I think I’m just going to build my rack. A set of 84HP rails with end brackets is about $30 or so. I’ll just build a wooden box to fit. Add a power supply and I’ll be good to go. I didn’t think about the depth until @robertsyrett mentioned he needed spacers to fit the ES-8 in his rack.
So, another here that start the same journey!!!
What I have seen so far, in the DIY way is not expensive regarding hp. So I’m planning things like 6U 104hp or even 6U 124hp.
Synthrotek will cut them to any length you’d like (within reason): https://store.synthrotek.com/Eurorack-Rails--Cut-to-Length_p_796.html. Initially the electrical engineer in me said that the case should be shielded i.e. metal but I’ve looked at cases from Doepher and TipTop and they are plain wood or plastic so it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue. Another thing to consider is power supply. A larger case with more modules will need a heftier PS to drive it. The microZeus I’m looking at will easily power 84 HP’s worth of most modules. With a bigger rack you may need something more robust like a 4MS row power.
My big problem is space. I’ll be doing good to cram in even a small rack.
@stschoen Would you be willing to share your building experience, materials used, dimensions, and how you went about from start to finish (when it is done)? I have been a few different trade apprentices in my life before I realized how much I love supporting and maintaining Linux servers and automating processes, so I have no doubt in my ability to accomplish this, as well. The problem for me, is that I live in an apartment in the city, and all of my power tools were sold off or given away a long time ago. My point is that I don’t want to buy anything unnecessary to do the same thing, but I don’t see how I will accomplish some of these tasks (sawing, drilling, etc…especially when I arrive in Seattle to start my new job in a little over a month and will officially know only other city dwellers) in my current circumstances. If you don’t wanna share, I completely understand, but if you are willing to, that would be fantastic!
I’ll be happy to share. I’m lucky enough to be retired and I have a pretty good workshop so cutting the wood to size won’t be a big problem for me. I know that Lowe’s and Home Depot will cut plywood down but I don’t know about regular lumber. It might be worth asking anyway. I know people built racks in all sorts of containers. I chose a wooden box since that seemed to the simplest way to go. Of course if you can find a small 19" equipment rack then an 84 HP setup will fit perfectly. Given that you don’t have access to much in the way of tools, I guess you’ll have to think outside the box. Synthrotek has measurements on their site so if you find a suitable container you can figure out the rail size in HP.
Doepfer has a lot of information to start a rack from 0.
Tomorrow I’ll try to find some of the rails in my “Home Depot” (Leroy Merlin and Bauhaus, here)
You would probably get something out of this if you haven’t seen it. I understand you likely just want to experiment a bit. But inevitably you will want to share what you are doing, and in that case some of this applies. There are also some nice tips about sequencing and tuning approaches.
I like that the point is that he fiddles with the machine while people dance to it.
Having had a few days to play around with the two Behringer units, I am beginning to see @robertsyrett’s point about the necessity of “plumbing”, particularly in the context of a semi-modular. Between the two synths, I have plenty of oscillators and a couple of nice filters. Any of the oscillators will run at LFO rates, and the Neutron LFO has a one-shot mode so I’m pretty good for LFOs and envelopes. What’s lacking at the moment is flexibility in patching all of these things together. While an ES-8 and possibly Maths would be very nice, my most immediate desire is for some additional multiples, attenuators and perhaps a dual VCA. The Model-D is pretty thin on patch points, but all the essential ones are available. The Neutron has a much better patch bay but only a single 2-way multiple, 2 summers and 2 attenuators. Not bad for a semi-modular but I could definately use some more. I realize that stackable cables are an alternative to multiples, but I think I prefer the multiple route. An attenuator with a normaled 5 volt out would be very handy.
I wanted to second Robert’s advice to build slow. My ideas of what would make a good rack have changed in even the few days I’ve had my new toys, and I haven’t even built my case yet. Parts are on the way. I opted for Synthrotek rails, and a TipTop uZeus PS.
We are in the same page.
After play a lot with Neutron, what I miss are utilities and effects/filters.
Try the duophonic/paraphonic mode in Neutron.
For this kind of sounds, Neutron is amazing!
I’m using Ableton Live for the effects. I really like the convolution reverb and it’s got several good delays, choruses etc. You can get a fairly decent chorus from the Neutron by modulating the delay time with the LFO. The BBD in the Neutron has it’s place but it’s pretty lo-fi. It’s still nice to have some other options. I’ve played around with the paraphonic mode and although its not truly duophonic (no second envelope or filter), you can definately get some nice sounds. I haven’t hooked up the Neutron and the model D using the poly chain function, but I certainly intend to. You can get a decent duophonic sound by setting one synth to low note priority and the other to high.
This is why I am promoting the 1U row, especially if you are making a custom case. You can order directly from Pulp Logic on his Etsy website. Also, I noticed that Patchwerks has some used 1U, as well as other used Euro. Detroit Modular and some other retailers also have used stuff. Finally, the diy for a 1U module (like a buffered mult) would be an easy build. I am sure you could even design your own simple circuits with breadboarding first.
If you go for mults, I think the buffered mults have much higher value since they can handle pitch CV and clock out without dropping voltage. Also, a nice thing about the stackable cables is that you can always change your mind and get a few, they are expensive cor cables but cheap compared to HP.
Maths would cover your bases for attenuverters with DC offsets normalized to them.
You make a good point regarding buffered multiples. I hadn’t thought about voltage drop but it’s inevitable (unless you have infinite input impedance). Not a huge problem for most modulation but with pitch and gates, it could certainly be an issue. Maths is obviously the Cadillac of utility modules. It’s number one for good reason.
It’s definately on the wish list but I think I’ll still get at least one dual passive attenuator. The model D is only designed for 5 volt max for gates and CV (staying true to the original I guess) and the Neutron outputs are closer to 10. I don’t think I’ll hurt anything but the Neutron CVs could use some padding when sending to the D.
Is this tiptop utility module kinda like what you’re looking for? Or something bigger?
That looks like a nice module. Something along those lines.
I’m planning to make my case so that I can add a 1U row without too much trouble if needed. The power supply I’ve ordered should easily drive a couple of rows. I wasn’t really aware of 1U stuff until you mentioned it the other day. What’s the advantage over traditional modules?
My rails and power supply arrived today. I’'l start on my case this weekend.
size and cost. Many manufacturers have a utility row in their systems as well.
It’s nice to have both. You can get some ninja stars for passive multiples.