I very recently dipped my toes into Eurorack on a similar…‘looks fun!’ tip. So let me share some of my beginner learnings.
Yes a 4ms pod ought to do you here for rample + output module (I’ll get to that bit). But check module depth and pod case depth. I mention as I was considering one to house an Expert Sleepers ES-3 as a ‘breakout box’ but found the 4ms pod was too shallow. Only by like a couple of mm. (Bearing in mind there would be a ribbon cable floating around in there too though). In actual fact I think it’s more that the ES-3 is comparatively deep than the pods are comparatively shallow…but anyway, just check.
Power wise I’m sure it will he adequate for 1 or 2 contemporary modules. But do check. Digital ones like rample are much more power hungry than traditional VCFs, VCOs etc. Modular Grid is your friend here.
(U know there are powered and unpowered 4ms pods? Yes you do…)
A doepfer ‘beauty case’ is another lite touch, lo (ish) cost option but you might find yourself thinking “hmmm… for another $X I could get a Y case which would give me another Z of HP if I decide I like Eurorack thing and want to buy more modules” THIS IS EUROTRAP #1.
My analysis showed that those mini Doepfer cases crop up regularly in 2nd hand markets and appear to retain c.75% market value. About like £55 on a good day. But also, in the UK at least you can usually find quality (MakeNoise, Moog etc) 104hp powered skiff 2nd hand for about £110-£140 if you are prepared to wait/root about for a bargain… which is what I ended up with and, um, well, it’s 85% full of Eurojizzle already…
So if you DO think you will end up in the Eurozone then (beginner advice, please nobody shoot me!) I daresay you need at least 84-104 HP case to put a rack together that’s fun and flexible and capable of producing more than one car alarm sound at a time. So maybe keep that in mind when you are doing your cost-benefit analysis on miniature/trial solutions.
But there are DIY options too. I’ve seen cardboard cases (really, google it), diy cases with wooden rails, modules nailed to blocks of scrap wood or just ‘floating’ on desktops. If you really do just want to try it out you can totally improvise a short term solution.
Re outputs: you may have come across conflicting advice on output modules. From my research I found…a) some people don’t care and just make sure they don’t gain the signal at all, keep mixer faders way down and claim to be fine b) some people use a VCA to attenuate the modular level signal before it hits an interface/speaker/mixer c) some people use dedicated output modules.
I went with option C and got an i/o listen from 4ms: My VCAs have other jobs to do, i really don’t want any chance of shredding any speakers or interface channels, it cuts ground loops, great sound quality, works in stereo (I have a stereo module)it has an input for bringing signals into my rack, i have the space, it has a dedicated knob for louder/quiter - keep it simple.
This is novice advice so I might get shot down by an expert but have been happily 'racking for a few months now, nothing has broken or exploded and the world hasn’t ended.
Oh wait. The world has ended.
Let us know how you proceed and stay well.