The idea behind this rack is to build a new performance techno rig that I can use as a practice instrument (and for fun). I want to dig into sound design and so use a sampler such as the Erika Sample Drum a central piece of the system. There is no plan to bring a DAW into the picture.

ModularGrid Rack

Some notable inspirations are Julia Bondar's standalone racks (without the heavy use of modules) and some of Jeremy Blake's (aka Red Means Recording) live performance rigs.


I already have a Mantis case, with which I am very satisfied!


On the top row, there are two VCO sound sources (Plaits, C&P), two filters (Forbidden Planet, QPAS), and an wavefolder. Following that is a straightforward way to add a drum track, with two Pico Drum2. Next is the Sample Drum that I'll use with both externally created samples and recordings. The A-138s mixer is there to create a stereo sound path out of the multiple sources. That can then be fed into one of the stereo effects modules, such as the FX Aid and Beads.

Bottom row is where I'm really unsure about what works well. It starts with Shuttle Control being driven by the BSP. Pamela, Batumi, Maths, and Zadar generate all the necessary triggers, LFOs, and some envelopes. Veils is the main VCA. I'm still figuring out the role of Ornament & Crime, but so far I appreciate its versatility. Shades can be used to adjust gain or CV if necessary. Finally, Prism and Viol Ruina bring some more sound manipulation. The last WMD MSCL provides compression.

Half of the modules come from a previous rack (in a tiny Cre8audio NiftyCASE), which still seem suited for this new rack:
- Mutable Plaits
- Mutable Beads
- Mutable Veils
- Mutable Shades
- Winterbloom Castor & Pollux
- ALM Pamela's NEW Workout
- Make Noise QPAS
- Tip Top Forbidden Planet
- Erika Pico Drum2 (2x)
- Doepfer A-138s
- After Later uO_C


I'll be doing most of the sequencing of the melodic parts and percussion on a BeatStep Pro. Although I don't plan to travel with the case, it seems more ergonomic to dispatch the signals from a MIDI-CV module such as the Shuttle Control, than to route cables from the back of the BSP.

Output and Mixing

The audio outputs are all going to be sent to a Mackie 1202 mixer. I'm concerned that it could be difficult to quickly stage or adjust the gain of the some sound paths, so I included a Mutable Shades to perform simple attenuation if needed.