ModularGrid Rack

This will be my first rack. Tried to remain selective as I'm limited to 84 HP. Wondering if there are any glaring redundancies or key aspects to a useful system that aren't present. My goal is to have something that can spit out some riffs, a bassline, and maybe a drone/ ambient thing with a kick and snare. Ideally I'd also like to have some random glitch/ percussion capabilites. Plan on combining varigate with the niftycase's midi to CV interface. I'm aware that the ribbon in the niftycase only has 10 headers, but I plan to daisy-chain my way around that issue. Like I said, any opinions are welcome. Cheers everyone.

you'll get better help with a link to the actual public rack & not just a shitty jpg - which fails to provide click through and mouse over infomatics

copy and paste the url into your post

"some of the best base-level info to remember can be found in Jim's sigfile" @Lugia

Utility modules are the dull polish that makes the shiny modules actually shine!!!

sound sources < sound modifiers < modulation sources < utilities

Good call. Went ahead and rectified that. Thanks.

Couple of thoughts. In a system this small, six VCAs feels like overkill... I'd cut the Tallin. The VU meter isn't necessary, nor is the mult (use stackables if you're running this small). That saves you 10 hp.

From there... I notice that you say you want random/glitch. Nothing here really does that. You could throw in a Nano-Rand for 4hp. That leaves you 6hp for something else, and one thing missing here is effects of any kind... perhaps you're looking at using out-of-rack solutions for that, but something like a FXAid would be great in here.

But still, the best advice would be to get a bigger case, if you can, even if it's just an Intelligel 104hp Palette case. This is going to be pretty limited.

I'm looking to move into a larger case soon, I already own a few modules outside of these. My plan is ultimately sell the 84HP case when these new modules are be aquired and never look back.

As for your pointers: I'll for sure take your advice and go lighter on the VCA's. I was looking at Tallin for it's overdrive capabilities, but I imagine the same can be accomplished in a smaller footprint. As you said, I do have some outboard FX, but ultimately I was looking to leverage some disting algo's to supplement me there. Nano-Rand looks really cool, so I'm going to look into that. Also gonna check out compact FX modules. Stackables and hubs instead of that Mult is also a smart idea. As for the VU meter... I have no excuse. It looks cool. Void is a local builder based in my area, I wanted to show him some support.

Thanks for your input! Cheers. :)

Controversial I know but, whilst lots of people love maths, but is it worth 25% of your rack...?

I had a quick look as to what I'd change (for me) The preview is cached, so doesnt match what I ended up, so you may need to click through here: ModularGrid Rack

In a rack this size I'd suggest looking at the Quadrax as an alternative to maths, smaller and very flexible, can act as a vco, envelope, LFO and a "drunken walk" style variable voltage output option, and has some very clever patching / internal routing.

For glitchy fx the 2hp freez is a lot of fun, so I added that, and the FX Aid for more flexible effects (including newish drum modes, but I think you'd want to keep that separate).

I've kept the VU meter because you are clear as to why you want it... but I've swapped out the intellijel quad vca for Veils to make space for it.

I've replaced the other 2hp drum modules with the 3hp Pico drums, it comes with good drum samples and you can also load your own samples into it, it has some drawbacks (one audio out) but its compact and flexible. Then maybe consider another Pico module to even out the HP... I've gone with pico trig which can be used as a master clock, a clock divider or for drum patterns.

I've added the squawk dirty for more variety of filtering options, it also includes its own vca and I've generally found it interesting to use post stereo mix, but it gives you a lot of different flavours in a small space.

My first sound sources were plaits and twin waves... I've definitely used the twin waves a lot more than plaits... but I'm sure you have a better idea of the kind of sounds you want to play with so I've left it as Knit. For the same 6u and bassline however, I'd take a look at the godspeed, it also has a built in wavefolder.

It feels like forbidden planet could be a little redundant in this build now, but filters are great for adding character. Or swap it out for something weird or interesting: Pizza, Twin waves, Compare 2, triple sloths, tilt or ochd + links (I went with the latter)

This is all very good input, it ultimately is my goal to move into a bigger case sooner rather than later.

I already own Forbidden Planet so it'll inevitably be incorperated but I'm always open to more filters. I've been playing around with getting them to self oscillate with resonance in a pinch when I want a basic voice, love all the stuff filters can do. I had another comment about FxAid on here, that would work nicely with disting and give me good FX options so that's a definite bookmark. I'm all for Veils, that seems like a good replacement for the bulky quad VCA, as someone above mentioned that it's a little overkill for a system this small.

Pico Drums sounds like a good call for a slightly larger system, and I can swap out the 2hp modules in the meatime. Having a dedicated trig and clock source sounds good, as it opens up Varigate and uOC for melodic sequencing.

My reason for running with the idea of Knit is that I've used Braids in the past and really liked it. I am however opening to aquiring more sound sources. I think Maths is on the whishlist but Quadrax being able to do so many things is pretty cool. I might spring for that solely because of it's smaller footprint.

All in all these are all super useful suggestions and now I have some really good modules on my radar. Man, now I just want ALL the things!

I wouldn't suggest that you sell off the current 1 x 84 skiff. You WILL want it for adding more modules later on. If you doubt this, contact me in a year's time and tell me about what you repurposed it for.

But instead of trying to build an entire synth in a 1 x 84 skiff (always a bad WILL wind up compromising subsystems in this build if you do!), I would suggest that you check out a Tiptop Mantis. We say that loads on here...and it's not JUST because of the 208 hp of space you get, but because the Mantis is a sensible size, has really good power specs, is lightweight and portable enough that Tiptop sells a custom gig bag for it, AND you can stack a second one with its special stacking brackets to double your space.

As for the really good idea might be to repurpose it as a controller/sequencer cab. You could put a Tempi/Rene mkii pair in there for sequencing and touchplate control, then maybe jam your performance mixing in the other half-ish, maybe with space to add a couple of CV faders for "remote" control of other modules. That would get two types of potentially chunky modules OUT of the Mantis...which, in the end, gets you still MORE space in that new cab. People don't seem to think a lot about the case implementations, and in the end that should actually be one of the FIRST considerations because that's one that depends on both you AND your available studio space. And you'll also hear it said that you should always make your case(s) too large...because, eventually they won't be!