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Small Rack for University
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Small Rack for University
lauprellim
Hello! I am building a rack for our University, which has a regionally well-known music technology program. Strange fact: I am not on the music technology faculty, I’m just trying to do something good for our school and our students, who are wildly enthusiastic about synths.

We have already purchased the top half, and the leftmost four modules on the bottom half of this rack. I’m trying to fill the remaining hp with modules that are (a) mostly analog and (b) have some pedagogical use. It is to be a simple, but functional performance case. You will also notice that I am trying to source many modules from our local superstars.

The rack will also be used by bioengineering students to create audio files for some basic signal processing and analysis in MATLab.

Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/937399
rosten
Looks fun. I think modular synths would be great for University students.

Is this the kind of thing where you have end of the year budget that must be spent asap? What are your limiting factors? Space (HP) $? both?

When I think of modules that would be of "some pedagogical value" I do think that something like maths (where the function is open-ended and you can explore it to create different uses/utilities) would be great. Also things like linked LFO's that have interesting relationships to one another (like Batumi, Tides) to help students think about phase relationships, quadrature, etc.

A scope or Mordax Data or any other oscilloscope utility could be handy for teaching.

As a thought about the rack, seems like you could consolidate your VCA situation into a switchable quad vca or the new Dopefer slim VCA and save some HP?

But it looks like it would be a lot of fun to play with.
sutekina bipu-on
If it fits in the budget, a pre filled doepfer system is really probably one of the best places you can start and as you go along and learn the system and think "oh this feature would be nice" it's already there?

Utilities are the unsung heroes in eurorack and will be useful in just about any application....


There is a university near me who uses make noise pre built systems to teach students. But i don't think unreadable panels are ideal for academic use hihi hihi hihi
defalut
Looks good, the pittsburgh stuff has a plain and clear layout which helps beginners. Instruo Scion and Disting, not so much. But being useful and fun validates their existence. The rest - you can´t go wrong with Doepfer.

Disting might be the most confusing since it´s so vast, but just be sure to keep a manual (and the great cheat sheet) close.

Maybe a module for processing input audio could be useful? The opposite of pittsburgh output module - so you can process external audio and bring it up to modular levels? There´s a very cheap and small module for either using externl effects or to bring audio in; AI synthesis AI006: https://aisynthesis.com/product/ai006-eurorack-stomp-box-adapter/

Small and cheap and you can build it yourselves as a project. I´ve got one myself. smile

Disclaimer: in no way am i affiliated with the manufacturer.
Agawell
I’d dump the output module and the vcas and the instruo and put in maths and a quad vca (veils, as it does linear and expo and has 20db gain enough for external instrumnt amplification if needed) it will also work as a mixer and can also be used as output
cptnal
How about an oscilloscope module so you can see what's going on? (Or maybe you have an external one... hmmm..... )
lauprellim
All this is very useful — particularly the emphasis on adding VCAs, Maths and scopes.

I should explain: we wanted Scion for its novelty and its interdisciplinary potential (we are reaching across disciplinary boundaries here and connecting music and composition to biology and engineering). However, a slimmer set of VCAs would be a good idea to save hp.

We obtained a grant from our University to buy this rack, as it will serve both our bioengineering program (which the Administration seems keen on developing) and the music tech folks, which is one of our stronger programs on campus.

Any further comments would be greatly appreciated, and I’ll be taking your advice into account as we finish the build!
CaneMan
I would probably swap out the two A-130-2Dual linear/exponential VCA with an A-135-2 Quad VCA / VC Mixer. While choosing between linear/exponential is nice for a VCA, I find the signal mixing possibilities of a quad VCA to be far more valuable.
Nutritional Zero
If you are in Pittsburgh (as your profile suggests), building a synthesizer for an institution in the Pittsburgh region for students studying in Pittsburgh...

Support your local? Seems like a no-brainer.

Edit: I’m an idiot and didn’t check your modulargrid. Good on you for supporting your local.
mrerdat
I'd replace these passive utils:

Lifeforms Distro
A175

and get these 2 hp versions of the same functionality instead:
Intellijel Quad Invert
Malekko Heavy Industry Perfomance Buffered Mult


As far as mults go, you don't need too many buffered ones. For things like triggers and audio you can just buy stackables or mult hubs instead so you don't use up valuable rack space.

After doing that, I'd also get rid of the A-199 and replace with a XAOC Devices Zadar.

Why? Because you can see exactly where in an envelope's cycle it's in with the display, which is probably really great for teaching. Also you can loop any envelope so that they can become LFOs.

For reverb you could slot in a 2hp verb or sacrifice the delay to buy more space for other effects. Maybe an Erica Black Hole DSP or something.
coolshirtdotjpg
Just a heads up, as someone who helped a professor spent 15 grand on a half-dozen eurorack systems: try to get them in one place. The university could not figure out how to purchase the stuff I requested, even after I put together lists of what modules to buy from where. On top of that, I had to continually update where my purchases were coming from as certain items sold out, or were retired. Eventually, I had to go to the office, and have someone from the university use my personal accounts to purchase the items. It was a headache. Anyway, the lesson of this was to use one retailer and make sure to have backups.
Nutritional Zero
coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
The university could not figure out how to purchase the stuff I requested


Yup, sounds about right. Arguably the main thing holding our universities back is their antiquated approach to procurement and “I.T.” in any form. If I worked in a college today I’d probably just build a system out of spare parts and leave it there rather than deal with the Diet Coke Brigade.
coolshirtdotjpg
Nutritional Zero wrote:
coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
The university could not figure out how to purchase the stuff I requested


Yup, sounds about right. Arguably the main thing holding our universities back is their antiquated approach to procurement and “I.T.” in any form. If I worked in a college today I’d probably just build a system out of spare parts and leave it there rather than deal with the Diet Coke Brigade.


There's also just no way to make bulk purchases of eurorack easy, it would seem.
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