Eurorack Modular

Modular Eurorack

Having grown up during the modular synthesizer revolution of the late 1960’s early 1970’s, I lusted after owning a modular synthesizer but the cost was astronomical. The Moog System 55 was $35,000 when you could but a house for $32,000 with a 30 year mortgage. Even the ARP 2600 costs $2,600 when you could buy a brand new Volkswagen Beetle for $1,800. So owning modular synthesizer was out of the question… That is until Eurorack was invented some 30 years later. Now, thanks to Behringer, I own Eurorack versions of several classic modular synthesizers.

My Behringer ARP 2600

B2600 Blue Marvin

My dream synthesizer was the ARP 2600. I never could afford one back in the 1970’s. Even when Korg created their “re-issue”, they priced them fairly high and in artificially limited quantities so that once again, ony the privileged few could afford them or were lucky to be able to even order one. I never understood why Korg would do this. Why limit quantities and not make more money selling what was obviously a hot item?

Then Behringer created their reproductions of the ARP 2600 along with a Grey Meanie and Blue Marvin editions. At last, an ARP that every musician can afford. This was the first Eurorack synth that I purchase. Not a complete modular but rather a semi-modular but it was definitely the “gateway drug”. I immediately downloaded the original owners guide like I did for the Odyssey and I was in heaven. How wonderful to have the ARP 2600 of my dreams sitting in front of me.

My Behringer Moog System 55

Moog System 55

On Modular Grid

My second Eurorack system was the Behringer Moog System 55. Back in the day, I didn’t know anyone who had a Moog System 55, or did any of the studios that I recorded at have one. It was a mythical creature that was simply unobtainable unless you were a university, major recording studio, or a super rich musician. I’ve never even seen one in person much less played one. Then Behringer decided to recrate the Moog System 55 in Eurorack modules and suddenly a $35,000 synthesizer was obtainable for $3,500. 10x less. So I bought one on sale for only $3,000, and then a few months later, Behringer dropped the price by 1/2 to only $1,500. This has got to be the deal of the century.

It is incredible to be able to experience what it must have been like for Wendy Carlos or Keith Emerson to experiment with such an amazing instrument. The Behringer bundle had one less envelope generator than the original, and I really needed a second low pass filter and 960 sequencer so I’ve started to augment mine with more modules, and added some that Keith had like a Sample & Hold, and Ring Modulator, that for some reason Behringer did not reproduce.

I’ve added the following Behringer modules to the base system 55 lineup as seen in the photo above:

  • 2x Behringer 921B Oscillator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 960 Sequential Controller Analog Step Sequencer Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 962 Sequential Switch Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 911 Envelope Generator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 904A Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter Eurorack Module

In addition to the Behringer System 55 modules I added the following:

  • Doepfer A-160-5V Voltage Controlled Clock Multiplier / Ratcheting Controller Vintage Edition 2010s - Black
  • Doepfer A-184-1V Ring Modulator / Sample & Hold / Slew Limiter Vintage Edition 2010s - Black
  • Doepfer A-170v Dual Slew Limiter Module - Vintage Edition
  • Doepfer A-145-4v SLIM Quad LFO Vintage Edition
  • TAKAAB RLFO - Random LFO - Noise, LFO, Sample & Hold
  • 2HP Tune Eurorack Pitch Quantizer Module - Black
  • 2hp TM Turing Machine 2010s - Black
  • Befaco OUT V3

I still want these because they are also Moog replicas from AMSynths:

  • AMSynths AM1631 Dual Ring Modulator (replaces Doepfer A-184-1V)
  • AMSynths AM928 Sample & Hold (replaces Doepfer A-184-1V)

It’s still a work in progress with some holes to fill.

My Behringer ARP 2500

Behringer ARP 2500

On Modular Grid

My third eurorack system was this ARP 2500 reproduction that I built using Behringer Eurorack modules. All totalled it cost me $1,435 USD. Being able to experience what it might have been like programming an ARP 2500… priceless!

This 2500 system has 4 VCOs, 2 VCFs, 4 EV GEN, 2 SEQ, Ring Mod, S&H, Random Noise, and the Mix Seq module.

These are the modules I purchased to create my Behringer ARP 2500:

  • 4x Behringer 1004 Oscillator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1006 Filtamp 24 dB Low-Pass VCF and VCA Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1047 Multimode Filter/Resonator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1003 Dual Envelope Generator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1033 Dual Envelope Generator Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1005 Modamp Ring Modulator and VCA Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1036 Sample & Hold / Random Voltage Eurorack Module
  • 2x Behringer Clocked Sequential Control Module 1027 8-step Sequencer Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1050 Mix-Sequencer Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 1016 Dual Noise / Random Voltage Generator Eurorack Module

In addition to the Behringer ARP 2500 modules I added the following:

  • Intellijel Buff Mult Eurorack Buffered Multiple Module
  • 2HP Mult Eurorack Mult Module - Silver
  • 2HP Tune Eurorack Pitch Quantizer Module
  • Michigan Synth Works mBrane (6hp Yarns, aluminum)
  • Intellijel Outs

The Multiples were the missing link. After assembling it, it dawned on me that the original ARP 2500 had the patch matrix that connected everything together so that multiple signals could be sent to the same destination. So I added one buffered and one unbuffered multiples for Pitch and CV respectively. I add the quantizer just to make it easier to tune the sequencer. Intellijel Outs is great for listening with headphones, and the Michigan Synth Works mBrane gives me 4 MIDI to CV and Gate channels for true polyphony.

My Behringer Roland System 100m

Behringer Roland System 100m

On Modular Grid

To be honest, I never payed the Roland synthesizers any attention back in the day. None of the keyboard players that I idolized (e.g., Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Patrick Moraz) used one so I just ignored them. I had no idea what they even sounded like. But when Behringer started releasing Roland System 100m modules, I figured that they were popular enough that I had missed out on something important. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and really liked how they sounded so I decided to build my own recreation of the Roland System 100m.

This system has 6 VCOs, 4 VCFs, 4 VCAs, 4 EV GEN, 2 SEQ and one of every other 100m module that Behringer released.

These are the modules that I used for my Roland System 100m recreation:

  • 2 x Behringer 112 Dual VCO Eurorack Module
  • 2 x Behringer 110 VCO/VCF/VCA Eurorack Module
  • 1 x Behringer 121 Dual VCF Eurorack Module
  • 1 x Behringer 130 Dual VCA Eurorack Module
  • 2 x Behringer 140 Dual Envelope/LFO Eurorack Module
  • 2 x Behringer 182 Sequencer Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 150 Ring Mod / Noise / S&H / LFO Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 173 Quad Gate / Multiples Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 172 Phase Shifter / Delay / LFO Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 297 Dual Portamento / CV Utilities Eurorack Module
  • Behringer 305 EQ / Mixer / Output Eurorack Module

In addition to the Behringer 100m modules I added the following:

  • Doepfer A-160-2 Clock/Trigger Divider II
  • Ladik Q-040 Quad quantizer
  • Ladik S-610 Composer N
  • Behringer Space FX
  • Erica Synths Black MIDI-CV v2