Monday, 30 January 2012


I started a new rack, this one is intended to handle sequencing duties.

It is another Frac based rack, although it's housed in a home made case, made from some black shelving picked up from B&Q. I just about managed to cobble it together into a half-decent looking unit - but it's about as far as my wood working skills will go :)

Currently it contains a Blacet Binary Zone, Sequential Switch and the new Frequency Divider; a DIY Fonitronik VCPS, a DIY MFOS Quantiser (Quantizer?), a Metalbox Analog Logic and a PAIA Multiple/Splitter.

There is still a bit of room for 1 or 2 other goodies, but I'll see how this goes for now.

One thing about the new Frequency Divider - are they the brightest LEDS ever seen on a module? Think I might have preferred normal red or green...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New Paia modules

I ordered 3 new Paia modules which arrived today - amazingly, customs only held them up for 2 days! I ordered a Noise Source, a Balanced Modulator and a Passive Mixer/Splitter from the new 9700 series of Frac modules. The Noise Source & Balanced Modulator are to go in the main Frac case, and the Splitter is for a separate sequencing case.

Looking at the new modules, I'm very impressed with the build quality. In fact, I don't know how they manage to sell them so cheaply. The front panels are very nicely done - they have the same 'mottled' paint effect as the 5U MOTM stuff - a very professional finish.

They are also very shallow - of the 3 I got, the deepest is barely 2 inches.

I've already given the Noise Source a quick test - it gives 3 different outputs, 2 of which are filtered versions of the main White Noise. Most of the output level seems to come from the far end of the pot travel, but most of the time this will be fed into a mixer or into the Bugcrusher, so I don't think that's a problem.

Based on these 3 I'd recommend getting a few of these modules - they are great value (even when having to pay customs duty).

Saturday, 26 February 2011

New modules on the way

I had to wait until the New Year before ordering up some more modules to finish up my Frac case. On the way are a Paia noise generator, balanced modulator and passive mixer/splitter; from Blacet, a Binary Zone, Window Comparator and Cloud Generator (this is the repackaged Synth Tech E340).

I also took delivery today of a BugBrand Wavefolder - they are starting to offer some modules in minijack again, the Wavefolder is the first.

Some things I need to finish off are a Fonitronik VCPS & MFOS Quantiser. I've spent too long trying to finalise a panel design for the VCPS, but I think I'm just about there now and have worked out all the hardware mounting issues.

Once they're done, they'll go into a 'sequencing' case - 1 row consisting of the VCPS, Quantiser, Binary Zone, Seq Switch & Divider.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Current State

Well, here's a (bad) picture of my Frac system as it stands today.

The panel at the bottom is a patching panel, containing loads of multiples and a couple of attenuators. There are just a few more jacks to wire up before I mount it in the panel - but I detest that kind of wiring so it's a slow job. There are also a couple of quarter inch jacks on the panel so I can patch between the MOTM system & this one easily.

The space next to the VCO is for another VCO, which I hope to order in the new year, along with other modules to fill up the rack.

Module line up (top row): Blacet VCO, Blacet Mixer, LPG (Thomas White), Mattson Mini Modular JP VCF, Fonitronic Attenuverting Mixer.
(Bottom row): Blacet Midiverter, Blacet Micro LFO, Bugbrand Bugcrusher, Blacet DAD, Blacet Seq Switch (modified), Blacet Micro LFO, Blacet Dual VCA.

I'm currently trying to decide on what modules I'll get to complete the rack - hard job! But I won't have any cash for anything else for 2 or 3 months, so I've got plenty of thinking time...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

I've recently got a couple of other modules - another Blacet Micro LFO & Blacet Sequential Switch. I should take a photo of the system and post it, but that will have to wait until later. I also need to finish off my Mattson VCF. I got the PCB from and wire kit, I just need to make up a mounting bracket and order the front panel.

When I've done that one, I reckon my case will be about half full. Then I'm going to have to wait a while to see how much money I have left after our new Kitchen is fitted before I can get anything else :-(

Saturday, 27 March 2010


Here's a quick pic of my finished Low Pass Gate. It is based on the PCB from Thomas White, with a front panel from Schaeffer in Germany.

We have sound...

Well, I have finally made progress and got a working system!

I built up the Oakley compact PSU, which was a fairly easy build - even so it's still a bit nerve wracking plugging in a DIY power supply for the first time. Luckily there were no bangs or any smoke.

I've also finished up my Low Pass Gate - wow, it sounds amazing.

So I've got a small working system with a Blacet Midiverter, VCO, DAD, Dual VCA, Micro LFO & Mixer, a Bugbrand Bugcrusher (minijack version) and my DIY Low Pass Gate.

I now need to finish off my Fonitronik Attenuverting Mixer & Mattson VCF.

I should also get some pictures together.