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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Thoughts on module arrangement...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Thoughts on module arrangement...
synkrotron
Hiya Peeps,

I have decided to invest in MI Elements, which kinda means I need a new case as well, as I don't want to ditch any of my current modules.

My current case is a Doepfer low cost 9U thing, and suits my needs. So I thought the best thing to get to augment that setup is to go for the low cost angle base case which will give me another 6U x 84HP.

I am now having a faff on Modular Grid, wondering what would be the best layout.

I must admit that I am perhaps wasting my time arranging it how I have done, with sound sources in row 2, filters and other sound effecting stuff on row 2, LFO and EG stuff on row 3 and the Metropolis, along with a few other bits and pieces on row 4 (the angled bit) but I thought I'd give it a whirl, see how it "feels."

Has anyone else bothered to be this "organised" or do you just stick your stuff where they fit (I can certainly see the attraction of being a it random).

Here is how my (possible) future system will be looking?

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/649585


cheers

andy Chugging Beers
Dave Peck
Not a bad way to arrange things at all. Lots of systems are like this, or a similar idea with audio sources to the left (instead of across the top), then filters to the right of those, then VCAs to the right of those, maybe with control sources across the bottom.

But something I notice with your proposed layout that I think would not be good - putting all of your mixers way down there at bottom right. I think it would work better to have mixers scattered amongst the oscs and filters, and more of them than you propose, like at least a couple of 3-to-1 mixers per row. And some attenuverters as well.
synkrotron
Hiya Dave,

Thanks for your input, much appreciated smile

Thanks for the tip, sounds on the left, then filters and so on. I'll have a play with that on MG.

I get what you are saying regards the mixers. They just kind of ended up there. I'll have a think about that, thanks.

One thing I don't or can't show on MG are my half dozen home made attenuaters which I can use to bring audio signals down to a level that is better for routing into my DAW. Last weekend, for the first time, I had a play with using my only two hardware effects (Boss GT-5 and Lexicon MPX500) and I set them up as send effects in my DAW. So I ended up only using one input of the exp mixer and then three of my attenuateers to get four separate track into my DAW via my sound card (OCTA-CAPTURE) which was basically used as a mixer. But that also meant that I could also record individual dry signals rather than having a single stereo track.

As you can probably tell I am still relatively new to this even though we (I share this system with my son) have had it for a couple of years. I just haven't put the time in I should be doing as I also create a load of "in the box" stuff, which takes up most of my creative time.

Cheers, and thanks again,

andy
Dave Peck
I have noticed that the idea of left-to-right signal flow tends to work better in a shorter wider cabinet. I think the top-to-bottom idea you propose would probably make more sense with the taller skinnier cabinet you'll be using.
Hovercraft
Initially had everything arranged by types of modules, but as my system grew into multiple cases, I found creating mini-systems made things more manageable. The single case systems can also be used alone for performances or for traveling. You might enjoy having an independent 6U system you can move around--even just in your house.
Boneoh
The OCD part of me spends way too much time rearranging the furniture on ModularGrid trying to get things just right. But there is no just right. I’ve come to the conclusion that my rack will probably just continue to morph as time goes by.
cptnal
I'm a MG junkie! Certainly a lot easier than physically moving things around and then realising that won't work. Dead Banana

It would be nice if all sound sources would fit on one row, all effects and filters on another, etc... but it rarely turns out so cleanly. Dead Banana Dead Banana

Also, I try to have modules next to each other if there's a functional relationship (EGs next to VCAs for instance), but if you examine that to the Nth degree, everything should be next to everything else. Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana

And so the case is under constant reshuffling. Keeps it fresh. It's peanut butter jelly time!
ReturnCodeZero
Left to Right....Top to bottom

Sound Sources, Modulation, effects

Sequencing
synkrotron
Dave Peck wrote:
I have noticed that the idea of left-to-right signal flow tends to work better in a shorter wider cabinet. I think the top-to-bottom idea you propose would probably make more sense with the taller skinnier cabinet you'll be using.


Ah, great, thanks for pointing that out Dave smile
synkrotron
Hovercraft wrote:
Initially had everything arranged by types of modules, but as my system grew into multiple cases, I found creating mini-systems made things more manageable. The single case systems can also be used alone for performances or for traveling. You might enjoy having an independent 6U system you can move around--even just in your house.


Hiya, thanks for your input, and yeah, noted smile

I think I'll try out my plan but, as you say... Two separate racks may be handy smile
synkrotron
Boneoh wrote:
The OCD part of me spends way too much time rearranging the furniture on ModularGrid trying to get things just right. But there is no just right. I’ve come to the conclusion that my rack will probably just continue to morph as time goes by.


Aye! I'm a Unicorn member at MG... I'd be lost without it Mr. Green
Ranxerox
Mine is two main cabs side by side - left one mainly for CV/gate and mod sources - sequencers, envelopes, quantizers etc., right one mainly for audio - oscillators, filters, waveshapers etc.

I've had this arrangement for years, it just seemed logical to me and I've not had a need to change it.

I also have two 'outriggers' - a small case on top of the right-hand cab for additional sequencers, and off to the far right - a self-contained Mos-Lab Model 15 modular system.
synkrotron
cptnal wrote:

It would be nice if all sound sources would fit on one row, all effects and filters on another, etc... but it rarely turns out so cleanly. Dead Banana Dead Banana


Yeah, I'm finding that I have "gaps" here and there, and you have to fill that space, right!

I think we need a fourth and fifth dimension... Would help keep cables shorter Mr. Green
synkrotron
ReturnCodeZero wrote:
Left to Right....Top to bottom

Sound Sources, Modulation, effects

Sequencing


Hiya mate, yeah, that is almost what I am doing.

The Metropolis isn't that great on a vertical surface... So, yeah, down it goes to the base unit smile
synkrotron
Ranxerox wrote:
Mine is two main cabs side by side - left one mainly for CV/gate and mod sources - sequencers, envelopes, quantizers etc., right one mainly for audio - oscillators, filters, waveshapers etc.

I've had this arrangement for years, it just seemed logical to me and I've not had a need to change it.

I also have two 'outriggers' - a small case on top of the right-hand cab for additional sequencers, and off to the far right - a self-contained Mos-Lab Model 15 modular system.


Sounds like a great system smile

I did deliberate about developing a side by side system but ended up going for the vertical idea instead. In a way, it actually takes up less room, in plan, and fits my current studio better.

And then, at the very bottom, I'll be using either my Beatstep Pro or Keystep, or both.

So, fingers crossed, all will be swell Mr. Green

photographs to follow once it's all done...




cheers

andy
mirth23
For what it's worth, I like using a bottom-to-top flow. Sequencers and controllers at the bottom where I can easily reach them, oscillators and envelopes a bit further up so I can patch triggers to them easily, then filters and effects, and then finally outgoing mixers. That lets me pop my outgoing patch cables over the top of my modular.

I sprinkle some utilities and VCAs throughout where they tend to be useful. I often mult CV sequences so I'll have a mult down by the sequencers, I have some modules that let me mixdown audio partway through, and so on.
lisa
I do modulation sources and envelopes on the top, sequencers and clocks in the middle and oscillators, VCAs, voices and VCFs in the bottom row. Not that it mattets much though, cables go all over the place anyway. If I had several cases and 1000+ hp the situation would have been more problematic. As it is, it’s a breeze. cool
Pelsea
I'm a left to right guy. I used to teach patches on a white board using a flow chart format. Signal flow would go across the top, and controls and triggers would come up from below. So I would lay out the modular systems in a similar way. For one row systems, I'd put the controls on the far left with the sources in the middle. Mixers went to the right, since this was mostly large format systems with plenty of inputs on each module.

These were Moog, Serge, Synton, Emu modular, PAIA and a couple I built myself.
pugix
Modular Grid Unicorn member here too. Among my five or six Euro racks is one larger one, a 9U x 104hp box. I keep this one in the studio and call it my 'laboratory'. I remove and add modules every few months, because as I realize I'm not enthralled with a module, I find something else to replace it. There can be significant shuffling because of freed up space. Some of the principles I use are:

1) The top row is primarily oscillators and audio mixing.
2) I restrict modules in the top row to having all jacks on the bottom, knobs above, so that patch cords don't run over knobs on that row.
3) I collect CV generation and modulation in the middle row.
4) Clock modulation and digital logic locate together at the bottom, where pulses can drive the CV modulators above.
5) I locate some modules closer together that I expect to patch frequently, to reduce patch cord clutter.

The rest has to fall where it may. Visual aesthetics plays some role in module location.
Pelsea
cptnal wrote:
everything should be next to everything else.


Maybe it's time for hexagonal modules?
pugix
Pelsea wrote:
cptnal wrote:
everything should be next to everything else.


Maybe it's time for hexagonal modules?


Hexagonal case Dead Banana !
gonkulator
Let's resurrect Buckminster Fuller and get him on it.
KSS
Pelsea wrote:
cptnal wrote:
everything should be next to everything else.

Maybe it's time for hexagonal modules?

moleculesynth.com

KSS
Flow generally bottom to top, and left to right. Within this arrangement
set-and-forget modules are farther away. Those actively used are closer.
Position of a module which is actively played has higher priority for useability placement than enforcing arbitrary forced division by voice, system or module type.

The controls are at hand, whereever the things controlled may be.
milkshake
I've experimented with this a lot.

There are 2 methods that seem to work for me:

1
I'll group similar modules together, so waveform generators to the left, waveform shapers to the right.
And I'll keep audio and modulation separate, audio up, modulation down.

This results in a case that is divided into quarters.
Oscillators upper left, filters upper right
Lfo's low left, envelopes low right.
Routing modules go in between the waveform generators and waveform shapers.

2
I'll group voices together.
So one synth voice to the upper left, an other synth voice to the upper right. Then modulation, routing and efx below that from left to right.


Both methods give different results and workflows.
Method 1 is a classical mono synth layout, great for if you already know what you want to do.
Method 2 is more meant for experimentation where you cross modulate both voices and chaotic patterns can more easily form.
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