Modular Synths: Common Questions & Answers

December 1, 2023

  1. How to start with modular
  2. To start with modular, research different modules and manufacturers to find out what kind of sound and creative options are available. Familiarize yourself with the different types of modules available and how they interact. Look into modular tutorials and videos to get an idea of how to use the equipment. There are tons of great resources on YouTube, Reddit, and

  3. Why do I want a modular synthesizer?
  4. You may want a modular synthesizer to create unique and complex sounds, to experiment with sound design, or to make your own custom instrument. It’s a good idea to define exactly what you want to achieve musically so you can get the most out of your system.

  5. Where to buy modular synths?
  6. Modular synths can be purchased online from various retailers, including, Sweetwater, and ModularGrid.

  7. What case should I use?
  8. The type of case you should use depends on the size and type of modular synth that you plan to use. Generally, cases come in either 3U or 6U sizes and can be powered using either 12V or 15V power sources

  9. What size case/power should I get?
  10. The size and power of your case will depend on the type and number of modules you plan to use. Generally, a 3U case is suitable for a small setup and a 6U case is better for larger setups. Choose a power system rated for at least 20% more power than you need.

  11. How do I begin learning about Modular Synths?
  12. Begin learning about Modular Synthesizers by reading articles, watching tutorials, and listening to tracks made with Modular Synthesizers. Additionally, attending workshops, joining online communities, and talking to experienced users can help you gain a better understanding of these instruments

  13. Why are modules so expensive?
  14. Modules are expensive because they are highly specialized and require a lot of engineering and design work to create. Additionally, many of the modules available are hand-crafted and limited edition, which adds to their cost.

  15. What modules do I need?
  16. The modules you need will depend on the type of sound you are trying to create. Generally, the basic modules that are needed for a modular synth setup include a power supply, oscillators, filters, and envelop generators.

  17. Do I need an output module?
  18. Yes, you will need an output module in order to hear the sound that you have created and protect your gear. If you have multiple sound sources in your rack, you will want a mixer that can support each one.

  19. How can I record my modular synthesizer?
  20. You will need an audio interface. An audio interface inputs analog signals from your eurorack and sends the audio via USB to your computer. You can use any audio recording software, even Microsoft Voice Recorder will do.

  21. Do Eurorack modules include a power cable?
  22. Jake’s Custom Shop modules (as with most manufacturers) all include a power cable for connecting your module to a standard eurorack power bus. We also include M3 screws for mounting the module in your eurorack case.

  23. Are there things I am better to get as ‘regular gear’ instead of Eurorack modules?
  24. Yes, there are some things that are better to get as regular gear, such as guitar effect pedals and MIDI controllers. However, many of the functions that these provide can also be replicated with a modular synth. Pairing a DAW or VCV Rack with your modular can save you money and greatly expand functionality

  25. Are some things better left non-modular?
  26. Generally, things that require a lot of control, such as sequencing and automation, are better left to non-modular gear. Often a musician will pair a MIDI keyboard with a modular synth for live improvisation of melodies. This requires some sort of MIDI to Eurorack conversion such as a MIDI to CV converter

  27. What are the different voltage standards that I should bear in mind when choosing modules?
  28. Most modules use either +12V or +15V power, so you should make sure that your power supply is compatible with the modules you plan to use. The Eurorack standard as defined by Doepfer calls for ±12V, 0V and 5V supply via 10 or 16 pin IDC connectors. This is the most common among modular synths. modules use 4U modules that require ±15V supply.

  29. What kind of power supply do you use?
  30. Jake's Custom Shop Eurorack cases are equipped with cutting-edge power solutions to ensure your modular synthesizer performs at its peak. Utilizing a dual Alitove DC power supply setup, these cases deliver exceptional performance, reliability, and low noise levels. This robust power system, coupled with our meticulously designed power bus, guarantees a quiet and enduring foundation for your modular synth adventures.