Case Dilemmas

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Case Dilemmas

Post by pugix » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:03 pm

I suppose this is a happy problem to have, but I spend way too much time trying to think of better ways to address it.

https://pugix.com/synth/all-the-euroracks/
all-the-euroracks.jpeg
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by Sinamsis » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:08 pm

I would try to consolidate a bit. There's a fine line. But the issue I would have with this (other than potential grounding issues between cases which for the most part I have not experienced) is that there's too many rows that are facing up, which places the vertically oriented case way too deep (or even the far back one on the right) which in turn makes you lean too far forward to patch. I would build, or invest in a bigger case to house most stuff, perhaps with a skiff in front for controller type modules, and then a small case, perhaps a unified system that is more portable. But that's just me.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by gonkulator » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:22 pm

pugix wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:03 pm
I suppose this is a happy problem to have, but I spend way too much time trying to think of better ways to address it.

https://pugix.com/synth/all-the-euroracks/

all-the-euroracks.jpeg
Is this just for display purposes, or is this arrangement how you use them?
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by seychmar » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:31 pm

Over the years I have accumulated quite a large collection of modules. I have found that the best way to approach this is to group them into self contained instruments or sequencers, with each one largely dedicated to a particular function, eg wavetable synthesis, drum synthesis, trigger sequencing, melodic sequencing, sampling etc.

Choosing the right case for a particular application is rather tricky but very important to make the final instrument, controller or sequencer as useable as possible.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by williamjturkel » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:51 pm

It looks like you have a lot of small, focused instruments. I have all my modules in small cases for that very reason. When I get tired of a particular configuration, I rearrange to create a new instrument to explore. If I had all the options in a huge wall case, I think I would suffer from option paralysis, and I certainly wouldn't be able to play it through headphones on my lap in an armchair.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by yobink » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:04 pm

I consolidated last year into a single (mostly) case but found it to be completely overwhelming and ultimately counter-productive. Currently in the process of building a bunch of small focused systems again and selling the large case.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by guitargyro » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:39 pm

Feeling this. Yes. There are worse problems in the world.

Ironic that modular synths have been a BLESSING as for the solitude of the Covid era. But, as is well known, the lack of available cases has made the journey WAY more complicated than it would have been otherwise. I’ve probably doubled my modules over the last year. But half my time spent “playing” with my synths is (in reality) reorganizing my studio to get stuff close, rigging laughable/precarious desktops out of plywood, and searching for eurorack cases online.

I was too late to the game to snatch up my dream Make Noise 7u case (to go along with my first Shared System). Had I known what was imminent, I would have maxed my credit card and bought two of them, along with two Blued Steel stands.
35957B66-BC8E-4B7F-8CF2-E344F7AA71DE.jpeg
Spent an hour yesterday figuring out a way to use my two utility/extra Skiffs. Finally someone hipped me to using a guitar stand...and it works! Not the best, (or the most stable), but...it will have to do.

Yes. I’m guessing once/if things ever go back to normal, I could see selling my Pittsburgh 420 towards another 2 MN 7us. I just really enjoy the layout of the CV bus and the stereo output all in one. And the size is right. Not too big to get confused in what you’re trying to accomplish, and ending up just filling up space.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by pugix » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:03 pm

gonkulator wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:22 pm
pugix wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:03 pm
I suppose this is a happy problem to have, but I spend way too much time trying to think of better ways to address it.

https://pugix.com/synth/all-the-euroracks/

all-the-euroracks.jpeg
Is this just for display purposes, or is this arrangement how you use them?
I use the ones on the left together on that table. The ones on the right, the separate instrument cases, were brought in for the photo.
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by gogmagog » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:44 pm

I actually use a combination of self-contained instruments, along with a specialized case for all my CV needs, so at any given point when playing/recording I'm using one of my instruments + CV instrument. So far it really works for me. But I really like the idea of limiting myself and finding creative workarounds when needed, rather than finding myself faced with a plethora of options. Having a dedicated CV instrument at least establishes non-CV stuff as the base-line variable in all my instruments, and I don't have to spend a lot of money on duplicate function generators, LFOs, etc.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by starthief » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:26 pm

I consolidated two cases (on opposite sides of my desk, bridged with a Doepfer multicore) into one big case. I was always wanting to patch different combinations of things anyway.

I think it's cognitively better, and it gave me more room for controllers and non-modular synths. Ergonomically, it's a little worse to go from nearby vertical cases to a curved case where the top row is further away.

I could improve the reach if I swapped where my modular case is with where my 3U rack (for audio interface and PDU) and Medusa are. But then, that would put the pads of the Medusa in an awkward spot in terms of playability, so it doesn't seem like a great idea. I just need to grow longer arms, or cut more out of the curve of my corner desk...

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by cptnal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:18 am

I know you spend a lot of time planning and executing a patch, so why not take a patch-centred approach? That's what I've been doing since I've been spending less time in front of the wall-o-synth. If you have a large selection of modules you can decant those that are relevant to the job in hand to a smaller, patch-focused case. Sometimes it takes an iteration or two of swaps to get the selection just so, but after that point you're free of distracting options and can concentrate on depth (fine adjustment) rather than width (throwing patch cables at it).
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by pugix » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:56 am

cptnal wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:18 am
I know you spend a lot of time planning and executing a patch, so why not take a patch-centred approach? ... If you have a large selection of modules you can decant those that are relevant to the job in hand to a smaller, patch-focused case.
Actually, that's what I've been doing. My "smaller, patch-focused case" is the Big Euro Box. :cloud:

Seriously, one of my thoughts is to consolidate the main audio modules into one case and have all the utilities and controllers in other specialized cases. In fact, the largest case might become filled with only utilities and controllers. The problem (there's always a compromise) is those pesky, flexible modules (like Just Friends) that are great at both audio AND control.
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by sduck » Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:26 am

I was in quite the same boat as you about a year and a half ago. Too many little euro cases. So I built this:
IMG_3125.JPG
This has enough room for enough euro stuff to really cover enough bases to be a complete self contained system. And then some. But there's still some overflow - a shared system case which is full, and two mantis cases that are mostly full - these are just stuff I almost never use.
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by target_destroyed » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:14 pm

sduck wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:26 am
Too many little euro cases. So I built this:
That's a beauty! :love:

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by Pagoda-100 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:29 pm

How wide is that case? Looks like a good usable size that's not too big to patch.
I am currently debating on 18U by 120 or 150

In the same boat. One case will let me have everything in front of me when I have time to explore. Rather than taking the time to grab onother case and get things plugged in.
sduck wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:26 am
. Too many little euro cases. So I built this:
Last edited by Pagoda-100 on Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by miles_macquarrie » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:54 pm

sduck wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:26 am
I was in quite the same boat as you about a year and a half ago. Too many little euro cases. So I built this:
IMG_3125.JPG

This has enough room for enough euro stuff to really cover enough bases to be a complete self contained system. And then some. But there's still some overflow - a shared system case which is full, and two mantis cases that are mostly full - these are just stuff I almost never use.
I really like that eurorack case. I'm a fan of cases where the top row is sloped and the modules are looking down at you.

I have a 104hp 15u case that is like this that Case From Lake built for me. I've been committed to not outgrowing that case, but now I'm afraid I will probably upgrade sometime this year.

Considering something like this. I really want everything to be in one case.
Image

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by BananaPlug » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:23 pm

pugix wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:56 am
cptnal wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:18 am
I know you spend a lot of time planning and executing a patch, so why not take a patch-centred approach? ... If you have a large selection of modules you can decant those that are relevant to the job in hand to a smaller, patch-focused case.
Actually, that's what I've been doing. My "smaller, patch-focused case" is the Big Euro Box. :cloud:

Seriously, one of my thoughts is to consolidate the main audio modules into one case and have all the utilities and controllers in other specialized cases. In fact, the largest case might become filled with only utilities and controllers. The problem (there's always a compromise) is those pesky, flexible modules (like Just Friends) that are great at both audio AND control.
I tried the big-wall-of-everything approach once and didn't like it.

After a lot of rearranging (maybe too much) I've have been happiest with the "instrument" or "patch-centered" approach. It does take a lot of iteration to make and refine one of those. I also tried a number of small setups based on particular themes. Theoretically, a few of of these metamodules would be patched together into something that's close to an "instrument" but can easily be transformed.

In the fall I started figuring out a rhythm based thing. Non-techno, semi-generative with various LFO, S&H, random, chaos, logic stuff. Most of these were about 100hp and interesting but too limited. Jumping ahead... It's become two rows 22" wide. Only a third is sound sources and mix/effect. By itself it's pretty interesting generatively. I imagine coming up with single row companions to use with it (the metamodules thing again).
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by Nik » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:42 pm

I'm at a much earlier stage but completely stuck on what to do next.

As well as some table tops and pedals I've got a Tape & Microsound, a 34 Pod for I/O, and a 64 Pod with assorted joys ... but I need more ;)

Mantis, Go, another Make Noise skiff, another Pod, a Palette ... or buy or build a 12U?

Desk space is diminishing and spaghetti increasing.

Can't decide !

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by batch » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:51 pm

miles_macquarrie wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:54 pm
Considering something like this. I really want everything to be in one case.
Image
Think about whether you are going to sit or stand, and if sit, where your knees will go. I have had terrible lower back pain from not having anywhere to put my knees. Now I have standing oriented set ups which are way better.
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by batch » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:57 pm

Here are my cases
65FF1514-BDA9-4F5E-8FB1-008DC064D536.jpeg
image.jpg
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by Pagoda-100 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:00 pm

That part of the equation is no joke...
I built a small shelf and had two cases on my desk only to find after a long session my neck was jacked because I must have put something just in the wrong place (too high)

Spend some time with a tape measure and mock it up if you are going to invest in something nice. I figured out I need a slightly low table (27" ish) to put an 18U curved case at a height that is not goofy.

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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by cptnal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:37 pm

BananaPlug wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:23 pm
pugix wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:56 am
cptnal wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:18 am
I know you spend a lot of time planning and executing a patch, so why not take a patch-centred approach? ... If you have a large selection of modules you can decant those that are relevant to the job in hand to a smaller, patch-focused case.
Actually, that's what I've been doing. My "smaller, patch-focused case" is the Big Euro Box. :cloud:

Seriously, one of my thoughts is to consolidate the main audio modules into one case and have all the utilities and controllers in other specialized cases. In fact, the largest case might become filled with only utilities and controllers. The problem (there's always a compromise) is those pesky, flexible modules (like Just Friends) that are great at both audio AND control.
I tried the big-wall-of-everything approach once and didn't like it.

After a lot of rearranging (maybe too much) I've have been happiest with the "instrument" or "patch-centered" approach. It does take a lot of iteration to make and refine one of those. I also tried a number of small setups based on particular themes. Theoretically, a few of of these metamodules would be patched together into something that's close to an "instrument" but can easily be transformed.

In the fall I started figuring out a rhythm based thing. Non-techno, semi-generative with various LFO, S&H, random, chaos, logic stuff. Most of these were about 100hp and interesting but too limited. Jumping ahead... It's become two rows 22" wide. Only a third is sound sources and mix/effect. By itself it's pretty interesting generatively. I imagine coming up with single row companions to use with it (the metamodules thing again).
I think trying to arrive at a finished article is like trying to nail water to a door. My take on it is that it's only "finished" for as long as a patch or two, or until I have another idea that involves swapping a few things out.
Is it finished?
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by pugix » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:42 pm

cptnal wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:37 pm
I think trying to arrive at a finished article is like trying to nail water to a door. My take on it is that it's only "finished" for as long as a patch or two, or until I have another idea that involves swapping a few things out.
"Finally finished my case," is a LOL moment. I agree that there's no final article, when it comes to populating modular cases.

If it were only easier to move modules around. But that's a wish that'll never come true.

One of my friends addresses the issue by having a humongous case in the studio and a small performance case that he loads for specific events. I've populated special cases for events too.

I'm leaning towards getting a smallish (6U x104hp) portable case with a removable cover. Or perhaps a Mantis case with a bag. I don't want a case that's too big to carry out, if I need to. I've taken the Big Euro Box out, patched, but it's risky because I have nothing to protect it with.
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by sduck » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:51 pm

Pagoda-100 wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:29 pm
How wide is that case? Looks like a good usable size that's not too big to patch.
168 hp
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Re: Case Dilemmas

Post by omega8870 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:12 am

It's the beginning of 2021 and I am VERY much suffering a Eurorack case dilemma. If fact, let's just call it a Eurorack modular dilemma, but let's talk one thing at a time.

I'm into electronics DIY. I've built several x0xb0xs, RE303s, Yoctos and just about to start my last ever run of Navas to highlight my previous projects. I've also had the pleasure of restoring a 1970's era Bulcha modular system for a local University's Music Department; very cool.

A mate of mine got into Eurorack this time last year, and a month or two later, turned to me with some DIY Eurorack kits asking "Can you build these?"

I can build anything.
Yes, blue pill please.

So I spent the last year building tons of Eurorack modules. My mate would ask about X or Y modules then ask for commission. I'd turn around and buy a couple extra kits and usually ended up selling 1 or 2. I'd of course usually keep one, and at that point, it was either free or significantly discounted.

Fast forward, after building over 1500 HP in modules, I've got about 520 HP or so of personal modules. It's a random assortment of Oscs, Filters, Mixers, ADSRs, couple sequencers and more utility oriented stuff. Requests/work for DIY commission stuff came in so quickly last year I could barely keep up. Never mind, spending time exploring the Eurorack system.

As I don't have a working case, and never have, the modules have never been used in a system. In fact, I have only really powered 2-3 modules at anyone time for testing purposes. Even if I did, I've got like 8 patch cables. I don't even know if I have a "working" system of modules.

So yes, case dilemma.

So I can't decide if it's a better idea to go with several smaller cases or a single larger system. If I decided to go with smaller cases, I'd try to get 4 Intellijel 7U performance cases. They look quite nice when they are clipped together.

Of course, a single larger case does have a very unique aesthetic. And at 12-15U, over 150HP, there's very little in terms of purchasable options. The Doepfer Monster cases seem quite nice. The 6U base combined with a 9 or 12U top would work well. Aside from this, nearly everything else is custom studio furniture grade stuff. I've spoken with Brock at 2Egrees/EurorackModular, very nice guy! I was quoted $1800 for a 15U/168HP wood case, no power.

So everything is really expensive. And I can't decide what to do. I'm gonna spend some more time reading around here, but I'm really leaning on fellow wigglers experience here.

Thanks!

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