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Ideal wiard 300 size?
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Author Ideal wiard 300 size?


Hey, anyone have any suggestions for an ideal wiard 300 size?

I have an 8 module system coming to me, I used to have a 6 module system about 10 years ago and absolutely loved it, i should never of gotten rid of it(one of my biggest regrets with synths...perhaps that and the jupiter 8s...)

I have the opportunity to expand it to a 20 unit system. but I'm wondering at what size do things get unmanageable?

I just slimmed down a serge set up from 6 to 4 as I felt that it wasn't ideal for me. I dont want to get into the same dilemma with Wiard(although it's better than having less than needed...)


I believe the system was originally for sale only as a 6 module set, and intended as a contained single instrument in the tradition of the VCS3 and the Arp 2600.

I would say that it depends entirely on your intentions as a musician as to the scope of system that you yourself can support. As there is a lot of effort required to keep the cogs running on a larger system, to keep things exciting for you as you won't be satisfied with making a really complex patch that then becomes too hard to unravel , and it just sits there. I've had some experiences playing live where a larger system (15 modules) was just too intimidating, and all my beautiful ideas were like words on the tip of my tongue that I wouldn't speak.

I used to have a 15 module system, and had grand plans of professional life as a musician. I made some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard on it, but ultimately the investment of myself required to put the music into it was too much. And now I'm just slimming down to a small 6 module system and music gigs for my own amusement only.


I hear you on the unravelling part, that's one of the issues I had, silly as it is, it's just a pain to get all the cables out after having worked on a patch. It is also kind of the beauty I think of analog modular, once it's gone, it's gone forever.


10 or 12 is plenty. You will run short of mixing capabilities beyond that unless you add something like the Hinton mixers, because the Mixolator is more useful as a waveform processor than a very clean mixer. The Wiard is generally a bit high on crosstalk, which is my only serious gripe with it, and if the system is small and used monophonically, it will not matter as much.

Tha said, you seem to buy and resell and rebuy systems so often that probably no advice will be as effective as your trying it out ;)

P.S. I have 11 modules plus some "periphery" like Wiard 1200 and large sequencers. That's the more effective setup IMO. It's similar to Gary Chang's in that regard.


drumsofd00m wrote:
The Wiard is generally a bit high on crosstalk, which is my only serious gripe with it

I've never noticed that myself, and I am quite sensitive to issues like this, enough to have spent as much as 30% of my life tracking down and minimising noise in all it's forms!

I can't comment with authority but I have a sneaking suspicion with the Mixolator that there are bias currents in opamps that aren't accounted for through balancing which would make the pots more likely than normal to generate voltage noise. (that is pure speculation though). Grant was designing at a time where access to information was not quite a generous as it is now, and perhaps also he was spared from the online witch-hunts that often seem to occur!

I believe quite a few of your modules are revision A designs, so maybe they're behind by several increments. Many improvements have been made in that regard more recently, such as the use of ground planes, on board stable references, lower impedence power distribution, and of course the genius that is balancing!


That's partially true, most of my modules are around 13 years old now. Few Rev As though, like my Borg, whose LFOs are generally known to talk to other modules in strange ways ;) In the Classic VCO (a Rev D), I already know from an old post of Grant's that a slight change to the normalization of the Pulse wave into the VCA will remove the bleedthrough. As for the Mixolator, I'm in the process of clarifiying things, just don't have as much time as I'd like. It's not the pots, tho. Basically I hear signals in several places where I don't expect them (like the right unit in the output of the left unit, not so faintly). Maybe it's just due to shipping problems, also (it was a difficult winter). We'll see.

BTW, albeit not for any matters of sound, Grant *was* one of the earliest modular guys to receive a lot of online bashing... back in the day when decorated faceplates were almost unheard of. Glad those times are past. The dimension at which his concepts are carried on now speak for themselves. I guess if the Wiard was marketed as a "steampunk" device with its unique appearance it could even become fashionable.

And - having just one serious gripe is very little for a large system! I'm not wishing for another, on the whole. And I know those that would come into question have their own crosstalk and/ or jitter problems (especially the 200e). As I said, keeping an eye on system and patch size, and also removing modules from the PSU as long as they're not in use (thank you Grant for the DIN plugs!), already helps reducing the issue.


For me the ideal size is the one I currently have, 13 modules, ie two rows of modules plus a new controller.

I had a 6 module system for a few years I think before expanding it. I don't have any need to expand it - I don't find myself wishing I had one more of..whatever.

I do also have a Frac modular but generally I find the Wiard has everything I need (so that I have been finding myself having to make a conscious effort to use the frac).

So I have 4 oscillators - sometimes all get used as audio, sometimes they are used as LFOs, pulse triggers, two sequantizers which are often both used, 4 envelators (sometimes used as envelope generators, other times frquency dividers), two different filters and/or LPGs, 1 wogglebug and 1 mixolator.


Think there are two issues, one is physical size/mount/organization, the other is resources/functional. Some years ago I looked at both.

Initially when I was growing my system I had my system racked - but didn't like the two-tiers of cables back/forth (3 tiers or more if you add a controller). Also didn't like to grow in multiples of 6 - call me OCD - don't like holes in my instrument cabinets and money-wise it gets expensive fast to grow in multiples of 6. So I chose a custom cabinet for my system. A custom cabinet has issues, once you are at critical mass you can't grow beyond it, but I like the concept of finite instrument as opposed to a collection of modules. That's me though. I can see why racking can be much better/easier in other ways particularly if you want to change your mind about size.

Once I got that out of the way, I focused on creating functional "voicings" with the modules available. In this respect there are no rules and everyone's idea of "good organization" works here.

I classified resources into small, core, extended core and large voicings. Small can be anything you want since Wiard's modules tend to be voices on their own right. Core was 8 modules (1 of each), the extended core was 10 (core plus one Sequantizer and one Classic VCO). The next one up was something like 15 if I remember correctly (extended core plus one of each Envelator/ Wogglebug/ Mixolator/ Omnifilter/ Waveform City ). After 15, you can scale up depending on what type of music you were interested in creating. Add controller(s) at will.

My system is an extended core with an original controller (the one with Volt meter in the middle). I had Grant customize my Sequentizers by linking them together, so in effect I have a 16 step sequenzer with a switch to link/unlink. Then I also have a Dave Hylander expansion board for Waveform City that enables the selection of multiple wave chips. Having two solid VCO modules and one selectable wave-based module gave a lot of flex.

Sometimes I feel the itch to go back to 6u racking, easier to transport easier to stack, or the desire to add more modules - but found that the grouping I initially made has worked ok for me for a long time.

Hope this helps in your thinking about how to design/grow your Wiard.


The only reason I believe I have reached an upper bound on size is that I had to get Ad Infinitum to make me some 5 foot cables and sometimes I still can't go corner to corner in a big patch. I also have Frac rows in between each Wiard row though, so as usual my problems are likely isolated to me.

I think you all have seen, I moved some of the 300 sized DIY to a smaller, self contained instrument and TBH I still play the big rig 10x as much. Splitting things into common voice sections with shared CV and sequencer functions in a separate area helped a lot.


Yep. At one point I went down the path of designing a system interface to make my system play well with others. Nowadays much cheaper/easier/better to assemble what you need from alternate formats. It's amazing all the good stuff these days.


The way I have my Wiard 300 set up is two rows of six with a controller (which is more then enough) then I have two rows of 1200 and 1 row with 2 anti, two "uncle" and two mix. I often use the 1200 Euro as it's own system.

I own a few spare 300 and a second controller which I have stowed away for a time (if that comes) when i hit a wall.

Because the 300 has no many multi functional modules I feel like it's best to double up if at all of the oscillators, whether classic or waveform city.

My $.2

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