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Modules first, housing later: how did YOU start?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Modules first, housing later: how did YOU start?
Homepage Englisch
Hi everyone,

I had a dream since I was a teenager and watched ELP's "Pictures at an Exhibition" to own THAT thing...now at the age of 40, after years of mostly vintage synths and playing in bands and whatnot, I decided to go eurorack modular.

Yes, I'm a complete noob. I've yet to buy my first case - LC9 PSU3 - but I already have dozen or more modules, the stack of boxes is getting higher than my writing desk now.

Is this...a bad thing? Stupid even?

I suppose many people start with the case and then gradually add modules and play with them (unless finances permit getting all at once). And I totally see the benefits of it.

However, I kind of figured I would rather have a bunch of modules for making a usable configuration befor I even do my first beep.

Seems I've got bitten by an eurocrack bug, and I never did even a basic patch.

(The case is the first on my priority list. Next month. I promise. To myself. I guess.)

How did YOU start? Anyone with a similar experience? What are pros and cons in your opinion? If you could go back to where you started, would you do anything differently?

(Apologies if there's a similar thread. I've found nothing. But my google-fu is not on Shaolin level tbh)
sduck
If you have some kind of power supply, you can use a cardboard box as a case, if you're clever like that. For a little while at least. At least as long as your dignity will allow you.

Oh, you'll need patch cables also.
Standup
Started with moog mother 32 and one 60 hp empty case above it. Added richter anti-osc, Maths, and animodule SOB. versatile stuff, a voice. It was enough to get started, right? Now, a year later, I've got a 6u Mantis case that's mostly full, and expanded my options too fast, and have lost some flow because now I'm trying to educate myself on WTF all this stuff does.
authorless
I bought a case and some modules.
julian
I gloated over that little paper Doepfer catalog for about 2 years - then picked up a 3u setup, used.

I think that was 99, or 2000 ish.

I wonder if i still have any of those original modules now? No way of knowing.
Futuresound
Bought a single module, then a case. Had a few frustrating weeks of not really being able to do much with a single module in my case. But that soon passed, thanks to the solution of buying more modules.


Also, Homepage Englisch is the best username ever.
kindredlost
My first modular was a kit from PAIA in the 1980's so I had to build the power supply as well. Well actually, I built the step sequencer first and like yourself I had no case or power supply. So I get what you feel like. It has been decades though.
How about getting a Happy Ending kit? They can be found all the time used in the BST thread area. I have six of them!
suboptimal
I started with a Doepfer beauty case because the LC6 wasn't available right away. THAT was a shitty start. No room for my first set of modules. Then the LC6 arrived, and it wasn't long before I had to upgrade to an LC9. Should've started with the LC9 to begin with. Still have that case, plus the second one I picked up later, plus the monster base...
RGB
Tip Top rails and ears... Row 40 power supply and built my self a box out of wood to hold the rack. That got me going... started with a couple of modules and promised myself to start slow... then the bug HIT.
kingmaxwell
I think it's rad that you bought modules first. Get a power supply, some rails and duct-tape something together.

I made my DIY case out of spare boards. I think the Blue Lantern peeps have a great tutorial on building a case with minimal tools and investment.

http://www.bluelanternstore.com/survival.html

Good luck. [/url]
Vortico
I bought lots of modules first, and I'm still waiting to save up for a place for me to live in. w00t
BenignToxicity
I was having the same dilemma and was suffering from paralysis by analysis. So... some type of decision had to be made! I took delivery of a Mother 32 the other day and am having an inordinate about of fun rediscovering the joys of manual synthesis.One interesting thing is that now that I actually have my hands on something, my "buy next" list has changed slightly as I get a clear mental picture of what I'm not able to do... stuff that is beyond the Mother's internal capabilities, but easily achievable via the patch bay and the appropriate external module.

As far as a rack is concerned, I'm still like a deer in the headlights... I could build a frame and make a case (I'm an old fart and believe synthesizers absolutely need wooden end cheeks)... the possibilities are endless. There's the problem... a 104 x 2 6u would be perfect... then I think a 9u would be cool... but a 7u would give me more space in the 6u because some utility modules could be put in the 1u space... and on it goes, round and round... until I throw my hands in the air and say "Screw it... I'll get a Mantis!" smile
TRUE DEEP
Bought a mini system mounted into a an A-100P6 straight from Doepfer ... a good starting point.
Joe.
I bought this lulzyMono, and then went straight back to Reaktor hihi

What ever happened to Analogue Solutions?

ReturnCodeZero
Mother 32, then built a 3U cardboard case, bought a power supply and then 3 modules. Disiting, Ladik s-090 dual probability skipper and a Turing machine. Now I NEED more.
hamildad
I bought some modules when they turned up on B/S/T and bought the wood for the case...

I was actually waiting for the TipTop Studio bus to be released, so I definitely had a few boxes hanging around with no means to plug them in.

then when i was able to get a wooden case, I used my monotribe with V2 firmware as a synthesiser voice until the Pittsburgh Block came out..

I would say that spending time with a basic synth ( mother32, montoribe,softsynth) will very much inform where you want to go with modular...

faaar better than youtubes & MW.

and probably save you some money in the long run.
gonkulator
I ordered a bunch of stuff, cases included, but some modules and a MN mini power arrived first, so I built an angled wooden rack and used wood screws to attach the modules. Now I use it just to store unused modules as my mini pwr is used to power a separate 53hp pod.

So, the priority is, power, modules/patch cables, case as needed.
DIY_geek
Homepage Englisch wrote:


Yes, I'm a complete noob. I've yet to buy my first case - LC9 PSU3 - but I already have dozen or more modules, the stack of boxes is getting higher than my writing desk now.

Is this...a bad thing? Stupid even?

(snip)

How did YOU start? Anyone with a similar experience? What are pros and cons in your opinion? If you could go back to where you started, would you do anything differently?


I found a large utility box in a dumpster - about mini-frig size but not as deep - and added each new module as I figured out how to build it. It was hideous and started as a giant blank face with just one module. But it grew into about 8 modules (only about 1/3 full) before I abandoned it for Schroff 3U and 6U Euro.

If I could go back to the start, I'd would have picked a smaller box and gone banana right away (big box was 1/8").

Having a stack of modules on a desk w/no action - bad or stupid? I wouldn't say that... but it sounds painful! "A dozen or so modules" is already a system to me. Do they talk to you in your sleep? Don't you find yourself taking them out of their boxes and just starting at them dreamily? Personally, I'd be climbing the walls!

There is no right or wrong to building a system, but I think you're long overdue for a box.
Willowhaus
I started with the Mother 32 as well. When I decided to dig deeper I got a Pittsburgh Patch Box, because having modules in a drawer would be pretty useless. That was a good start, I quickly started to outgrow it & moved up to a 104HP Moog bucket, which I'm now starting to outgrow. I think it's pretty good to start small, though, and upgrade later rather than dive into a gigantic case with a bunch of empty space staring back at you.
Homepage Englisch
DIY_geek wrote:



Having a stack of modules on a desk w/no action - bad or stupid? I wouldn't say that... but it sounds painful! "A dozen or so modules" is already a system to me. Do they talk to you in your sleep? Don't you find yourself taking them out of their boxes and just starting at them dreamily? Personally, I'd be climbing the walls!

There is no right or wrong to building a system, but I think you're long overdue for a box.


Oh yes. I do take them out of their boxes. Observe. Tweak the knobs to get the feel. One of the VCOs is Liivatera thru-zero which outputs a funny waveform - saw twice the fundamental frequency. Can't wait to plug that into half-wave rectifier!

Anyway, two more shipments are on its way. And I said, enough. Next thing will be the case.

(Next months though. I'm going on holidays, want to see my son.)
TBN
Started with an elektron A$, then a LC6 case with a pittsburgh lifeforms sv-1, a quad vca (veils) and a dual function generater.

A MI shades quickly followed.

2 mnths later I swapped the pittsburgh for a bunch of doepfer mosules
(A-111-2, A-108 , A-131, A-137-1

Few weeks later added more doepfer:
A-111-3, A-106-5, A-138b, A-140.

I notice that experimenting with a few modules before buying more pays off: I slowly discouver the possibilities of my modules and by doing that I realise what functions I'd like to add next.
cornutt
Ha... I did housing first, but I didn't have a choice -- no modulars available circa 1990. seriously, i just don't get it

I started out building MOTM kits. To house them, I built a very simple open-frame "case". Take a square of plywood, about 24" x 18". Set it on a table. Use pieces of furring strips to construct a frame that stands up from the front edge. Get a Condor power supply and an MOTM distribution board; screw then down to the top of the plywood. Attach a power cord (don't forget to put in a fuse). Presto. Crude but effective.

(I've now got six of them and it's becoming unmanageable. A proper case is on the drawing board -- I'm going to get the lumber this weekend. But it worked back when I had about 20U worth of modules. Now that I've got about 70U, not so much.)

Build up a core of a few modules of general usefulness -- a couple of VCOs, VCFs, VCOa, an EG or two, a LFO or two, maybe a noise source or a ring mod. Then, cruise for-sale listings to find other modules that look interesting. The thing about buying used modules is that, if you decide that a module is not for you, you can sell it for nearly what you bought it for. Let that guide further purchases of new modules.
Jefro
I just recently got into modular synths after drooling over them for many years. I've been in it for a few months now, and am on my 3rd Doepfer low cost case already. 2X 6U and a 9U. I'm a go big or go home type of guy. I wish I had started sooner, tbh.
Seb
Hello Gents,

I am totally new here so a big hello to everyone...have been lurking a bit.
I probably won't be posting too much as I am a total noob.....probably just annoying questions for all the synthesis scholars.
I am just in the planning stages but I like to start with a good foundation and after seeing all the gear I would like (but as yet don't have the dinero for) I am opting to buy a funky yellow 12U 114HP powered eurorack case with 2 Doepfer PSU-3 power units from MDLRcase next week. Then that should keep me powered and worry free concerning space and power for quite sometime.
I am in the process of selling up all my synths and drum machines etc to fund my Modular foray so that is good in the way that it is (albeit frustratingly) tempering the acquisition speed and decision making on modules I want to use.
I have one Bubblesound SEM-20 filter through a swap for a Korg SL MKII so it is my first legit bit of kit.
I am welcome to suggestions of complimentary gear.
cheers,
Seb
bwhittington
I just screwed my first Euro modules into two hardwood squares I had laying around and laid that over a wireframe basket so they could lay flat with clearance for the pcbs. I used it like that for months before building a case.
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