Modular: if you could start fresh and small

To those well versed in modular, if you had somewhere between 60-84hp, what would you have in your case, where would place your priorities?

Edit: I’m not looking for my personal use here, just intrigued to see what YOU would do with a smaller footprint, what would you want most, what would you enjoy most, what modules feel more important, what do YOU personally enjoy?

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you can’t really just say that, you need to have some sort of direction.

What are you trying to achieve?

a one box does all - you’re going to need 300hp minimum.
an effects box - 84hp
a simple analogue synth - just buy a 2600 behringer clone or whatever
a plinky plonky ambient machine like the youtube vids - prob 2x 84hp.

I started with a Doepfer BS1 A100 system. 2x 84hp. basically a nice analogue mono. I moved to 4x 84hp within about another month. I’m now on 6x 84hp and it’s full and I want it expanding.

You will need -

VCO or 2, VCA’s, LFO/Envelope gens, multiples, mixers, filters, attenuators, random noise gen, S&H. for starters.

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Probably should have stated, I’m just interested in what people have to say for their uses. I know I’m looking towards a little bass modular but I didn’t want a thread focused on my needs as I’m a way off that’s till but was just really interested to what uses people would have in a minimal instance and how they feel about certain modules

I see. Well the title of the thread is If I could start fresh and small…

I would do the opposite. I would not buy small 84hp cases and just go all out with something like 600hp and slowly fill it, which you eventually will anyway. I think it’s better to have stuff all in one place in easy reach rather than little tiny boxes scattered all over the place with wires trailing, but each to their own.
All my modules have their uses so I use all of them. Nothing really sits around doing nothing other than a Disting mk4 - which I dislike using due to the OS.

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This popped up today


Actually just finished watching that exact video and wanted to start a thread to see other people’s ideas

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In a similar vein to the Modular Techno Patch that @wickfut posted but (IMHO) better explained, I strongly recommend starting with the video “How to make a TINY live techno modular synth in only 62HP” by modular maven and funster, mylarmelodies.

He takes a leaf out of Surgeon’s book, in that the systems he builds are for a specific purpose, rather than a generic, pick-one-of-each-synth-component approach. I believe this helps avoid the analysis paralysis that seems to undermine most people’s early modular explorations.


Have seen and enjoyed his stuff, really interests instead in what makes everyone else tick and what they would go for themselves off their personal experience

I just sold almost all of a huge Eurorack system. About the only things I really wished I still had are the Xaoc Moskwa II sequencer and a uO_C. So basically I’m considering building a small sequencer rack to complement my Squarp Pyramid and semi modulars. I fear that’s a stupid idea.
The rack I do still have consists of not much more than a Flame Curves, LPZW Tram8 and a Microcell/Clouds. So it’s a small, midi controllable Filterbank/FX box. I wouldn’t quite recommend building something like this when starting from scratch, though.

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I think this is what I would do. If someone doesn’t need it, the DPO is an chonk and not suited to 84hp. I personally would need some way to process external signals (and…just having taken receipt of one…the Booster is an legit means to distort modular signals):

If midi wasn’t necessary, switch out the mmMidi for a Kinks. The Stages would need to be loaded with the Qiemem firmware.

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I actually have had the problem of an unfocussed rack due to curiosity and experimentation, which led me to splitting my rack in two and keep my exploration/experimentation approach in one rack and set up a focussed and straightforward approach for the other.

This led to this little setup, which is big time inspirational and inviting for many reasons:

The Assimil8or is a BEAST: Not only it is a brilliant sampler, but also an 8-channel Wavetable synthesizer with 3 FM Operators per channel if you feed it with single cycle waveforms.

That being said the Vector Sequencer is both a very straightforward complex sequencer, but also a great tool for unorthodox sequencing options.

Last but not least the Poly 2 is a perfect expander for the Vector sequencer, but also good for access via DAW, for using an MPE contoller like the Sensel Morph for playing the Assimil8or, or using it as a CC to CV box with a MIDI controller.


Save yourself some money and buy a Syntrx.


I only do fx, granular, verb, etc.

A few (stereo) filters will join. Maybe more modulation, not sure yet I am not in a hurry. Just playing and only buy when I really need something to move ahead.

Want to find and stick to 2 workflows for 2022:

-hybrid bitwig track making/finishing
-Live soundscape setup

Forgot to mention I like semi modulars as a voice.


Wow, nice filterbank!

I’d focus as much on small, low-level utility modules as what many may consider necessary (osc, filters, seq, etc.) So, passive and active switches, clock divisions, matrix mixers, and such things. And a banana plug system just because I stack a lot and I don’t want to worry about the durability of connectors.

Nice idea for a rack!


Maths, Plaits, Rings, Beads.

I can’t actually answer the question. I started with 208hp of space and I have a lot of utilities. If I were spending my own money and constrained in this way, I wouldn’t do it. If I had to do it (this is a weird hypothetical), I’d get a Pittsburgh Modular SV-1b in its own case, and a Keystep.

Teletype (18hp) + just friends (14hp) + mangrove (10hp) + three sisters (10hp) + cold mac (8hp) + morphagene (20hp) + txn/nearness 2hp (2hp)


mini braids (or plaits but i think i’d get braids) (12hp or so), u_OC running hemisphere suite (8hp), 2hp vca (2hp), erica pico drums 1 (3hp), intellijel triatt (6hp), michigan synth works pique (smaller mutable peaks) running dead mans catch (4hp), clouds running parasites. filter of your choice. intellijel dual adsr if space allows, if not maybe a 2hp env (though u_OC and peaks both provide envelopes too).

gives you 2 - 5 drum voices (2 from pico drums, 2 from peaks, 1 from braids (actually two more possible from uO_C), one flexible osc (capable of chords too) from braids, sequencing from u_OC (and peaks). mixer and utils with triatt. vca (can be skipped despite common advice). u_OC can provide internal clock too.