Build Your Own Synth - Step 4: Layout

Now comes the fun part where you see your synth take shape - well on the computer screen at least.  Modular Grid is an indispensable website for researching eurorack modules and arranging them in a virtual case.  It tells you where all the free space is and how much of it there is in any configuration.  For the budget minded it also gives an indicator of the total cost of all modules.

The most useful info is tucked away in the little row of text at the bottom.  It shows for the example case above:

Power Consumption: 800 mA +12V | 374 mA -12V | 90 mA 5V | Depth: 46 mm | Price: $2,791 | Number of Modules: 11 | Data Sheet


Knowing the power consumption will be crucial for getting a power board and adapter sufficient for your current and future needs.  Check the specs to make sure it is supplying mA (milliampere) GREATER than those stated in "Power Consumption".  

Some points to consider for case layout:

  • Have an organising principal such as signal flow, grouping by functions, etc
  • Try to locate close to each other modules that will often be patched together 
  • Put all the performance related modules on the bottom row where there is less cable clutter
  • Leave some free space for expansion and moving things around - you'll definitely want to do this after you play your synth the first few times
  • Get some feedback from the community on your rig.  After which you may decide to change the case layout or modules

Hope that was helpful to you and have fun laying out your own modular synth.

Other tutorial posts in this series:

Build Your Own Synth - Step 1: Selecting A Case

Build Your Own Synth - Step 2: Establish A Starting Point

Build Your Own Synth - Step 3: Module Selection

Build Your Own Synth - Step 5: Preparation

Build Your Own Synth - Step 6: Mutant Drums Boat

Build Your Own Synth - Step 7: Completion

Build Your Own Synth - Step 8: Mutant Taiko