Mechanical Relay Percussion In A Eurorack Format

There are plenty of analog and digital synthesis modules available in Eurorack format. But how about one that actually does physical percussion while capturing the output at the same time? The VU Perc Relay module does just that.

The concept is simple. Eurorack control voltages are fed to a VU meter, which swings about and makes noise when the needle hits a copper strip. This strip is connected to a piezo element which captures the sound. There’s also a relay that gets triggered under such conditions, with that sound also captured by a piezo element. Thus, the input control voltages create real percussion noises with the VU meter and relay, and then capture them for output to the rest of the rack.

Having actual physical sound devices in a compact Eurorack module is neat. The fact that it’s transparent is even cooler, as it lets you see the percussion in action. Notably, the physical nature of this module means you’ll want to place some bubble wrap or other isolating material under your rack when performing on stage with a PA. Otherwise, you risk getting feedback through the piezos.

We see plenty of good Eurorack gear around these parts, like this useful wireless MIDI connection. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Donald Papp for the tip!]

5 thoughts on “Mechanical Relay Percussion In A Eurorack Format

  1. An additional feature might be to add some kind of knobs on the outer acrylic panels co-axial with the meter dials, then attach those to the contact strips so you could adjust the trigger threshold. Move it closer to or further from the needles.
    Pretty neat. Wonder if anyone’s ever made a filthy ol’ synth out of bunches of automotive relays.

  2. Apropos of nothing, I just got a very good deal on an Oxygen8 MIDI controller similar to the one in the title image! 👍
    (I’m currently attempting to get the disgusting cigarette smoke smell out of it using an air cleaner and a plastic storage container, but I may have to end up doing a complete tear-down and cleaning).

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.