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(noob) Could you give insight on my first rack idea..?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author (noob) Could you give insight on my first rack idea..?
placebo92
Sorry for the boring lame post..

I've recently decided to jump into Eurorack,
I'm very impulsive so I'm probably rushing into this but I do know Modular is something I want to explore and I learn best by hands on experience so I figure why not.

My end goal is to have an ambient set up which is capable of self generating patches and also interacting with some external synths I have.
I don't want to dive in and get too lost and frustrated in complicated modules right off the bat though, so I'm thinking to get a few somewhat simple modules now which will play nicely with more complex one's later.

Here is my idea so far// https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/610107
(top row is phase 1, bottom row will come later wallet permitting)

Does this seem like a coherent starting point/idea for down the road? Is there anything crucial here I am missing? Maybe something I don't really need?
Any tips or things you wish you knew when you started out that you could share would be super welcome!


Thanks for any input! Chugging Beers
Dcramer
Welcome to Muffs! thumbs up
I visit Vancouver often and usually stop by Tom Lee downtown as they carry modules but their stock was light at Christmas this year. waah

Yes, I would say that although it’s tempting to fill a small case with fairly complex, do-lots modules, many on here will tell you that your learning (and patching) would be better served by more basic, lower-level function modules.

Many new users visualize modular as a bunch of effects pedals that you string together to create and process sound.
But modular can also be thought of as a bunch of little circuits or functions that can be connected to create whatever pedal you require.

This change in thinking will help you focus more on the creation and processing of Control Voltages, Gates, and Triggers which are the fundamental building blocks. Hence, you’ll be more inclined to fill out your case with utilities, logic, Random, switching, as well as oscillators and filters. thumbs up
JonathanBedrava
I totally support having an O_c up front. Some of the modes have something of a learning curve, but it's flexible enough to help fill out areas in which you might be lacking as you get started. For instance, it's quad EG mode is pretty useful and fairly intuitive.
risome
Don't forget the importance of utility modules like multis ,attenuverters and mixers. Miley Cyrus
placebo92
Hey nice to meet a fellow Canadian on here razz

ya Tom Lee's selection does look a bit limited, but it is cool that there's a local option nonetheless.
Do you possibly have any recommendations for where to order other stuff (make noise, Mutabile Instruments etc)?. I've been looking at Analogue Solutions which has a pretty great selection.


very frustrating
Dcramer wrote:
Welcome to Muffs! thumbs up
Many new users visualize modular as a bunch of effects pedals that you string together to create and process sound.
But modular can also be thought of as a bunch of little circuits or functions that can be connected to create whatever pedal you require. thumbs up


Ya it's hard for me not to view modular as just a linear signal path that you create yourself. I just want to sink my teeth in and learn everything firsthand I think. I'm thinking now of just getting a few complex modules and some simple utilites and just really trying to learn their functions well before moving on.
placebo92
[quote="JonathanBedrava"]I totally support having an O_c up front. Some of the modes have something of a learning curve, but it's flexible enough to help fill out areas in which you might be lacking as you get started. For instance, it's quad EG mode is pretty useful and fairly intuitiv
It looks incredibly useful but the whole diy thing is pretty intimidating.. I think I'll have to leave that for a later project maybe.
placebo92
risome wrote:
Don't forget the importance of utility modules like multis ,attenuverters and mixers. Miley Cyrus


Booring Dead Banana

Maybe a Maths is a good way to go. That seems to cover a lot of utility ground..
npseaver
I had similar goals, and right now am at this setup. Have been debating a uO_c since the beginning, but I am rather menu-averse, and the building up from extremely basic blocks thing I find more intelligible and more fun.

I don't know that you need the Maths if you're not already sold on it (at least not to start)—I use mine for making LFOs, envelopes, and random utility needs, but you can get LFOs from lots of different modules (get another VCO and use that, or wait for your intended Batumi). Pam's New Workout has been great for that, and for setting many really slow LFOs for evolving drones, but it's a touch menu-y and has definitely pushed me towards plonkier sounding things, rather than the ambient pad stuff I'd originally intended. Maybe get a Batumi early? (And iirc, Batumi wants attentuation.) You may want *something* for envelopes so not everything has to go on Sloths tempo...

It's kind of amazing how getting just one module at a time gives you a very strong sense of what you want next. (Like I didn't really see the use of a dedicated attenuverter/offset module until I recently got a quantizer and wanted an easier way to scale inputs for it.)

And if you're looking to do generative, then you'll probably want something you can dedicate to random—maybe starting with whatever's in the Ornament and Crime will help you figure out what you want (I think it's got a shift register in there? which would be sweet), but I love my lil 2HP Turing Machine.

The other thing that has been EXTREMELY useful (especially when trying to create slow-moving patches, where it's hard to tell sonically right away whether it's doing what you want) was getting the O'Tool oscilloscope. Immediately remember which channel of your Maths goes to 5v and which to 10v, or see whether that LFO is doing what you thought. It's totally invaluable to me, and I think I wouldn't understand my modules half as well as I do without it.
placebo92
npseaver wrote:
I had similar goals, and right now am at this setup. Have been debating a uO_c since the beginning, but I am rather menu-averse, and the building up from extremely basic blocks thing I find more intelligible and more fun.

I don't know that you need the Maths if you're not already sold on it (at least not to start)—I use mine for making LFOs, envelopes, and random utility needs, but you can get LFOs from lots of different modules (get another VCO and use that, or wait for your intended Batumi). Pam's New Workout has been great for that, and for setting many really slow LFOs for evolving drones, but it's a touch menu-y and has definitely pushed me towards plonkier sounding things, rather than the ambient pad stuff I'd originally intended. Maybe get a Batumi early? (And iirc, Batumi wants attentuation.) You may want *something* for envelopes so not everything has to go on Sloths tempo...

It's kind of amazing how getting just one module at a time gives you a very strong sense of what you want next. (Like I didn't really see the use of a dedicated attenuverter/offset module until I recently got a quantizer and wanted an easier way to scale inputs for it.)

And if you're looking to do generative, then you'll probably want something you can dedicate to random—maybe starting with whatever's in the Ornament and Crime will help you figure out what you want (I think it's got a shift register in there? which would be sweet), but I love my lil 2HP Turing Machine.

The other thing that has been EXTREMELY useful (especially when trying to create slow-moving patches, where it's hard to tell sonically right away whether it's doing what you want) was getting the O'Tool oscilloscope. Immediately remember which channel of your Maths goes to 5v and which to 10v, or see whether that LFO is doing what you thought. It's totally invaluable to me, and I think I wouldn't understand my modules half as well as I do without it.


Thanks man this is a lot of really useful information.

Kind of my biggest issue right now is just wanting to get a few modules so I can just learn by actually doing, but it’s so hard to know what to get when there are so many cool options out there..

Pam’s new workout sounds interesting, I thought it was mainly a clock source but it sounds like it has more to it. I was debating getting a tempi but maybe I’ll look into This instead.

Also regarding the O_c I didn’t realize that it was a diy project until today so now I’m thinking I’ll hold off on that one.
That little Turing machine looks pretty awesome though. I think that would be a great starting module.

Do you mind telling me what your first initial setup looked like?

I’m trying to choose maybe like 3 choice modules + a few utilities, but it’s just so hard to choose!
savethisrocketship
It's cliche, but Maths is a pretty good 'learning module'. You can do a ton with it, it's a 'modular' approach to things non-modular synthesists might take for granted, there are plenty of resources/support for it & you won't likely outgrow it. Maths was the first thing that made my initial rack something more than a really expensive (albeit nice sounding) acid machine and turned it into something ...more. It can help you to start thinking in terms of modulation and voltages and not just audio 'signal chain' mentality. Plus, once you wrap your head around it, a lot of other modules won't feel as intimidating. Good luck w00t
grep
You can go to Intellijel in Burnaby and get a fairly good deal. Just let them know your coming and what you are after. And bring cash.
I’ve ordered quite a bit of stuff from Moog Audio as well. You must be patient if ordering through them as they don’t stock a lot of stuff they sell. Have fun.
gonkulator
The nice thing about OandC in your situation is that you can have and learn a lot of functionality for pretty cheap. Otherwise, what Dcramer said.
Carmelo_P82
Following this thread as I know how much it's " hard " to get a good direction when we start modular. I see you are getting the Three Sisters, mine is coming next week, I can't wait :-)
npseaver
placebo92 wrote:


Thanks man this is a lot of really useful information.

Kind of my biggest issue right now is just wanting to get a few modules so I can just learn by actually doing, but it’s so hard to know what to get when there are so many cool options out there..

Pam’s new workout sounds interesting, I thought it was mainly a clock source but it sounds like it has more to it. I was debating getting a tempi but maybe I’ll look into This instead.

Also regarding the O_c I didn’t realize that it was a diy project until today so now I’m thinking I’ll hold off on that one.
That little Turing machine looks pretty awesome though. I think that would be a great starting module.

Do you mind telling me what your first initial setup looked like?

I’m trying to choose maybe like 3 choice modules + a few utilities, but it’s just so hard to choose!


It is (they say) not hard to track down a uO_c premade either on here, or through a site like Reverb. I think the kinds of things it does are nice, but also like not the basic-level things you might need in your first set of modules. The Disting you've got in there, on the other hand, might serve that swiss army knife function better?

I started with the Verbos CO (which turned out to be effectively two oscillators + a waveshaper), the 2HP Turing Machine (for random, evolving sequences), an Optomix (for bongo sounds, but turns out I've been using its low-pass filtering qualities more than I realized), and a Rosie for output (which I've ended up using as a mixer, too). There was basically only one patch to make there, but the fact that many modules could pretend to be other was an unexpected perk that made it feel less limited.

I had to clock the TM (and strike the optomix) from outside the rack if i didn't want to waste half the CO on clock duty, so I got Pam's, which really opened things up, even if eventually I might rather have a Batumi, a dedicated Euclidean sequencer, and a more controllable random source (mostly for immediacy purposes—I don't like having most of my interaction with my rack run through a little clickable knob).

I also picked up a Maths, because it seemed like a thing to do, and I definitely agree with savethisrocketship: it's great for learning. Like I said before, I don't think I'd learn half as much without a scope to see what's coming out of these things. (I got the scope first, to see waveforms out of the CO.)

I then got a Sport Modulator, because I wanted something to do sample and hold so I could have arpeggios, and it seemed in the patch programming spirit of what I wanted to do. (Still find it a bit mysterious, but fun.)

Then a uScale II, because everyone was saying that as soon as you quantize, everything starts to sound like "music" all of a sudden. That's basically true, and only now, with everything up to this point, do I feel like I've got many possible patching options, rather than always patching up the same thing.

I also got a Clouds along the way, which I don't really get along with, in part because of it being an audio effects-ish thing, in part because I haven't taken enough time with it. But I see people getting it as their literally first module, which seems absurd—I'll probably hang on to it, but it may not get a lot of use for a good while, until I've got more interesting (read: recorded audio?) stuff to put into it...

Hope that helps!
placebo92
npseaver wrote:
placebo92 wrote:


Thanks man this is a lot of really useful information.

Kind of my biggest issue right now is just wanting to get a few modules so I can just learn by actually doing, but it’s so hard to know what to get when there are so many cool options out there..

Pam’s new workout sounds interesting, I thought it was mainly a clock source but it sounds like it has more to it. I was debating getting a tempi but maybe I’ll look into This instead.

Also regarding the O_c I didn’t realize that it was a diy project until today so now I’m thinking I’ll hold off on that one.
That little Turing machine looks pretty awesome though. I think that would be a great starting module.

Do you mind telling me what your first initial setup looked like?

I’m trying to choose maybe like 3 choice modules + a few utilities, but it’s just so hard to choose!


It is (they say) not hard to track down a uO_c premade either on here, or through a site like Reverb. I think the kinds of things it does are nice, but also like not the basic-level things you might need in your first set of modules. The Disting you've got in there, on the other hand, might serve that swiss army knife function better?

I started with the Verbos CO (which turned out to be effectively two oscillators + a waveshaper), the 2HP Turing Machine (for random, evolving sequences), an Optomix (for bongo sounds, but turns out I've been using its low-pass filtering qualities more than I realized), and a Rosie for output (which I've ended up using as a mixer, too). There was basically only one patch to make there, but the fact that many modules could pretend to be other was an unexpected perk that made it feel less limited.

I had to clock the TM (and strike the optomix) from outside the rack if i didn't want to waste half the CO on clock duty, so I got Pam's, which really opened things up, even if eventually I might rather have a Batumi, a dedicated Euclidean sequencer, and a more controllable random source (mostly for immediacy purposes—I don't like having most of my interaction with my rack run through a little clickable knob).

I also picked up a Maths, because it seemed like a thing to do, and I definitely agree with savethisrocketship: it's great for learning. Like I said before, I don't think I'd learn half as much without a scope to see what's coming out of these things. (I got the scope first, to see waveforms out of the CO.)

I then got a Sport Modulator, because I wanted something to do sample and hold so I could have arpeggios, and it seemed in the patch programming spirit of what I wanted to do. (Still find it a bit mysterious, but fun.)

Then a uScale II, because everyone was saying that as soon as you quantize, everything starts to sound like "music" all of a sudden. That's basically true, and only now, with everything up to this point, do I feel like I've got many possible patching options, rather than always patching up the same thing.

I also got a Clouds along the way, which I don't really get along with, in part because of it being an audio effects-ish thing, in part because I haven't taken enough time with it. But I see people getting it as their literally first module, which seems absurd—I'll probably hang on to it, but it may not get a lot of use for a good while, until I've got more interesting (read: recorded audio?) stuff to put into it...

Hope that helps!


Very helpful smile

I actually just ordered an O_c off of somebody on Modulargrid right now! We'll see if it arrives.. I might not even use it much for the first while. Maybe it was a bit impulsive..

Is the Rosie a good choice for mixing/outputting then? I really like the idea of getting both those purposes in one module as my Rack can only supply power to 17 modules, so I must pick carefully lol... (getting way ahead of myself I'm sure)

Would you recommend a Maths to start with then? I've heard it serves many utility purposes, but it's hard for me to tell what those are exactly beyond lfo's, EG..

The clouds looks interesting, but maybe the Morphogene would be enough for me for processing type stuff.. Everything looks so cool. And it's so hard to choose when you don't fully grasp what everything does! lol
Probably a sign to slow down I guess..
npseaver
placebo92 wrote:

Is the Rosie a good choice for mixing/outputting then? I really like the idea of getting both those purposes in one module as my Rack can only supply power to 17 modules, so I must pick carefully lol... (getting way ahead of myself I'm sure)

Would you recommend a Maths to start with then? I've heard it serves many utility purposes, but it's hard for me to tell what those are exactly beyond lfo's, EG..

The clouds looks interesting, but maybe the Morphogene would be enough for me for processing type stuff.. Everything looks so cool. And it's so hard to choose when you don't fully grasp what everything does! lol
Probably a sign to slow down I guess..


I wouldn't recommend Rosie as a mixer (it can't do CV, is basically just
for output, save for the effects send/return)—just saying that I end up using it to mix audio out more than expected, since I don't have a dedicated mixer yet. You'll eventually want a Quad vCA or Tangle Quartet or something like that, which can give you VCAs and some mixing ability together. Rosie's certainly been more useful to me than people tend to say output modules are, especially for my noob setup.

Modules that can sort of serve a secondary function are nice to have right away because you're not unexpectedly hobbled. Maths is good in that regard because if you get something that wants a voltage offset or whatever, you can patch it up there, without something dedicated to offsets only. If you're considering Maths, I'd say go for it—as you grow your system, it'll always have something to do.

And my philosophy has been more about sketching a roadmap than an end-goal system—so I have a sense of the next 5ish modules I want and get them one at a time. That makes me spend time with each of them (the combinatorial patching possibilities ramp up fast, and without a strong grip on what a module can do, it's practically guaranteed to get under-used in the mix), and that then gives me a sense of what I *really* want next, which may not be what I had roadmapped out. (Clouds was one where I diverged from that system on a whim, and I think maybe my setup just isn't ready to take advantage of it yet—now that you mention it, Morphogene may be more my style in a similar sort of audio munging module space...) In any case, the roadmapping has been super useful for me, since it has built in the idea that what you want will change.

If you do that, then you just need a minimum viable rack at first—with your O+C on the way, you could even buy just a single oscillator, play around and figure out "hey, I wish I could make this thing get quieter" and get a VCA," etc.
placebo92
npseaver wrote:
placebo92 wrote:

Is the Rosie a good choice for mixing/outputting then? I really like the idea of getting both those purposes in one module as my Rack can only supply power to 17 modules, so I must pick carefully lol... (getting way ahead of myself I'm sure)

Would you recommend a Maths to start with then? I've heard it serves many utility purposes, but it's hard for me to tell what those are exactly beyond lfo's, EG..

The clouds looks interesting, but maybe the Morphogene would be enough for me for processing type stuff.. Everything looks so cool. And it's so hard to choose when you don't fully grasp what everything does! lol
Probably a sign to slow down I guess..


I wouldn't recommend Rosie as a mixer (it can't do CV, is basically just
for output, save for the effects send/return)—just saying that I end up using it to mix audio out more than expected, since I don't have a dedicated mixer yet. You'll eventually want a Quad vCA or Tangle Quartet or something like that, which can give you VCAs and some mixing ability together. Rosie's certainly been more useful to me than people tend to say output modules are, especially for my noob setup.

Modules that can sort of serve a secondary function are nice to have right away because you're not unexpectedly hobbled. Maths is good in that regard because if you get something that wants a voltage offset or whatever, you can patch it up there, without something dedicated to offsets only. If you're considering Maths, I'd say go for it—as you grow your system, it'll always have something to do.

And my philosophy has been more about sketching a roadmap than an end-goal system—so I have a sense of the next 5ish modules I want and get them one at a time. That makes me spend time with each of them (the combinatorial patching possibilities ramp up fast, and without a strong grip on what a module can do, it's practically guaranteed to get under-used in the mix), and that then gives me a sense of what I *really* want next, which may not be what I had roadmapped out. (Clouds was one where I diverged from that system on a whim, and I think maybe my setup just isn't ready to take advantage of it yet—now that you mention it, Morphogene may be more my style in a similar sort of audio munging module space...) In any case, the roadmapping has been super useful for me, since it has built in the idea that what you want will change.

If you do that, then you just need a minimum viable rack at first—with your O+C on the way, you could even buy just a single oscillator, play around and figure out "hey, I wish I could make this thing get quieter" and get a VCA," etc.


Probably good advice to just take it slow and really learn the modules.. I'm curious though, would I be able to say just buy a VCO and plug the output directly into a mixer without frying something??
npseaver
placebo92 wrote:
I'm curious though, would I be able to say just buy a VCO and plug the output directly into a mixer without frying something??


Yup. At least that's what people on here say they do. (I don't have a separate mixer, hence the Rosie.) You could always check to see whether your specific mixer can handle modular-level voltages, if you wanted to be extra cautious.
bitterbaker
Hey guys, new member here. Also was wondering if i could get some opinions on a modular rig i am theorizing. i have already owned the mother 32 and an MS-20 for a few months, so i am semi familiar with patching. this is what I'm thinking of doing with a beat step pro for sequencing. oh and i also have a drumbrute already. so may be processing some sounds from that with the modular rig. anyways heres the system

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_613524.jpg
grep
bitterbaker wrote:
Hey guys, new member here. Also was wondering if i could get some opinions on a modular rig i am theorizing. i have already owned the mother 32 and an MS-20 for a few months, so i am semi familiar with patching. this is what I'm thinking of doing with a beat step pro for sequencing. oh and i also have a drumbrute already. so may be processing some sounds from that with the modular rig. anyways heres the system

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/modulargrid_613524.jpg


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