I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few months. I’d been planning out my rack for a very long time. I’d kind of settled on a 120hp 6u portable rack solution.
Over the summer I had an inspiration for a separate rack concept involving using double Morphagenes as a sort of DJ-fun-times rack in an 84hp 3u rack. I started thinking about how to do my bigger rack concept in two rows of 84hp. Where to make savage cuts?
And I’m super happy I did! I realized that I could actually organize around sub-concepts and modularize my rows so that each row works independently with a sideboard of modules to support use independently – as their own “instrument” – or in combination. Each row will now be housed in a Roland SYR-E84 case to maintain portability, which is important to me.
The top row (“Radio Tape”) features my aforementioned DJ-fun-times row. Rosie acts at the master out when configured together (the Optomix and the Function are dropped from row 2 and 3 respectively for the Rosie to allow independent functionality).
Row 2 (“Teletypo”) focuses on composition and obviously features the Teletype with Just Friends. It also has my compact rhythm solution with Grids and the ONE’s. Teletype scratches my itch for programmed solutions but keeps real computers out of the question, which is one of my personal reasons for getting into modular. It does most things, so it’s the supersystem’s glue.
Row 3 (“Performer”) Gives me a playable synth voice with effects. I also kept a Brains on there so PP can still be a secondary hands-on sequencer. Rings is present in this image as the voice, but as I mentioned I actually have a small set of sideboard modules which can be swapped out.
And that goes for all of the rows. Each row works independently or in any combination with interesting compositional consequences. There are some minor ways to tweak this with different modules depending on which rows are being combined and how I find myself preferring to work. For example, these are some modules from the sideboard set.
I also moved some effects to outboard pedals via Rosie’s send out of necessity, but I think it’s an acceptable compromise for my goals - as tape delay and reverb are “global” effects that work well with each setup.
I don’t think my specific setup is useful to anyone but me, but I hope it might inspire you to think about how to rejigger your own setup to better serve your own goals.