I'm thinking of buying (or making) a 104hp Eurorack case, and throw in the Behringer D along with some complementary eurorack modules. Things like a sample&hold, extra LFOs, and so on. Maybe even effects. The idea is to stick with the D for the oscillators / filter, but add useful stuff. Any suggestions? There won't be much space, so I'll go for mostly small hp modules.
I entered Eurorack world just a few years ago for similar reasons; I wanted additional modulation sources and basically an add-on "tool box" for enhancing my semi-modulars. Just as you are planning I don't have any filter modules. However oscillators (VCOs, Digital varieties and LFOs) are a whole other thing in modular land and can be a lot more than just an oscillator. You might consider a VCO that does both LFO and audio rate - there are many. You don't have to use them in the conventional manner ( I seldom do) as they're great for fm and other forms of audio rate modulation.
I don't subscribe to the endless money pit theory that so many on the more modular-centric forums subscribe to. BUT I do think the 20HP you're left with after installing the model D is pretty tight and you may decide later you wish you went with a 2 row -104HP case; just something to think about. At a minimum I recommend you look at something like the Intellijel
skiffs with just a slightly taller profile. I use a 84HP (no longer made) on one side of my room and a 104HP on the other. These give you additional space for 1U modules which are excellent. Be aware that Intelljel's 1U modules are not compatible with other manufacturers and vice versa (slight size difference). I didn't care and still don't since they have plenty of 1U modules to choose from and new ones periodically come out.
As to other modules I love randomizers and wavefolders. You may also want a couple of VCAs for controlling your modulations with a foot pedal or other controller. Also look at slew rate modules and maybe a low pass gate. It's really difficult to recommend specifics at this point as you'll have to come up with a combination that fits.
Btw I assume you have a controller that puts out CV and gate? Otherwise consider a midi to CV converter. Intellijel has a 1U version which I use in one of my skiffs. Hope this helps.
I think the D is 70hp, so I'd have 34 left, not 20. But your point probably still stands... I should get a bigger case. Or leave the D intact and then fill up the case.
Thanks for the suggestions on modules. Great tip on VCAs & footpedal.
Ah right, 70 HP
. Btw like many here who actually “play” keyboards, for years I dismissed modular as too much about bleeps and bloops and being left brain centric. However I now find it difficult to settle for the cliched wee-ooh wee-ooh modulation often brought in with the mod wheel or aftertouch.
This eurorack is fun stuff and really brings out fresh ideas with classic synths.
NiftyBundle modular is priced like a Behringer:https://www.cre8audio.com/niftybundle
If you just want the 84hp case, which comes w/ power supply and MIDI-CV converter, they're asking about $200 for it
A few random thoughts:
--Markyboard is right. There are oscillators in the Eurorack format that aren't...oscillators. Well, they are, but they aren't. I've got a Mutable Instruments Elements that I would be hard pressed to categorize. Honestly, it straddles the line between beeps & bloops (which I have little patience for) and music, in the sense that it can be tuned to play actual notes. Face it, you've got about 999 manufacturers out there trying to differentiate themselves from one another and so they go further and further afield trying to come up with something the other guys don't have. Some of it sounds like crap (to my ears) and some of it works (again, to my ears). Your best bet is to listen to a bunch of YouTube demos, because I swear some of the people who do the demos go out of their way to make the most horrible, screechy noises they can...so if the first video doesn't sound like what you're looking for, try another. If, after three or four demos, maybe five if you're really trying hard to like a piece, if after all that it still sounds like crap to you, move on. These things are so bloody versatile that it's possible to get both good and bad noises out of them. Or maybe it really was a bad design to begin with. (I note that one of the modules I least liked the sound of--no matter how many demos I listened to--has been discontinued. Maybe I wasn't the only one who didn't like it.)
--Certain manufacturers don't help themselves to be taken seriously by describing their products with word salad like this: "Just Friends discussing the many facets of their empathic geometry. In generating manifold envelopes, projecting impulses, cycling on parallel gradients. Together navigate the sixth nexus into your own personal patch communion." Uh...say wha'? That's a direct cut and paste from the Mannequins Just Friends page. So tell me, just exactly what does a Just Friends do, anyway? Hell if I know. I'm not even sure they know. Back to YouTube.
--Some companies have panel nomenclature that is all but unreadable. I don't know if I'll ever buy something from Make Noise, for instance, because I can't read their damned labels. Edgy? Attitude? I care not for these things. I care about coaxing music out of hardware and if I can't read the stupid labels because some nitwit decided to get creative with the font, then that piece is a non-starter for me.
--Eurorack is like kudzu. It grows and grows and nothing stops it. By more space than you think you'll need. Trust me on this one.
--I thought, as you do, that I'd use the Behringer Model D for oscillators and such. The reality is that I can't get into the circuit where I want to--the patch points simply aren't there. I'm handy with a soldering iron and have considered making a breakout box so as to get into more places in the D's circuitry, but...nah. I just treat it as its own thing and use it in parallel--not in series with--the other Eurothings.
--I'm here to certify that it is possible to make actual music, as in real notes that have pitches, with Euro hardware. I use MIDI to drive the Eurorack, just like I do the Model D. Works great.
--A sequencer that you can actually touch, as opposed to fiddle with awkwardly after diving through ten layers of menus, is a good thing. But...sequencers can get big. Ooops...there goes another 30-40 HP!
--People tell you that, "You can never make the same sound twice on Eurorack." Uh...bullshit. It's no worse than a Moog modular. Or a Minimoog, for that matter. Yes, you have to twist knobs to get there, but if Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman could do it, then we can do it. Note also that there are pieces on the market that have patch memory, so there's progress being made on the convenience/speed front. If there's something that I think might be tricky to repeat, I whip out my phone and take a picture of the settings I used. Easy.
--The complaints about tight knob spacings are true...sometimes. Some modules are okay to live with, while others have you bumping knobs B and C every time you reach for A. It varies.
--I use 84HP/19" rack mount adapters because everything else I have is 19" and I'll be damned if I'll start another rack format if I don't have to.
--Having just about every potential patch point that there is allows versatility beyond your wildest dreams. As much as I love my Moogs, they (and the Behringer) don't let you do everything that can be done.
--Eurorack gets expensive. Eurorack gets big. Eurorack is more fun than the law allows...and can be much more than mere beeps and bloops. Just think of it as the Mini-Me version of Keith Emerson's wall-o'-Moog.