Monongahela Modular

Large Modular-X ensemble - over 70 modules!

(9 Votes)
1.0 (Updated 6 years ago)
August 02, 2014
Reaktor 5 or lower


QUICK START GUIDE: In a modular synthesizer, you can connect anything to anything. Go from dark to light: left click an output (dark gray) and then an input (light blue) and you'll create a cable connection. To delete a cable, click on the red input and it will disappear. All connections must be made explicitly: if there's no cable, there's no connection. Control the color of future cables with the CTRL module in the lower right corner. You can also change the transparency of all cables there.

One output can control many inputs, but each input can only have one incoming connection. To have more than one output control an input, run the outputs through a mixer and then connect the output of the mixer to the input. The knobs on L (linear) mixers work in a linear way; the knobs on an E (exponential) mixer work exponentially (pitch and volume increase exponentially so it's good to use an E mixer for those).

Turn down the volume before you start messing around, because otherwise you might get a loud surprise. Try connecting an oscillator to a filter to an input of SCA1. All the white modules are duophonic; all the blue modules are monophonic; to go from white to blue you must go through the dMIXpm module; vol1 and vol2 are inputs and A is an output which can feed to the other blue modules (and similarly vol1 and vol2 are inputs and B is another output which can feed to the other blue modules); all signals must get to the OUT module before you can hear them. If you don't hear anything, maybe you need to bring the frequency of the oscillator into the audible range by running PITCH into it from the keyboard, or connecting a MOD module to the pitch of the oscillator and turning the MOD knob up. Or maybe you need to adjust the gain on a mixer or filter.

Modules give tremendous freedom... but there's a learning curve involved, grasshopper. Be patient and have fun.


I built this ensemble using most of the available modules from Herwig Krass, Matthias Schaffner, and Michael Stocker. It was built in Herw’s amazing Modular-X system. My main goal was to encourage you to download and explore Modular-X and its manual, and then design and build the modular synth of your own dreams. But if MonMod entertains you in the meantime, that’s great too.

I called it Monongahela Modular to pay tribute to three things: Herw’s habit of naming synths after rivers; the Monongahela River, which flows through Pittsburgh, city of my birth; and lastly, Pittsburgh Modular, producers of modular analog hardware.

This ensemble is organized on a like-with-like basis, with all the modules of a given type grouped together. That suits my workflow. Your mileage may vary.

Because this ensemble contains many other people’s work, I thought it would be presumptuous of me to include their documentation. I recommend you download everything each of these gentlemen ever uploaded to the Reaktor community, and then review their documentation and example patches and ensembles (which they all thoughtfully included with their ensembles). I also encourage anyone interested in learning about how to work with modular synths to download Herw’s Modular 1, and carefully read through the wonderful manual and examples that come with it. His RUHR synth and documentation are also very helpful and inspiring.

There are many fascinating modules in the Monongahela Modular. I wanted to give you the feeling of a huge wall-sized eurorack system to play with and explore. If you get overwhelmed and don't know where to start, look up the WURST module and its documentation in the user library. It can be anything - an oscillator, a filter, an amp or a wave shaper, a noise unit, a ring modulator and more.

If you want to design and build the virtual modular system of your dreams, you can download Modular-X and its various add-ons. You can build a system up to 4x2 (even bigger than ModMod) if you want to. There's a great manual that Herw wrote, and I was building my own modular within minutes of downloading Modular-X. If I can do it, you can too.

There are two main initial patches in this ensemble: “mod all oscs & filters,” and “kdb p all oscs & filters.” Mod-X oscillators and filters “expect” an input, from the keyboard or from another modulation source. If you use them without this, they probably will not operate within the range that you are interested in. If you’d like to make a keyboard based patch, use “kbd p all oscs & filters.” I have patched the keyboard pitch into practically every pitch input, to give you a jump start. Conversely, if you’d like to make a patch that doesn’t use the keyboard at all, “mod all oscs & filters” will get you started, by connecting a modulation knob that you can control to just about everything in the ensemble.

Enjoy. Leave a comment if you have questions or feedback. And please leave a rating! Thanks.


Sam Mover
5 years ago
Space Lases
5 years ago
hello,Christian Huygen, how to contact you?