Newbie saying hi, would love inputs! :)


I’m new to the world of modular, about to jump in. I bought myself a semi-modular (Behringer Neutron) a few months ago to test the water and see if I’d like the feel and instantly got hooked. I’ve been watching a lot of videos to try and understand the theory, terminology and overall use of specific modules.

I’ve played piano and guitar when I was younger, but I recently discovered the world of synths and how you can make endless tracks without playing notes like a typical instrument. It really resonated with me and it’s such an enjoyable way to explore music.

The kind of things I’m most interesting in making with my modular is generative ambient music, I want to make some soothing stuff to study / work / sleep / play boardgames with friend to. Nice chill background music. Patch something new everyday and let it slowly drift into different sounds.

And I want just want to explore making random sounds and use it almost like a toy, the hands-on tactile feel of modular synths is so much fun.

I’ve tried to read as many recommendation threads and watch as many tutorial videos (saw a lot of videos by DivKidVideo doing deep explanations of MI modules) and I’m trying to figure out what my first few purchases should be.

For the case, I’m highly considering the 7u 104hp intellijel performance case. The aesthetic is stellar, the size seems big enough to fit plenty of modules and expand. The 1u row also seems like it offers a lot of extra features that takes little space for what they add to the setup.

For the 1u tiles, I’m looking at a bundle from Sweetwater that includes…

  • Intellijel MIDI 1u
  • Intellijel Quadratt 1u
  • Intellijel Phones 1u
  • Intellijel Line In 1u
  • Intellijel Line Out 1u
    and to that adding Intellijel Dual VCA 1u

As for my first 3U modules, I’m thinking of getting 3-4 to start. I’m really drawn to the Mutable Instruments line up (I wouldn’t be on the forums otherwise!). The aesthetic are phenomenal, I’m in love with the sound that they can make (been watching a lot of video using many of the modules and they all sound so great). They seem to be incredibly feature-rich. I’m trying to pick modules that can do a lot to start, so that I can do as many different things with my first purchases.

The modules I’m considering are the following (these are not set in stone, please chime in!)…

  • Marbles: it seems like the best fit to explore generative ambient music.
  • Beads: sampling and playing around with little bits of sounds seems both very fun from a sound exploration stand point, and it seems like a very fun module for generative ambient music as well. Looks very fun to play with from all the videos I watched.
  • Math: I’ve seen this module be recommended on a silly amount of posts, I’ve heard it be referenced as the “swiss army knife” of modular synth and heard it pairs very well with Marbles.

I’m considering getting a 4th module, but I’m at a bit of a loss. There are a lot of modules that seems great, but I don’t want to get too many modules at once, I want to play around and figure out what I really like and where I want to branch out to. I feel like I’m missing a sound source? To get that smooth chill sound I’m lookign for. But some of the modules I listed can also be used as a sound source. Here are what I also saw and considered.

  • Plaits: I really like the sounds of that module, seems like a very complete sound source for a single module.
  • Rings: Sounds amazing, I’ve heard it do some really chill sounds. I love the smooth vibe that module gives.
  • Stages: That module seems so useful, so many different features, seems like a very good first modules packed with features.

I’m also looking into making some DIY with a friend to learn how things work on a deeper level, I’m going to be ordering some kits and start with some simple stuff from AI Synthesis and make the Oscilloscope from Waveform Magazine. (I got a friend that’ll teach me how to solder, really looking forward to it!)

That being said, I have very very limited experience, so if you read all the way here, please, give me your inputs! Are there any important modules that I’m overlooking? Is there anything that pairs very well and expands on what I listed that I could get as a 4th module? Do I have anything too redundant or not as useful as a first module? I’m welcoming any discussion to guide me into the first step of my journey!

Thanks! <3

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Stages (with Quimem firmware) has often been referred to as one of the most “modular modules”… that’s my suggestion


As per Émilie’s suggestion -

"If you don’t know how to start, just do this:

1 sound source (oscillator, sample player…)
1 modifier (filter, wavefolder, effect processor…)
1 modulation source that can do both looping and one-shot modulations".


Looked it up and it really seems like a great flexible module!

What about: instead of the 1U line in you get MI Ripples which in addition to boosting the volume of the signal can do filtering, distortion and has a vca on the lp output.

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