Eurorack: ask questions here


speaking from experience, what I think I need in my rack definitely changes as I see how I end up using things once having them in hand.

maybe it will end up still making sense for you to use one of the full sampler modules, but I think starting with using the modular to augment what you already have will give you the most benefit relative to what you’re investing in $ and time to learn.


yah, just have to temper my excitement, lol!


I’d like more harmonically rich pretty drones with slowly-changing timbres in my modular system. What modules, synthesis techniques, etc should I look into?


what do you already have?

a wavefolder with something to modulate it slowly would be a simple first suggestion, though.


Frequency Modulation springs to mind.
So, a couple of oscillators and a VCA to control the FM depth would be a start.


Another vote for FM :slight_smile: Also don’t overlook AM, filter FM, or phase modulation (which can be done by modulating the delay time of a short, clean delay if you don’t have a VCO with a phase input).

Wavetables can also be really good at it. I love my E370 :slight_smile:

Spring reverb / pitch shifter feedback loops also do the job for me.


this is exactly what i’ve been after too. as great as fm is for this, it can be hard to find the “sweet spot” .ive also found great results with the combination of harmonic oscillators, some slow lfos, some vca’s for moving / varying levels of attenuation and some reverb. a eurorack example would be the verbos harmonic oscillator, a xoack batumi and an erbe verb and some vca’s. i’ve been doing this with a just friends, a tangle quartet and an es-8 to do all the modulating with vcv rack. but of course, you can do all this completely for free in vcv rack with a setup like this.


I think it’s easier if your oscillator(s) give you the option of either exponential or linear FM. Linear is certainly much easier to tame although I really like the sounds that exponential can produce while trying to find the sweet spot.


In terms of keeping everything together harmonically?

How about through-zero fm? I was reading into it the other day, and it seems to make so much sense as an option on an oscillator. I’ve not got any oscs in my rack, but think I’d like to try one that supports this before committing.

Having said that, I love some of the wavefolding sounds from these Instruo oscs here:


Linear will track pitch as long as you keep both oscillators at harmonic ratios to each other, assuming there is no DC offset or the FM input is AC coupled. (Thru-zero lets you modulate more deeply.

Exponential will track too, but is dependent on modulation depth as well as relative frequency. Finding a sweet spot isn’t too hard, but then tuning the pair to other voices can be tricky. Also unlike linear, you can’t dynamically change the timbre through FM; you’ll need a filter, wavefolder,
etc. or crossfade to a different oscillator if you want to do that.

(You can sequence the modulation frequency and depth together for some interesting effects, though.)


Yes, linear is certainly easier in this regard.
There are some oscillators, such as Modcan’s VCDO, that have fixed FM ratios so the modulator is always “in tune” with the carrier.

My own preference is exponential as I like all the mad sounds you get and the stuff I do is much more about timbre than it is about notes.


I have a Bastl Tromsø that I haven’t used for a while, I think mostly because I was short of ideas for what to do with it. The downsampling is fun, but not so useful for what I’m doing at the moment. Any patch ideas for the S&H and comparator sections? I’m a utility noob.

(mods: maybe a patching techniques thread is a good idea?)


I use one. I have no real intentions of improvising and it seems that using it for composition is a real strength. I like the ‘modules’ that can be stacked for some nice effects.

These were pretty useful.


Running two oscillators into the comparator can give some fun results. I thought I had some notes for a Tromso patch or two but apparently not.


What’s the best way to bring modular level down to balanced line level outside the case but before mixer or audio interface? (Does this even exist?)

I’m imagining some kind of Radial DI-ish box that would do it but it’s probably not quite the right thing.

My noise issues are back.


I am considering a trigger/gate programming module to compliment the Grids in my system. I’m considering the Varigate 4+ and the Knit Rider. Obviously very differerent executions. My purpose is improvization and I want something to be able to quickly get a specific result to provide contrast to the ambiguous “scanning” of Grids. Varigate seems faster, but is obviously limited to 8 steps with variable timing. Knit Rider lets you get hyper granular with more channels and wildly more steps, but I don’t have a good sense of how it is to use in practice? If anyone has used both, I’d appreciate some perspective.

@nutritionalzero - You could use re-amp pedals. The Pigtronix Keymaster is mono, but can handle the job. Can also be used to handle levels for external effects, when I would normally recommend it.


This is an option:


Yes that’s exactly what I’m looking for, thank you!


I’ve got a Varigate 4+ and I think the only reason to get it over the Knit Rider is that it will do two CV/gate pairs, four CVs, or four gates (with quantized or unquantized CV on the CV outs if you wish). Very flexible in some ways, very limited (8 steps, like you say, not as easy to just turn on/off steps) in others.

Knit Rider looks to be more optimized for performance with those nice buttons to quickly change the sequence.


Yeah, though Knit Rider definitely has more of a combo-keys mentality, which always takes longer to learn. I haven’t really seen anyone write about it, but videos make it look neat.

The CV control on Varigate seems nice, but really I’m just looking at it for triggers. The multipliers and dividers help with the step limitations, so you can fake some stuff. The Varigate also seems more readable at a glance.