Elements based 104hp skiff

I set out to add an extra CV-able voice to my Analog Keys and decided on Elements. Very happy with how it complements the more traditional analog sound of the AK. But… I want to expand (just a bit!).
It sits in a Moog 104hp skiff right now, together with a uZeus power module. I’m looking to expand on the Elements’ sound a bit more, and I’d like to use the skiff as an instrument on its own too, without the AK.

I’m looking for an ambient and experimental sound, from weird and harsh to soft and melancholy. This is what I came up with on Modulargrid:

What do you guys think? Is Peaks and Wogglebug too much modulation? Perhaps an Ears instead of Peaks? Am I forgetting important utitities? And would Warps pair well with Elements?

definitely never too much modulation for Elements. Don’t underestimate having multiple envelopes to use with it (though Peaks should cover you enough for now). Touch-based control is definitely nice, Ears would be also very good. If you delegate the mixing to a desktop unit you could fit in Ears and some 2HP utility.
I don’t have a wogglebug, so I don’t know how well it works with Elements. In case swapping that with a smaller modulation source could also free up the 4HP you need for Ears.

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If you plan to use Clouds you absolutely need attenuators - Shades for example.

So you need to clear some space… Could you do without the stereo out and directly send your sources to a mixer/audio interface? Otherwise you can replace the Wogglebug by a smaller random source (2HP RND).

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Wogglebug seems nice because I feel Elements benefits from a sort of ‘controlled chaos’ type of modulation more than predictable modulation like LFO’s. Wogglebug seems to give you a lot of that semi-randomness.
Mixing is something I’d like to do in the case, as I’d like to sit with the skiff standalone, or plug the stereo outputs directly into the AK.

I’m still a noob in the modular world but why do I need attenuators for Clouds? And would for example the TRIM from 2hp suffice? I may have to swap it with the Brains then…

are you planning on Brains/PP for sequencing? or PP for “playability”? depending on what you are anticipating, I don’t think you’d need PP and Ears.

if you have an external mixer, I think you can lose the output module for now and just mix there. I didn’t get an output module until I expanded to 6u, I feel that space is so critical in a skiff layout.

you will definitely want attenuation for Clouds - especially the “density” input as CV sweeping the whole range of that input is just not great. it loves more dialed in changes. the 2hp Trim will work fine for that - the reason I like Shades for this application is to use it as a polarizer for CV as well, but its yr HP.

when thinking about Wogglebug - what are your anticipated uses for Peaks? I don’t think Woggle + Peaks is “too much,” it might be just right. if you just need more shapes, and sacrifice the output module, AND spend MORE MONEY, you could squeeze a Batumi in there instead. But don’t underestimate Peaks!

I guess this leads to a question like, how does this rack “play” with your Analog Keys?

For example, you want to create a chorus effect by having all grains play at a different pitch - if they all play at the same pitch you’ll get something muddy/phase-ey. To achieve this, you patch a random source into Clouds’ pitch control input. But this input is V/O, and your WoggleBug (or any other random source) will output a signal ranging from -5V to +5V. Without attenuation, your grains will be transposed by a random amount between -5 octaves and 5 octaves, and that’s a lot! For a more subtle effect, you’ll have to attenuate it.

Or you have frozen Clouds’ buffer and want to “scrub” it. So you send a ramp LFO to Clouds’ POSITION input you’ll always go through the whole buffer. Adjusting the amplitude of the LFO with the attenuator will allow you to select which segment of the buffer is scrubbed - whether you want the full buffer or just a smaller segment.


Okay the attenuator necessity is definitely clear now.
It gets crowded in my skiff… And then to think my initial plan was just an elements and a peaks is a tiny case…

I don’t have an external mixer - well I do in my work studio, but I want this to be part of my ‘music-for-me-at-home-without computer-screens-den’ For composing music without a million plugins, embracing limitations, and without clients telling me what they’d like me to compose…

I guess a more general question for me would be: what modules play well with my Elements? Again, I’d like to experiment, and I’m into subtle, organic and emotive sounds.

Clouds is not an absolute must I guess, but it seems to pair so well with Elements… Though I’ve heard great results from pairing Warps in parasite with Elements too.

Concerning Wogglebug and Peaks: I think Wogglebug will give me the surprise and variety of (semi-)random. Peaks would give me more orderly control. Batumi would be cool, yes, but I think I would want the Poti with it - and then I still wouldn’t have any envelopes.

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Any reason why you’re sticking with a single row? Would you consider going maybe 96hp but two rows? How about a function generator instead of an EG (although Peaks is so much more than an EG). Maybe Function, Random Source SSG, Buchla/Toppobrillo DFG, Tides or Maths?

I want to keep it simple. I don’t have much room and I actually set out to just adding 1 voice to my AK. And I want to be able to sit on the couch with it and have a simple, dedicated instrument to play with.

I wanted something similar, ended up going with 96hp and 3 rows with a Verbos Touchplate taking up most of one row. Bigger than what you wanted but I figured I could use it for performing. My other rack is 126hp by 18u so not easy to get around.

I think Clouds is a good match (based on plenty of experience), and I think keeping it to 3u is a good goal if you are looking for small expanded instrument to play.

one more thing, not sure I see it in the thread, is you have no mixing or VCAs. not sure you need it (depends on how complex you want the audio signal relationship between Elements/Clouds).

Erica has a Pico Out which is only 3hp. it’s not as robust as the Pro Output, but smaller (cheaper), will accommodate stereo in from either Elements or Clouds and headphone out.

I think you are super close to a playable instrument, just a tough choice or two to be made.

I know that Eurorack will try to ruin me financially and will try to eat up all space around me, but for now I’ll bravely withstand the pressure and keep it all neatly in one skiff. I REALLY want that…

You have my admiration then.

I have a mixing module, the Syncrotek MST stereo, which will allow me to mix both Elements and Clouds stereo outputs.

Well, I’ve only said it for now. Let’s just wait how I’m holding up a year from now…

if you just need a balance of the Elements sound and Clouds processing Elements, then just get something like the Pico Out and use the dry/wet function on Clouds to mix.

Elements sounds great going through Clouds, but the reverse is also true. I guess this is where I try to emphasize this is about how you expect to play this instrument!

Thanks, that is a very helpful suggestion!

always happy to clarify my hastily written posts on the internet!

Same situation :slight_smile: I’m quite brave so far

I will buy some of these two multiply my modulations saving rack space. Also using stackables.
Also very handy for your further lfo’s/envs from your AK