Industrial Drone set up advice. (going away from Eurorack)

Hi everyone,

I strated an eurorack journey 4-5 years ago and while I’ve been (partly) enjoying making music with it (2x104 HP) I want to go away from it. I never manage to finish a proper set up and I don’t have enough time anymore to buy/sell module, patch and check modulargrid …

I like making drone and industrial techno music. I love tweeking oscilator knobs, using effects, saturation, distortion to go into wierd (but still musical) places. I also like a good old pwm square sequenced in a 24db low pass filter. And 4-5 voices are enough for me :smiley:

I actually already sold some modules this year and got the DFAM and Monomachine.

I like them both. I find the MnM a bit too digital for my taste and the sequencer missing flexibility like the new Elektron box but it has separated output per voice and is always inspiring!
The DFAM gets more interesting with other euro module around and has no midi but sounds great and is fun.
I also have the Ipad that doesn’t get much love. I use it mostly for end of chain reverb …

What would you recommand for a simple synth set up with effect ?

Some idea:

  • The digitone/digitakt. Very powerful and compact but I only have the stereos out for more FX. I’m not interested in Overbridge + computer.
  • DFAM + Monomachine + some pedals but I need also a mixer and it won’t be so compact anymore.
  • DFAM + Monomachine + USB mixer and Ipad for FX per track. Lots of possibility here, very compact and fun I guess but I’m not really sold on the ipad, I prefer knobs.
  • I could build a simple 1 eurorack row FX box but the price + converting line to euro level put me off.

Also, I’m not interested in the OT (too deep, no time to learn it).

If you have ideas, I’m curious :slight_smile:
Thanks !

Octatrack + Analog Four. You can sample stuff into the Octatrack for crazy randomness and glitchy / gnarly tones as well as use the four voices on the A4 for lighter synth drones. You can recycle other samples thru the A4 and use it’s better effects, or use a voice for it and use the LFO’s and filter as well.

Only problem with this is that the A4 (at least mk. I) isn’t exactly well suited for harsher sounds, but it can more than make up for it with versatility, and you can naturally edit everything with the Octatrack to sound harsher is you want.

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What about the Analog 4? It would give you both the updated sequencer and the analog sound it seems you are looking for plus with the option for infinite sustain it is great for drones. In addition the CV ins and outs would allow for more interesting interactions with the DFAM. Oscillator feedback, overdrive, and extreme FX can get you into some very harsh territory as well.

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Soma Lyra 8.
The most industrial drone thing ever.


AR mk1 or 2, drone away with dual-VCO or samples, got options to output in pairs, excellent sequencer possibilities/probabilities, effects, list goes on…

I was going to say A4 as well. The CV options plus sequencer and it’s own noise synthesis options are a no-brainer.
Also recommend anything from Retro Mechanical Labs for industrial sounds, as well as the Landscape Stereo Field.


MS-20 might also be an option. There’s a reason Attrition used it. I really wish I’d have gotten my hands on one back when I was making industrial music in the 1980s. It somehow eluded me until a few years ago. Once I got my hands on one and dialled those dual filters into that magical cacophonous distortion, I was tempted to re-start my old industrial project…

(for what it’s worth, the most recent industrial style stuff I’ve done used primarily Analog Four/Keys, Analog Rytm, MS-20 and Octatrack, but it was more like Cabaret Voltaire or Portion Control than it was droning)


+1 for A4MKII. I use one with a DFAM, Mother 32, and Subhamonicon. The CV outs are a dream.

I’m just dipping my toe into modular by adding Elements/Rings/Clouds for some plonky/resonant body stuff and atmospherics.

I’m into Pole Group type techno and that’s more what I’m looking to perform live so likely similar to what your hoping to achieve.

Also +1 to the Lyra-8. If you can’t swing one, look at Mononoke on the iPad with Fabilter Saturn 2 and maybe something like Pumphouse so you can duck the kick a la LFO Tool style. You can use the A4 as a sound card and just keep the keys full screen on Mononoke. Adds lovely droning madness to things. :). Not quite Lyra-8 but inspired by and definitely in a similar vein.

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It’s a bit too good, as it’s super overused. Still a great synth and I’m thinking about maybe buying a K2 at some point, as I sold the MS-20 Mini due to it’s noisy filters and awkward size.

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That’s true, everyone does use it! (I’ve got an original that isn’t too noisy unless I use its built-in amp to grunge up the signal more).

I often wonder why there aren’t more industrial things happening, given our socio-political climate and the availability of inexpensive electronic gear.

As an aside, I have all of the gear I used when I was doing that kind of thing 30+ years ago: Yamaha RX7, Ensoniq EPS, Roland SH-09, Alpha Juno 1. :blush:


I wish I had an original! Also the kit from a few years ago would be really sweet, but they’re pretty rare these days. The mini was alright but the filters were a lot noisier than on the original, in the end it annoyed me enough to get rid of it.

I think the great noise underground (power electronics, industrial & noise) is doing better than ever, thanks to the internet. There’s so many great labels releasing great stuff and the best part is that you can check out stuff all over the world easily, as opposed to the “golden age” when you needed to have to right tape trading partners to find stuff from abroad.

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never heard of Pole Group before, checking it out now. Quality stuff.

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Up to this point, you’ve described the Dreadbox Typhon very well.

The layout of the knobs invites the kind of tweaks you are drawn to, and the modulation, sequencer, and 3 FX processors make it deeper than most available mono synth modules. There are several flavors of drive/wave folding/distortion.

It has enough tricks up its sleeves to not get boring, the step modulators are pretty deep, and the sequencer has master probability. And an external input that takes other, lesser gear to great places. USB power and portability make it ideal for droning on the sofa with headphones. Sometimes I use mine to set up my meditation sessions.

A worthy consideration.


This calls for something like an A4, which would even come with four monosynth voices and four sequencer, or a DN. IMO the DN has a lot of “industrial” clinks and clonks, melodic and glitchy facilities …

The 1010 Blackbox could be a good sampler, if the OT is too complex.

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions !
AR and A4 seems to be the most interesting indeed but I can’t go for both (yet).

I think I’ll go this way:

  • A4 as sequencer, voice/drum, effect
  • DFAM on drum
  • 1 voice euro with the Intellijel Shapeshifter and Vult freak in combination with A4 cv track. It adds another flavour to the A4 and can do very good drones.

Sounds amazing actually.
The video that seal the deal probably :

I think AR could be also great but it’s maybe too much of drum machine for me. Maybe in the future :smiley: - The Dual VCO caught my attention !

Other synth mentioned like Lyra 8, MS-20, Typhon are definitely great but I need some sequencing power.

Also I’m thinking about keeping the MnM. Don’t know, it’s such a unique and interesting machine. Nobody really mention it but it’s quite capable (but you all know it :D)


I think that’s a wise thing to do. You’ve probably seen how much they go for on the 2nd hand market? I also have one and although it seldom finds itself to one of my ”finished” tracks, I think I’d miss it the second I sold it.

I actually think MnM would be great for industrial/drone, especially with a wee bit of processing. Sending it through Analog Heat, for example? Just a simple distortion would probably be great as well. I just put in the Autechre sysex (just do a search on this forum) in my MnM and while it’s not industrial/drone exactly, some of those sounds are just so cold and heavy!

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Absolutely. In fact during the years I owned mine that’s pretty much all I used it for. That and the Machinedrum were my first calls for industrial sorts of sounds (the MDUW is probably the single best tool for industrial music I’ve ever owned with the possible exception of a sledgehammer and an oil drum)


Neubaten style!


I am, alas, far too old and sore to do such things these days. However, I’ve got a quartet of Polyend Percs that can do metal percussion better than I could ever have managed…

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Hey, just a heads up: the A4 isn’t really that good at sequencing external gear. Check what it’s actually capable of what you’re after as a sequencer.