To all Eurorack wizzkids


#1

Hi there,

I kinda arrived where I hoped I wouldn’t end up… Wanting Modular so bad! Just loving the autonomy and sound of it.

Thinking about selling everything exept my DT (wanna use it to sequence the modular) to buy something like this (see picture)

I would love some thoughts om my chosen modules, have I missed something? Better alternatives.
Want to use my modular + DT to create very atmospheric/ambient type house music, slow and deep.

Modular would exist of:

Expert sleepers FH-2 > for converting midi from DT to CV and sequence multiple lines
Rotating clock divider RMS - for making polyrhytms
Erica Synths - Fusion VCO (tube VCO)
Akemie’s Castle - 4 Op FM
Mutuable Tides - VCO
Intellijel Quadra - ADSR for four lines of synth
2hp VCA
2hp LFO
Intellijel uVCF - Filter 1
Dave smith Curtis Filter - Filter 2
Sputnik 6 channel stereo mixer - for volume / attenuate and output
106 Chorus - obviously
Erica Synth Black hole DSP - Delay/verb
Dreadbox Splash - Reverb

Am I missing some essentials? (not per se gonna buy everything at once, also just assesing what you would need to get some nice sound/polyphony in a modular, and what it would approx cost.

Will use the DT for sequencing, drums and some vocal/choir/ambient samples

Thanks in advance!


#2

I would put some midi in the chain somewhere. Even if you’re using something with CV primarily. Otherwise, that’s a great setup!


#3

Lot’s of filters, sound sources and fx for sure…

Intellijel quadra is nice even without exp but it’s going to be fully used in no time for 4 lines of synths…You’ll need a Batumi at least…

Ditch that mixer and those 2hp-I-want-to-fill-my-case for the moment and go for VCAs, lot’s of VCAs…

Where is math ? :stuck_out_tongue: ( Joke )

:smiley:


#4

Well, you’ll probably need more VCAs for one. You have what, two VCA’s in there? I’d recommend getting at least a couple more (in general, at least one VCA per voice you want to get out of it). VCAs are great for modulating modulators and other funky stuff as well, but again, it depends on what you plan on using it for.

I definitely wouldn’t sell off everything to get this setup though. Sure, this can probably make a lot of cool sounds, but it’s still quite a limited setup, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

And don’t buy the Maths-hype, you don’t need it. :slight_smile:

Also, in general, think long and hard about excactly why you think modular would be a good idea - what exactly do you want to achieve with it? What do you think it will bring to the table that the stuff you currently have don’t?

Just to put it into perspective, to get anything near the capabilities of an Analog Four, for instance, you’d have to splash out close to $5k worth of modules, if not more (probably a lot more). You know already, of course, but eurorack is expensive as hell, and even modest in size systems (similar to the one you want to build) might end up sounding quite underwhelming compared to say a full blown synth like an A4.

I’ve been using only a modular for the past four years, and really liked it, but once I got an A4 back, I was just blown away at how powerful it is, how immediately everything is available to me, and how fucking good it sounds (compared to a lot of eurorack stuff). I think the two prevailing ideas about modulars, one being that you can create sounds with it that you can’t create with any other synth, and that you can make patches that you simply won’t ever find ever again (implying some sort of “organic” or nature-like nature to a set of modules) - are completely untrue for instance.

I’m sure you’ll have fun with it, eventually, but it’ll be a costly adventure, and … it might or it might not be worth it, depending on what you expect from it. :wink:


#5

Hard to not edit my post ten times !

You added lot’s of good perspectives… :stuck_out_tongue:
I can erase my edit now…

I will add that polyphony is not a territory where eurorack modular shines since I re-read the original post…


#6

Absolutely.

Things I love about eurorack

  • experimenting, patching everything into everything
  • random modules
  • physical modelling modules
  • being able to modulate pretty much everything
  • weird sound shaping devices you only get in eurorack (probably in software as well though), like macro machines omnimod or xaoc zadar
  • if you get a nice sounding patch, you need to finish it there and then, there’s no saving for later more or less
  • DIY projects easily available, makes it cheaper, and it’s fun to do

Things that annoy me with eurorack

  • out of tune oscillators (this one is a major gripe for me, so many oscillators drift out of tune, and if you want stuff to not sound like shit, you’ll spend a lot of time tuning all the time)
  • lack of polyphony
  • things in general sounding quite “thin”, I spend a lot of time making things sound “fatter”
  • patching (I’ve gotten to a point where I’m just kind of bored with plugging the damned cords in and out all the time, hah)
  • no standard for what CV a module expects or sends out (so lots of little utility modules needed for shit like attenuating and inverting)
  • it’s expensive, and compared to what you get in a normal hardware or software for that matter, prices are just … out of this world, it’s insanely expensive to put together the simplest of monophonic synths
  • re-arranging modules in a case is a pain in the ass
  • the power solution in general is a pain in the ass

#7

I`d add an envelope generator for sure.

  • befaco rampage
    or
  • make noise maths

or something along those lines…


#8

I would add more modulation and VCA’s. Is there any random source?

Tides?

Me too. That was the most fun part in the first months, now I’m too lazy to patch.
Experimenting is fun, but I want to make tracks when I have time for music and then I have no patience to get the patching right.
I much prefer A4 or Digitone at the moment. Still enough going on for experimenting, but also straight forward when making songs.
I have almost nothing left, I just kept a little rack for plaits and rings, because there is still no standalone hardware available for physical modeling/modal synthesis (besides organelle, but that looks too menu heavy for me).

Agree completely. It’s insane. Compared to a A4 mk1 used for 600 Euro or 0-coast, mother etc for around 500. You get almost nothing for this money in modules…


#9

Yeah, I agree with this. I sold off half my system 6-7 months ago. I was very productive with it, but reviewing all the tracks in hindsight, most of them lack a sort of depth, because I could never really work on them for more than one session at a time.

I did learn a lot of synthesis from messing around with it though - a lot! So getting back to Elektron machines again has been fantastic. I can much faster and easier get to where I want with a sound than the first time around when I had them. But yeah, you can experiment A LOT with any Elektron box, and I would argue it’s way more immediate than eurorack, and probably a lot deeper as well (considering all the built in options). I’m getting sounds out of my Analog Four that I doubt I’d be able to get out of my modular, to be honest. :wink:

Still, eurorack is fun, and can be really good for a lot of things, and people do make amazing sounding tracks with their systems now - but I definitely think there’s a Pokemon-effect in swing with it - it all looks very shiny, enticing and fun and experimental and great - yet, I think it’s easy to get quite underwhelmed with what you get out of it - there’s often a feeling of “if I only had this type of module, it’ll be a lot better” with it.


#10

Modular is worth it even just for the education, and if/when you use a hardwired synth you will approach and appreciate it in a different way.


#11

Gonna echo what others have said, modular can be insanely fun but it’s limiting when compared to other synths/sound manglers/samplers. I’ve had a few different systems over the years and they’ve all been fun but ultimately left me wanting more. Building a completely open and never ending system started to wear on me. I’ve limited myself to one 7U case and I’m not expanding beyond that; and even now my case isn’t completely full and I’m contemplating scaling back more after OT+A4 have rewired my brain.

The thing I love most about it is the physical feel, patching cables, twisting knobs. It’s hard to deny the aesthetic no matter what format it is… eurorack, buchla, 5U or whatever. The allure of new modules is intense and sucks you in and then you’re re-doing your case on Modulargrid for the 20th time in a day lol (totally not speaking from experience or anything :joy:)

That being said, there are lots of positives and some sounds/experiences can only be had with a modular.

I would suggest going with the 4MS Shuffling clock multiplier over the Clock Divider for generating polyrhythmic stuff. Akemie’s is a big commitment, you HAVE to like the sound or it’s not worth it. The Curtis Filter is awesome and doubles as a nice oscillator cause the resonance is out of control. To me, effects in the rack aren’t necessarily worth it unless you really really want CV control over it.


#12

…you could maybe add one of this as well? :smile_cat:


#13

Thanks for all your responses so far! Very helpful… I’m also still torn, think the modules are very overpriced… I mean a strymon FX pedal costs around 400 euro, why is the eurorack module then 700 euro? ridiculous…

In the end it should all be about the fun you have when playing, and the output (music)

I’m also afraid that going modular will create some monster GASSS


#14

The coolest thing about modular for me is not about the sound but about modulation, creating chains of unpredictable events etc.
For that you need patience with patching and I guess a fairly large system. I could do this much easier in reaktor blocks etc.

Edit: but I guess this is all quite off topic. OP wanted to discuss his rack


#15

I find your post really interesting especially the last paragraph because :

  • Friends often ask me why I’ve sold all my 9ux140hp I made two years to assemble and I reply : I want to make music and not collect Pokemons ( absolutely authentic !)

  • When I went to modular it was mainly to get “my sound” and a way of thinking outside the box…Tbh it was quite the opposite that happened, I made tons of bleeps and blops somewhat pretty similar to the mass of experimental/ambient tracks( do get me wrong I respect every style and artist, but I did not just findd my way in there ! ) getting out everyday…
    Mine were probably sub par, badly recorded, pretty unoriginal/uninspired ! :smile:

  • I got tired of programming music and hoping for that happy accident whith all that random, algoryhtmic, krellish patching.
    I now have synths with keys and expression controllers and provoke accidents…They come more often !

  • I wanted to play live and found that it was really difficult to get something structured without a really big system…

On a positive note, I learned tons along the way and more than everything I learnt to appreciate what I have and not always chasing the next shinny module that will make a difference…
Because I chased many and they never made a difference…

I probably have a better understanding of what I want now !
The format probably wasn’t for me.

I satisfy all my spaghettis needs with a micro mod and a nord G2 now ( Along AK,OT and dfam…), and I could not be happier…

[/Off topic]

[EDIT]

Forgot to mention that I have been quite surprised by the difference in modules build and sound quality depending on the manufacturer. I found that keeping a system coherent with lot’s of different sources can somewhat be tricky !


#16

True words… Definitely also some of my concerns… That I would end up bleeping and bopping and having it be about the gear and not the music.

For those of you that are interested… This is my ultimate Modular performer, (from around 13 min)
But also taking into account he has perfected the art using custom Max programming and insane syncing between modular and PC


#17

I love that video. I love Holden!


#18

I bought a cheap 16 channel line mixer and I feel that it’s really much more value for money than using a dedicated eurorack mixer eating up hps from the case.


#19

I will second this. Modular synthesizers definitely force you to look at things differently, mostly because there are very few “rules.” As long as you don’t do anything that could fry a module, pretty much anything goes. Though, that can be a negative as well as a positive. I had a lot of fun playing with eurorack, but couldn’t ever put much more than weird, alien sounds together. Once Digitakt came out, I came back to the Elektron dark side :smiling_imp: !

That all being said, I have a handful of eurorack modules left that I will let go on the cheap, if you’re interested (Filter, buffered mult, mikrophonie, and a logic module). Send a PM, so I don’t clog up your thread.


#20

You will need to attenuate signal into Erica Black hole otherwise it clips. I use maths or Triatt for that. More VCAs and utility modules required. Also the RCD is pretty boring, I’d switch that for Pamela’s New Workout.

I wouldn’t buy a smaller case than 9u 84hp or 6u 104hp if I were you. I started with the former.

I’d also switch that giant mixer for something like Erica Stereo Mixer V2. Having other small mixers for mixing audio or cv elsewhere is useful. Just something tiny like 2hp.