Sorry to chime in a bit later on this thread but I have been thinking about this
problem a bit too. I picked up my MOTM cabinet at the end of last week and it is
waiting for me to sand and finish! [Plus the flat rails!]
Here are some of my philosophies/opinions on module layout, YMMV:
- I tend to group like modules together instead of making "voices". So, I only have
to think "I need an oscillator, those are over there..." and I know where to look.
There are places where this can be violated due to space and module geometry
considerations. The other violation to this rule is for multiples. They should be
sprinkled about for convenience. [I have a set of multiples in the very center of
my Moog and a lot of patches end up looking like this centralized orifice spewing
long cables. I find it a bit difficult at times.]
- Optimizing for patch cord length is futile and limiting. Wacky Kovacy will sell
you good cables in lots of lengths and it is cheaper than worrying about placing
commonly used modules together or buying more modules so the patch cords are
shorter. That said, the only scheme I have seen that would alter my opinion here is
Larry's Magic Buss (TM) but I think that tracking patch cables through the buss will
be a bit counter-intuitive for me, kinda like using an ARP 2500 matrix patch system
but slower (no offense, Larry).
- I still tend to think in terms of left-to-right signal flow so I tend to group
sources on the left, filters in the middle, and amplifiers on the right. This isn't
optimal for left hand control and playing but it is so ingrained in me that anything
else would be confusing. Ideally, control devices are below this left-to-right flow
so they can be applied anywhere. I haven't been able to see this happen in any
system with the exception of the Serge. If I was building a completely MOTM system,
I'd personally shoot for this layout.
- Moog console modulars (Ic, IIc, IIIc, 35, & 55) were set up with the oscillators
on the lower left. It was hard to change this around because of the controller
wiring and harnesses on the back so it was rarely changed. Beyond that, the models
vary a lot. On my system, I have some EGs on the far lower right and in the upper
middle, making it a bit confusing at times. VCAs tend to end up grouped next to EGs
for no really good reason. OK, for one or two VCF/EG pairs it makes sense, but for
more than that, it doesn't.
My MOTM cabinet can hold 13+ 2U modules and with Paul's plans for more modules, I'm
going to expand into racks on either side. I've been using these racks for the
modules I have so far and it has worked out OK but I'm anxious to get the
oscillators and filters closer to the center of the action!
My current thinking for my cabinet is something like:
Of course, I don't have all these modules yet and I haven't left room for the 820,
940s or future modules, sigh! This will probably take some trial and error to get
something that works. Of course, no matter what you lay out, you will want to use
it differently for some patches so long patch cords are a must!
In summary, I tend to think of layout in terms of module function and not "voices".
I think that lining up voices will cause you to get into a patching rut, IMHO.
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