104 hp inspiration


Among the very accessible things include a very clear signal flow with decent metering. I use it as a stereo mixer with lots of mono ins, an output module and six track recorder. This is just the top level stuff.

Currently I’m just quick saving to memory slot 1 each nightly power down, pop back in next evening and load up my quicksave. This makes keeping the patch evolving between days real easy. Often I just use it for easy tasks like those. A little limiter, an EQ.

Navigation reminds me of when I used to have an MPC2000xl, where the big wheel conditioned my muscle memory.

An added level of complexity is processing samples and signal chains with external cv control. The looper and granular sample handling is slightly more complex but should still be fun.

Suddenly there’s a downloadable custom unit which adds all sorts of fun with macros.

It’s just in light use but also just what I needed to keep the lid on the GAS.

Legendary reference:


I guess only trying it will tell, but my experience on the subject is this:
Make Noise power : 1.2A in the +12v rail
I have a Synthrotek (2A in the +12v) in a 128hp system, very similar to yours, lots of digital, lots of Mutable. Upon turning it on, Elements doesn’t light up, because of the initial inrush current. So, the amount of amps of your system is important, but also the amount of inrush, which people don’t talk about that much. So now, I have to use two powers, one for each 64hp line, while I wait for my Elby CGS power delay.
So that’s my only guess. But if you already have all that powered up without problems, then I’d guess the grid must suck power specially from the 5V rail, which is not used at all by the rest of your modules. So maybe you’re fine


this is mine, I know it exceeds 104Hp, it’s 126HP… I took the panel off to earn some HPs :wink:


+10 for kmix. Changed my life!


Interesting thread! I’m thinking about these “restrictive” modulars (which is a great approach) and cases… I guess a 104 hp-system is fairly mobile, generally speaking. Is there any go-to case/case manufacturer when having a limited amount of modules like this and wanting to have the possibility to travel/tour/pack it up easily?

I’ve been eyeing this Bastl rumburak-case (2x52 hp) for a while now: http://noise.kitchen/shop/case/bastl-rumburak-case/

Has anyone tried it, or heard anything about it? Thanks :slight_smile:


When I was looking for a travel case, I came across the Bastl. I do think their design sensibility doesn’t fit with how I approach music, and also I think a plywood case isn’t a go to for touring…

I have a Trogotronic 168… I would highly recommend. Enough power for all of my digital modules, can closed patched, and is somewhat weatherproof… they can be had for 325 used, too!


I’d love to hear some live sets/ live improv people are doing with just 104hp.

While I love the spare, minimalist idea behind jamming with just one solid row of modules, I personally find it difficult to continually make interesting things happen for 20+ minutes with much less than I have now (9u of 84hp).

In the limited number of live gigs I’ve played with modular, one thing I’ve learned is that it’s a lot easier to play longer gigs with more modules to play with. :alien: :space_invader: :robot:


I experimented with my 104 configurations (without actually re-racking to my 104 HP skiff, so I kind of cheated). I realize now that for what I want I need more envelopes. I’m not sure I can get away with my designs unless I drop the Phonogene.

The 104 challenge is fun to keep iterating on.

This is the latest,

EDITED: I made a mistake and modified the rack on modular grid. Because I linked directly, the image isn’t useful anymore. Picture a system based around a DPO. It didn’t work out in practice.

Drops any kind of effects at the end of the chain, which is a bummer. I think I just need to swap out some core functions (envelope mostly) for some lower HP modules. I could also cheat a bit and put an ES-8 in there and use CV-toolkit to fit things in.

In short, I think I’m out of the 104 HP club for a while. :pineapple:


Has to be said, the DPO is really wide.


Shhhh! It’ll hear you!

I know it’s wide, but I love it. If you try to pack in two VCO’s, wave shaping and folding, I think you’re hard pressed to get it in less HP. Might be able to shave off 2 HP?


I think it’s possible to shave off more than that, but then again, there are diminishing returns in the game of HP golf.


I never pay attention to DPO, so don’t know what can be done with it. But 2 mangroves would get the job done and they use less space.


Here’s an improvisation with my current 104 hp skiff. As the Vimeo description reads:

Raw audio, Raw footage. Just a modular synth and an OP-1 to ElCapistan to BlueSky into a Tascam cassette recorder.

An improvisation with no previous ideas, with mistakes. It started with some radio noise captured with the OP-1 processed with the Phonogene… ended ambient.

¿No patience? Better skip the first two minutes.

- Make Noise Wogglebug and Phonogen
- Monome Ansible, Kria with Grid as the sequencer
- Mangrove
- Mutable Instruments Rings, Clouds, Peaks, Ripples, Shades and Links


Enjoyed that, nice work.


I’d probably go with something like this… let’s you do some nice FM/complex waveform stuff or generic subtractive things.


A colleague and I are hosting a lunch and learn at work on modular. He’s bringing a 6u * 104HP system mostly focused on video synthesis, I’m bringing this skiff,

The intent of the skiff was to show the basics of a VCO (STO), VCA (LxD), envelope (Maths), clock (wogglebug) and sequencing / v/oct (Rene) plus how reverb makes everything sound cooler (Clouds).

It’s a variation on the MN Cartesian system. I used it to get my ten year old playing around this weekend, so I think it’ll work for what I want. I’ve also had a pretty fun time playing with it myself. I was definitely a make noise devotee in the beginning of my modular life, it’s been fun to strip it back to just MN stuff (yes, clouds…but I’m using parasites firmware and the Erbe Verb clone).

FM synthesis

Can you post your friend’s system? It would be great!


I’ll ask him, I know it’s based largely on LZX Industries stuff.


I’ve been thinking about this skiff for a good bit of time. I’m kind of doubly cheating here, as it’s 6U 110hp. I feel it’s just the right size for it to be a full instrument while keeping a healthy amount of creative constraint. It only has partly materialized yet — I’ve prototyped a smaller case and I’ve got the Mannequins stuff, the ES-8 and the René.

The Mannequins modules have just been completely amazing so far, especially Just Friends. In order to maximise the possibilities for exploration I’ve tried to unbind it from from a specific role: it can do rhythms, but Tempi can take over; — it can do function generation, but Contour and Function can take over; — it can do oscillator duties, but Mangrove can do it too.

I’ve tried getting a lot of complexity in the rhythm and composition department: Tempi, Teletype, Presure Points, Brains and René make for a lot of meta-sequencing and exploration, plus an extra bit of touch-plate expressivity. Walk allows for hands-free control, which will be very handy as I want to play cello along with it.

Morphagene will allow me to do live looping and granulation, along with crazy delays and granular feedback loops. Putting Three Sisters and Cold Mac within these loops is going to be a lot of fun. The Erbe-Verb will give me a wild and beautiful reverb that begs for creative use. I’ve found that making full use of the stereo field can really bring life to patches, which is why I’m veering towards the Scan & Pan.

Then, there’s the ES-8, which I’ll use in conjunction with Audulus 3 on an iPad and Max on a Mac, when I actually get to learn it. Having almost seamless access to a digital rack expansion has been ridiculously useful so far.


Here it is,

I know very very little about how it all works. We’re going to spend a few hours Friday evening figuring out how to collaborate. If anything looks video-worthy, I’ll snap some phone video.