample and hold circuit that will stay accurate for a long time.

With that, your panning position should hold until you choose to update it. Trigger the sample and hold circuit again to update the signal to whatever your current incoming value is.

I tried to emulate a oscillator inside of VCV Rack. The osc is called „FM-OP“ from „Bogaudio“. You can think of it like a single operator/operator of a DX style FM synth(inclusive envelope generators, FM Feedback etc.).
If anyone knows a similar Osc in hardware form, please let me know.

I might should add that i have a MODX for the „serious“ FM stuff, so this project is more for my own pleasure :)

Hi Kari, which 4op synth exactly are you looking to emulate/improve on?

Your right, but i already have some of those modules, 1xQZVCO, Frames, Stages (1x), Shades(2x) and kinks. The Akemies Castle is pretty cool, and it would be faster to work with, but i like to be able to patch any possible algorithm. I probably won’t buy the Mordax Data, because i will get a Expert sleepers ES-8, so i will be able to use multiple oscilloscopes via VCV Rack.

Got to say the praise for @RTFM. Had several NLC modules built from him. Excellent build quality, several build options to choose from, even better customer support, both pre and post purchase. Close comms, speedy delivery (usually with a little extra in the box) and flawless quality make me come back for more. Thank you :-))

One thing to be clear about is this: there is no way to build a Eurorack that’s cheap AND capable.

Often you hear that a semi modular is a good entry point, as it will come with the essentials included. Not a bad start, but it may come down to how you want to integrate your Eurorack.

If you plan on using the DFAM as a sequencer, that’s one thing. If you want to use the Digitakt, then you’ll need a MIDI to CV module. Audio is at a much higher level, so you probably would want to consider an audio output module (unless the DFAM can accept 10V audio).

Module math: a cheap module is more expensive in the end.
Case in point is your STO, which runs you $199. It’s a single OSC. Now compare it to the DPO, where for $599 you not only get two OSC, but also internal sync and FM, but a waveshaper/folder to boot, so you’ll have to compare that cost to a dual STO + uFold or Fold Processor, where you’re now at the same cost, but still not quite the same function.
It’s even more obvious if you look at a quad LFO vs “cheap” 2hp LFO solutions.
But it always comes down to subtle differences in function (STO has a sub, DPO doesn’t).
For analog VCOs, I would recommend to look for dual VCOs or those single VCOs that can easily be synced. Beyond that, you might find wavetable digital OSCs interesting. Plaits is nice, so are many of the Noise Engineering modules, such as the Ataraxic Iteritas or Loquelic Iteritas.

Maths was among the first two modules I ever bought. As a straight up envelope generator or LFO, it doesn’t really convince. I’ve honestly put it aside for now, as it requires time to dedicate to it to make proper use of it. At the outset, I would suggest to go with simpler, but high function density modules. I’m a big fan of the XAOC Batumi + Zadar combo, which gives you Four LFOs and Envelopes (the latter loopable on timescales up to almost a hour). In a small system that gives you a lot of modulation power.
Add a multi mode filter and some FX and voila:

ModularGrid Rack

You can choose not to buy.

So far, so good. My preference for an external input module is actually the Doepfer A-119, as it gives you a better choice of external connections. Another thing you should consider would be some modules to extend the capabilities of the sequencers, such as logic, clock modulators, divide/multipliers and so on. I wrote about this at
These will let you create some rather complex interactions between the hardware sequencers you already have. You might also double down on some basic modules here, such as VCAs, EGs and LFOs to add some modulation complexity, plus the use of linear VCAs to control/change CV/mod signal levels as needed. Last, look at getting one or two Erica PICO MScales so you can easily translate back and forth between the M32 and DFAM CVs and everything else, keeping everyone in the proper scaling.
-- Lugia

I was going to buy Erica PICO MScales for my set. Thank you for advice.

It is true! Retailers are getting more impudent now. What can we do?

It's interesting, but it also seems a bit much like overkill and unnecessary expense. Wouldn't it be simpler to use an ALM Akemie's Castle as the core of this, instead of the discrete quadrature VCOs, etc?

Actually, Thomann UK is giving me a UK price for the Quad VCA of UKP 170.43, with VAT included. The same thing in EUR is 199. And when you switch those to $, you get 224.19 and 225.05 respectively. But if I use Thomann USA, then the same module is $188. So what gives?

Simple: there are going to be taxes and tariffs that vary from place to place. Intellijel, for example, is a Canadian firm. So let's look at Moog Audio (based in Montreal) where we find that module at CDN$ 250, which comes out to be $186.75. So...that's different, too. Therefore, it should be considerably more in the USA, right?, as Perfect Circuit has 'em at $189.'s not merely the taxes and tariffs. In some cases, it comes down to an agreed-upon price for a module between manufacturers and retailers, too. Perfect Circuit is nowhere as huge as Sweetwater...but there, too, we find the Quad VCA in question at the same $189. And when you look further, you'll tend to see the same "street" prices from continent to continent. Looking at one place in Asia that has serious tariffs, we find that Clock Face (Tokyo) has that very same module for JPY 22,900, which comes out to $207.02.

This gets screwy all over the place. If you think you're getting overcharged for new Intellijel stuff, have a look at what new Doepfer gear costs at Schneidersladen...and then check the same things at Perfect Circuit or Analogue Haven. This problem is just an endemic effect of having manufacturers all over the planet.

A bit late, but had a good transaction last year with @NU.

The idea is a four Operator FM Synth on a modular basis. You can patch any possible algorithm and its even possible to morph between carriers by using the MI "frames" modul.
FM Feedback can be patched with the MI "Shades" modul, which also allows may other usfull things. The MI "Stages" are in daisy chain and can be used for complex envelops, LFOs, or performance slider( combined with "shades" it allows control of CV's for further FM modifcations.
All the "important" modules (like Sequencers, FXs, EQ, VCOs, Filter, Joystick, Resonator....) are in my other racks.
I probalbly gonna buy a dedicated case just for this FM synth.

Any idea if this would work? Did i forgot anything? Would love to get some feedback! Thanks!

Perfect deal with @Virgil, selling his own gorgeous µo_c build. Thanks!

There is no standard path for your journey into Eurorack... only an entry point.

Here's some of what I discovered:

Buy a case that's much larger than you think you'll need. Shelling out cash for a case isn't a lot of fun. It doesn't make any noise. But having a case that will grow with you will save you a lot of grief in the long term. There are some really nice, albeit larger modules that you might want along the way. Finding space for them can be challenging in a smaller case. Your larger case should hold on to most of its value if you decide Eurorack isn't for you.

Piecing together your first system as you are learning is very, VERY challenging. If you miss out on key pieces and your case is too small, you won't be able to do all that much with your system. On the flip-side, you may want to start out with a preconfigured system. The Roland System 500 is pretty tasty. Pittsburgh Modular, Doepfer, Make Noise, etc. all make starter systems that are complete (relatively). That's always an option and you can just add a second case for auxillary modules. Confused yet? :)

My personal strategy: I put together a system with two oscillators, a two channel multimode filter, four VCAs, a quad LFO, and some mixers/attenuverters. I also added a delay, reverb, and a line to synth level input/output. A MIDI to CV converter and I was ready to hook up to my DAW for some fun. From there, I added a few multifunctional modules like a Disting Mk4, Ornaments & Crime, Temps Utile, etc. The multifunction modules allowed me experiment a lot with my system. If I used a function over and over then I'd consider getting a dedicated module for that purpose.

Don't forget about CV controllable FX. Dry sounds aren't very inspiring for the most part. A simple "bloop" with some delay and reverb can go very far verses a complex sound that's bone dry.

Okay... I've kind of meandered... but I'm still on my journey. I've already expanded into my second 208HP case and it's almost full. Go slow with adding more modules and try stuff. Watching Youtubers use the modules you've bought is great inspiration for creative patches you may not have thought of.

Eurorack modules aren't made in great numbers for the most part. There are a couple of really successful modules out there that are the exception.

The prices stay high because of limited availability. "Out of Stock" is pretty normal on most dealers' websites.

I typically avoid used modules because you just don't know who's been messing with them and if all of the features work on the day you receive it and try to test it. Saving 20% isn't enough of an incentive to risk my 80% on a dud module and all the hassles that come along with it. Dealers will simply exchange a defective new module. A one-time sale from a third party is a crap-shoot.

Nice start, indeed. Effects are a good suggestion. You’ll have to decide whether you want to use them as a utility or part of sound design, which will dictate the extent of CV control you’ll want.
Suggest you look at Chronoblob 2, Magneto, 4ms Dual Looping Delay, ErbeVerb, Black Hole DSP2, as well as 2hp delay and reverb.

Now, especially for the Morphagene, a CV sequencer would come in hand. I really like the Malekko Voltage Block.
A multi mode filter is also a fairly basic need. Erica Black VCF 2 is nice, and so is the Morgasmatron.
For everything MI, always consider the micro versions (e.g. Beehive vs Plaits).
And: Intellijel 7U case with the Audio I/O is always a great choice. You do need audio I/O, eventually.

Some LFOs would be nice: XAOC Batumi
More conventional envelopes, perhaps: XAOS Zadar

The standard convention is that the red stripe goes with the -12V pin. Most manufacturers hold this convention. But please note, there are a couple of a-hole outliers that insist on reversing the polarity because... reasons. So on their modules the red stripe goes with +12V. I won't name names but they are huge a-holes.

The first thing to do is to pop open the manual (hard copy or online). The manufacturer will usually explain the pin configurations for power. Now look at the manual for your power supply. Confirm that it matches or you make the correct configuration.

Once you have your modules plugged in (without plugging in the power supply to electricity), stop. Go have a coffee or a cup of tea and come back and confirm your work. Don't screw the modules into your case until you've gone back and confirmed the power ribbons are all the correct way around for the module. It's very easy to plug in your modules. It's even easier to mess up, plug one (or more) in backwards and simply fry hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of kit.

Think of plugging in modules to a power supply like handling a firearm. You slow down and confirm every single step and that you're doing things safely. It's not a difficult thing. But it's the third or fourth time you rearrange your modules that you get careless and fry something.

Here's a video on modules, power supplies, and a-hole manufacturers.

The thing about a Marketplace is that sellers can set the price they want and buyers can either choose to buy or not. If the prices stay high, it means there is sufficient demand for goods at that price.

Hi all. New to modular. Just took a glance at your marketplace in here.

Fx. Intellijel Quad VCA for 150£. That’s more than new price from Thomann?

It seems to be the case for more than 80% of the listings - they are all very close to the new price (5-10% cheaper, tops) Whats going on with that?

Bought a DFAM last week in here. Ended up costing me 450€ - new it can often be found for 520€. Seller tells me this was an unheard of price, and I was very lucky he was in a good mood.

Hi again - I spent some time with my Plaits, and as long as you adjust the coarse tuning, it actually works well with pretty much any voltage range that you throw at it, so positive or negative voltages, no problem.