System Layout and Workflow

Hello people!

Recently I have been thinking about how the way a system and workspace is put together influences workflow, composition and patching.

These are a couple ModularGrid layouts of what I am thinking about for me.

This is the main case, organized into sections of modules that I think will work together.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/303490

Then the isms system, took out the walk, three ansibles to connect to TT, one on the end is dedicated to an arc controller. (though with the releasing of TT JF integration I am not sure if this will still be the layout, need to do more research into that)

And then finally a small case with just a mixer, I don’t know why but I like the idea of having it in its own separate case.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/347494

Interested to hear all of your thoughts!

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Preliminary throat-clearing: I did a search before posting this and couldn’t find anything, but please feel free to merge it elsewhere if need be. EDIT: this got merged into an appropriate thread.

Question: how do folks organize their racks? I’ve tried a few configurations and am currently organizing modules by type (filters, oscillators, utilities, sequencers, fx). This is working well but I think it’s highly dependent on the size of your system: mine is small enough that patch cords can reach everything. How do you do it? What have you tried that did or didn’t work?

This question was motivated by a recent video by Colin Benders:

The things he’s mentioning are mostly inapplicable to me since his system is orders of magnitude larger, but I found it interesting.

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I take a guess at what I think will work, usually putting modulation sources that will go everywhere near the middle and try to keep a broadly left to right, top to bottom signal flow. I then use the system for a while and decide what I put in the wrong place and move it. In short: I’m not sure you can get it 100% correct based on only theoretical considerations, so I take a stab at it, then improve a little at a time.

At a large scale, I try and work with small cases which in themselves follow these principles. I also apply the same principle to my setup as a whole.

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I have a couple of compact cases that can be used as fully independent instruments so that’s the first level of organising. Then inside a case I tend to follow a similar approach as above, by putting modulation close to the center. I also try to pair/group modules if they’re particularly fruitful together. Overall signal flow is loosely left to right.

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In theory I organise these left to right: sound sources, modulators, effects/filters, mixers. A predictable signal flow in other words. There’s a Mungo rack and an NLC rack, both similarly organised. In practice modules can span multiple such categories, and because the racks are fairly compact it’s possible to patch flexibly without things getting too much for me brain.

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In my 9u, I have settled on sound sources at the top, modulation and processing in the middle and clocking, sequencing and I/O on the bottom. VCAs/LPGs scattered throughout.

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That’s pretty much how I did it too. Since I started with modular, I always thought a lot about how to arrange the modules in a logical as well as ergonomical way. I recently upgraded my 10U rack to 17U, and I also have sound sources on top, modulation and processing in the middle, and sequencing/performance tools on the bottom. Also, ideally, the signals flow from left to right, so everything gets mixed and leaves the system on the right, while modulation/clock sources are on the left, then VCAs/attenuators in the middle. This is what I have currently planned, there’s a few modules missing (don’t have Teletype yet, there’s a Pressure Points in that row currently, also still missing Switchblade, Mangrove (Plaits in it’s place currently), Rnd Step and Radio Music and some minor 1U utilities): Martha from the future (copy) - Eurorack Modular System from itscursedphil on ModularGrid

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