Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

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Shadewe
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Re: ModularGrid sketch and questions

Post by Shadewe » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:04 pm

luupp wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Just saw that I answered a 1 year old post. Whatever
Hope you are doing great bud!
Don't feel bad, it was still informational. :yay:
Practicing social distancing since 1984

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by malnourish » Tue May 26, 2020 11:44 am

Great videos, thanks for taking time to make and post.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by s.pwyll » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:02 pm

flx wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:13 pm
...
Never heard of "active" bus boards, but I'm not that deep into these power esoterics, so maybe there are those. Swapping the PSU should be fine though. Never had any issue with my bus boards and flying cable solutions over the years.
Based purely on observation, "passive bus boards" seem to be basically flying bus boards with a rigid structure--a pcb composed entirely of straight-line copper traces with no components other than the connectors. I'm fairly new to this world, so I may be wrong (or missing something), but every bus board I've seen identified as "passive" has been basically a rigid, mountable flying bus board.

On a different note, thank you for your videos--you've been an inspiration even before I finally succumbed to the modular rabbit hole :-)

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by bengarland » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:25 pm

I built my power supply by using Meanwell RT-65B + 4MS Bus Board. If I ever need 5V I'll use the line from the Bus Board, so that the RT-65B can dedicate all of its amps to the +12V and -12V lines. As much as some people will poop on using a DIY power supply and say it's dangerous blah blah blah, I've had this setup for almost a year and it works great.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by flx » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:50 am

s.pwyll wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:02 pm
flx wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:13 pm
Never heard of "active" bus boards,
Based purely on observation, "passive bus boards" seem to be basically flying bus boards with a rigid structure--a pcb composed entirely of straight-line copper traces with no components other than the connectors.
Sure, those things are passive. But what would an active bus board do differently than simply connect modules to a PSU? Seems like an empty marketing statement.
bengarland wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:25 pm
I built my power supply by using Meanwell RT-65B + 4MS Bus Board. If I ever need 5V I'll use the line from the Bus Board, so that the RT-65B can dedicate all of its amps to the +12V and -12V lines. As much as some people will poop on using a DIY power supply and say it's dangerous blah blah blah, I've had this setup for almost a year and it works great.
The Meanwell is not a DIY PSU though. It’s a regular, off-the-shelf, fully-built, plug & play power supply product, which is also quite popular. I’ve owned at least four of these during my modular synth high times in various systems (Euro, 5U, Serge) and they always worked like a charm. So don’t worry :) It’s just another normal power solution.

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Re: ModularGrid sketch and questions

Post by epic_zhukovsky » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:00 am

luupp wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:47 pm
luupp wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:46 pm
epic_zhukovsky wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 7:08 am
I wanted to expand on my previous post with a concrete ModularGrid sketch, and some specific questions. Any feedback would be appreciated!

Image

Some questions:
  1. Would I need some other module to appropriately control Akemie's Castle (or a module like Mutable Instruments Plaits)?
  2. To what extend does Plaits' FM capability overlap with Akemie's Castle?
  3. Would it make sense to add 4ms Spectral Multiband Resonator to this setup?
  4. How soon will I need Espert Sleepers ES-5 in order to expand the ports on Expert Sleepers ES-3?
  5. What would be an appropriate substitute for Mutable Instrument Clouds (or should I try to find one second hand)?
  6. Is Veils a good choice for a mixer for this setup?
  7. What possibilities would modules like Verbos Electronics Harmonic Oscillator and Mutable Instrument Stages open up in this setup?
  8. Would the sound sources work well by themselves, or would it make sense to add modules like Mutable Instruments Stages?
Brilliant videos, by the way! I learned a lot! :)
1. I don't think you need anything specifically for Akemei's Castle
3. It depends on if you actually want that resonant filter. It doesn't have any technical limitations to add it if that's what you are wondering about
4. Asap, since in this setup you basically dont have any CV sourve/LFO/EG etc.
5. Veils is fine, or Intellijel QuadVCA. Generally 2 VCA per Voice is a good rule of thumb, so as long as you dont add anymore sound sources you should be good
6. Stages a tons, you would get a complex LFO/Seq that you can modulate things like waves, shapes, timbres, open/close filters etc.
Verbos depends on the sound but gotta be careful about not overloading your system with Oscillators
7. Generally you would want some LFO, EG, or depending on what style you are after, some source of randomness like wogglebug or marbles. I assume you would be using this with some sort of midi controller, so that's great you can send triggers and 1v/octs. But I would add some LFO/EG/filters and mixers as well.
Just saw that I answered a 1 year old post. Whatever
Hope you are doing great bud!
Hi!

Thanks for your reply!

I didn't see your message until now, but it was an interesting read anyway, so thanks a lot! :)

This is what my setup looks like now:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1306725

(And this is what I'm looking into at the moment: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=236739.)

I hope you're doing great as well, my friend! Take care! :)

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by xidnpnlss » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:59 am

Brand new to euro (aside from some semimods). I just received a Maths. Ive gone over the manual and tutorials. I am now going through Demonam's patch guide.

Is it normal to still have no idea how it's doing these things or am I dumb?

tia

(Are there other good guides to Maths people recommend?)
FS: Yamaha SPX-900 WTB: KOMA 84HP case

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by cptnal » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:02 am

xidnpnlss wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:59 am
Brand new to euro (aside from some semimods). I just received a Maths. Ive gone over the manual and tutorials. I am now going through Demonam's patch guide.

Is it normal to still have no idea how it's doing these things or am I dumb?

tia

(Are there other good guides to Maths people recommend?)
Concentrate on the ones that do make sense. The rest will come in time. This shit takes years, but it's fun.
Is it finished?
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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Scott » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:26 pm

cptnal wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:02 am
xidnpnlss wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:59 am
Brand new to euro (aside from some semimods). I just received a Maths. Ive gone over the manual and tutorials. I am now going through Demonam's patch guide.

Is it normal to still have no idea how it's doing these things or am I dumb?

tia

(Are there other good guides to Maths people recommend?)
Concentrate on the ones that do make sense. The rest will come in time. This shit takes years, but it's fun.
I'm relatively new to all this as well and have a Maths. Every time I use it I wonder "why didn't I know that?" I truly learn something new all the time. I have found you learn faster if you can plug it into an oscilloscope and that's true of any module really, but it's very illuminating with Maths. You can see what it's doing and the pieces start to fall into place and make more sense. I have the Mordax Data, which does a lot of things, and I highly recommend it. One of my smartest purchases.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by xidnpnlss » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:05 am

@scott @cptnal

Thank you both.

I am far from complaining: mind constantly blown and love not knowing what's going on (like a Lynch film). I was just curious if seasoned vets felt the same going in.

@scott Yeah I know how useful that'd be but it can't happen unfortunately. Small, baby steps skiff.

Can I ask random beginner questions here? Or is that frowned upon?

- general maintenance: do I have to be super careful with the circuit boards? Obviously I'm careful with all things...but super careful? I see people in videos throwing these modules around onto other modules...

- Is compressed air ok to use? My place is dusty.

- How do people deal with manufacturer voltage mismatches? I'm using a Microvolt 3900 and I think it's sending 5v whereas Make Noise expects 8v. Do people have all things attenuated?

taia
FS: Yamaha SPX-900 WTB: KOMA 84HP case

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Electro Something » Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:23 am

So I’m looking for my first eurorack stereo mixer. It will output to a Focusrite 8i18 which is the hub of my little studio.

Do I need a proper eurorack output? Or will any eurorack mixer connect to my Focusrite with some 1/8”-to-1/4” cables just fine?

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by flx » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:26 am

Electro Something wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:23 am
So I’m looking for my first eurorack stereo mixer. It will output to a Focusrite 8i18 which is the hub of my little studio.

Do I need a proper eurorack output? Or will any eurorack mixer connect to my Focusrite with some 1/8”-to-1/4” cables just fine?
A proper output module is nice, but might not be necessary. A normal mixer module will connect to the Focusrite too with the cables you mentioned. Just make sure you dial the mixer's output levels down, because Eurorack levels can be very hot, which can make the sound clip in your Focusrite.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Electro Something » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:16 pm

flx wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:26 am
A proper output module is nice, but might not be necessary. A normal mixer module will connect to the Focusrite too with the cables you mentioned. Just make sure you dial the mixer's output levels down, because Eurorack levels can be very hot, which can make the sound clip in your Focusrite.
Cool, thanks! Yeah my Focusrite has 4 inputs in the front each with gain knobs. I can easily adjust those as needed.

What else does an output module do other than lower the levels and provide 1/4” jacks?

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by japes » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:41 am

hey all!

just starting out w/eurorack, looking to build an effects rack for guitar/synth processing.

two questions for now:

first, is it necessary to have some kind of amp module to adjust the level of my guitar signal? If so, any recommendations? The Merge looks cool, but curious if there are other options.

second, any recommendations on where to get just a big bunch of misc assorted patch cables?

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Scott » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:37 am

xidnpnlss wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:05 am
@scott @cptnal

Thank you both.

I am far from complaining: mind constantly blown and love not knowing what's going on (like a Lynch film). I was just curious if seasoned vets felt the same going in.

@scott Yeah I know how useful that'd be but it can't happen unfortunately. Small, baby steps skiff.

Can I ask random beginner questions here? Or is that frowned upon?

- general maintenance: do I have to be super careful with the circuit boards? Obviously I'm careful with all things...but super careful? I see people in videos throwing these modules around onto other modules...

- Is compressed air ok to use? My place is dusty.

- How do people deal with manufacturer voltage mismatches? I'm using a Microvolt 3900 and I think it's sending 5v whereas Make Noise expects 8v. Do people have all things attenuated?

taia
Sorry for the delay in answering. It always pays to be careful with the circuit boards. I’m sure some components can take a beating and others cannot. I paid good money for these things so I’m probably going to more careful with them than I should be I think it’s best to be careful.

I think that there is mild disagreement on whether compressed air is a good choice. So I’ll defer to others.

I’m also not sure I’m knowledgeable enough on the last question lol, but I believe boosting the 5k signal is necessary or it’s not going to work. So, boost the 5k and don’t cut everything else.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Kattefjaes » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:31 am

Oh, these videos are lovely- a really nice resource to refer people to. Somehow it always feels right to refer people to very crisp, precise germanic-sounding videos when discussing synth fundamentals, too. I blame Kraftwerk.

Really good work :sb:

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by japes » Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:07 pm

This is quite possibly an extremely dumb question, but anyone have any tips for getting screws into your rack rails consistently? I am having the damnedest time getting them to stick, they always seem to want to go in only at weird angles.

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First Eurorack build

Post by Dubber1010 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:05 am

Hi everyone, I'm looking to build my first Eurorack. My goal is to be able to create/play generative, ambient, ethereal type beep boop music that I can mess with, and if I like what I'm doing, be able to record it in Ableton. Ideally I'd also like to incorporate some drum sounds too and a bass line to create like a modular drum and bass type beat. I've seen some really cool videos of people playing live drum and bass on very expansive modular rigs. But that's more for down the road because I know I'm going to need a lot more modules to get there (Dixie II+, Mangrove, Varigate 8+, Fold Processor, rings, quadratt, octocontroller, etc. were all used in the video I watched) But, I've also seen a cool video of a guy patching just a 4MS SMR and a Make Noise Maths together and creating some really cool ambient evolving sounds so I was considering those modules to start with, and I've been reading about the Plaits from MI that seems to be able to make drum sounds so maybe that would work with a sequencer. I'm considering the Behringer Eurorack Go Mobile 2x140 HP for the case, I think that will give me enough room to get started. I know I'm probably going to need to get some modules to connect it to my laptop somehow and probably an audio interface of some kind too to connect to my monitors/headphones right? My questions are, does this set up make sense to start off? What modules would you guys recommend instead of or in addition to the ones I've researched? Anything helps sorry if I posted this in the wrong section I've just been doing a lot of reading and watching and I would like some specific input from people with some experience.

TLDR; Behringer 2x140 HP Case, 4ms SMR, Make Noise Maths, and an MI Plaits for drums. Does this make sense? Can anyone recommend any other modules that would be compatible with the type of setup I'm going for? (ambient, downtempo, generative music w/ maybe some drum and bass down the road)

PS - I know you can make all of this with a semi and software and I have that stuff I just want a true physical instrument that I can play with and have it be made specifically for what I'm trying to do. Let me know if I'm completely out of pocket here I'm just trying to learn!

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by SonarBk » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:03 am

Cases & power supply question... (sorry if I'm starting yet another topic, searched and could not find....)

So, I've been using 4ms pods to start and I outgrew them, getting first medium (ok kinda big) case. It has 4 PSUs and total power is plenty for my needs. Here's my question - do I need to add up power consumption for modules separately for each PSU and make sure they are evenly distributed or is it just the grand total?

Thanks for help.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by señor-bling » Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:16 am

SonarBk wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:03 am
do I need to add up power consumption for modules separately for each PSU and make sure they are evenly distributed or is it just the grand total?
You need to make sure you don't exceed the specs of each PSU. So balancing might be necessary. I'd recommend building your rack on modulargrid to see the power consumption per row. What kind of a case do you have in mind? Is it really four PSUs? Sounds like a really big case.
don't fold the wave you're riding on

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by SonarBk » Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:52 am

Ah thanks that's helpful. It IS a really big case.... well at least from my perspective... its 15U, 104 hp, built by Case From Lake. The PSUs are Meanwell RT65B. Does that sound normal for the size etc?

I'm in a life moment where there is time/money to go for it and I know from VCV Rack and my current pods that I want to do this for the rest of my life hence the case :)

And yes, I have it on Modular Grid so I will also show the builder but I wanted to be informed in my questions with him to not waste his time. Thanks so much for the assistance.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by señor-bling » Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:54 am

Ok, so that MW RT65B PSU provides more than enough power on the +12V and +5V rails, but the -12V draw is what you might need to keep an eye on. Depending on your modules.
don't fold the wave you're riding on

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by ProgRocket » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:11 pm

i have two meanwell RT-65B. They power 4 rows, 12U, of 104 HP and are having a hard time and get quite warm because i am getting closer to max output for the limited -12V line on each unit. You should not draw more than 500mA per unit (all the modules combined that draw on that unit) on the -12V line. But since you have 4 units, and only one of them will be two rows, you'll be fine. Keep a closer look (calculate via modulargrid) on the power draw of the one that will power the two rows, and arrange modules to stay below 400mA... Else you will notice the unit to become too hot to the touch. Time to rearrange particularly power hungry modules to other rows. Like I said, mine are powering two rows each just fine, BUT depends on the modules.

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by lazarusgordon » Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:51 pm

i have a really stupid problem, it seems. basic thing...

My arturia keystep is connected to an eurorack system.
From Arturia's CV OUT GATE i go to CV IN of VCA
(cv pitch out of arturia to the 1V/oct of VCO, and the output of VCO to VCA INPUT, and VCA OUTPUT to mixer)

the sound is always on, when i press a key on the keystep the sound goes louder and when i release it goes down as it was before pressing and stay.
I'm sure it's some stupid thing i'm missing since i'm a noob .
Maybe my keystep of Arturia has some strange setting about the gate?
the keys are not stucked because i tryed using usb to my computer and playing with some virtual instrument, all good.

what the hell is going on i don't understand

the VCA also is working fine because if i connect some module like lfo to his CV it works...

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Re: Modular Synth Basics! Cases, power, modules, CV?! Come in :)

Post by Paul_N » Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:58 pm

Thats normal - the gate is fully opening the VCA. Try patching the gate output to trigger an envelope, the envelope output is then patched to the VCA CV input.

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