A4 + Modular...any ideas?

Hey guys,

I’m thinking of starting a small modular to go with my A4 MK2 and wanted to get your thoughts on what i should get since I’m totally new to modular.

I was looking at getting this to start with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgii3lsT0U0

What do you guys think?

IMO it is better to start with a semi modular : there are plenty interesting ones out there.
I first got the 0-Coast and 18 months later eventually set a foot in modular territory.
0-Coast is still relevant, offering a lot of functionalities.

I think you should also take the time to look for further info in other threads such as these :


The usual answer to this question is “what do you want to do with it?”. If you’re not sure then a semi-modular like a Mother 32 or 0-Coast is probably a good idea, as @LyingDalai said.

Do you want another synth voice? FM? Rhythmic/percussion? Granular/sampling/sound warping? Modulation? Effects? Randomness/generative? Drones? Etc.

I would suggest starting a rack on modulargrid.net and watching some YouTube videos (there’s no shortage, haha) and when you hear something you like the sound of, add it to the rack, and do some research into that module. Figure out what it does and if that’s useful for you. Once it looks like the whole rack makes sense, go for it and see how it works. You’ll probably make some changes once you’ve used it for a bit.

Try and put together a rack that doesn’t lack for any of the fundamentals to begin with - I assume the A4 can provide the clocking, sequencing and a fair amount of modulation. So maybe you want modules that complement that and add something different.

Whatever you go for, it’s probably a good idea to have enough basic stuff like VCAs. Something like an Intellijel Dixie 2 (/2+) might also be a good idea as you can use it as a very accurate VCO (good for FM) or as an LFO, etc.


And be ready to loose some money, as it’s hard to really know what you want before diving into it…

@finalform, which modules would you suggest for each of the directions you enumerated ?

There are also several A4 - modular threads on muffwiggler


Seems to be the universal truth of eurocrack™

I’m only just dipping a toe in myself… the DFAM was what inspired me to go from thinking about it to actually getting a rack. It was immediately fun and interesting, playing with the patch points. So now I’m piecing together an 84hp 3U with the intention of generating “tougher”/“deeper” synth sounds, mostly.

Mutable Yarns
Mutable Links
Mutable Kinks
Roland 540
Roland 510
Intellijel µFold II
Intellijel µVCA II
Intellijel Dixie II+

Happy to discuss my thinking around each of those modules if that’s of any interest. Basically, I really like the core sound of the Roland/Malekko modules, and the Dixie and the MUM M8, and then I’ve added a load of modulation options and a wavefolder, and a Yarns for midi to CV / clocking / basic sequencing. I already have a couple of the Aira modular effects that I can use as well (I especially want to try the Bitrazer through the MUM M8).

There’s such a wide variety of modules now and a big difference between some of the “all in one” modules and the traditional “component” type modules that are smaller and do less complicated things. Some of them are pretty complex in and of themselves, with screens and menus and stuff. That wasn’t what I wanted.

For rhythmic… Akemie’s Taiko… the Noise Engineering stuff like the BIA… or the TipTop drum machine components paired with a sequencer all seem popular. For drone/granular there’s the Mutable stuff or the Morphagene… For modulation, MN Maths, etc etc… there’s just so much tbh. I’ve found Mylar Melodies and DivKid’s channels both very informative in terms of “what is this thing and what does it do”. But yeah, there’s lots of useful info here and elsewhere from people with more experience than me. I just wanted to chip in with the ol’ “what do you want it to do” because what “a modular” is is such an open question. I live local to London Modular so I’ve popped in there for a chat a couple of times and that has been really helpful.


You only need a single euro module to start out when used in conjunction with the A4.
You could start with nothing but a complex digital wavetable module like the E352 or Shapeshifter. You could control it via sending CV from the A4, and then send the oscillator audio straight into the A4 inputs to process via the A4’s env, filters, effects etc.
By using the A4’s onboard ‘modules’ it saves buying all the utility modules, and adding just a single complex wavetable module will add vast sonic potential to the A4.


Master what you have and don’t follow the hype.


buying eurorack is hype, but buying elektron is fine? :wink:

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there is a piece of paper on the wall of SchneidersLaden in Berlin saying something like ‘after six years of planing I finally bought my first module’. If you don’t know what to buy, chances are that you don’t really need this. But this is just my opinion and please prove my wrong with your music.


You’re right, don’t buy anything, sing and clap your hands ! :sunny:

I began modular with my 15€ Monotron !
A4 and modded Monotron


Thanks guys for the detailed replies. That Modular Grid site seems very interesting to see what your building. What I’m basically visioning is messing up with the sounds that come out of the A4.

I like what this guy is doing here with this small modular setup:

I produce techno btw.

Your opinion is legit. Mine is different.
I don’t like these kind of arguments like modular is only hype, or only expensive bleep and bloop machines or prove me wrong with your music.
I won’t prove anything. I don’t play games like that


This is what they’re using there:

Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas Alter - percussion synth
WMD Chimera - granular percussion synth
2hp LFO
Make Noise STO - VCO
2hp Mix
Make Noise LxD - kind of a combination of a filter and a VCA
Make Noise Function - function generator, makes looping rise/fall envelopes and loads of other stuff (similar to some of the 0-coast functions)

So they’re not actually processing the A4 audio with it at all. They’re using the A4 to trigger, control and sequence the modular, and passing the mixed sound back into the A4 to run through its effects.

I’m guessing it’s the tone of that stuff that you like? There are some really nice crunchy / sharp / FM sounds in there. A 0-Coast might be a good first buy for you, or look more into those brands and see what else they make that you like.


Thanks man for taking the time to build and explain that. Highly appreciate it. My concern with A4 (which I’ve had for about 9 weeks now) is that I’m not finding it to be crunchy / sharp for a techno environment…hense why i thought about adding Modular to push the sound of the A4.

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That’s alright, no problem at all. Definitely take a look at Noise Engineering, Make Noise, WMD stuff etc. and look at incorporating some FM and wavefolding to get those edgier sounds. Maybe some bitcrushing. The Bitrazer can be found quite cheap and can be reprogrammed to be almost anything you want if you get bored of it…

Another thing to try might be components that respond well to being driven quite hard to get some nice saturation/distortion, eg the Roland/Malekko 505 filter that’s based on the SH-5 filter or the Manhattan Analog DTM, which is based on the Moog CP3 mixer (which is what they’ve also put in the Grandmother).

Maybe check the DFAM as well. It’s fun, it packs a punch, and costs less than some modules.


In your opinion, what would be the first buy to go with the A4?

I don’t think I could say, honestly, it’s got to be your choice. If I were you I would look into stuff a bit more and see what you like the sound of the most.

Here are some Mylar Melodies videos on some of the stuff I mentioned:




DivKid’s stuff is useful for demos of individual modules’ functions but Mylar Melodies is more interesting in terms of musical context (IMO).

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maybe search for modular techno patches/performances on youtube to find stuff that sounds like what you’re looking for. Most people list their modules/soundsources in the video description

yeah brad, thats exactly what im after. I want to manipulate whats coming out of the A4. Could you please suggest some hardware?