Years ago, I sold my noisy line mixer and switched to soft synths for music production. (I still play hardware live.) However, I kept thinking it would be cool to bring my hardware synths and effects back into the game. Enter the Samson SM10 ($199 street), a quiet, single-space rack mixer with eight stereo inputs and two stereo effects returns. Combined with the aux inputs on my synths, I could hook up a ton of gear. To plan it out, I used draw.io (http://draw.io), a free online flowchart app. (Draw.io is a terrific way to plan live rigs as well.) For modular synth enthusiasts, Modulargrid.net offers an even slicker approach to planning your rack. It can document your patches, too.