How do you arrange your modules?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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How do you arrange your modules?

Grouping module types (block of OSCs, block of utilities etc)
57
27%
Building separate voices (blocks of OSC, VCA, VCF)
31
14%
Frequency of access (keep close what you need often)
31
14%
Wherever there is space in the rack
11
5%
Randomly
6
3%
By vendor
12
6%
Constantly rebuilding
13
6%
Once built, I tend to keep it that way for while
24
11%
Once built, I tend to keep it that way for a long time
15
7%
Other (please specify)
14
7%
 
Total votes: 214

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Mr. Aloud
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How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Mr. Aloud » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:51 am

I was just wondering how you setup your racks. What works for, what doesn´t, and if you changed your workflow in the past, please share why. You can select up multiple options, because workflow can be modular too :)
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by muleskinner » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:36 am

Well I'm just a couple of years in and, after going through several of the options specified here, I'm now trying to arrange by 'common connections', i.e. just trying to reduce cable lengths in general. In practice this seems to be working out a bit like 'voice' blocks but not quite as straightforward.

I'm also trying to arrange the modules that I tend to tweak manually more often on the top of the rack where the knobs end up less obstructed by cables!
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by starthief » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:56 am

Usually there's some kind of compromise between several factors -- ergonomics, rough functional grouping, and fitting everything in.

My 12U case has two PSUs in it, each covering two rows. They don't have a lot of capacity on the -12V rail, so keeping the load balanced is also a factor. In the most recent rearrange, I shuffled some things to minimize the amount of crossing over I had to do with ribbon cables.

Because I keep my case on the right side of my corner desk, my I/O modules are on the left side -- mults and ES-3/ES-6 going to my audio interface, and pedal-related stuff on the top row since I keep my pedals atop the case.

I've noticed that some positions in the case seem to call more attention to themselves than others -- so I try to position modules so they're not overlooked. For instance, my VCA is right in the middle instead of over by the I/O where I'm more inclined to only consider it as "output" related. Also for the moment, Supercell is in a prominent place where I am inclined to treat it less like like an end-of--chain effect.

I tend to put new modules that I might concentrate on more intensely, or anything else that I want to especially focus on, in more easily reached and highly visible positions.
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Mr. Aloud
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Mr. Aloud » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:36 am

That makes a lot of sense. I tend to have a mixed approach:

- AJH Mini modules are kept together as a voice
- rest is normally organized in function groups
- where it makes sense I move them to the "direct access area"

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Mr. Aloud
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Mr. Aloud » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:39 am

muleskinner wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:36 am
I'm also trying to arrange the modules that I tend to tweak manually more often on the top of the rack where the knobs end up less obstructed by cables!
I once bought a roll of velcro tape (15 meters) normally used in network cabling to create space where I need it. Also added little marker clips to the cable ends, so I can track what´s going where. I think it´s time to move Eurorack from 3.5mm to bluetooth :hmm:
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Boodaleechees » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:48 am

Right to left. :zombie:

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by luchog » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:01 am

I tend to group by function and arrange by voice. My ultimate goal would see, for example, all sound sources on the top row (oscillators, noise generators, etc.) filters on the next row, CV generators on the next, then effects and output. Utilities such as VCAs would be added wherever most convenient. So functions right to left, and voices top to bottom.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by lisa » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:47 am

By function and I dislike putting time into rearranging the rack so I keep that to a minimum.
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by BenA718 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:52 am

As I am still learning what it is I want to get out of my system and what is the minimum threshold of modules I can bring to rehearsal, it's still very much in a constant state of flux.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Kattefjaes » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:54 am

I find that while I broadly theme areas (oscillators, filters etc. as well as ins on the left hand end and outs on the right. some sense of signal flow), there's also quite a lot of finagling for ergonomics. The other thing is that very small mods (like the 2hp stuff) often shouldn't be next to another similar mod, both for ease of installation and operation.

Oh also, it's based partly on what I can physically fit in there 8-)

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Jefro » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:09 pm

I rearrange my rack every few weeks it seems. I find the new arrangements inspiring. I arrange my modules by voice to try to keep the cable spaghetti to a minimum.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Ghost Hip » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:10 pm

Left to right by type. Clock/gates/cv-> function generators/logic/voices/drum-> filters/fx/VCA/Mixers-> output. I have Rene in the bottom corner so the touch pads can be away from any patched cables. Vertically there's not much purpose to the order other than the Make Noise and Mito Modules look good all in a row.

https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/m ... 794246.jpg

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by racooniac » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:41 pm

sound sources and efx at the corners, modulation and utility at the center, controller modules at the bottom, modules that i often use together side by side, isnt that how everybody does it? ;D

the blocks form themselves and voices emerge naturally.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by stoiker » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:24 pm

Whatever module I get I put in randomly or where it fits HP wise. Not ideal, but i didn't even fill a 6U case yet so it's ok.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Pelsea » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:01 pm

I have three cases, each with its own personality. One for performance, one for academic computer control, and one for percussion and my more wacko modules.
Each case has two rows: low row is control modules, above that audio modules.
Within the audio rows I have signal sources to the left (although the very first module may be external control, like a MIDI module), processors in the center, VCAs and LPGs to the right, and mixers on the very right.
In the controller rows I put LFOs on the left, CV utilities in the middle, and functions on the right below the VCAs.
There are exceptions of course-- I have more hp dedicated to audio than control so the wacko case has a row that is percussion modules on the left and control functions on the right.

I guess I fall into the "keep patchcords short camp", but it's really about how I make my patching decisions. I usually start along the lines of "put Braids in the SMR and gate it with a VCA", then tweak the sound with functions like Sloth.
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by hsosdrum » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:51 pm

I've grouped my oscillators and mixers into 4 voices on the left side of the bottom and second rows; VCFs are in the bottom row center, VCAs in the bottom row right and signal processors in the center of the second row. EGs are on the extreme right of the 3rd row; LFOs are on the extreme left of the 3rd row. Sequencing is in the 4th row. Multiples are on the extreme left of the bottom row and the extreme right of the second row. Everything else is wherever it will fit.

I've found that the best way to keep cables out of my way isn't where the modules are located, it's how long the cables are. I try to use cables long enough that I can route them away from the center of the machine. Over the last couple of years this has meant the use of fewer 2-foot cables and more 1-foot, 3-foot and 4-foot cables. Having the 8 EGs on the extreme right allows me to route the cables from them around the outside of the machine and behind the keyboard, helping to keep them out of the way.

Not perfect, but works pretty well for me. (The photo below shows only one voice patched.)

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by sduck » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:26 pm

alphabetically
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by moremagic » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:54 pm

ergonomics is the primary factor, then numerology

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Monofunk » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:22 pm

With Eurorack I separate the digital modules from the analog modules because I've noticed crosstalk and noise issues when they are neighbors.

After that I experiment with what feels interesting to play while keeping ergonomics in mind. There's no single plan and the order always changes.

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by khakifridge » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:13 am

I've been doing it kinda by function, but I think I should rearrange everything randomly to avoid doing "the obvious thing" each time? :hmm:

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by cg_funk » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:03 am

I group them so as to minimize the lengths of patch cables I use. So modules that often get patched together stay close to each other.. seems to have a big effect for me.

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Mr. Aloud
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by Mr. Aloud » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:22 pm

Reading through all the different philosophies and trying to get my head around each single one of them. Some are familiar, others I never thought of and will try. Thanks for the bits of fun thrown in. You people are awesome. :tu:
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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by AlanP » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:04 am

I try to position them so that the overall flow of cables is down.

Sequencers, CV generators (like touch keyboards), that sort of thing at the top. That way, the least amount of clutter is on top of sequencer and controller surfaces.

Living VCO bank, Elements, 258 dual osc on the next one down (along with the Rampage, to encourage myself to use it more often).

Filters, LFOs, phasers, reverb, optodist, ADSR on the third row.

Last row is the output mixer module (with headphone out), RYO Triple VCA (placed so the outputs from that can go straight to the output module), Serge Resonant EQ Mk 2, the Dunno (Buchla 266 clone... should be at the top row, I know), and general miscellaneous (currently, Buchla 291 VCF, Buchla 281, NLC 329 Phase/Flange, 208Random).

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by KSS » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:57 am

Mr. Aloud wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:51 am
and if you changed your workflow in the past, please share why.
Standing vs sitting. A typical classic moog setup where sequencers are on top -to be above patchcords- fails miserably if you switch to sitting down. I have seen this alter the output of an artist who may not use the performance capability of their system the same as before. Depends of course on how one uses their sequencers. if they're used 'set-and-forget' or 'played'. Moog 960 complement being well known for its playability.

Format change. The small size of euro compared to larger vintage formats has definite effect on how modules are or can be placed. Sitting vs standing is not as great a difference until the euro grows to a considerable size. A format like Serge with stacking patchcords and patch programmability is very different than a classic moog, Polyfusion, or Roland 700. A slew or DUSG is not just a VCO -or any other of its numerous functions- so the idea of grouping sources, controls and processors together kind of loses meaning. Grouping by 'voice' makes more sense.

KBD-controller based vs noodler-knob twister. When your control is mostly a keyboard, Expression pedals, pedal switches and maybe a ribbon or joystick, modules may not need the same kind of accessibility during a performance. The patch is set to respond to the controllers. A session or performance based on knob twisting instead of these classic inputs is going to favor putting the modules to be knob-twisted more ergonomically.

Because the classics were brand new when I started, my sense of how things should be organized still bears their imprint. Flow is left to right, bottom to top. Mixers are prevalent and 'between' or near their expected pairings. See polyfusion and moog modular for examples. Control-CV modules tend to be under sources and processors.

2500 is kind of an odd man out. Definitely horizontal, and not vertical in nature. Noise goes in one of two places, and the rest can really go anywhere since the matrix busses are full width, but typically still follows VCO-VCF-VCA-SEQ. KBD based, but certainly explorable beyond this; a 2500 without a KBD doesn't feel lacking the way a moog modular does. To me.

edit: Two additional workflow module placement changers.

Arrival of MIDI. Paradigm shift. For all the obvious reasons. Though being an ARP fan, was already using their CVG connected 'family' of synths in ways similar to first MIDI usages. ARP was well ahead of other classic brands in using CVG between their products.

Computer control. Another massive paradigm shift. Still expanding and playing out today. The level and manner of computer integration cannot help but impact module placement and workflow. Count myself among the synth -->Computer, instead of computer -->synth. Does not include modules which are basically computers. No inherent analog vs digital bias on that level, though menu diving is not -for me- any way desirable on a module./edit

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Re: How do you arrange your modules?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:03 am

I try to have a sort of flow. Start on the left with clocks - over to modulation and envelopes - to the VCOs - to the LPG and VCA. Thats the row on top.

Below is modulations - mults - a VCA (which is used for attenuation) - sequencer - output.

Im currently pondering how to build my last row, which will be a drum machine 8-)

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