All MI 104hp rack, suggestions?


#1

Hello,

This is my first post on this forum, but i’m very keen on getting advice and critique of my first planned Eurorack system. Much of my doubt is mainly about Peaks usability in the system, and if Blinds instead of Veils is the way to go if i want to optimize space and have more modulation. I’m not planning to use this setup live, it’s mainly for experimenting at home, so the “Blinds is hard to close” argument isn’t a factor, however, i know Veils have the variable response curve, and it’s a great tool for shaping sounds.

Here is the general idea:

I already own Clouds, Peaks, Ripples and Rings

Also, this isn’t a Blinds vs Veils thread. I just wanted to highlight what irks me right now. So my question is more about which of them generally fits the small system the most, and if Peaks does it’s 8hp justice when stages already exists.

Also i hope i posted this in the right category!

Thanks!


#2

First of all, what kind of music do you want to make, how do you like to patch, are you starting out, learning the modular, or do you already have some experience? There’s no better or worse and no right nor wrong, it all depends.

What do you use Peaks for that Stages can’t do?

Looking at your system I would not say you need a dedicated VCA for audio (though it can always be interesting/handy to have).
Plaits has a built-in vca, Rings does not necessarily need it plus you have a VCA on Ripples to fill some gaps.
Blinds might be more powerful to shape modulations, because it’s bipolar, and you can use it as a ring modulator. Veils is more interesting for audio, but also works great with CVs. Tough choice, it really depends on what you want to do.


#3

Thanks for the perspective!

First of all, what kind of music do you want to make,
I want to mainly do self-patching atmospheric/pretend-acoustic stuff. I got heavily inspired by Lightbaths LOOM-videos.

how do you like to patch, are you starting out, learning the modular, or do you already have some experience?

I have a very basic understanding of most functions and how they correlate. By no means can i understand everything that is happening behind the panels, but i understand how sounds are made and how the modules work as building blocks. But plainly: no i haven’t really patched anything IRL yet, only smaller patches inside VCV rack to understand the functions, and i actually had a Folktek Mescaline for some month and patched the dupont-breadboard alot. But those where completely random in function, so i didn’t really learn anything from that experience that i can re-purpose for patching a real eurorack. Well, except that i enjoyed patching it, of course :slight_smile:

There’s no better or worse and no right nor wrong, it all depends.
It’s a big part of why i really enjoyed the thought of building a eurorack!

What do you use Peaks for that Stages can’t do?
Well, mainly i bought it before fully understanding stages functions. But i guess i mostly bought it for easily tweakable and basic drums, and the envelope functions.

Looking at your system I would not say you need a dedicated VCA for audio (though it can always be interesting/handy to have).
Plaits has a built-in vca, Rings does not necessarily need it plus you have a VCA on Ripples to fill some gaps.
Blinds might be more powerful to shape modulations, because it’s bipolar, and you can use it as a ring modulator. Veils is more interesting for audio, but also works great with CVs. Tough choice, it really depends on what you want to do.

Well, as i wrote earlier in this message, i’m going to focus on making evolving patches and things that can organically play out while i only modulate the later stages of the sound (VCF, Envelopes, Clouds, some LFO etc). So i think Marbles is going to be a big factor in how i want my setup to behave, but i know it isn’t enough to have the random factor of marbles dictate the whole piece.

What counts as audio in terms of modules? Is for example, Intellijel Plonk audio because of it’s samples? I will not use any external sources with this setup, not for a long time atleast! :slight_smile:


#4

That’s a very good start. Instead of trying to get a second-hand Clouds, I’d invest in a cheap and cheerful FX module (Erica Pico DSP) and blind panels :slight_smile:

When papernoise mentions “audio”, he mentions using a VCA for shaping the envelope of an audio source. You don’t really need that in your system because both Rings and Plaits generate sounds that are already “shaped” (Rings because that’s inherent to physical modelling, Plaits because it has a built LPG and LEVEL input).


#5

I’m afraid i already have a Clouds. :wink:

But thanks for chiming in Olivier! I also thought that a pure VCA would be less functional in this rack compared to an polarizer like Blinds.

I’ll also be frank here, i don’t really understand how the sound gets impacted by going into negative volt. Is it just a pitch thing for VCOs for example? I know LFOs get mirrored by going negative though, (up>down instead of down>up for example). I guess for a newcomer, it can sometimes be abstract with this stuff, especially if you failed all your high school courses pertaining to electricity :flushed:


#6

Exactly. The most banal use of a VCA is that you CV-control it with an envelope to give it a more or less percussive envelope, or things like that.

polarizing a voltage is mostly something you need for CV. but it can have an effect in more advanced patching technique as well afaik.
If you just send a wave through Blinds and turn the attenuverter CCW it does not sound any different.

Oh one thing to keep in mind with Blinds: it’s very hard to dial in silence. This is bad when you want to use it to make more percussive sounds, or whenever you need the VCA to go from silence, to sound and then back to silence.

Peaks is of course cool if you need some drums, it’s also a nice additon if you think you’ll need more than one ADSR envelope (since Stages only has 6 stages)
But from what you say it does not sound like you’ll need a lot of envelopes.
Oh and of course Peaks is also nice for some alternate modes, but keep in mind that you’ll either need a cheatsheet or use it a lot until you remember what the knobs do.


#7

Thanks for the tips about Peaks, i also heard it has a burst mode LFO, which can lend itself nicely to Rings i think. I do know about Blinds being somewhat hard to dial in silence on, but seeing how i have no rush to dial it in, i was wondering if Blinds would make the system more interesting in terms of modulation and synergy, with stages in LFO mode for example.

So as an example, what exactly happens if i run one of Marbles randomized cv outputs through blinds, turn the voltage negative, and then run it into Plaits V/oct?


#8

maybe you could try that with VCV Rack?

ok you won’t find Marble - yet - but, you can try with a noise - sample and hold - quantizer combo.

https://vcvrack.com


#9

It is something i’m trying to piece together. I’ll probably sandbox around with Blinds/Veils in VCV to really understand the biggest differences in function. But thanks for reminding me blinds exist there! My brain was under the impression that Veils was the only one of those available.


#10

maybe something like this:

blinds-test.vcv.zip (1.2 KB)


#11

I don’t have the JW modules yet, but i’ll add them later if i can find them. Sat a bit with Braids, Shades, Tides and Veils/Blinds yesterday however. I never got any unique results when going into negative volts. Not even with tides LFO.


#12

I think you should determine if you want your rack to be 1 powerfull voice or a weaker voice and a little bit drums.

If you prefer it to be a powerfull voice i would recommend to switch the peaks en blinds for a warps and ripples.

Warps is like the best friend for tides and plaits and has 2vca’s in it.All the added harmonics of warps can be made soft with ripples. Or use ripples as another Oscillator source and rings as the filter. The only real upside of peaks is the drums if you compare it to stages is the drums(and ohter cryptic apps if you throw a alt firmware on it). But in this small space you need to make a choice.


#13

I already have a ripples both IRL and in the pictured setup i posted. Do you mean i should have two?
Warps is really interesting to since it blends the characteristics of two signals in a multitude of ways, so it’s definetly a choice!

My vision of it is something that can make alot of harmonics happen while staying small. Been thinking about a pico drum + warps + shades instead of Blinds/Veils + Peaks.


#14

Oooh yeah sorry didn’t notice it was already there (early morning here )
1 ripples in this setup is enough :slight_smile:

Pico drums is a good choice if you are willing to take 1 non MI module. It can provide field samples and noises for clouds and rings wich are really hungry for those kind of things. Shades is also good partner for clouds as it doesn’t have any attenuation. Clouds is in it’s best mood when you give it little random sources.


#15

Will the setup suffice without a dedicated VCA module though? As discussed earlier, Plaits have a built-in VCA, so does Ripples. And Rings doesn’t really need one. So maybe a mixer like Shades i enough? And it also works similarly to Blinds in the way that it can polarize signals if need be? Not sure about pico drum yet, but it’s tempting :slight_smile:


#16

Most of the time warps will be enough as a mixer a system this small but a drum module would require a new channel to add in the mix. Maybe start building the synth without the pico and shades and determine after some use if you still want it or something else. You wil learn what your system needs with use


#17

I think Music Thing Radio Music or TipTop Audio One are better choices for audio playback, as they take uSD cards, so much easier to get your sounds onto it. You need an extra programmer to load samples onto the Pico Drums, I believe,

Also, Expert Sleepers Disting Mk.4 has an SD card slot, some great audio-playback modes, along with a load of other stuff.


#18

So i was contemplating what you said in the first reply Bloc. And i have built this setup as an alternative.
It felt more feasible to focus on the voice more than the drums in this kind of case.

I have been eyeing Audio one alot. I think that’s something to consider further down the line though. my first Eurorack ought to be free of outside influence so i can focus on the modules separate functions and how they intermingle on their own. I have been toying with the idea to add an Octatrack Mk II as a last stage after the system to process both samples on it’s own (and be able to send into the system as well) later on, and to effectively add last stage audio processing and easily gather the overall mix and send to my interface.

But yeah, this is thinking far ahead. 3U first, then i can expand!


#19

disting is also a really good choice as a sample playback device - and it can do so much more…

maybe a good first module for the next case!


#20

I’m fully aware “to each their own”, but since this is a conversation, I’ll just chime in and say that Disting is the least fun module I’ve ever owned.

I’m firmly in the camp that it’s 84 modes and parameters with no meaningful front panel nomenclature are a total killjoy. I had two and sold them both because I found it a drag to pull out a pages-long cheat sheet every time I wanted to use it. Just an opinion, of course - I know the module has many, many fans…

For my money you’d get more daily use out of a Links or Kinks than a Disting…

FWIW I think your Eos looks like a great little setup!