(sorry in advance for the stupidly long post)
not to worry...
OK here’s the first rack this noob is planning out…
I know it’s WAY too big and expensive - but the idea was to pick out stuff that has caught my eye/ear and trim it down from there.
it's a dream rack.. so a plan in progress... and as we know no plan survives contact with the enemy - the enemy in this case is...you!
I’m hopefully looking to build a 6u 82hp case if I can afford it, ironically it is cheaper to get this Behringer 6u 140hp - I just won’t fill it.
yes but is cheaper better? do you really want to give uli the money? maybe take a look at some of the reasons why you wouldn't want to... google them - they're easy to find
a better case is a mantis - best bang for buck of hp/cost/decent power/manufacturer reputation...
the b-company 140 hp case is a 'clone'-ish of the mantis - with no thought put into upgrading the power to compensate for the extra hp - so with the b-company version you may have power issues...
But I will be breaking the cardinal rule of starting small - willing to spend maybe $5-7K AU in one go (big for me) because of tax stuff…
the concept of starting small is not in relation to the size of the case - it's to do with the number of modules you start with - a bigger case is better so that you have space to expand into once you realize that the modules that you originally bought need more modules to support them to get the most out of them!
best advice - get a bigger case than you think you need (as you will need it & probably more down the line) and then just a few modules that comprise a minimum viable synth - a sound source, a modulation source, a sound modifier, a way to listten (a quad cascading vca will do to start with as a mono output) and a way to play it... possibly add some simple utility modules... and then once you have learnt those modules thoroughly - add 1 or 2 more and repeat - adding modules slowly - at most 1 or 2 per month
and read and spend time thinking about the contents of my signature... if you have questions - ask!
Rack will be used to integrate with existing hardware I have and my Interface/Ableton, but obviously would like to be able to perform with it standalone. (not that I will be gigging - but that’s the benchmark I’d like to set for usability).
For example - I have a Roland TR8S and other drum machines, but still want some drums in the rack.
percussion in modular is very expensive - I would leave this at least for now - especially as you already have external drum machines etc - I would initially concentrate on integrating what you have with the modular
Other hardware I’d like to expand/integrate using this rack are - DFAM, Neutron, MiniFreak, SQ-1, MC202, CS-15 (Hz/v) and Korg X911(hz/v).
Apart from expanding my hardware - my studio is very much lacking FX, both lush and harsh, so the other key use will be outboard effects from my DAW and of course sound design sessions to compose with in the DAW.
the only reason for FX in modular is that they are cv modulatable, pedals and/or used 19" rack effects are often better value!
I have a Motu 828x - planning to use the ES-3, 6 and 7 to get 8in, 8out via ADAT. Went with this instead of the new ES-9, as I’d like to minimise using an aggregate sound card.
I would work out exactly what you need for dc-coupled i/o before committing... isn't the 828 dc-coupled? what DAW/cv control software are you intending to use?
I’d LOVE to get your thoughts on where I might be overlapping (likelyFX) to help me trim down the rack (and price). And also anything missing/lacking - (likely utilities)
Modules I’m deadset 100% including are: Crush Delay and.… hmm that’s it actually 🙂
But I’m 95% keen on Pam, DistingEX, and Rings.
Other “Tasks” that need to be filled are - 1. A sample slicer (for easy chopped breaks not granular FX), 2. A tight beat synced delay, ideally where changing sub-divs doesn’t repitch, 3. Lush reverb/shimmer/grains, 4. Some creative seq like euclidain w probability and basic perc section.
1/3 could be handled by clouds (or a clone) with the kammerl bet repeat firmware installed - but not at the same time - also includes a delay which is quite good
4 can be handled by pams
Here’s some comments on my decision making in this rack:
Pam’s - seems she’s a great workhorse for trig seq and mod - I’m OK with some menu diving as long as it’s clearly labelled.
DistingEX - same as above - want the hz/v - v/oct converter and interested in multisample recorder and of course the many other use cases.
nb disting ex - only 1 or 2 algos at the same time!!!
Sebsongs Odds - ? seemed like a cheap useful Rnd Seq.
Wrong Acronym - I just saw this at Superbooth and loved the thick distorted sounds coming out of it.
HN 3x MIA - useful attenuverters.
not only attenuverters, but offsets - very useful!
Joranalog Contour 1 - want a slew limiter and Divkid’s demo of this sold me.
also covered by maths!
After Later Beehive (Plaits) - seems every case needs one, but do I need it if I have my MicroFreak?
microfreak will output line level, have you included anything for boosting this to modular levels? can you control it with v/oct? does it have the new modes? wouldn't you be better off with a full size clone (eurorack is small enough already - 1hp = 5.08mm or 1/5" - really small - a lot of people are shocked by how small at first - trimmers are tiny and not very precise
Rings - Want these nice tones to juxtapose all the subtractive synths I have.
brilliant module - also excellent as a processor, not just a sound source
Maths - Essential apparently, but it’s so big! Are there smaller alternatives - saw the Falistri, smaller - but bigger in price.
it's not that big - it's smaller than a lot of guitar pedals - ergonomics are really important in having a good experience with your synthesizer... did I mention how s,all eurorack actually is? & did you actually comprehend how small it is - 1hp = 1/5", 1u = 1.75" - modules are small - modules that are overly cramped are a nightmare - maths has reasonable ergonomics!!!
& not essential - but it is very, very useful - especially as it has the most documentation of any similar module - see the 'maths illustrated manual' - download it - once you actually have maths repeat working your way through it until you are sick - and then continue - concentrate on how, why, what maths is doing...
falistri - yes it's a possible replacement for maths - but imo, the ergonomics and user interface are worse by an order of magnitude!!
Wrong LRMSMSLR - Saw this at Superbooth and think it’s a great idea.
Monsoon (Clouds) - Another one that seems to be in every case…
again you may be better off with a full size clone... better ergonomics etc
QuBit Nautilus - Liked the demo from Qu-Bit, but I seem to have a lot of time-based effects going on…
QuBit Aurora - I really like this demo, could this replace Clouds? (is that blasphemy)
clouds can be a spectral processor - it's one of the additional modes and it can be used as a reverb, although it's not it's core functionality - no such thing as blasphemy!!
HN 6x Mix - this seemed to be the best solution for mixer channels vs hp I found. I may need to reduce to one unit, Was hoping I could somehow patch together a hacked Aux send.
WMD MSCL - this more moreso to fill a gap than me thinking I need a comp, but I guess a comp is a good idea?
not unless you need one - filling hp for no reason is not a good idea - unless you want case buying to be a hobby!
ES ES-3 - Definitely keeping this - but are there issues running a long ribbon cable to connect to the ES-6 on the other side on the case? It makes sense to me like this.
you could just put the es6 next to the es3...
Ornament and Crime - Honestly I don’t really know what this does :) seemed very interesting and useful, but a lot went over my head.
then don't buy it!!! at least until you have done more research and understand not only what it does but also why it's the right module for you... same goes for every other module too!!!
uGrids - added this because it seemed like a great way to instant get some beat going while exploring other parts of the rack.
3 drum modules - I do want some basic drums -and these seemed good.
if you already have a drum machine then these should be really low priority!
Mutes and Comp - these are pretty much just fillers.
blank panels are better fillers than random modules!!! they are cheaper and just as useful
Joranalog Step 8 - This seemed really interesting - for it’s seq and mod and the cool polyphony voice management I saw in a youtube vid, but a) do I need it considering there’s Maths and Pam, b) if it is a good idea, would Stages be better? (slightly smaller).
there is no module that you need... buying a module just because it is slightly smaller than something else is not a good idea - do more research!!!
Bitbox Micro - I want a sample slicer - originally had Erica Synths Sample Drum here, but then thought maybe I should get a stereo one.
if you go stereo you will also need to improve the end of chain mixing - so that it can accommodate both mono and stereo
Crush Delay - This crazy thing is staying.
Joranalog Filter 8 - figured I had to have at least one filter in my rack, probably lacking there, could use my existing hardware filters too. The Divkid demo of this was amazing.
I'd go with more filters than sound sources...
4MS Dual Looping Delay - I want a delay just like this, but it’s SOO big! I think I can get away with mono - but I don’t know of a similar mono version.
isn't the new 4ms delay 1/2 a DLD? so big is relative - it's 4" across or something!!! actually tiny!
QuBit Prism - Loved the demo of this, the filter and decimator makes it more versatile - could this and Aurora replace Clouds and Nautilus?
ES-6 & 7 - Want these.
I haven’t even begun to look at power usage and whether voltages ranges with all modules are compatible.
For now, Guess I’m just showing off my first rack creation :)
you are over power on the +12v - you need to leave at least 25% headroom or you will almost definitely have problems - particularly with so many digital modules - inrush power consumption is often much higher than stated and stated figures are not necessarily accurate
as for voltage ranges - they are all compatible with the addition of attenuversion and offset - utilities are essential modules and in general much better additions to the average case than another oscillator or lfo or effect (& often less expensive and power hungry)
additional - you will almost definitely want VCAs - lots of them - I've suggested a quad cascading one above, but really in this size case I'd want at least 2 of those 1 for audio and 1 for modulation (so at least one needs to be dc-coupled) which will probably mean you may want more envelope generators...
the cascading part of the "quad cascading vca" means that it can also double as a mixer - I would also want more mixing in a case this size - not only end of chain mixing - which appears to be poorly thought out, but also sub-mixing so that you can combine signals before further processing and as always a matrix mixer is a very good proposition - especially for combining modulation sources to create more complex ones...
"some of the best base-level info to remember can be found in Jim's sigfile" @Lugia
Utility modules are the dull polish that makes the shiny modules actually shine!!!
sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities