Modular synthesizer is rack-mounted and reconfigurable

[Dirk] let us know about this fantastic music synthesis experimentation setup (translated). Turn your computer speakers off (to avoid the auto-playing music when every page loads) and dig into the wealth of information in this repository. Literally dozens of modules have been built and superbly mounted on a rack system. Each can be connected with other modules into an incredible number of different setups using patch wires that terminate with banana plugs.

The module enclosures themselves are made to fit in a standard 19″ rack. The front bezels were designed in CAD, with the rest of the housing made mostly of aluminum. Since each module tends to be quite small several are ganged into one rack skeleton to save space. You can see in the images above that there are as many as eight modules per rack slice.

You’ll enjoy reading about the many different sound chips that are in use here. But it doesn’t have to end there. If this has whet your appetite for your own rack-mounted system you’re in luck. The download area has schematics, board artwork, and build information for most of the modules.

Comments

  1. Hackerspacer says:
  2. Hackerspacer says:

    Are all of his patch cables made from oxygen free copper Monster brand, carbon fiber and kevlar braided cables with magical pixie dust or are they simply normal copper patch cables like they appear to be? I hear that professional musicians need to produce high quality recordings and all. Seems odd that they don’t need such high quality cables to do a good job, right?

  3. dattaway says:

    Great read on the history of sound chips. I wish there were SPI versions for easy hookup to an Arduino.

  4. Kuhltwo says:

    reminds me of the “old” Moogs. Also of my days as an Instrumentation Tech in pre-digital days.
    Really gorgeous work

  5. Nemo says:

    I kind of liked the autoplaying music actually. It added some drama to the page. A good read for sure, and a great project.

  6. foo says:

    There are now more modular synth manufacturers then there was in the 60s 70s

    With the internet came a huge resurgence in interest check analogue haven for manufacturers and electro-music.com muffwigglers.com for diy forums

    Google yusynth, cat girl synth, oakley modular, motm, mfos, papareil, fonitronik, jurgen haible, ian fritz, bridechamber, tellun corp,for diy projects

  7. Reggie says:

    It reminds me very much of the doepfer A100 modular system http://www.doepfer.de/home_e.htm

    I hope the guy mentioning the cabling is trying to be funny, with all that analog gear hooked up, the type of cables is going to be the least of his worries :D Just some bog standard 1/4″ mono jack leads will be fine.

    Just looked through some of the modules and he is in fact using some doepfer stuff :) I’m dead impressed with the ‘stuff’ he’s assembled there, lots of analog things for creating twisted ‘uncopyable’ noises, classic drum machines and sequencers, midi control, external trigger/clock for sequencer, lots of outputs, + all filters etc. :)

  8. Sylwester says:

    @Reggie:

    Afaik the cabling part is not the fun part. The
    main advantage of using the banana jacks is: you
    can stack the banana jacks together.

    I have seen Dirk’s synthesizer in real life – and yes – It’s a big mighty modular machine.

    Especially the “Synth” section on the website is really interesting.

  9. Reggie says:

    @sylvester:

    I’m highly aware of what the cables are for, they’re simple to use, easy to find, cheap patch cables, the fun is in the patching :)

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