Eurorack: ask questions here


As a sound source, 3 Sisters Low output is the only one that is tuned for 1v per octave. The others wont quite track.

Edit: According to the manual.


Hmm, I felt like Three Sisters tracked fairly decently on all the outputs (but Low was the most accurately shaped sine if I remember right?) I used the center to tune and then if I wanted more voices I’d adjust the intervals in Span.

I used my TS mostly as a sound source and for filter FM. I wound up trading it for a Belgrad last week, and have no regrets – it’s more flexible in some ways, particularly as a sound source, and gets into weirder and harsher territory. It’s also more complex/difficult to dial in and doesn’t quite capture the character of Three Sisters. If I used filters more, I’d really prefer to have both of them.


Mine does have variable tracking depending on the Span, but Low seems the most accurate. Kind of a shame there aren’t any clever just-intonation chords on the Span knob, just strange choirs and octaves. I guess that would be a bit too involved for an analog design / mess with the expected behavior outside of oscillation, though.

One thing that Three Sisters does that I haven’t gotten my MS-20 filter to do nearly as well is this: send a constant tone into the filter and modulate the cutoff with the resonance just below self-oscillation and then listen to her sing each harmonic as the cutoff moves through it.


Awesome infos guys thanks. I think that last statement making her sing is the same harmonic add mentioned Above…
I suppose this is similar behaviour (also the whole self oscillating) to the play between barrel and formant on the mangrove in constant Formant (both around 9 ccw)?
This is the sweet spot for me with Mg and i am having a hard time to make my head up if detuning 2 MGs slightly for a big voice or if the fine tuning of the „spectre“ aswell as complexity of timbres would be wider and more intriguing with Mg +3S instead 2xmg


My synth speak decoder is malfunctioning/generally ill-attuned. Might you elaborate on this (example patch notes maybe)?

Also: sisters makes great kicks! Mangrove into low, gate signal into all, monitor the output of your choice, mult the gate to an envelope in sisters FM. Absolutely banging. Was very gratified to grok this process (just yesterday!).


Ahahah happy to give it another go!

My Three Sisters behaves as @Justmat and the manual lead you to believe—the Low output tracks a pitch CV into the Freq jack “normally” (that is, one volt per octave), while the Centre and High outputs are closeish but not exact. I’ve found that the position of the Span knob influences this.

This is just a comment on the design of the Span knob—to my understanding it just pushes the cutoff frequencies of Low and High apart from each other linearly in pitch (so exponentially in frequency … but that’s not super relevant), and the center frequency of the Centre filter splits this difference.

Practically speaking, this means that when in self-oscillation (i.e. turning the Quality knob up all the way or nearly), turning the Freq knob will move the whole chord that you would hear (at the All output, say) up and down in pitch, while turning the Span knob will change the quality of the chord, or the “notes” that make it up, if you will.

Because of that linearity that I mentioned, to my knowledge there’s nowhere on the Span knob where the output will give you a major or minor chord. There are interesting results to be found, but the only conventional chords you find are octaves.

Mannequins’ Just Friends module, on the other hand, has a knob called Intone that does have some interesting more-or-less “conventional” chords to be found on its path when using it as a sound source. One major difference between the two modules is that Just Friends is digital while Three Sisters analog, so I speculated that could be a partial explanation for the difference in behavior.

All right, this one does have a good patch note I can talk about! This is probably most easy to hear with something like the Formant output of Mangrove—something with a clear timbre you can change by twiddling knobs. So, take your Formant output and patch into Low. Probably this works best with the Mangrove at a lowish pitch, but it doesn’t matter too much.

Anyway, listen to the Low output. Span can be set however you’d like, but Quality should be up pretty high. However, not too high—the pitch from Mangrove should still be the most prominent part of the sound. Bring the Freq knob down so that it’s close to cutting off the sound but hasn’t quite started. Now, using your favorite LFO or your fingers, modulate the Freq. The modulation should be slow enough for you to hear the rise and the fall of the cutoff.

See if you hear a little ‘ringing’ that harmonizes with the pitch of the Mangrove and lightly steps up and down with the LFO. Maybe you’ll find changing the Barrel, Air and Formant settings affect the number of pitches you hear, especially as you move all the knobs toward 12 o’clock.

If you’re able to recreate this (and I hope you are, it was kind of a cool sound!) what you’re hearing is the effect of the resonant “bump” in frequency that the filter produces moving through and highlighting the various harmonics of the Mangrove’s sound. Changing the timbre of the Mangrove amounts to varying the number of harmonics and their behavior, changing the number of notes you hear “whistling” as the cutoff moves.

I’m pretty sure that this effect is not unique to either Mangrove or Three Sisters, just that it produces a more pronounced and melodious version of this effect than my other analog filter (on my MS-20 mini).

I hope this was helpful and not too long! I tried to aim at a much lower assumption of knowledge than my original comment, so I hope I was successful without veering into sounding patronizing.

Mannequins Three Sisters

Pals, some advice on finishing a last go at finishing a drone rig before I ditch Euro altogether. I’m looking for a rig that can make dense, slow moving, mostly self-organising/evolving pieces. Think Radigue/Niblock/Sachiko M. I recently recorded this with these modules (minus QF):

Here is what I have:

I’m hoping to get rid of the CV Trinity and Quattro Figaro. They’re both too complicated for me; the Trinity is used only for LFOs, and the Quattro Figaro for sending a mix back into a filter for nice feedback.

I’m also planning on grabbing a Music Thing Graphic EQ.

I’ve been looking at some classic synth architectures as a jumping off point, particularly the VCS3. I’m tempted to put a twist on that by having a second filter (maybe another Cinnamon, maybe something cleaner), and I’d like some kind of second mixer for creating sub-mixes before sending to the Erica. A decent LFO replacement for the Trinity is the other thing I’m looking for. Main criteria:

  • Simple. Single function, done well
  • No menu diving. Even the Trinity’s shift button is too much for my liking
  • Shallow. My case can accommodate up to 45mm
  • Relatively low cost, so DIY if possible (i.e. available from Thonk)
  • High HP modules are fine. I’m looking for a few simple, robust modules

I’ve been struggling to sort this out recently (as anyone who frequents the Standalone Modular Instruments thread will know), so if this try doesn’t work I think I’ll sell the lot and work on a couple of standalone things that can achieve what I want. I thought drones with Euro would be easy!

Thanks :slight_smile:


Really phenomenal. It was that last part I was looking for; should have been more specific!

Thanks so so much. Gonna try this out very soon :slight_smile:


maybe it’s worth just sticking with whatever Euro you have for at least a month? Euro can make some interesting drones, but it’s not for free! I find that after I buy new music stuff there’s an adjustment period where I get frustrated that I can’t do everything I thought I could and have to really stick with my gear before it starts making sense.


Mark her words as of today you have to rip this mO_C from my cold dead hands…oh ish what a mad sequencer!

Choose your weapon


Noise Reap do a very low cost simple LFO. Only 5V p-p, though (ie +/- 2.5V). Given you don’t mind some HP, Erica Black LFO? I am not quite sure what’s your precise LFO criteria are; everyone should requirements - or definition of an simpler LFO - always vary subtly.


For LFOs, something that does phase shifting for you is really nice for drone work. I would suggest a few Doepfer modules, but they are notoriously deep and likely wouldn’t work for your particular case.

There’s this well-known favorite:

not the cheapest option (and maybe not as minimal as you’d want) but you could pick up a used one for less.

just a few ideas you may or may not have considered

edit: DIY, no menus, quadrature


I guess the thing to know here is that there’s no difference in eurorack between CV and gate. Gate is a form of CV - just a short burst of it. So putting your gate signal through a slew limiter, filter, looper, delay, VCA etc. will have the same effects as it would on any other signal. Similarly - any quickly changing signal of sufficient amplitude will trigger a gate-driven device.


Thanks! The A-143-3 looks ideal. I thought the same about Doepfer modules in general, shame my case is so shallow.

I’ve had my eye on NLC stuff for a while too, but working out what would be useful from such a large selection is tricky!


So for my first dip into modular I want to build a really small system with a lot of depth which I can also use to deepen my understanding of synthesis before moving to a bigger system. This will also be used in support of other portable gear I have (Werkstatt, Norns, Grid, Organelle, Ipad).

For utilities I plan on building the DIY 1u Tile Skiff by Syinsi and filling it with Tsyklon and Pulp Logic Tiles

Here is my idea for the rack.

This will go in the Hikari 26 HP Minicase hence the blank panel. I would love some feedback on: am I missing something in this collection of modules, some non expert level DIY options to replace things I have listed, general feedback as to if this is a good route to go for a beginner rack.


I’ve done a bit of drone making with modulars over the years (very much share the influences you mention). I’m really not up with all the diy or pre-built Euro modules these days so here a few general system ideas.

Things I like for drones - a list by sandy

  • Oscillators
    Four seems to be the ideal number as often they’ll be used in FM pairs. Of course one of the FM oscillators around (Hertz Donut etc) would work as a “pair” too, although for drones I prefer the control and variation separate ones can give. Ideally they need to have exponential and linear FM inputs so that timbral shifts can be subtle if required. Multiple waveform outputs available too if possible.

  • Modulation Sources
    CV in all its forms! LFOs, random sources and don’t forget good old sample and hold.
    I like modulation sources to be controllable, by which I mean two things. One, you have CV input for their rate - modulating the modulator. Two, you have control over their output range - of course this can be done externally with an attenuator or VCA but, if it’s something built into the module that’s great. Plus, being able to limit the range of CV a random module produces for example isn’t the same as simply attenuating the output of one throwing out a full range of CV. The aim is really to be able to produce those small shifts in sound/tempo that work well for drones.

  • Sequencer
    Not absolutely essential (and could have gone in the modulation source section above) but having one available if you want to have easily repeatable patterns of pitch or other modulation is useful. The only one thing I really need a sequencer to have is the ability to clock it externally so that I can run it at appropriately slow rates.

  • Crossfader/Panning
    Of course this can be done without a specialised module but they make life easier and potentially save a bit of space in small system. I usually try to get ones that will work equally well for both CV and audio so I can do slow/subtle shifts in either modulation or sound (hence the two oscillator pairs mentioned above).

  • Filter
    My preference is fixed filter banks for drones but they’re generally not very space efficient! I like having one standard filter around, my preference is bandpass but as with oscillators one with multiple/switchable outputs is useful. If they can self-resonate to be used as a sound source then all the better as they tend to make some of the nicest sounding sine waves.

  • Utilities
    The usual suspects really in quantities that work for your patching style. Some VCAs, clock divider, maybe a switch, attenuation, offsets, a CV and audio mixer. Nothing really different or specific about these for making drones opposed to anything else.

  • A Few Notes
    I don’t tend to put lots of effects on drones so they’re not something I’d necessarily prioritise in a drone system. Similarly, I tend to set things up and leave them self running with minimal to no intervention on my part so wouldn’t prioritise a touchplate or similar controller.
    The whole thing for me is to have good control over the various elements (audio and modulation) and the ability to fade between these at a rate I determine. I tend not to like hugely abrupt shifts in drones so will go out of my way to avoid these.

Finally, there are inevitably no rights or wrongs with making any type of music with a modular. This is a pretty personal list of things based on my likes and experiences. Good luck with whatever you decide :slight_smile:


Thanks! For voices I have a Kermit, and the tri output of a Bastl Tromso. I’m thinking of adding a second since they give lovely tones that are a little rough around the edges and have FM inputs, as well as the S&H circuit for the analog downsampling.

I think modulation sources is where I’m a little short of ideas at the moment. Any particular recommendations? I think a Sloth/Triple Sloth would be useful for me, but other slow modulation sources could be fun… I’m half considering a Turing Machine clocked by a slow LFO and the vactrol mix expander.
How would you use S&H in a drone system? I haven’t found much of a use for it and have only a vague understanding of it and its applications (add T&H to that too).

And yes, totally agree re: FX. I run my recordings through Ableton and add some light reverb or distortion if I feel it’s really necessary. For the modular itself, especially in a live situation, I don’t want any FX.


I’ll use a sample and hold as a sort of second related voice for modulation CV quite often.

  • Random source CV out to say an oscillator v/oct and to the S&H input.
  • S&H output to somewhere else related in the patch - let’s say another oscillator v/oct input.
  • I’ll divide whatever is clocking the random source and then use one of the divisions to trigger the S&H to sample.
  • This will send a CV to the second oscillator related to the random source CV going to the first oscillator. If the oscillators are (de)tuned together right this can produce some nice shifts in sound.

S&H are also useful for doing bit rate reduction, which is something I’ll do at times. Just run an audio rate signal into the “sample” input and adjust to taste.


Ace, I’ll give that a go :slight_smile:

Doepfer seem to have a handful of potentially useful modulation sources (A-115/116) too.


Yes, Doepfer make some wonderful modules that are sometimes woefully forgotten in the modern era trend towards smaller/shallower multi-functional type things.
One of my absolute favourite random sources is the A149-1.