Take a look at brand new module, Wear and Tear:
https://ampersandampersand.co/products/wear-and-tear


Thread: System XZ

-- the Instruo Arbhar is majorly weakened for only having Mono Input, so I skipped.

Just a note on this: the Arbhar has a Stereo Input mode. Hold Shift + Capture and Turn the Intensity pot to the right for Stereo Input (In = L, Onset = R) : )


I'd start with the Vhikk X and build my system around that.


Checkout the Steady State Fate Autodyne:


No advice, just a quick mention: Here is the 1HP minimalist module that matches the borders, which you can use to create the appearance of two cases side-by-side. It's what I use as a separator between my cases. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/other-unknown-1hp-spacer-for-minimalist-rack


Very Cool. If you do get it, make sure to update to the latest firmware--it's an easy drag and drop from the computer--because they keep adding new FX and your unit might not be right up to date. : )

Happy patching!


There is a utility module from Xaoc called Samara, the scan mode will switch through three inputs when a fourth signal crosses the threshold (-1 to +1, +1 to +3, +3 above). But it sounds like you want to multiply a signal and invert one copy so your two destinations mirror one another. In which case, look into Invert, Polarizer, Offset modules and if you only need on/off (0% to 100%) see Gate Logic like NOT.


Check out a Multi-FX module.

Detroit Modular has the ALM MFX. (B-stock & Black Friday sale for discounts). It will fit in the remaining space you have and it suits your techno style. The echo, reverb, ensemble, and phaser effects would really liven up that beehive. I think you'd like it.


Here's a simple idea, you might not have thought of, to start you off—4 modules.

DUSTY PULSING DRONE:
1. Patch the SINE from your AI011 Analog VCO into your AI002 Mixer. Manually tune the VCO to a low bass note.
2. Patch the SINE from your DUAL LFO/VCO (VCO mode) into your AI002 Mixer. Manually tune the SINE to approximately the same note. You'll note how the SINES will beat against one another when they are close. That is, the volume will wobble rhythmically.

  1. Patch the PINK NOISE Output from your EDU NOISE/S&H into the FM Input on your AI011 Analog VCO.
  2. Turn up the FM knob to taste. —You'll have a thick pulsating dusty-type character to your sound, good starting dirty timbre for ambient-drone stuff. It should sound like an incoming helicopter, train, or some kind of machine motor.

Experiment—go from there...


A Buffered Mult: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/intellijel-buff-mult

You will be able to modulate multiple parameters simultaneously with a single voltage source (1 x 6) or send the same pitch sequence to both Dixie and Plaits, or split the Out from Plaits into multiple paths (i.e one into MFX—one into Filter) and create a multi-dimensional layered sound that you could Pan around. Lots more.


Your second row 64 has 7 modules. But the 64 only has 6 power headers.
You'll need to lose a module or buy a Multi Power Cable accessory.
There's a 16/10pin and a 16pin version:
https://4mscompany.com/modaccessories.php

It looks like you plug the 16pin into a power header and then plug the 10pin (or 16pin) connectors directly to your other modules. That'll make more sense when you have your modules.

Don't forget to upgrade Plaits' firmware so you get the Orange mode!

And post your tunes! : )


FYI, that last Plaits sold—was it you? That’s likely the end of new, store bought, Mutable Plaits.


Hey, thanks.

Plaits is out of production but still available...—https://technosynth.com/en/produit/plaits/

(shhhh, might be the last one in North America). There are also clones.

If you want a cool LFO, I'd recommend looking at Zadar. It is 4 envelope generators with 270 different shapes that can be warped, stretched, slowed right down to like a half and hour — in the menu there is the ability to loop the envelopes, creating LFOs out of whatever shapes you select. I actually have two Plaits and a Zadar in a 64 on my bedside table right now as a fun little insomnia box so I can vouch for this setup: https://i.ibb.co/0rHpCCp/Screen-Shot-2023-02-04-at-11-45-33-PM.png

But I don't use clocks or sequencers so I can't be very helpful in that department.

Good Luck! Have fun!


Personally, I would switch the Dixie for a Plaits (the sounds of the Dixie are covered in just the first three synthesis modes on the Plaits: variable saw and pulse, hard sync, FM, waveshaping. And then with Plaits there's the formant, additive, wavetable, wave terrain, vowel, granular, particle, resonator, drum modes, etc. not to mention the firmware upgrade where you can add your own sounds)—big value for a little case. I promise.

And I would switch the Source of Uncertainty for a Wogglebug, which markets itself as an expansion of the Buchla design anyways. And it's like half the size. That frees you up 10hp for an additional module—you have six slots in the 64X.

With daisy-chained cases giving you 128hp, and this bit you wrote:

"I'm more interested in setting up an exploratory tool for playing with raw sound. My creative output thrives on limits and finding ways around those to find unorthodox methodologies and sounds."

I would recommend a Morphagene or Arbhar. It might also be a good idea to get a module that you can send to your pedalboards. Something like: ALM006 - S.B.G.

As for the rest, you've got it right: "I could get my hands on a few good pieces, learn what I've got, what I lack, and then build out the second case based on that."

Learn on the job and you'll learn fast.


1_ A Guitar into Beads is a fun idea. Beads has 'attenurandomizers' for randomizing the most creative aspects of the module so you can just sit back, jam, and get lost—I've played a guitar into Beads for hours in the dark.

2_ For Drums, have you seen the Percussion Interface from 4ms?
I love envelope followers! I think they are the most special, magical modules to have. Everyone, but kids especially, light up when they scrape or hit a surface or pluck a spring and hear some grand elaborate sound come out. It feels as though the sounds were generated by the surface touch 1:1. That's my favourite parlour trick.

3_ You're leaning heavy on the 'random' generative modules but as you're an acoustic musician also, I can't imagine you'd be amused by random for very long—like watching television with randomized channel changing—at some point the guitarist or drummer in you will kick in and you'll want the randomizing entertainment and the novelty to stop so you can develop a groove, or refine an idea to an expressive personal musical level. The "random abrupt percussive esque stuff" you like might not actually be random so much as unexpected, and that is the listeners perspective. Once in control of the modules, random, true randomness like chaotic arbitrariness can be either boring or anxiety inducing—you'll find yourself always twiddling knobs for a more 'refined', 'character', 'musical' sound.

4_ The good thing about the Intellijel 62 is that it is super popular. Put it in your search engine and image search all the other people with your exact case asking for advice and showing their setup. (Especially from r/modular and the Intellijel forum)

5_ 62HP is a great start. You could always buy a bigger case later and use the 62 for more portable duties. Modules like the Tetrapad and Planar are great to have as lap or close-at-hand controllers in a 62. This setup is a good explanation of what I mean when I say what sounds like random from the audiences perspective can actually be tightly controlled, hands-on performance modulation: (note: at 0:56 he set it to randomize only to quickly abandon it for the more controlled sound with the joystick and the sliders—he literally couldn't listen to more than 2 seconds of randomness before he turned it off. That's worth noting.)

6_ You can still buy C4RBN, just don't prolong buying it for very long. If you can't get a C4RBN there is the µVCF at 6HP and then Wasp, Ikarie, Ripples, etc at 8HP. A filter is one module that you will want to play hands-on. So that's where size is 'the bigger, the better' —Perhaps rethink having a Maths eat up 1/3 of your available rack space. You won't find many 62 cases with such a big utility module. (consider the Make Noise Function or Instruo Cnoc). But there's always more room in more racks. : )


That’s great to hear. No, I don’t think anything is missing. Maybe for the type of ambient-evolving-soundscapes, I’d recommend the Morpheus filter (controlled by long Zadar envelopes) or Arbhar. But I don’t know if that’s your type of ambience. For Aphex Twin ambient, you’re good. And it looks like that's probably what you’re going for.


What do you think of my modular? Is there something missing or too much??

-- Denkraumverzerrt

I think there might be too much — as in literally too much modules. Rows 3 and 4 extend an hp beyond the boundaries of the case dimensions. Can you get all those modules to fit in your case? If not, the least amount of movement would be replacing Links (4hp) and Pico DSP (3hp) for modules that are 2hp; or putting Pico on the Links row (trading places), and buying a 2hp mult for the Pico row.


No comment, 'just a heads up;

Have you already bought all four C4RBN's? They are discontinued and sold out basically everywhere, with one exception I found—listed as the 'final batch' and available as a pre-order, if you're interested, fingers crossed they are getting at least four remaining:
https://www.rhythmiqx.ca/products/c4rbn?_pos=1&_sid=9f223768d&_ss=r

And the gold FX Aid XL; I couldn't get one. I eventually gave up waiting for a Reverb post or a faceplate restock from Signal Sounds.

Like the saying, 'We live, not as we wish to, but as we can': We build our modular cases, not as we wish to, but as we can.


Hey luinnar,

— Buy a Plaits before they are all gone and upgrade it to the latest firmware. You'll hear so many sweet spots in the Orange mode you'll be fine delaying the Cs-L until you have a bigger case (and you can still practice using it for free in your VCV rack anyways). And Plaits offers some noise, drum sources, to cover your concern.

— For ambient, look into Zadar. It is 4 envelopes in 10HP. But instead of ADSR it is 260 different shapes that can be warped, sized, shifted, and reshaped. The length of the shape can go from a tiny fraction of a second up to 30 minutes. And the shapes can be set to repeat infinitely so it's also 4 LFOs. What's really cool about it is that you can use one shape to modulate another. So you can set the first envelope to be warped by the second, being warped by the third and by the fourth. You can make really interesting unique shapes quickly; it's impossible to exhaust and you can save presets if you hit on some good ones. Perfect for ambient stretches that always evolve. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/xaoc-devices-zadar

— Try out the free ALM Tangle Quartet in VCV. It's 8HP and much less cramped than the Doepfer. Intellijel Quad is 12HP so it won't fit your constraints, you'll need to rearrange your rack.

— One recommendation I'd make is to buy Befaco Knurlies. They are little screws you can turn with your fingers. No rack rash. And you can swap modules so quickly and painlessly—I have a big fixed case but also a small portable 64HP, and for Christmas I boxed up some modules and I must have switched things five or six times in an hour playing for my family. I couldn't imagine using a screwdriver.

— I love multis because you can send one cv source to multiple destinations--like a macro control and to keep your modulations tight and musical. Also try the Instruo [1]f in VCV. It is a crossfader, but also attenuates / polarizes a single source, and can offset.

Remember in modular, you can solve every obstacle with a little more space and a little more money. :)

15-20 cables is a good start, but you may find yourself not using more than 10 often. Using your hands to play the knobs is more fun.

That's my advice'ishness.


Have you tried this?…

You can assign a cv output on the shuttle control to its own internalized random voltage source; 3 source types listed: randomized, quantized random, and stored random. Check out the Shuttle Control software dropdown menu—https://cargo4.endorphin.es/

All 3 randomized outputs are on an assignable note so all you would need to do in Ableton is press the appropriate note, I think. It might act like a gate. I don’t know.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


The idea was to be able to play polyphonically and also have some slots leftover for random lfos etc. But I'm sure 1 expander would be good. If I drop one of those any suggestions for another 4hp module to fill the case?

I'm a big fan of Trent Reznor and his experimental scores so this will heavily be a sound design rack...however I want to be able to play live with my keystep pro. Bitbox for percussion, keystep pro sequencing that. Then I have many voices leftover in my rack.
-- echo7

For FH-2 polyphonic playing you could setup in the configuration tool:
Type: Poly, 2 Voices;
Per Voice Ouputs: CV, Gate or Trigger, Velocity(?) and Envelope(?). ( 4 x 4 )
Then you'd have a full 8 expander outputs for whatever—the filter and repeater, one of the Noise Engineering modules, bitbox?

You have two oscillators yes, so to play your rig polyphonically you'd have to patch both oscillators and mix them down to a single centred output so you can then bring them into your reverb, delay effects and make them stereo. Otherwise you'll have two voices, one in left side, one in right—probably not what you want. Of course you can record each voice separately and have as many layers as you want in your DAW. But you basically have two subtractive signal paths osc/bb>filter>fx and osc/bb>fx>filter, so this is not gonna be complicated.

The bitbox does multisample polyphony too with MIDI, so you have that option with your Keystep.

If you dropped an expander there is the Disting, I don't have it but it is VERY POPULAR—44128 racks.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/expert-sleepers-disting-mk4

or since you're doing sound design you could look into the Happy Nerding FX—also well liked and popular, also something I don't have, haha. https://www.modulargrid.net/e/happy-nerding-fx-aid-black-gold

Ultimately it comes down to you. Personally I'd probably not devote so much hp in a small case to a reverb and two different delays... but your name is Echo so that's your thing. Do your thing.


With the black STO, Maths, they're actually just cheap black faceplates you can buy and swap at any time.
Just fancy looking things, not necessary: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/other-unknown-materia-urania-maths-black-gold

Yes, with the FH-2 you have enough modulation sources: and if you incorporate it with your DAW you can assign CC numbers to the outputs and draw in your automation—any curve you can create. Including the expanders, no matter how you arrange them, 24 outputs is a lot for your case. I have no idea where you're planning on putting them all!

If you can describe the type of music you make or want to make or can compare it to musicians you're inspired by, other members with similar taste might have helpful advice on finishing your rack.


I’d black out the case and rearrange some modules:
ModularGrid Rack

  • The FH-2 is gonna have a long usb cable attached so best to keep it off to the side so it doesn’t hang over your Maths.

  • The X Pan Out at the top makes for cleaner patching to your In/Out just below.

  • 2HP VCAs spaced apart for easier patching. (Wherever you put them)

  • Bitbox and Rene for faster dominant right hand navigation. Especially bitbox screen usage. And you can tuck the bitbox output cables up the side to your master out so they’re not in the way.

  • The top row progresses logically from Sound to Space, Mono to Stereo modules. Your sound sources then Desmodus for synthetic tail mono in / stereo out patching followed by your stereo modules: Qpas, Mimeophon, Nautilus, XPan. Or Desmodus after Nautilus if you’re using it as a final reverb.

  • Maths next to the LFO and Tempi (time defining modules), just below the mults for system wide patching.

Go to the “Sketch a Patch” in your My Modular, and draw up some patches. You’ll learn whether your modules and layout inspires you or needs improvements and tidying.


levels looked exactly where they should be. > -- ChrisfromDC

You can confirm the signal was sent correctly into the module and 2-3 of the top 4 LEDs were lit while the remaining bottom 4 were cycling green, yes? And the file finished playing? At any point during the process did all the lights blink red?

Note: After you're done playing the file it will automatically reboot and look exactly as it did—no obvious indications. You'll have to press both A buttons simultaneously (not hold them but not tap them either; just a generic medium press) before you have the ability to scroll through the presets sideways. Then you'll have to press left or right to get to the Orange models.

I have two Plaits and had a problem midway through the second when playing the file through VLC (it must have some kind of EQ or volume booster, audio algorithm) but no problem with either when just playing the file directly off my desktop. And yes, after it was done it looked like nothing happened. I had to press both buttons before I could toggle through the models.

That might help.


Hey, to cover some of your questions;

Rookie mistake is probably that row of 2HP modules. That is really tight. You wouldn’t realize it until you had them patched just how difficult it is to reach in, not only to get at and turn the knobs, but also to pull out and insert new cables into the jacks.

Poor modules is something to look into—those Sylph Mutable Clones have poor ratings: Marbles 3/5, Rings 2.5/5, Ripples 1/5, Clouds 1/5, Plaits 1/5. Troll ratings maybe? Or legit quality issues?

If your main goal is to compliment your Moog and to rinse every last bit of functionality in as small a space as possible, check out the Poly Effects Hector. If you don’t mind some menu diving, the Hector has 100s of built in modules including all of the Mutable Instruments in your case and more: Warps, Grids, Plaits, Rings, Clouds, Tides, and Marbles. Might be a module you’re interested in collecting: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/poly-effects-hector

I don’t have it. But I have Mutable Instruments modules and for the price I paid I could have bought like 3 of those Hectors. haha, maybe that was my rookie mistake. :)


Method 1: Send White Noise into Rings, not a trigger. You can get Filtered White Noise from Plaits. It's the second red mode. And then to Veils with a Long Attack/Release stage envelope.

Method 2: Trigger Rings as you would. Ting. Adjust Damping to make it decay a little longer and send it to Beads with the Reverb Fully Wet. Tinnnnng. Then to Veils with a long attack. You won't hear much of the initial ting from Rings, only the tail—a long, ethereal smear. nnnnnnnnnnng.

Method 3: Trigger Rings or excite it with white noise. Send it to Beads and press Freeze when it gets to a good spot in the decay. You now have a pad or drone sound. Or use the cv input to gate the Freeze button so you can sequence it as you please.


I have nothing to add to your rack but I will say the benefit to FX modules is having the ability to manipulate the parameters in realtime. Distortion, Bitcrushing, Phase and Pitch Shifting, Ring Modulation, Reverb, Delay, Comb Filtering, etc, etc. all become way more expressive when they are under your control with modulation. So a snare with say, a pulsating gated reverb tail or delay combined with some modulating bitcrushing and frequency shifting is gonna sound incredibly complex and wont mentally tax you, that is, you can quickly patch simple sources into dramatic and uniquely multi-layered creations with little effort—so you can focus more of your time on the actual quality of your ideas and not problem solving. I think with pedals you're limited by how many hands you can get on the knobs or you might just step on a phaser and be done with it. You know? Music is all about movement, or more specifically, the energy in the moving. #1 goal in modular building, like instrument playing, is finding the best way to maximize energy, control it, and do it efficiently.

Steady State Fate Triptych is worth checking out for distortion manipulation (and gives you another filter and flanging-comb fx): Steady State Fate Triptych Promo Video


@HGsynth,

You say in your layout description you have 'MIDI in the bottom left' but you have the ES-8 which is an Audio Interface, I think. You might be thinking of the FH-2 instead yes? That does MIDI to CV conversion so you can play from external USB devices and your DAW, etc. An interesting alternative to the Transmit 2 output is 4ms' Listen i/o. It's the same 6HP but has two mono inputs and stereo outputs, and both outputs can be used as headphone jacks. I play sounds out of my DAW, iPad, iPhone, acoustic instruments, (using the headphone output on my devices with a 3.5mm stereo-to-split-mono cable) through modular and then record them back into the DAW (with a stereo-3.5mm-to-dual-mono-6.5mm cable) using the line input on my audio interface. (I have it routed properly in my settings so there is no feedback issues). It works!

None of these need a buffered mult - a passive will be more than adequate

Don't worry, it's just an example, haha. He's already got two buffered multiples in the rack, I'm just patching his design. BUT... He listed his need to connect with 'external gear' and be 'a multi-voiced instrument'. So if he is pitch tracking from his DAW or keyboard split four ways by a passive multi into that Quad VCO and the voices sound out of tune—knowing full well he spent 13K on a rack and then cheaped out on passives just to save an extra $30 will make a dreadfully bitter jam to dance to.

That Music Modular Thing Four Big Knobs is a DIY project so you're gonna have to build it yourself or maybe find someone selling it already. If you don't have the soldering stuff you might want something else. I think you should check out Intellijel's Tetrapad as a potential substitute.

Anyways good luck! Hope you find your sound.


You have quite a lot of LFO's. By my count, it's 62 separate sources. That includes not only the dedicated LFO modules but also things like Pam's, Data, Maths, Zadar, and the Cs-L (9 in LFO mode). That would be difficult to keep track of and tweak in large patches. And a lot of Polarizers, 17 or so I see, which may not all be so necessary when so many modules have built in attenuverters.

I'm really big into Buffered Multiples. I have 14 and it's not enough. I'll tell you why you should consider adding more using a simple idea from your system:

Switchy Glitchy-Icicle Sound:
— Start with a Boring Sound > Send it to your Buffered Multiple and split it into 2 copies.
— Sound 1 goes into Data Bender and into Veils 1-2.
— Sound 2 goes into Beads (Scorched Cassette mode) and into Veils 3-4.
— Split a single LFO and invert one copy in 321. Send each to Veils 1-2, 3-4. (Split the inverted copy for later)
... Now the sound will rotate between two crunchy variations, call it "Data Blending Grains of Beads". Mix down in Stmix or send to Morph 4 for deeper crossfading with a another source.

But you're entirely out of Multis and you've only made one sound! That idea expands out of your reach if you multiply Beads into not only Veils but another VCA and trigger the Freeze function using the extra copy of the inverted LFO that gated your Data Bender channel. Then you'd have a Data Bender Sound with Frozen Beads interspersed which could then be sent for further processing in FX Aid—all with only one LFO needed. But a typical LFO is too predictable; you could humanize your crossfading with Zadar as an LFO and modulate the shape of the envelope in realtime. You could control the volume curves of the crossfading using the Nin expander with your Joystick, but you'd need at least another 2 multiples to move that depth of modulation from a single controller. Or you could 'play' the crossfade with the knob control: Turn Left for the Data Bender, Right for Beads. As you can see, lots of potential for ambient, generative soundscape design when you can stretch Zadar envelopes over minutes with intricate reverb-soaked crossfading; or variations on full drum beats; or wavefolded melodic line madness, etc.

So it may be something to consider; keeping your most favourite LFO's, and multiplying those signals instead of reaching for 62 separate sources. You can only use so many time divisions before polyrhythmic modulation sounds sloppy. The expressive potential of modulation is in how the attenuverters interact with one another and that can be controlled very well with just a few sources multiplied subtly(!) across many inputs in complex routing schemes.

Make sense? So maybe a few more buffered multiples would be my advice.

Note: If you don't have them already, you'll wanna get Rings, Beads, and Veils ASAP as they have stopped production. If memory serves, Perfect Circuit is the last place that has Veils and Beads for sale. Rings is gonna be tricky to find available in a store, so you might have to swap in a Rings clone instead.


The ACL is 6hp, Buffs are 2hp, so it was for conserving space and distributing them where you’d be most likely to use them—close to the vcas, where you could split a modulator to control multiple amplitudes; close to the LFOs and envelopes, where you could split them to control multiple parameters; and close to a sound source, where you could split it for parallel routing. Justa space thing.

You can share your build by inserting the link and it will be displayed as a picture. That will save you having to take a jpg screenshot. But it sounds like you’ve mostly got this figured out, just the vcas remain, yes?


Here's an idea for completing your rack, keeping your goals in mind:
—Substituted the ACL Multi II for two 2HP Buff Mults (one black/one white);
—Upgraded the Disting MK4 to the EX;
—Swapped the Ochd for a Batumi with Poti Expander (not necessary);
—Switched the 2 Doepfer VCA's for a Zlob Vnlcursal VCA;

That's 6 VCAs and Sum, 4x3 or 2x6 Buffered Multis, 4 LFOs, and a 'suped-up' Disting.
ModularGrid Rack

Something to play with.