Making stand alone modular instruments


Hey pheeb, be sure to consider some way to bring signals up to modular levels, running those other instruments and drum machines into rings is going to be a lot of fun. Mutable ears or music thing mikrophonie highly recommended with rings.


Mikrophonie already on the list! Primary focus is Rings as an instrument though, I’ll expand into external processing afterwards.
This is the planned rack (in order of acquisition, left to right. I will diy everything but Rings which I’ve bought to start out with, so Mutable modules are mostly in order of difficulty!)

I’m sure it’ll change after I start playing with the first few modules and learn what I want from modular. I live in a very small space so if I ever go over 3U 104, it won’t be larger than 6U 84hp. I’m so far really enjoying working within constraints.


Cool pheeb. I wonder whether you’ve seen this page?;
It’s a collection of notes and tips from various forums about interesting ways to get the most out of rings. I found it useful when I first got mine. Looks like a great system, and cool that your diying so much of it. Please post here letting us know how those builds go. Good luck!

Mutable Instruments Rings

If you can, I’d encourage you to get Ears rather than Mikrophonie - those gate/envelope outs open up a lot of options in a small setup, plus the preamp has been refined by Olivier.


I’ve read bits of it but I plan on having a closer look when I have the module in front of me - I learn best that way!

I’ll be sure to post on build progress and share some of my basic patches.

I like the idea of sharing my early patches with a small system, as a beginner I’ve found videos like these to be the most accessible and understandable.


I’ve been working on this setup for about a month of the modular + some pedals attached to a pedal board that has become a sort of standalone instrument.

I run out from the modular into the pedals with the light grey patch cables. The pedal part of the chain is Polymoon -> Mercury7 -> RE-20 -> Heat. On the modular side, the ER-301 is a recent addition, and I’ve been using it as an end of chain mixer for stuff in the modular. Before that, I was using the two quadratts as a 4 -> 1 left and 4 -> 1 right mix. This connector + a 1/4 adapter allows the two 3.5mm TS mono signals to go into the Mercury7’s Stereo 1/4" TRS input.

As far as Audio Flow goes, I have the Heat which I can plug my headphones straight in and have a 2x1/4" balanced stereo signal (to send to a mixer for live sets or interface for recordings. The fact that the volume controls both the outs as well as the headphones allows me to use headphones to monitor live (which is super nice because the kind of shows I’m doing right now are tending towards house/non-professional venues with only a PA pointing away from me).

In terms of control, the pedals accept CV (though, in practice, the RE-20s implementation of this is pretty bad so I don’t control that one with the modular). I have some 3.5mm to 1/4" adapters in the CV-ins on the other 3 pedals, so that I can route signals from the modular with standard eurorack patch cables. The Meris pedals use a Toe-up/Toe-down learn-the-knob-settings which can be emulated with sending 0v, then 5v from one of the CV outs from the Teletype/TXo.

On the power side of things, I can plug in a single IEC cable into my pedal power supply which is routed through to everything. (I’ve got a few of those IEC cables scattered around the house so that I can take the system to different places. This also makes live set up super easy). I use the Furman pluglock surge protector mounted underneath, and plugged into the Voodoo labs Pedal Power’s auxiliary outlet.

I’ve seen people be anti-zip tie on other forums (and I acknowledge it does make moving things around a bit more difficult), but I think they are really beneficial for keeping things really ordered underneath, so picking up and moving the board doesn’t lead to a tangle of wires draping underneath.

My next steps are trying to figure out if I can incorporate a patch cable hanger in some way, and a more friendlyTeletype keyboard solution of some sort (the keyboard that came with Teletype has an attached cable–I think it might be less annoying to move around if there was a plug I could unplug from it, or maybe a wireless solution).

As far as adapting things goes, the Polymoon and Elektron were intentionally placed at the top of the board so that I could un-route their cables and reroute as send/return effects from my interface. I’ve found that I really want the Polymoon -> Mercury7 to be a single send/return unit, so I need to figure out a solution for making the outs on the Mercury7 more accessible.

And finally, my master on/off is plugging/unplugging the IEC cable–I need to solder together a switch and put it somewhere on here.


In what way to do you control the Heat from your setup? I was just thinking of start off another modular endeavour by getting something like a Maths, as a more advance LFO(s) controlling the Analog Heat and would love to hear anyone with experience doing something similar.


In what way to do you control the Heat from your setup

I mainly use the built-in modulators (envelope follower/generator, and LFO), but I will sometimes use the two control in ports that can be used with bi-polar or uni-polar CV (-5.5v - 5.5v adjustable min/max in settings), as well as expression pedals, toggle-able foot switches, etc. I’m just using standard 1/4" adapters (that are TRS–the kind typically used for headphones) and regular 3.5mm TS eurorack cables and everything seems to work great.


Just taken the tine to read this in detail, it’s got me very very excited about the module, sounds like once you change the way you treat it (i.e shaping sound before it goes into Rings rather than just sending it v/oct) makes the module a whole lot more versatile!
Really confident about making this the centre of a small versatile instrument rack now!


As I wanted to move away from jamming/exploration and go back into music writing and recording, I downsized my usual 6u 104hp case to a single row of 84hp. It’s in a tiptop ears rack, and that actually make a big difference to my work setup. It can sit next to my laptop and op-1 instead of being on another table.


Hey! I’m about 2 months into my modular journey and I’m loving it (in spite of or because of all the minor headaches it’s causing!). Today I’ve been thinking as I get deeper into modules, it might be a good idea to limit myself to a small skiff, and diving in on that, while I let the others chill for a bit.

To give you a bit of context, I have a 7U case and a 104 MN skiff, and this is what I find myself with today:

The Bermuda’s probably on its way out and DIY micros of Braids, Clouds, Yarns and a Triple Sloth and a used Nano Rand are on their way here. And would have to grab an MMF and trade out my OG o_c for a micro…So my idea to focus things a bit would be to try out this (with access to the utilities in the larger case):

I make ambient/industrial hybrids mostly (, and am interested in pushing generative/chaotic stuff further as the journey goes on, but this skiff mostly represents a way to hone in and limit myself to crafting a standalone instrument, before re-introducing the other modules.

(I feel like I might get a couple “squeeze that 3 Sisters in there” comments. To be honest, I’m pretty happy with all my choices in the larger setup, but again, looking to hone down. :slight_smile:)


Holy moly, 2 months in and you’ve got all that?

Definitely a good idea to cool it down and put some stuff into the skiff and learn the modules inside out.


yeah, it’s wild what some extreme saving/gear liquidation/used deals will do. and a dash of obsessive compulsivity :blush:

guess it’s time to play ascetic spartan for a lil while


Another idea on what I posted above. I decided that Kermit is too useful for me, so it’s back in. My thinking is:

  • Kermit as main oscillator voice (and a pseudo noise source thanks to waveshaping)
  • Tromso for downsampling and occasional oscillator voice
  • Cinnamon x2 for more complex filtering (i.e. 2 layers of filters)
  • CV Trinity being main LFO source
  • Quattro Figaro for VCAs and some panning
  • Cold Mac for utilities and complex signal mashing

Then, JF and TT. I’m not 100% sure yet how useful these would be in this setup, but my thinking is that I would use TT to control JF and throw triggers for modulation around the system, via JF and Cold Mac, and maybe some sequence generation to Kermit. I think these will be last on my list, since I’m wondering if maybe a second CV Trinity would fulfil the role I would want JF/TT for. Of course, the interaction is very different with that, so that’s what I’m taking into consideration to achieve my musical goals. With JF/TT I imagine this setup as each row as two components of one instrument. Digital/high control work on the bottom row, and wonky, less predictable lo-fi goodness with the Bastl row. Then some interaction between the two for complex modulations and letting the synth make its own decisions, and feedback patches.

Open to thoughts as always! Would be grateful for sound/video examples of JF/TT doing some wonky noise/electroacoustic style things.


that monome system is the dream


amazing idea! i might have to try this


If you do, share some pictures! I’m interested to see what you come up with.


TT and JF are especially great in small systems. I say go for it - with TT you’ll have sequencing, random, and the ability to script ideas that appeal to you or exist in other modules (turing machine for example). I’d recommend using all the JF features that don’t involve TT first so you get a handle on everything it can do, which is quite a lot. Annnnd, if you don’t vibe with these, you won’t have too much trouble offloading them.


I have put together this stand alone modular instrument. It performs deadly noise which can melt the skin off a human face. One can do many things here.

  • Use Benjolin pulse out to clock Echophon
  • Put Benjolin into Echophon feedback loop so it feeds back itself in an auto-cannibalism maneuver.
  • Modulate important parameters with the noise tool.
  • Use Benjolin pulse out to clock the noise tool.
  • Input a guit-fiddle or other instrument for the box to process. (I realize this is not a “stand alone” function!)
  • And many more.


Nice! I haven’t used my Kermit as a voice yet, but I might have to give it a go soon. Looks like we have a few modules in common that I don’t often see in other people’s racks that I really dig: Kermit, Cinnamon and Quattro Figaro.