New to modular, feedback/suggestions on first eurorack setup?

mod edit: thread has been closed due to recent inactivity and content crossover with Eurorack: ask questions here, which is the Sticky thread for this topic.

Hope it’s OK to post another “I’m new to this, please help” topic, but as a follow-up to some questions I’ve posted on the forums I’ve gone ahead and assembled what I’m currently considering for my fist eurorack synth on modulargrid. Since I’m totally new to this I was hoping I could get some feedback on if what I have even makes sense, what I’m missing or what I should change.


For context: I’d like to start with 3U, 104hp for now and would like to keep it at that for the foreseeable future. I’d like to get to know my setup properly before even considering changing/adding more modules. Also I don’t really have enough room for more at the moment :slight_smile:
Also I want to be able to use the modular as a standalone device, so plugin my headphones or plug the final (stereo) output into my sound system.

What I’m looking for is a setup which I can handle as a newbie and create/sequence some (simple) beats + melodies with. I’m ok with sampling for the drums/beats for now.
I already posted this in Starting point for "structured"/sequencing based modular setup but I’d like to be able to create stuff similar in concept to


and

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What other equipment are you going to be using? The FH-1 hints that you’ll be pairing this with some MIDI system but may not be necessary for a small system. My first modular purchase was a MIDI/CV converter. It has not been used in years and I have about 14u of modular now.

Also, you may consider a wavefolder to use with your two oscillators.

How are you planning on using that S+H? Good choice on the Pamela’s New Workout - very useful in a small setup.

Good question. I initially added some comments to address this but decided I’d just leave it as is and see what people would say :slight_smile:

I’d love to be able to just play some stuff using my MIDI keyboard and pad controller, that’s why I added it. I don’t expect to be using it a lot for stuff like sequencing because I have the Ansible + Pamela’s New Workout for that.
To be honest, it would probably be the last or one of the last modules from that whole list that I’d get. I want to start with the Ansible for “control”, then add Pamela’s New Workout and only after that would consider adding the FH-1.

Regarding wavefolder, I’ll have a look into those. I know what they do on a technical level but not yet what it can for me on a musical level.

Yeah I used to make (better) music in this size. Bastl modules are small and nervewreckingly odd sized. If you’re anything like me you’ll be running Peaks in drum mode 80% of the time :slight_smile:

I would actually commit to not getting FH-1. Like look at all the peripherals which will get you external clock if needed. Ansible connects to your usb midi stuff yo (or so they say I never tried it like that but that would essentially be the usb port you’ll need starting out)

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The Ansible supports MIDI hosting - I’ve not used it but would save you significant space in a small system like this. Maybe a used Earthsea if you can find one floating around. Maybe consider some sort of random/noise source that can master clock as well like a Wogglebug (there are a lot of options out there) which can be indispensable for modulations in general.

Listening to snips from the tracks, I think some complex waveshaping/oscillations would be useful. Its kind of cliché around here, but you may consider a Just Friends and a 3 Sisters in place of one of your oscillators and filters. They are expensive though so I understand coming from that standpoint. In general, I think you have good choices.

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The S&H I added as a way to add some simple randomization. Does that make sense?
I considered adding an (micro) ornament and crime which could also serve this purpose, but if I understand it correctly one can only have one “app” running at a time on the Ornament and Crime, which means I’d have 4 S&Hs, whereas I’d prefer to be able to use different “apps” per output. So I figured I’d just use a dedicated Sample & Hold and then maybe add some other dedicated randomization modules if I’d need them.

Yeah, Pamela’s New Workout looks pretty nice, I really like you can have all output do different things (if I understand it correctly), which is awesome, especially in a space limited system.

i’m also new to modular - i got an 0-coast about a year ago and took the modular plunge at the beginning of this year. as such, i have a small rig at the moment and one thing i’ve been really happy to have is stereo panning courtesy of cold mac. with two full voices (including the 0-coast) having the ability to set one voice to pan in the background while another plays a melody or vice versa makes pretty basic patches feel much more animated.

also, i’m reeeeaalllyyy hoping to pick up a Pam’s whenever the restock happens, i badly need a master clock and more modulation sources.

jumping straight into modular with the grid/ansible is a cool idea! i have no idea how those tools work at the moment but they obviously seem infinitely useful. maybe one day.

Definitely makes sense. I’d point out that you do have the option to output random on the Pams module though and usually you’ll want to pair S+H with a noise source, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Some S+H modules are nice since you can create a bit crushed sound with audio and fast triggering.

I may be selling mine very soon - it’s like new and I already have a good amount of modulation/clocks + need some cash for other things. That being said, it’s an awesome module.

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Yeah, wouldn’t be surprised if I’d be using Peaks for the drums most of the time. I added it for that + the flexibility that it can do other things as well :slight_smile:

I totally missed that Ansible can do USB MIDI as well. That will definitely be enough for me the for the start. It means I can drop the FH-1 which saves both quiet some HP and some money.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to them!
I considered the Mannequins modules, but as someone new to modular I found them somewhat hard to reason about/understand. 3 sisters is effectively 3 filters that somehow work/interact together. My idea was to start with somewhat simpler modules (just a “normal” oscillator and filter) so I could learn the interactions that way and then grow into the deeper/more complex modules.
Or are Just Friends and 3 sisters pretty obvious to work with once you have them in front of you?

consider me first in line if you sell! :+1:

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Stereo/panning (and effects send) have been on my list of things I’d like to try out as well. See this topic for some stuff related to it Modular mixer/output modules?
For now I’ve somewhat parked that idea to focus on just learning the modules themselves using mono, although if I can get stereo panning for “free”/with little extra investment I’ll still gladly take it.

How are you liking the Three Sisters?

Yeah, the grid has been attached to my PC for quiet some time, so I’m kind of used to it, seems like a logical step to use it as input/sequencing method for a modular setup because of that.
If you can try it sometime you should, they are beautiful and very useful devices! :slight_smile:

This is true but realistically, Kria will quantize everything for you. So you have the option of quantizing through O+C or Kria or both. You should look at options for slew limiting - the Quadra may do this, I don’t know. You could use an O+C quantizer channel through a slew limiter as a faux LFO. I do this with Maths from time to time.

EDIT: Actually, I’m going to take a more affirmative stance that I would totally add an O+C to this system.

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I totally know what you mean about wanting to start out with more straightforward modules (I sometimes wish i had a quadra instead of maths, as the most common function maths performs in my tiny system is envelope generation), but the ability to go stereo was a game changer for me. FWIW, Cold Mac also performs all sorts of other utility functions that I’m still learning about.

Three sisters sounds beautiful! I don’t have much experience with other filters - I wanted to add a VCF to my system and I picked up the sisters and mac together second hand . This is definitely another time when starting with something more straightforward may have been beneficial, but I’m figuring it out.

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Yes and no. Maths was my second module (after my now estranged MIDI/CV converter). Is it straight forward. Sure - that’s why people end up using it as an EG most of the time. Is it highly patchable? YES - and that is what will keep you busy for a long time to come in a small system long after you retire your uVCF (and this is no slight on the uVCF either). JF and 3S are definitely in this camp for me. JF is a perfectly accessible oscillator, LFO, or EG and 3S is a go-to filter if that’s all you want but you can do so much more also. The manuals do a good job of furthering their image as on the fringe of abstract but they are, at their core, an oscillator and a filter. Maths is one of maybe 3 modules that have always been in my system and I would probably put JF and 3S in that category as well.

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:thumbsup::thumbsup: for three sisters. Use it straight as a filter for one voice, or as a hub for timbre tweaking multiple sounds or splitting one off into different paths. The idea of three interlaced filters is really an inspired design that opens up some unique patching ideas.

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Sounds like a Three Sisters might be a good move :slight_smile:
I have two filters in there, would still like to start with a “straightforward” one, so will keep the uVCF, but I’ll replace the SSF MMF with a Three Sisters as the next Filter to get.

So, a quick update, removed the FH-1 and replaced the SSF MMF with a Three sisters, 16HP left :slight_smile:

TODO:

  • Read up/watch video’s on:
    • wavefolders
    • slew limiting
    • Mannequins modules
    • Ornament and Crime
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Any particular reason to suggest this icm with this system? Trying to understand why it makes sense to have it in this context.
I do like multifunctional modules, but to me it seems nicer if they can do more than 1 thing at the same time, which as far as I know Ornament and Crime can’t.

Thanks for the clarification! I guess the Just Friends has the most overlap with the Quadra and part of Pamela’s New Workout? (might be a crazy comparison, I find it somewhat hard to understand the cryptic Mannequins module descriptions, will have to watch some video’s about them).

Its an excellent high clockable EG and modulation source not to mention chord generator which Kria won’t be able to cover for you. Look at Piques, Low-rents, Quadraturia, and Acid Curds. There are several other sequencers, chord generators, and just generally fun applications outside of quantizing. You can only do one at a time but you’ve already stated you prefer straight ahead functions - I don’t think you’ll find it hard to put it to use.

In the sense that JF can also generate envelopes, yes. But that’s like saying my computer is really good at letting me play solitaire. JF is a very nice sounding complex oscillator.

Xaoc Batumi is awesome for modulation sources. But I guess with Pam’s you already have some.

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