Adding drums to the modular looking for ideas

I’ve been eyeing the model:cycles for this use-case, but what are folks doing for sync? Right now all my gear is synced with analogue clock signals… not too keen to figure out a midi routing scheme (but maybe that is inevitable?)

I don’t have a Cycles but a couple of other Elektron boxes and their sequencer is righteous, especially tempo per pattern save. Plus you’d have 6 possible midi sequences with trig conditions and probability…good times.

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Add a cv.ocd and you’re good to go!


Have really been looking at the same. The :cycles seems great. But committed to integrating the Octatrack for now. Will be trying with the ALM mmMidi for a few simple midi to CV channels.

The Model:cycles is crazy value for money. Vast sonic potential, a great sequencer, MIDI sequencing too. I often have it paired with my somewhat percussive case, a couple of M:C channels sequencing Dinky’s Taiko and Akemie’s Taiko through mmMidi, powering the M:C from a USB outlet in the case. Very nice and compact for such a lot of percussive possibilities.


Of interest to people following this thread, I made some time to write up some ideas and share a script for how I’m doing this with a TXi and a crow to make a kind of minimal “Grids” solution for my case. Essentially the script gives you a set of patterns and density control for 3 or 4 channels in 6hp.

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Here’s my personal experience and takeaways from drums in the modular world.

Here’s what I’ve tried:

Drums in the rack (MI Peaks, 2hp Kick/snare/hat triggered by PNW, Marbles and Logic)
Pros: Can make really interesting rhythms easily with euclidean rhythms, logic modules, and my favorite, EOC/EOR outputs on function generators like Maths. Marbles slays for drums and makes spicing things up and adding variation easy.

Cons: Takes up a lot of rack space, and may take up some of your multi purpose modules to be used for drum purposes. Good sequencing and being able to mute/solo or quickly change beats requires an entirely separate set of modules

Elektron Digitakt
Pros: Great value box that performs more functions than just drums. Very quick and easy to program drum beats, mute/solo and change drum beats live. Infinite sound possibilities since you can just upload new drum samples.

Cons: You can’t control the Digitakt from modular. I suppose you could use a CV to Midi converter but would require a bit of up front dialing in. I’m also not crazy about triggered one shot sample drum sounds as they can don’t sonically mix with modular sounds(at least I’m not good at that). It’s a menu dive as well, if that matters to you.

I’ll preface this with saying I’ve only had a DFAM for about 3 days so I’m still figuring it out and my thoughts will surely change once I’ve had more time to work with it
Pros: Integrates with modular flawlessly both from a control and sound perspective. Great value and from my limited experienced DFAM is much more than just a percussion synth. You can easily it as a complex melodic voice with an external sequencer

Cons: Because there aren’t presets it requires a high level of familiarity and understanding to be able to use in a live setting and change from one idea to the next. Isn’t a true drum machine so has limitations in voicing. It can’t make standard drum beat sounds with kick/snare/hat without clever set up.

Overall feelings: I use a Digitakt for sampling mainly these days but it’s nice to have for easy drums. I’m really taken by the DFAM and so far it’s sounds and workflow really connect with me. I’m much more intrigued by experimental, droney, abstract, distorted and mangled sounds. But I can tell it’ll be a while before I have mastery over it and you can definitely find yourself getting into a “WTF IS HAPPENING” moment where it’s making sounds like dying goose. But that’s half of the fun, taming the beast, sometimes the beast wins.


Does anyone have opinions on MI Grids vs NE Numeric vs NE Zularic Repetitor?

i used to own a zularic repetitor. Great for getting weird and cool rhythms in no time. If you pair it with a clock divider it gets much complex when resetting it. Modulating the Mother parameter gives you more rhythms as well.

Instant juke/footwork in a module.

Its really fun as not only as a drum sequencer but for clocking sequencers or envelopes

Regarding Bassdrums:

Processing your bassdrum with waveshapers its the best thing. I used to have a Mutant BD with a Doepfer a137-1 next to it. It went from nasty BD to monster invoquing kind of sounds.

Here´s a demo i made


Conscious that I’m bringing this thread back from the dead - but I’m wondering if this idea for a little drum pod is mad, or if there’s a better approach for what I’m trying to achieve.

The nearest sonic equivalent I can cite in terms of the goal I’m trying to reach is Vladislav Delay (predominantly that 2005-2012 sound), as simply/concisely as possible. My larger rack would be used for everything else, and there’s TT, crow Marbles, etc for additional sequencing.



As a drummer this is what I’m trying to accomplish once I get settled in my new place


If I were putting together a dedicated drum rack this is for sure what I would do, though would maybe go for something more performable for gate generation like a Tempi, or even mutable grids with some more space, or one of noise engineerings repetitior modules. But if pre programming beats via menu is your thing PNW is definitely the most functionality for the space. Either way, your going to want a LOT of gates and maybe even a sequencer to get the most out of these three.


I agree. Programming rhythms with a PNW is interesting as it has a certain approach but very live friendly it sure isn’t. I’m using an Intellijel steppy with my PNW to sequence triggers and it’s a very nice combo. Steppy’s clock-based steps and PNW’s divisions, probabilities and euclideans complement each other really well.


Unfortunately, I find myself not-too-familiar with Vladislav Delay despite his fame so please take the below with grains of salt.

I regularly use all the modules you have set up in that drum pod and think you’re off to the races. I think you have a horse in the race and your horse could even win the race.

A few things to maybe keep in mind. The Taikos can very easily creep into goofy cartoon territory. My impression of Vladislav Delay is that his music has a more serious bent. If you believe you can handle or temper the “boing” and “sproing” then by all means proceed!

The other thing is that both the Akemie’s Taiko and BIA (and to an extent the Dinky’s) absolutely munch modulation. The BIA alone has 9 inputs and sounds incredible when most or all of them are patched up. That is to say, it sounds unpredictable which may or may not be desirable. Again, I don’t know how wacky V.D. gets.

If you are trying to create straight-forward drum beats I would reconsider all three drum modules in favor of more traditional flavors (like Tip Top’s 808 / 909 emulations) but if you are trying to create off-the-wall rhythmic noise that pod will get you 100% of the way there, especially with the sequencing and modulation your larger rack brings to the table.

Those are some of my thoughts about your drum pod. I hope you are able to get drumming soon!


I agree with this. My experience with PNW has been that it is a very flexible clock and modulation source but it is a bit awkward when you try to make it be a sequencer. Not that you can’t make it do all the typical drum patterns. You can. If just isn’t anywhere near as intuitive to fiddle about and turn steps off and on as an x0x style sequencer.

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I lov the Prok drums,. you can test them out in VCV Rack for $25 before getting the hardware. a vast range of sounds in these,. .

Cannot reccomend serge res EQs enough for drums

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I really like them, but the hardware versions are really noisy. If your music is really busy, it hides it, but as I’ve improved my setup, it started to bother me more.

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I agree with Pam being not ideal if you need to program stuff on the fly, I love it as my main clock but not so much as a sequencer.
For quick rhythmic stuff my favorite module is the Dnipro DOT.

I love this!


One module I really like for drums is the ADDAC 106 T-Noiseworks. It is four channels of filters with a noise source, and can be either triggered or sent envelopes. It can easily generate hihats, snares and claps, but what is even more fun is sending it audiorate signals. I sometimes run an entire mix through it and it basically generates a layer of noisy, rattling percussion based on the contours of the signal.

And I echo the Intellijel Steppy as a very intuitive hands on gate sequencer. I wasn’t sure from watching videos how playable it really is, but it’s one of the most hands-on, immediate interfaces I’ve tried.

Lastly, after trying various drum modules and also playing the Digitakt along with the modular (a workflow I didn’t enjoy), I’d say for me a couple snappy low pass gates beats any drum module.