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Does this modular plan makes sense?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Does this modular plan makes sense?
egoless
After years and years of making music on a computer (+some hardware as well), I finally decided to go 100% modular and computer-less so I've been thinking about a longer-term setup (depending on the $ income). So I had this idea, I'll explain row by row. Some modules are more a concept, not actual units I must have (depending on availability, quality...).

The sketch image of the system is at the bottom of the post. Well, the main question is does this idea makes sense? or I'm missing something crucial that would cause me problems or frustrations smile

Thanks so much for anyone taking time to go through this!

1. Make Noise Gold Shared plus system

I would start my modular journey with this pre-made system, to get things kickstarted quickly. I love the sound, love almost all modules... Also been drooling over the original Gold Shared system for couple of years now smile So yeah, that would be the first investment

2. Doepfer base case (hands-on performance row/sampler & sequencer row)

In the first row, I would like to make some kind of a performance, hands-on control surface for the system. 2x Planar for left-right hands, ribbon controllers, contact microphone, mod-pitch wheels, Tetrapad.

For the second row, I would love to have at least some flexibility I had when using a DAW. An easy way to arrange a song if I want, piano rolls, drum sampler / slicer + touchable pads & sample recorder and a sub-mixer for that section. I would still love to be able to make a structured song if I wanted to, so having a Bitbox / Toolbox combo makes sense.

3. Utilities

I first have a question here. Which 84hp 3 (or 4) row case would you recommend I use with Doepfer base case so it can sit securely on top on the base case?

This is the middle of the system. Various utils, BPM clock with shuffle, clock dividers, multipliers, gate combiner, vca mixer for gates, branches, switch, voltmeter, 3.5mm to 1/4" jack converter (to go into external mixer for multitrack recordings)

4. Effects and stuff

Mutable Instruments stuff... Clouds, Elements, Tides, Warps...

5. Mixing & Recording

Main 8 ch mixer for the system -> stereo out going through tube amp -> going into a stereo EQ, enhancer, finalizer or something like that -> into recorder

So yeah, this is what I came up with when thinking what I want to do in a modular world. I, of course, won't buy all at once, so things will probably evolve and change on the fly.

However, when thinking about what I virtually assembled I still feel I'm missing some stuff like a filter, envelope, also would love to have The Harvestman to be able to integrate my MS-20 into the system... So I guess another row will be imminent...



hawkfuzz
Oh boy...

Take it slow. Just get the Shared System and learn and understand it and see if you feel remotely close to doing the same thing. Honestly, you could possibly change your mind on what you wanna do.

The problem with having so much media and a planner is that you can really conceptualize and blueprint out a lot of stuff, but when it comes to fruition the idea might be shite and then you're upset...and have over half a car down payment in disappointment.

So don't waste your time or anyone else's and let us know what you have currently.
cptnal
Seconded. As I was building my 416hp setup (over the course 6+ months) I had an "ideal" system in Modulargird and it changed daily.

Things you're likely to discover as you go along:

That you don't really gel with a module, or much care for its sound
There's something you can do with a module you already own, so you don't need that shiny new one
You need more VCAs
A module you've never heard of can do much more in fewer hp than the one you'd already set your heart on
And on and on...

My strategy from the start, and which served me well, was to get enough modules to keep interested, but not so many as to be overwhelmed, and to add one or two modules at a time. Learn and repeat.

Good luck! This is fun!
OB1
I don't have a lot of experience being relatively new to modular myself, but this seems like madness!

I've never really liked the idea of buying a prebuilt system - it seems to go against what my idea of modular is - but if you're set on the Make Noise system, I would just get that and worry about the rest later. Planning that far ahead seems like an expensive mistake.
flashheart
Agree with all the above. We can't critique a system like that as it has everything... Plus can't really see what's in it from the render

Plans are fine but you'll tend to fill it with 'flavour of the month' modules. You already have Rene and Pressure Points, yet you also want 2 joysticks & Tetrapad etc. - you only have 2 hands smile.

Start with the shared system if that's the way you want to go, the patching style for that alone will keep you busy for a few years.
cptnal
flashheart wrote:
You already have Rene and Pressure Points, yet you also want 2 joysticks & Tetrapad etc. - you only have 2 hands smile.


(Not necessarily a thing - a piano keyboard has 88 keys. Mr. Green )
aroom
Quote:
Does this modular plan makes sense?


My experience is that the system I currently own and use is different from the system I planned to get, when I decided to go into eurorack and doing my research.

I was also interested to get full system like Make Noise Shared system or a Verbos, but I'm really glad I didn't.

Even if you could get a discount by acquiring a full system, I find the opportunity to be able to pick each modules, one at the time, to be the real advantage of eurorack.


You might know what you want/need right now. But you'll need something different after. And so on.

My point being : don't try to recreate your computer setup into eurorack. Get a few basic modules, patch them, patch them again. Be frustrated and patch them again. Get a big case and go slow.
MarcelP
OK, so I am going to be the "on the other hand" guy...(and ramble incoherently for a bit).

I like a man with vision, big ideas and a clear focus. You are putting in a lot of thought before setting off to the shops and aren't intending to get everything in one shopping trip. You will likely adapt your plans as you go along - flexibility in modular seems pretty key - especially when module availability is such that you simply can't find everything on your wanted list when you go cash in hand to buy it.

If you are planning big from the outset you are better placed to make rational decisions about case sizes and sensible power distribution, rather than letting the thing grow into a random collection of mis-sized boxes.

With a clear vision of the future you may be able to get to a useable endpoint without endless dithering and trading of poorly considered modules. It is only with hands-on practical experience that you can make rational decisions about what is best for you. And there is the difficulty; no matter how slow you go the experience of modules only comes once you have a combination of modules to play with, the experience of a large integrated system of modules only comes once you have experienced one... So where to start?

If you have the confidence, time and money I would say just go for it. Whats the worst that can happen? At best you learn you were right all along, at worst you gained some experience and have a few modules to sell. This isn't life or death - it isn't like you have just passed your driving test and are now planning on buying a Ferrari and endangering yourself and every road user within half a mile of you. I went largish from the outset (I had owned a variety of synths, studio experience from a tech perspective, and about 40 years of dreaming of modular). I haven't regretted a single purchase, sold nothing and find it the most rewarding experience (obviously not from a financial perspective - but that is not why we go into this is it?). To put it into perspective - I suspect you could spend more than you are proposing to splash out on a decent piano.

As far as advice on hardware: get a decent external mixer - they have far more facilities than anything in the rack can offer and, on a big system, you will have a startling number of audio sources to mix together.
1n
^what he said, more or less.

I was thinking at the weekend that after a year learning, and gathering modules together, I'd really like a MN Shared System - now I understand a bit more about what I want to do with modular.

I'm nearly at the end of a year-long process of stops and starts, and conflicting directions, ending in 6U: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/581455

The way I see it, if I'd got a 'complete' system I'd have spent a year in confusion, learning what to do with a bunch of crazy modules. And loving it.

As it happened, I spent a year in joyful confusion on the way to a multi-purpose system that does a bit of everything (working with 0-Coast, SQ-1 Koma Field Kit and Keystep). Could use more modulation and movement, and considering Mimetic Digitalis.

If I were advising me now, I'd say "Get the shared system - it'll cost about the same in the long run anyhow."
lisa
MarcelP wrote:
If you have the confidence, time and money I would say just go for it. Whats the worst that can happen? At best you learn you were right all along, at worst you gained some experience and have a few modules to sell. This isn't life or death - it isn't like you have just passed your driving test and are now planning on buying a Ferrari and endangering yourself and every road user within half a mile of you.

True, egoless is unlikely to kill someone with his eurorack and if money isn't an issue nothing really bad can happen. smile However, in my experience, people tend to learn new gear better if they get some time with it. If they buy several things at once it is less likely that they'll ever master them. Getting 50 modules at once would be hard for anyone to handle.

Why would this be a problem then? Just sell the modules you never got into, you say. Well, then the buyer immediately becomes a seller and the spiral begins. Usually little or no music will get made while someone is in an intense buying and selling spiral. That might not be a problem for some but I think it's sad. waah
ngarjuna
I think there's nothing wrong with having a distant master plan with one caveat: it has to be malleable. Be ready and willing to hop on Modulargrid and re-conceive every so often.

As has been stated you will learn a lot about what you like and what you don't like when you get your hands on some stuff and start using it. Some of those results will not surprise you but others will. For this reason I think it's a great idea to suss out one major 'voice' (by your casual estimation) and start with that; then maybe add some of the utilities you are really needing/lacking in your initial patching. And so on, from there the path forward should be more obvious. But I do agree that generally speaking buying entire modular systems at once is not always the greatest way to maximize learning and utilization. It took me several years to not quite fill three 6U cases and there are still tons of basic things on my proverbial 'list' that I want to explore and experiment with that I haven't gotten around to yet. Then again there are other days when I'm just 2-8 VCAs and/or envelopes and/or sync'd LFOs short...there are definitely advantages to having modules available to patch.

For me some great ideas were not so great in practice. Like I built myself a nice little 303 row with a great step sequencer, I was going to have the ULTIMATE acid voice; and while it sounded good I found that I don't really like working that way. At all. I ended up repurposing most of those modules into a new plan but I will have ended up having spent a bit of extra cash on that idea when I sell off what I'm not keeping.

Market availability is a tricky thing in modular too. Less so in Eurorack than other, rarer formats but even then modules get sold out and discontinued, replaced by (different sized) newer versions, etc. There are modules that were on my master plan that are just not really available anymore; some so rare that they're not even usually available second hand (that said if you're patient and/or willing to spend you can almost always find any module on the used market). Personally I've been watching these companies, their stock and products, etc. for a few years and have made some estimations on my part and am trying to prioritize what I perceive will be the least available modules first. Not always an easy thing to predict but I can definitely hold on that second Maths (unless I can't stand not having it to use anymore which could happen). Those aren't always the modules you are most immediately lacking in your patching, either. But if your eyes are on that more distant prize it's worth thinking about stuff like that.

And then there's the plus side to all the movement in design and manufacturing: newer ideas and interfaces spring up all the time. Stuff I held off on now has really grown up competition in some cases and I have rethought some categories many times, practically over and over (someday I'll decide which one and get a wavetable oscillator...). There are for sure classic designs and modules which never seem to go out of style but there's a lot of cool stuff being developed all the time. You'll probably end up adding a case/row or two to your master plan as time rolls on (I started wanting 12U of 84hp max heh).
egoless
MarcelP wrote:
OK, so I am going to be the "on the other hand" guy...(and ramble incoherently for a bit).

I like a man with vision, big ideas and a clear focus. You are putting in a lot of thought before setting off to the shops and aren't intending to get everything in one shopping trip. You will likely adapt your plans as you go along - flexibility in modular seems pretty key - especially when module availability is such that you simply can't find everything on your wanted list when you go cash in hand to buy it.


MarcelP wrote:

So where to start?


Yes, that's exactly the plan aside from getting a Make Noise pre-build system first and then naturally building upon it, but already some kind of a plan and concept for where I want to go...

MarcelP wrote:

As far as advice on hardware: get a decent external mixer - they have far more facilities than anything in the rack can offer and, on a big system, you will have a startling number of audio sources to mix together.


That row would be the very last thing I put into the system. Idk, I love the idea of having a complete ecosystem where I can create, mix, do some pseudo-mastering (tubes, main eq, exciter) and record the mixdown on SD card.

But until that moment or for multichannel later, everything would be going into Midas Venice F-16 mixer or Tascam 388 tape/mixer both of which I already have.

Much thx for your input!
egoless
Thx everyone for your input, you're very helpfull!

Btw, here it is, row by row at Modulargrid:

Base case:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/602783

Utilities:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/602899

FX:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/602265

MIXING / RECORDING:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/602572
egoless
lisa wrote:
Usually little or no music will get made while someone is in an intense buying and selling spiral. That might not be a problem for some but I think it's sad. waah


I don't think I'll end up there, I know exactly what I want (on a conceptual level) to do with it. And with the exception of a Shared system, everything else would be built carefully, step by step loosely following the initial concept.

Making music is a priority whether it's on a computer, a spaceship or a modular synth smile

Thx!
Roni
I get mu modules one at a time. Each one to solve the current problem I have. When it solves the problem it also opens up a new one. Sometimes it's to continue developing the sound I had in mind, sometimes because the new module opened up new possibilities in my existing gear beyond what I had expected, inspiring me with ideas I hadn't thought of before. The next turn is revealed to me, and so the whole thing evolves, my system, my sound, while I come to know each module inside out.
My rig is far from complete, but it is also far from what I thought it would be. It's the journey that's the fun part. Go slow. Enjoy it.
mdoudoroff
“Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.”
—Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke
MarcelP
mdoudoroff wrote:
“Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.”
—Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke


If you know the Modular and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred patches. If you know yourself but not the Modular, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the Modular nor yourself, you will succumb at every gig.

Sun Tzu - The Art of Patching
cptnal
MarcelP wrote:
mdoudoroff wrote:
“Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.”
—Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke


If you know the Modular and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred patches. If you know yourself but not the Modular, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the Modular nor yourself, you will succumb at every gig.

Sun Tzu - The Art of Patching


I was just going to say that.
lisa
egoless wrote:
Making music is a priority whether it's on a computer, a spaceship or a modular synth smile

Lovely! Then good luck to you. w00t
MarcelP
cptnal wrote:
MarcelP wrote:
mdoudoroff wrote:
“Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.”
—Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke


If you know the Modular and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred patches. If you know yourself but not the Modular, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the Modular nor yourself, you will succumb at every gig.

Sun Tzu - The Art of Patching


I was just going to say that.


My favourite Sun Tzu Art of Patching quote:

"Supreme excellence consists of breaking down the patch without farting."

though it might not be relevant in this thread....
ciso
ngarjuna wrote:
I think there's nothing wrong with having a distant master plan with one caveat: it has to be malleable. Be ready and willing to hop on Modulargrid and re-conceive every so often.


Yeah, like you might want to switch out that black 8 multi for a noise engineering extra mullet because it gives you more options in the same hp, though more expensive...but what's the extra $53 when your system costs over $8k
VZvision
I gotta say that there seems to be an awful lot of CV sources with not a whole lot of audio sources. By my count, in your finished system, you would have:

DPO
Elements
Tides
1010 Sampler

From a straight "synthesis" point of view (in a system that size) I personally would have a few more VCO's if only for the fact that they will get used as utility VCO's (i.e. LFO's, FM Carrier/Modulator relationships, AM, ring-mod, etc.)

If traditional synthesis techniques and the sounds that come out of that are not what you're after, then totally cool, but if it is, think you will definitely have to evaluate some space for those sorts of things.

Also noticed your 6 channel stereo mix and the WMD performance mixer in there as well. I take it you would be looking to use the sputnik as a sub mix?....if that's the case remember that you will inevitably run into pan-defeat if you run those channels into 2 channels of the WMD since whatever panning you got going on with the Submix will inevitably mix with pan settings on the WMD....I guess that's a long way of saying, you could do a lot more sub-mixing in that sputnik space more efficiently. Three examples:

1. Chaining two Rebel-Technology Mix 01's (8 channels)
2. Chaining three intellijel Mix-up's (6 mono 6 stereo)
3. Qubit's new 8 channel crossfader

I think you may want to re-visit the clocking too since I count 24HP to different clocking modules (You could get 3 Pam's new workouts all synced to each other or 2 Pam's and a Tempi which would get you 21-23 highly adjustable clock output sources in the same space)

I think the short-version-advice I would say is:

Get the B&G shared system. You will not regret it. It is mind-melting awesome thumbs up . Add a stable clock source. Spend 6 months to a year with it. Then see what sonic territory you want to achieve outside of that and buy the next case and modules to get you there. Guaranteed you will have a far better idea of where you want to go after that instead of perhaps accidentally or purposefully Never maintain cash savings again

Hope that helps.
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