The Hardware Megathread


Damn it. I was looking at one of the Roland SPs because I’ve always been a sucker for vinyl crackles and just a lofi or wonky aesthetic in general (I abuse Audio Damage’s Discord3 in the box on a regular basis, and lived for the OP-1’s Phone FX when mine worked…), and then the Strymon Mobius Destroyer section. I found a video comparing that to the Zoom MS-70cdr, and its “lofi delay” has a vinyl noise thing. it isn’t as in-depth as the Strymon, ofc, which includes record speed, etc. But now comes the damn it part. I have a Zoom MS-100BT. It was part of that whole line, but the most versatile, because you could load effects onto it from an iPhone app, so you could get the cdr, the f, and the b unit effects all on one box. I got a lot of the bass amp sims and some other effects, I remember. I dug out the 100BT I still had and turned it on.

No Lofi Delay, and the app is long since gone from the App Store it seems. RIP.

I hate technology sometimes XD Samples it is. I can’t really justify a Roland SP or a Strymon box just for a couple effects I can easily do with samples and a LFO.


I’ve really been enjoying using XLN Audio’s RC-20 for those types of artifacts. I got it while it was on sale for 19.99, if you keep an eye on their site you can likely get it that inexpensive as well.


I was so busy this week I forgot I had a Focusrite 18i20 2nd gen coming. Got it half price between the fact it was b-stock and third gen is out now so dealers need these things gone. Got in last night and at least set it so that I can hear my synths while I play through the unit on headphones, need to test recording today.


Thanks! I want something like this OTB but it looks like a great option if i just want to process sounds at the computer one day before shuttling them over to a sampler.

All the hardware options are $300+ depending on if you get a used SP, a new SP, or one of a few guitar pedals that are out there for this sort of thing, and not all those have stereo in/out. I think Alesis made a box to do vinyl sim, too, that pops up from time to time for $200ish.


+1 on the RC-20, what a great plug. I also checked out the Plogue chipcrusher for some digital artifact stuff, but have yet to purchase it. Between the 2 I think one has basically all bases covered for retro degrading in the box. That said, the MS-70 thingy looks mighty nice…could always use another delay/reverb on the HW end…


This is the best, price attractive entry point into modular:

I’ve been interested in getting started in modular gear for quite a while now. I love analog gear and working with physical instruments with knobs and sliders and switches you can touch and mess with, and a couple years back I decided to get a Moog Mother 32, in order to kinda get my feet wet and decide if modular was the way to go for me.

The Mother 32 served as a nice way to kinda dip my toes into modular without the cost of setting up an initial modular system from scratch. It could be played on its own, and yet could be patched around and patched into other devices as I expanded my tool set.

I absolutely LOVED the Mother 32, but its only shortcoming was that, having purchased the Mother 32, I still was without a case and psu and such with which I could expand my modular set up. I was basically in the same spot. I had tasted modular, but I still didn’t have something I can build upon. The cost of getting the case and PSU are pricey on their own, which was one of the main roadblocks to starting a modular system for me, was still there.

Recently, I’ve been starting to think more seriously about starting a modular set up, and the cost of starting such a system. Then, in a modular marketplace here on Facebook, I found a really rather nice find, with maybe not EVERYTHING you’d need in a modular system, but came with some key modules and utilities, and, on its own still was usable despite missing some primary oscillators and envelopes, all with a case with power an plenty of room to expand. But what really caught my eye wasn’t the set of modules necessarily, but the asking price for the case and modules. With the case and everything that came with it, while not a complete modular system, was certainly a nice starting point, and was at a value of around 60% of MAP, with everything in great condition.

I recognized the value of this offer… but the price was still a high figure. A good chunk of change that I really didn’t want to drop, all at once. But the deal was so good, it was hard to ignore. Suddenly, getting a starter modular system that I could incorporate with what I already have didn’t seem out of reach without dropping at least a grand or two. I began dissecting the value of every option of every module, and every bit of gear included in the seller’s offer. Then, I began looking at other ways I could get started with something similar. The case with a power suppler is always an expensive part of getting started. Everything I found was around $300+ just to get a powered case. Then there was the matter of actually getting the signal somewhere where you can use it (mixers, outs), then actually having something you can use to make sound or process sound from somewhere else, and it was looking like I’d be spending at least $700 or so for a very basic setup.

Then, I came across the Cre8audio NiftyBundle.

An 80hp powered box (1500mA +12V/500mA -12v, 500mA +5V), with audio out, and midi to cv. And this is a BOX, not like the tip top happy endings kit that, while a nice basic no frills start, is leaving your modules uncovered, exposed to dust and the environment, people sneezing, an unfortunate spill or splatter of someone’s drink.

But, that’s not what caught my eye.

For $270, they include not just the case with power and connectivity, the throw in a Cre8audio Chipz module (dual oscillator with lfo) AND a Cre8audio Cellz (sequencer/control interface).

This had the value of the Facebook seller’s offer, but at a lower price point that wasn’t going to carve out a fat piece of my savings, while being able to have a basic functioning modular setup (sequencer + oscillators) that I could interface with a midi keyboard or my DAW, AND use with my mother 32. AND AT FREAKING $270!!! Something that anyway I was trying to divvy up, was going to be at least around $700+, for $270. Amazing!

Needless to say, I just pulled the trigger on one, and am not feeling pangs of regret over having to neglect car repairs or other important expenses over having a modular synth/workstation.

So, for anyone who is looking to get started in modular, but has been discouraged because of the high cost of entry, check out this very affordable way of getting into modular with a basic functioning system for a very nice intro price, that can be expanded as you delve deeper into modular synthesis.


I’ve had a gen 1 since it was new. Been a great workhorse.

I have a Behringer ADA8200 connected so I can do a full band. The ADA8200 does have a higher noise floor for the mic preamps, but I mainly use it for the line ins anyway which are fine as far as I can tell.


I would love to know what modules you add to this. This is very attractive to me and I’ve had a similar interest as you lately.


Perfect, I was hoping something cheap would work because I didn’t realize until I was doing the cable runs to this thing that I’m going to have one input left over. I’ll need more inputs pretty soon. I chose this because I wanted it to be able to send clock to the ADAT interface and make the ADAT slave and I wasn’t sure the lower models could do that. Plus, now I have an excuse to buy a rack.


Yep working for me for years. You do need the two cables, one for the audio data —light pipe, and then for the clock, Then just designate the master and sample rate. I didn’t do anything special to get them working well.


As modular is a fairly expensive venture, I’ve really been thinking about what exactly I’d want to do, and what I’m leaning towards right now, is making an all out drum machine. I love the sonic abilities of synths and adding modulation, but what has interested me more is working with sequencers and methods of chopping up and reorganizing sequences on the fly, to make a sort of live performance/production system. Sort of like Renoise, but with actual knobs and dials I can touch (I’m not so big on buying MIDI controllers and dealing with mappings, and generally an out-of-the-box approach is something I really prefer).

I love drum machines, and building rhythms from punching in notes in sequencers, I’m really not a big fan of using a keyboard, I’ve always been more of a “hit something and make noise” person. I like offloading the timing and sequencing to an external source, and working with the overall track structure, and of course live modulation and noise manipulation. And so what I’d like to do is build up a modular analog drum machine. I’d be focused mainly on percussive sounds, rather than melodic sequences (tho I probably will have at the very least one synthesizer to make melodies on).

What I want to do is get a few sound sources, with a solid sequencer that I can send different sequences to different places, and manage their timing all from the main sequencer.

I’m 98% decided on the next module to add to the set up is going to be the Pittsburgh Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer:

It sequences up to 4 tracks, and can either act as a sequenced envelope generator for its track input, or as a trigger sequencer, triggering external sound sources. It also has track effects (again kinda like Renoise) that you can apply to each track individually, as well as a master FX. Right off the bat what I’m thinking I could do is simply routing a noise oscillator into its inputs, where they’ll all create envelopes on the source individually, and set them out as their own sounds. It’d be a fantastically simple, straight forward way of generating base percussion sounds, which is also what I’m kinda focused on making.

Of course this will be an incremental process, as I buy modules slowly, but getting the sequencer first will really open it up to what I’m looking to do with it.

From there, I might try to find different sources, I may try to find ways of adding more modulation, perhaps an fx unit (probably delay, maybe reverb), certainly I’ll want to get a filter for working with the Chipz module. But all of this I’m working within the 60hp of free space with the included two modules in the case, as well as the power limitations and physical hookups (this box will accommodate a total of 10 power connections).

I really love this tho off the bat, because, of course, in modular the sky’s the limit as far as what you can add, but building a system within a budget, it introduces limitations to what I really can do while also maintaining a system I can use and won’t just be getting put in a box in the closet where it will just be an expensive loss of space.

In any case, I just ordered the unit Sunday night, and apparently it’s gonna be here within a few days!


Percussion stuff is mainly what I am interested in too, though I usually would control via midi. Would love to keep hearing about your evolution. I may jump into this soon too…just got a new job and pay raise!

…I’m a lot better at playing drums with drum sticks, which seems silly to me because I can play keys quite proficiently, overall much better than drums.


I mean, just for things like control voltages, I’ll still use MIDI to sync everything to my DAW, and for note triggers. For things like filter sweeps, tonal controls, I’d want to use onboard controls to the synths rather than hooking up a set up midi dials. MIDI just doesn’t have the fineness of granularity I’d like. 128 discrete steps is still steppy.




As awesome as the Pro-1 clone is, Behringer has me sold with this

And with the arturia microfreak pci keyboard…



You might want to take a look at the Boss VF-1 half rack multi processor. It has a lofi processor, isolator, voice transformer, vocoder plus COSM, delays, reverbs, choruses, tremalo, phasers and a whole host of shit, that can seriuosly chew the living crap out of a signal if you want. There are 200 presets, that you can’t edit, but you have a copy of those 200 presets in the user section that you can.


I played a Wasp portable clone at Synthfest and fuck the low frequencies were at earthquake levels.


That thing looks tight, but it sounds like from a component perspective to offer less variety than say the Behringer Pro1 offering. Is this thing a one trick pony with a fat bottom end or am I just being pre-judgy? I was all hot under the collar for the K2, but once I listened to the Pro1 I am leaning in that direction now…so much Behringer, so little time.


Novation Circuit is on sale at less than £250, I want one but I won’t get one.


I’m very seriously considering doing this at the 1k intro price. I was thinking about a seaboard, but this looks like it might be better for me and bonus, it has the sound engine built in instead of relying on my PC.