Does anyone have any helpful opinions on what to do next?

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/image/661145.jpg
Just Friends is in the mail...

So far I am really really happy with the setup, the modular is way more fun than I had imagined. But! For example, a LxD would maybe be useful to smooth out digital aliasing the BIA produces (and 2x VCAs in only 4HP). I also don't have CV attenuation or utilities, so CV control that doesn't just go from -5 to +5V requires some planning... (I use the env outs of the DFAM, and tempo-sync LFO to get a little bit of adjustment).

I think I want to stick with this setup for a bit (since I really can't afford another module for a while), but I plan on building a 84HP wide box maybe around the end of the year, maybe with a 1U row of utilities. I'm handy with woodworking, so I'm making the case myself out of cherry or walnut (and that means 84HP could be 85HP or whatever it needs to be!). What would YOU add?

My current short list fills in the gaps with helpful utilities:
LxD
O/A x2
µVCA
µModII 4 quadrant multiplier
O'Tool Plus

All that would still leave another 24HP, I really have no clue what I'd put there that makes sense at the moment.

Staying at a measly 60HP size, would you swap out any modules in the short-term? I keep wondering how much I need that LFO over the LxD, for example..

Thanks for your help!


An idea: if you're going to DIY a cab, you don't necessarily have to stick with 84 hp. Raw Vector rails can be had in up to 300 hp increments. Now, that would be utterly bonkers, but one format I've seen from Erica makes a lot of sense to me, and that's 126 hp. It's big, but not overly huge to the point of either being overwhelming or unportable. Check out Pulplogic's or Synthrotek's offerings for rails and mounting hardware. And yes, 1U makes perfect sense; if you can shunt off a lot of utility functions into the tile row(s), that makes more space for the big stuff.


Oh indeed! It can be any size, 84 seemed an easy standard to find. 7Ux126HP is a bit larger than I am ready for just yet, all that empty space will drive me nuts and lead me to want to expand too fast.

I picked 84HP to try to limit my build out of the system. I guess I'll end up with a hermit-crab like series of slightly
larger shells that way. Maybe there will be someone else out there that wants a wood 84HP box at the end of this journey... I could post pictures of the build as it goes, I have the DFAM + 60HP currently mounted with plywood sides that copy the 2-tier rack look (but in wood) and it looks and feels nice as a unified instrument.


OK, after much thinking and wiggling knobs on what is currently assembled, 84HP is just going to be too small for my plans.

I have been doing a lot more planning. Does this look well-balanced?
ModularGrid Rack
I found 108HP Vector Rails are sold by Pulp Logic, and I think they are usable with Intellijel 1U modules. The 108 is also just wide enough to fit an extra intellijel 1U tile compared to 104HP.

The case I am thinking of building is going to go next to a Sub37, so I am trying to match the shape a little bit:
http://prntscr.com/k1t8n8
http://prntscr.com/k1t99h
sorry for the wonky links, I don't know how to show pictures here...
The bottom is at a 10° angle, and the back is at 25°.

These are the modules I have so far:
ModularGrid Rack

Basically the functions I am looking to get in the next 100HP are in order of need:
Attenuation, Touch Controller, Multimode Filter, 4X VCAs, Scope Utility, 4X LFOs, Logic, Rhythm and CV sequencing, Precision Adder, Utilities, Buffered Mult.


So far, so good...just remember: the Intellijel tile format requires an odd sort of spacing between the row's rails. Using the endplates from Synthrotek, etc will give you the 'normal' spacing; I would suggest getting one of the longer Intellijel tiles (like the QuadrATT) first and using it as a template for that row to make sure you've got it nailed. I'm assuming that the tile row will be at an intermediate angle between those used for the upper and lower rows?


Oh Yikes! Thanks for that. I was planning on using the metal 4U and 3U endplates that Pulp Logic sells, but this changes everything. And maybe the 1U will look better at in intermediate angle... I could put the racks at 10,20 and 30°. I didn't really think of that.

Do you know of any 1U endplates that will fit the Intellijel 1U? Or do they just have some beef against DIY? I now realize that if I get 2x of normal 3U endplates, the 1U row will be need something the same thickness at each end or it won't fit snug..

EDIT: I found this rather obscure website that sells 1U mounting brackets for Intellijel format, so this could be it!
https://clicksclocks.de/


Yeah, Clicks and Clocks has been around for a while...good DIY people. As for why there's almost no DIY for the Intellijel tile format, it's because Intellijel is pretty much the only user of that rail spacing. Everyone else uses the original, which was around for years prior to Intellijel's developments. The rationale, supposedly, is that Intellijel is using a 'true' 1U spacing, whereas the original format is actually derived from the FracRac standard and isn't exactly a 'proper' Rack Unit. Ultimately, I think that's some sort of excuse for something else, but whatever. If you use the C&C 1U endplates, I would suggest getting the 3U ones there as well to make sure your plate thicknesses line up.

And yeah, the mid-point tile row would look awesome at an intermediate angle. In fact, you could do two 1U rows there...and make one Intellijel and one the 'standard' spacing. Tiles are brilliant for sneaking in loads of utility-type functions cheaply.


if you really want the intellijel 1u in a diy case i'd not bother with the endplates
if you want to use endplates for the 3u and possibly a row of pulp logic sized 1u then make a couple of correctly sized endplates out of some thin wood


Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I've avoided some major design errors with your help.

I ended up ordering a full set of 7U 110HP rails and endplates from Clicks and Clocks. Stefen sells beefy M3 rails with machined endplates for a really good price, and so I just got the whole set from him (including the odd Intellijel 1U format ends yay). I was happy to find the prices including shipping were very reasonable.

So for phase 2. I ordered a Intellijel TPS80W, it's almost 2x my power requirement. I am imagining I'll use a flying bus board cable for 6 of my lowest-power modules (maybe the attenuators and mults) since I only have 20 headers on the board. I got the matching power entry 1U tile from Intellijel, and I'm going to make a 1U-sized hole for it on the rear of the box so I don't have to do any actual wiring of electrics.

Once the parts arrive I'll start to refine the shape of the design to make sure everything fits right, but I have this so far:

See side view of box here: http://prntscr.com/k3d9gc
My main concern now is to make the internal size of the box large enough for the power supply and cables (and I've pushed this a bit towards skiff dimensions to match the side-profile of the Sub37). Deepest module is 50mm on the top row. Looking at my wood stock, I have some 1in cherry for the sides and some walnut from pallet-wood for the front and back.


Yep, that angular arrangement looks killer! Can't wait to see this completed...


Yay, my rails arrived from Clicks and Clocks, and I have to say that they just look super excellent. I will post photos very soon.

Now that the parts are here, I can finally start to measure wood and start to make cuts! I had to wait for the rails to make the design exactly to the right size.

In the meantime, I've been rearranging my modules a bit... and it seems like a smart idea to make at least the top row of this box a little bit deeper than initially planned, enough for 60mm modules. The newest re-arrangement has me swapping the precision adder for a dual-quantizer (it can transpose, which is what I wanted it for). I'll just have to fine-tune an attenuverter to 1V with the OTool if I need to do octaves (does that work well enough??)...

Also, I've changed my mind on Three Sisters (seems to weird), and decided maybe the Polivoks + LxD is more to my taste. I went with the Harvestman version because it has a mixer going on in addition. Any thoughts on filters to pair with BIA and the new Lifeforms?


Personally, I'm a fan of Doepfer's A-106-1. It's their take on the Korg MS-20 Sallen-Key filter pair with some extra nastiness (fun on percussives) and an insert point in the resonance path, which opens up all sorts of abuse potential for mangly things by altering the resonance circuit's behavior, either with or without CV control on the altering device. Consider, for example, what sort of trouble you could cause with just a little mono delay line in that path...


A106? Wow, that's a beast. Is it really worth the space of the 2 other filters? I don't really use HP sounds much, so the LP normalling to the HP is something I'm not sure I am into. The resonance in/out is interesting, I guess you can make it scream if you crank up the CV here.

Here are photos of my prototype build that I did in just 15mins (in thin crappy plywood).
https://prntscr.com/kalf79
https://prntscr.com/kalfrp

I am realizing a couple things. 1) I need to countersink the metal otherwise my modules won't fit all the way up to the edge. 2) The 1U row only has a single mounting point, so I need to add some bracket or something so it won't spin! 3) It is tempting to just put my modules in this thing already since I don't have room in my other rack.

Edit: Yep, too tempting, I put all the parts together
http://prntscr.com/kan5cn

Next I have to figure out where the power-entry is gonna go, side or back panel. Also need to figure out some kind of flying-bus or something for the 1U modules, as I have more than 20 parts but only 20 headers on the board.


That's a really classy case cg_funk, looks awesome next to the sub!


The power bus problem is easy: check out Pulplogic's Passive Bus Block. This gives you six more 16-pins (you connect it via a free 16-pin on the existing bus boards, so even though it has seven, you really wind up with a gain of six) plus ten prewired tile-tails. And since tile-tails are easily split with Pulplogic's splitter cables, this is pretty much an optimal solution.


Awesome, the Passive Bus Block works great! Good suggestion! I just pulled the extra tile-tails right off and put them away for later, now it is more compact and I still have enough headers to go around.

@Lugia, what do you think of the new Joranalogue Filter 8? The few demos look pretty interesting. I am really considering pre-ordering it instead of the Polivoks, as it looks like it has every filter feature you could want in 12HP plus more, although it also seems a bit more tame and domesticated compared to the Polivok. Anyways, it has features abound, you can select between 1-4 pole LP and 4 other filters that are output at the same time. Bonus, the low end doesn't drop out when you crank up resonance (for comparison the droffoff is so pronounced on the Moog DFAM that I use resonance as a mute knob), and it triples as a ultra-wide-range VCO that does octature.


Not a bad idea at all...plus in a wide sort of all-pass setting, you can use it and a pair of VCAs to cobble up a phase shifter. About the same price as Intellijel's Dr. Octature and smaller than the original Mankato, too.


Update time. I had some time to work in the garage.

Here's the wood in the messsssy ass garage.
http://prntscr.com/kcblpv

Here's all the parts cut out, with the little paper templates still glued on.
http://prntscr.com/kcbm2n

Parts glued up and sanded, now I'm out in the hot sun putting finish on.
http://prntscr.com/kcbmea

Ok. Finish dries really fast in 100F.
Now let's load some modules into it. Here is the mostly-finished box side by side with Sub37.
http://prntscr.com/kcbmmw

My favorite feature of this case. The back panel is removable so you can tinker more easily, I put M3 screw mounts in.
http://prntscr.com/kcbn2t

The power supply section of the build is still waiting for key parts in the mail. So once those arrive, I'll add a power-entry port on the removable back panel and mount up the TPS80 and BUS to the baseboard (which I also made removable via threaded inserts).


@Lugia Cool, I went for the Filter8.
I am playing with a new LxD now and I have mixed feelings about it, the bottom channel is really nice and rings out long but the top channel is just so sharp and it pops like I'm plugging in a hot mic! The strike input is also not quite sensitive enough for me, I need to put my triggers through a VCA first to get it to ping loud enough to hear. I am very tempted to return it and swap it with a Kinks (to put next to Batumi).

With the rest of the build I finally reached a decision point on what VCA to get:
After fiddling around with the Batumi I realized that many of my modules (like doepfer quantizer, and NE modules) only take +0-5V, I was getting really frustrated at having to use up 2 of my attenuverters just to do a +5V offset, (or use 3 channels to do an offset+scale). That was when I had an AH-HA moment, and decided to swap the Intellijel QuadVCA with a MI Blinds in my modulargrid and the stars aligned! This must be a match made in heaven, CV offset/scale in every channel plus mixing, I can't imagine a better pair.


Not a bad idea, that last bit. As for the LxD, the top channel is supposed to be a 12 dB, 'mildly resonant' gate. But what that sounds like is either that the gate is miscalibrated or outright faulty. I'd check with Make Noise about that, actually.


Ok, thanks for all your input @Lugia! I will give the LxD another chance, it's not really all that bad just as a VCA, maybe I will just use the 12db channel strike for hats and clicks. I will hold off on judging too critically till I get my power supply cleaned up better.
BTW Did you see all the linked pictures I posted of the finished box in cherry? There are some additional touches to do when the rest of my power supply parts arrive, but until then it is packed with modules (and maxing out my uZeus :-( yikes! ).