Cheers ///
I have two potential builds for a 62HP Intellijel Palette Case and I need some handholding, and/or advice from more experienced people who are willing to offer it!

ModularGrid Rack

ModularGrid Rack

I am very new to the world of Eurorack Modular, but not distant... I have an array of various synthesizers, drum machines and grooveboxes. The Make Noise 0-Coast has been my introduction to this awesome new world of sonic sounds and I've been saturating myself with information here on ModularGrid, YouTube, Perfect Circuit etc.

The proposed cases above are based on my amateur research and what (I think) my needs and goals are:
•Sequencing capabilities
•Voice and some form of percussion
•Quality Build (and sound!)
•Intuitive introduction to modular synthesis
•Reasonable cost (I'd like to keep it under $2k)

Ultimately, the final build will be a combination of the two cases, if one doesn't overshadow the other in your humble opinion(s).

Do I have everything I need to make music within these cases? Are there better or more conservatively sized modules than the ones I've picked out? Are there unnecessary modules or any I may have accidentally doubled-up on, maybe one module that can perform the functions of another one and the limited space would be better suited for something else?

I truly appreciate any advice you're willing to offer, be it negative or positive or even "meh.." Thank you for your time and I'll look forward to any responses!

Keep on and stay gold,

I don't think either of these systems really do the trick, especially the second (that one has only a single drum voice, nothing else, which isn't in line with your stated goals).

For the first system: yes Maths is great and does lots of stuff, but in a 62-hp system, it takes up too much space. And the NE distortion module is fine, but it does only one thing. I'd consider removing these two modules and replacing them with something like the following: XAOC Zadar, a Noise Engineering Versio module, and whatever 4-hp module you think might be useful (the Q-Bit Nano-Rand might be fun, since you have no random source or S+H here). That'll cost you a little more, but it will pack a much greater wallop.

A much better idea though would be to move up to the 104hp version of this same case, and fill in the space you don't want to fill immediately with some blank panels (you can even make them out of cardboard). You're going to want the space eventually.

Hey Shakespeare ///
Thank you so much for your feedback! This is exactly the kind of information I need!

I've had my eye on the Zadar, I just wasn't sure if it was as capable or versatile as Maths. I was definitely not excited about how much space Maths takes up in a 62hp case as it's all pretty valuable real estate. I hadn't come across the NE Versio module in my research, so I appreciate your insight, that's a great suggestion! I had thrown the Intellijel Digiverb 1u tile up top as I would love to have some reverb, I imagine the Versio is much more powerful with more control. There's also the Pico DSP (it's a mere 3hp), would that be comparable? Which Versio Module were you thinking? My thought process was that the NE Vol Ruina would be my filter, the distortion was just kind of a bonus... If I omit this module and go for a Versio would I still need a filter?

The larger case is certainly much more alluring and I feel if I don't break down and go for it now, I will eventually go that route, I just kind of like the challenge (and portability) of a smaller case! What would you add to fill out a 104hp case just out of curiosity?

Again, I can't thank you enough for your time and your words, this is all so incredibly helpful!

Updated the first case taking into account Shakespeare's suggestions:

ModularGrid Rack

I have the Polaris in there for now as I think it'll be a solid filter and I like the phase shifting capability, but the NE Ampla and/or Lacrima Versio modules appear to offer more functionality in addition to the filter aspect?

Get a bigger case. TipTop Mantis is a favorite for it's value / high quality

If the 62hp case is too irresistible, here's a small self contained system would be fun to jam with

ModularGrid Rack

Pam's for sequencing gates and clocked modulation
Pico Seq for note sequencing
Plaits to generate a wide range of sounds
BIA for Kicks / Bass and weird sounds
Delta-V for function generator / VCA
Pico Drums for samples
Ghost for FX

Steppy for gate sequencing
Chainable stereo mixers

Hey 33PO ///
Thanks for your input and the suggested palette case build, this is so awesome!

The bigger case is eminent, my brother actually does finishing/cabinetry work, so I think it would actually be a fun project for us to team up on and build a custom case that's more accommodating for 300-400hp and beyond. That being said, I'd still like a mobile, self contained Jam-Box of sorts and your build above is definitely along the lines of what I'm hoping to achieve, so thank you again, I really appreciate your thoughts and guidance!

I wasn't aware of the Delta-V. After doing a little research, it looks like a great module and perfect for what I would need, thanks so much for putting that in front of me!

I guess my only question would be if Ghost is more than I would need for the smaller setup? Would I be better off swapping it for two smaller modules? Maybe a Versio and a filter of some sort?

Again, I'm inexperienced and a complete amateur, so I truly appreciate your words of wisdom! This is so helpful! I can't thank you enough!

Maybe something like this..?

ModularGrid Rack

•Swapped Plaits for smaller 8hp Calsynth variant for space conservation
•Swapped Ghost for Pico DSP and Ampla Versio modules for FX and Filter
•Added Headphone out

Does this seem viable? Any noticeable red flags? I could potentially add another Pico Drums to expand percussion/sampling capabilities or maybe a Disting MK4?

Ghost packs so much sound shaping into a single module it's impressive. Delay, Reverb, Compression (with side chain), VCA, multiple distortions, multi-mode filter PLUS the effects chain can be reordered with a single button press. To be honest I added it here because I want one, and I think it'd be awesome for a small standalone system.

Admittedly separate modules for all of the above will have greater flexibility, but also at greater space and greater cost. None will provide the instant gratification of a single module that does them all simultaneously.

The fun thing about modular is figuring out what works best for each us personally

Common advice to everyone is to get a bigger case than you think you'll need. AND start slow. Get a few modules at a time. Use them for a while to learn what you'd like to add next.

Pam's, Plaits and headphone out is enough to start making noises

Cheers 33PO ///

After reading about the Ghost and watching a couple videos of it in action, it's a total beast! I feel your enthusiasm and hope you're able to pick one up at some point! I'm definitely an advocate of multiple functions housed under one faceplate, and will certainly add Ghost to my ever-growing wishlist of modules to research and/or eventually obtain.

Thanks for the advice on starting slow with a few modules at a time, it's tough to bridle my excitement and approach the whole situation with patience and common sense rather than just dive in like part of me wants to! Perusing the forums here, the multitude of information available from manufacturers, retailers, YouTube, Reddit etc as well as help from people like yourself has been priceless and so helpful. I truly appreciate your time and words.

Okay... I think I'm getting close...

ModularGrid Rack

•Swapped dual chainable mixers for Quadratt as it can be used as mixer/attenuator/attenuverter
•Added S&H Module

•Brought Ghost back as it is so ridiculously versatile regarding effects
•Added 2hp Dual VCA

I'm feeling pretty good about this, but I'm unsure if that 2hp slot might be better utilized as something else as there are already two VCA's in the Delta-V? My other thought was the 2hp 4-Channel Mixer to support the Quadratt if necessary. Or maybe an equalizer or trimming module?

Have you already committed to the cases?

Hey Manbearpignick ///
I wouldn't say I'm entirely committed to the case, but the 64hp 4u palette case seems the best suited for portability. I have a bigger, more permanent shelf/rack in the works later down the road, but I'll be traveling for a few months this winter and I wanted to come up with a portable modular groove-box of sorts!

Here's an update with headphone out and a stereo mixer. (click through - the preview isn't updating)

ModularGrid Rack

Sanity check... MPC Live II or Synthstrom Deluge are about 1/2 the price of this rack. Both are portable, battery powered and have everything needed to compose full complex songs.

Hey 33PO ///
Nice! The Happy Nerding Mixer is a sweet addition, and I like that now with the 1u Stereo Out you can utilize the jacks on the case itself if you wanted to.

The voice of reason is valid though, for at least half the price you could get a piece of equipment that will actually do WAY more in a self-contained and portable unit than the palette case above... yikes.

Okay.. throwing another idea in :)
a Novation Circuit Tracks for traveling.. been my companion for a while now and before that the OG circuit; small and pretty tough device. Will set you back around 350 euros.

besides this; it has 4 midi tracks.. so at home it's my main sequencer plus drum machine for my eurorack system.

Hey TOMMI001 ///
Great suggestion! I have a Circuit Tracks and I adore it, I remember throwing a track together within minutes right out of the box and thinking to myself "Man... this thing is AWESOME!" Similar to you, the Circuit Tracks has travelled with me and has certainly earned a place in my heart (and luggage).

My thoughts surrounding the portable modular case idea were encouraged by workflow and inspiration. For me personally, and in my very limited experience with modular (with my 0-Coast, which isn't technically "modular" I guess...), the sound creation is much more organic and rewarding, if that makes any sense. It's more of a process or journey, but when you get that sound (either by accident or on purpose) that you've been looking for or newly discovered, I feel like it's so much more rewarding. To be able to achieve that while on the road with a smaller system would be so cool.

What I could do for now, is throw my 0-Coast in the bag with the Circuit Tracks, and in the interim, begin putting together a larger, more proper eurorack case at home, just one or a few modules at a time as unanimously suggested. That seems like the smarter, more logical path.

I have to admit though, the Palette Case above that has been collectively constructed with the help of Shakespeare and 33PO is pretty fricken sweet!

My advice for you would be to focus less on the actual modules - what each one can/cannot do and instead, try to hold off on buying things and get on VCV Rack. Since VCV (DAW that follows the rules of modular) is free and many manufacturers offer virtual versions of their real-world modules, it is an excellent way to learn. Or if you already have VCV, spend more time on it.

Based on your posts, I'd recommend you really get to know how voltage works in modular by using attenuators, attenuverters, offsets, and other essential utilities in your explorations on VCV - you simply won't get good results from the various racks you've been posting without them.

Check out Omri Cohen's YouTube and Patreon for an insane amount of content that covers all of this. And for books, try "An Individual Note" by Daphne Oram". "Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques and Controls" is another 'bible' for modular and is finally getting re-printed soon (Nov maybe) thanks to a Kickstarter.

Hope that helps and apologies if this comes of patronizing - everyone goes through the same journey really, myself included!

Hey Manbearpignick ///
I really appreciate your advice and I don't find it patronizing at all! This is golden information!

I downloaded VCV Rack a little while ago and messed around a little, I should really focus and spend more time with it exploring and learning the voltage(s) themselves and how different modules are affected by or affect them. You nailed it on the head, I definitely need to spend more time learning before I put together a physical system. It's just such an exciting new discovery for me and I need to restrain myself, do the recon and gather intel so I'm better equipped if and when the time comes to start acquiring physical modules.

Thank you so much for the Omri Cohen Youtube suggestion, that's awesome as well as the book recommendations! I honestly haven't been able to find much literature supporting the ins and outs of modular synthesis, there's a book by Kim Bjorn and Chris Meyer entitled "Patch and Tweak: Exploring Modular Synthesis" that seems like a more recent publication that could be helpful too...

I can't thank you enough for your words of guidance and suggestion, it's incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!

You're welcome. The Patch & Tweak book is nice but be warned, as it's a shopping catalogue in disguise and may make you lust for more modules!

Hey Manbearpignick ///
Thanks for the warning haha! The book itself retails for $75, that's already a bit of a red flag for me!

Late to the game on this thread but surprised nobody mentioned Ornament & Crime (or Disting EX or MK4) which give you a lot of flexibility in a smaller HP case like this, especially if you have Hemispheres installed on O_C, which is also available a 1U version.

Throwing in for FX Aid XL (or even Pro) which is 10HP smaller than Ghost (2HP less for FX Aid Pro). I think for a smaller setup like this, FX Aid XL will give you excellent effects in a much smaller module...and now you have 10HP more to play around with :)


Hey jb1264 ///
Thanks for chiming in! These are awesome considerations!

I looked at the O&C and it's variants, and I have the Disting MK4 in a few other potential cases as it seems like a no-brainer packing so many functions into a mere 4hp. My thoughts are that with Pam's, O&C and/or Disting in one small setup, while incredibly powerful and versatile, will be kind of time-consuming with the "menu-diving" and may inhibit creativity... but I also don't know for sure as I'm completely inexperienced and have never even seen or touched any of these modules in person. That's just my immediate reaction based solely on my amateur research. The Ghost, albeit big, still has the knob-per-function satisfaction I enjoy in more of the performative and messing around sense.

The Happy Nerding FX Aid XL looks awesome! MylarMelodies features it in one of his videos where he does builds in the smaller Intellijel Palette Case ("Suggested Systems" series) and creates some patches to feature each of the modules he's selected, so it's definitely been on my radar. Maybe the FX Aid teamed up with a Disting or Ornament and Crime module would be sort of a happy medium?

Again, thanks so much for your suggestions! This is all great stuff!

Like this little ridiculous thing...

ModularGrid Rack

Don't waste HP on the multiple

An envelope / LFO like Pons Asinorum would be a good choice

I'd keep one of the Pico Drums drop the 2nd, and drop the Pico Scale

Maybe switch the DistingMk4 for DistingEX

If there's room swap the 2hp VCA for one of the 4HP 2x VCA Veils clone

Hey 33PO ///
I made a few adjustments as per your suggestions:

ModularGrid Rack

Swapped out the two Picos (Scale and 1x Drums), the Buff Multi and 1x 2hp VCA for Pons Asinorum, and one of the 4hp 1/2 Veils Clone dual VCA's.

I can't fit the Disting EX AND the 4hp Dual VCA, unless I can possibly use another module as a clock source/generator? I would think one of these other modules could act as the clock but I'm just not sure, hence the dedicated 2hp module...

Hmm, that's a lot in a small space.

The 2hp VCA feels a little redundant with the larger one in there too. Here's some conflicting suggestions if you drop it and free up 2hp:
swap the FX-Aid for an FX-Aid XL
Disting can also be a clock, so maybe also drop the 2hp Clk and swap the DistingMK4 for the DistingEX

O/C + Plaits + a headphone out is all you'd really need to get started making bloops. Then start adding FX or anything you feel is missing

EDIT: Maybe 1 channel of Pons Asinorum in LFO mode could be used as a clock?

Hey 33PO ///
It's all packed in there pretty tight! Navigating patch cables to get to knobs will undoubtedly be a bit of a challenge!

ModularGrid Rack

I dropped the 2nd VCA and devoted the extra hp to the FX Aid XL, as I like that it has three separate modulation inputs amongst a few other additional features over it's smaller 4hp brother. I'm keeping the 2hp Clock module for now, maybe to free up the Disting for other functions.

I think this is a sweet little system! Your suggestions and help have been incredible, I'm truly indebted to you! Thank you so much!

I'll probably start perusing new/used gear for a 6hp Plaits, uO_C, a filter and a headphone out and see if I can't start slowly putting this together...