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modular rig on the beach?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author modular rig on the beach?
OK, I'm not going to use it literally on the beach, but I'm planning to bring my eurorack rigs to the beach house and I'd like to use them out on the deck at night.

Maybe I'm being paranoid here, but do you all think I need to worry about sea air, with lots of salt, getting on my rig and causing corrosion or whatever? We'll be very close to the ocean and anything will get covered with a fine coating of salt and minerals.

Thanks for looking at this perhaps weird question!
Just leave it turned on at night so it stays warm. Many beaches have early morning fog, which condenses on cold metal.
I won't be leaving it out all night. I'll bring it into the house after I'm done playing it.
I wouldn't. Electronic gear of any kind and sea air don't mix well. I've had too much camera gear ruined by exposure to beach/sea air that I never bring the good stuff there any more.
I'd bring an ipad. Or a ukulele.
pretty sure youre gonna be just fine, electronics dont suddenly die in salty breezes, that kind of thing takes a long time of constant exposure, months..

just dont dip it in salt water and youll be fine, enjoy yourself life is too short, theres always more stuff if something bad happens..
No, they won't suddenly die. What happens in most cases is the small buildup of salt and minerals slowly reacts with the various metal things it's come in contact with over time, and depending on the reaction, will slowly corrode the metal in various ways. So you may see little or no corrosion after a few months or years, or a lot, depending on what minerals and metals are involved. And it's really invasive stuff, and almost impossible to clean.

But forrest has a pretty good point - it's just stuff, things that are replaceable. Living your life the best you can is more important than stuff. If playing your modular on or near the beach enhances your life, then go for it!
Scooter McCrae
I did pretty much this exact thing about two years ago and it gave me immense satisfaction to bring a 9U modular case, some pedals and an audio recorder into a beach house and play with it first thing in the morning before heading out to have fun the rest of the day. Totally therapeutic and mind cleansing -- helped make a vacation feel even more like an escape from the everyday. Totally recommend that you do it as well if that's where your heart is leading you.

Two examples of recordings I did at the beach house:


Fog Door
What's all this beach nonsense? Dark, sweaty rooms forever wink
Hell, if I were stuck on a beach I'd want my modular with me. Dead Banana
Well...I'm doing it. I'm brining my rig and playing it on the beach house deck!

Thanks to all of you for the responses ranging from the serious to entertaining!

Scooter, if I can make something half as good as you did in your beach house, I'll feel very lucky. Thanks for the inspiring words and sounds.
I lived by the beach for years. Every morning my car was covered in a salty layer. Things rust really easily. If you get salty deposits in the insides of your modular they will cause corrosion over time if left. I wouldn't do it, but if you must be careful and keep it clean, especially if the wind is blowing onshore.
I've been around the ocean a lot and that layer of salt is what me ask this question. I won't be leaving my rig out overnight or, I'd guess more than two or three hours, so I think it might be OK.

Our rigs can become so important to us that the thought of damaging them is pretty upsetting. Not just the money spent on them, but we can become almost personally attached to them. I'm just trying to strike a balance between protection and risk.
If you close up your case between uses that can minimize exposure. Of course some cases are better than others in that regard. I've got one of the new Make Noise shared system travel cases, and it's one of the few I would trust for the beach closed - it's got an almost hermetic seal thingie - the only way things are getting in there is via the power inlet, which I think is sealed also.
keep it in the house. a $5000 eurorack is not the thing to bring to the beach outside on the deck. close your doors. blast the air conditioning. that should take moisture out of the air a little bit. when you are done you can put the cover back on the case to keep the nasty air from circulating through the jacks.
Way back in the day I fried a guitar amp playing outside all night. The stage was covered so that the dew wouldn't fall on the equipment, but it became so humid in the wee hours of the morning that one second I was playing and the next I was squealing like a pig... it was a Pignose amp, after all!

The moisture had gotten onto my output transistors and they shorted themselves out.

So there can be danger to your equipment.

The first thing I thought of when I read the title was having sex on the beach and how the sand gets into absolutely everything... Dead Banana

Just my 2 cents worth.
Scooter McCrae
Thank you very kindly, k_dada -- as long as you're having fun, that's all that matters. To the point of all the wiser folk in this thread, I used the Eurorack set-up exclusively indoors at the beach house and it had air conditioning, so exposure to the corrosive elements was minimized and I sufficed with having a lovely view from the window. Sounds like you might want to do similar if you have this kind of situation as well. Looking forward to hearing what you end up recording!

Scooter McCrae
Parnelli wrote:

The first thing I thought of when I read the title was having sex on the beach and how the sand gets into absolutely everything... Dead Banana

I like my modular rig too, but not enough to have sex with it.
Damn jack holes are too small... otherwise... Rockin' Banana!
No sand will be involved.

I still think it will be OK, it's a screened porch. There is a hot tub, but I'm not planning on using eurorack while in the hot tub, even if it is a skiff. Boat
I think (without really having a clue) that you will be fine, just stay away from the sand. It sounds so nice to make modular music on a beach, so I really think you should go for it smile
@k_dada - You'll be fine to take it for a short vacation trip. I wouldn't necessarily do it every single night, but once in awhile should be fine. Keep us posted on the music you make.

@scootermccrae - I'm loving that first jam. nanners
So I just got back from the beach, was there for a week. I only took my modular out one night. The heat and the bugs were just too much some nights. So far my system still works.

But it was worth it! Tree frog rhythms inspired me, and although I never got close to anything that sounded like them, it led me to something interesting. Like other times I've played modular outside, the sounds I heard inspired me. One of the great things about open headphones.

I ended up doing a lot of modular in the beach house and recording two tracks, one of which I'm pretty happy with.

I would consider any equipment at the beach as expendable. Like taking it to Burning Man. Toast. That will need to be cleaned up extensively.
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