6 affordable DIY modules to get started building a modular synth for less

(Image credit: Future)

Get the best sonic boom for your buck with this selection of DIY Eurorack modules, which will give you some insight into the inner workings of your gear, as well as provide you with some useful modules for future patching possibilities. 

We’ve chosen a selection here that won’t break the bank and that won’t be too taxing for people new to soldering. They’re all achievable in an evening session and come with all you need, from rear side components to face plates and knobs.

1. Erica Synths EDU


(Image credit: EDU)

Erica Synths EDU range covers many bases but we’d opt for the sequencer module. It is a simple build and once complete you’ll have a driving force for pattern generation, with internal and external clocking options. It can even act as a waveshaper.

2. Music Thing Turing Machine

turing machine

(Image credit: Music Thing Modular)

For a more generative option when it comes to pattern generation, melodies or basslines, Music Thing Modulars Turing Machine is an excellent option. You can’t programme precise sequences but it’s still a thing of joy. Among these options it’s a more time-consuming build but not hard and it’s well worth the time investment involved.

3. Music Thing Mikrophonie


(Image credit: Music Thing)

For the less build-confident among us, the Mikrophonie, also from Music Thing, is a simple build that offers up a really fun and intuitive method for triggering patches. The small, simple module allows you to tap, scratch and flick triggers. Try using a guitar pick or finger nail to scrape on the touch plate, or simply tap it to trigger an event. Easy to build and use, this is a great starting point.

4. Look Mum No Computer 3340 Chip


(Image credit: Look Mum No Computer)

Every rig needs a voice and the 3340 chip provides one that is a classic. One of the simplest to build is from Look Mum No Computer, which has many components already installed, making for a fast build. The module sounds great and even comes with a built-in tuner! A fantastic option for classic synth tones and one that will be up and running in no time.

5. Plum Audio OCP

plum audio ocp

(Image credit: Plum Audio)

Plum Audio’s take on Ornament and Crime is a good budget bet. It comes with surface mount components in place, for an easy build. It’s at the higher price end but offers a lot of potential uses for various tasks, from sequencing to quantising, and LFOs to envelope generation.

6. 4MS Rotating Clock Divider


(Image credit: 4ms)

Clock dividers are one of the unsung heroes of modular and the Rotating Clock Divider by 4ms is a top option. Their DIY version is a simple build and cheap too. With it you get eight different division outputs plus a handy option for mixing things up with the rotate input, that allows you to vary the division of each output. 

Future Music

Future Music is the number one magazine for today's producers. Packed with technique and technology we'll help you make great new music. All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. Every marvellous monthly edition features reliable reviews of the latest and greatest hardware and software technology and techniques, unparalleled advice, in-depth interviews, sensational free samples and so much more to improve the experience and outcome of your music-making.

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine