Rack Ear Modules

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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Cat-A-Tonic
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Rack Ear Modules

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:44 pm

I have seen other people install simple Multiples in the Frac rack ears.

Has anyone tried installing a Mixer, Splitter, Scanner, Seq. Switch, or Multi.+passive Attenuator in the Frac ears?

Do they fit?

I was also thinking about putting a CGS Real Ring Modem in one of the ears.

I think that the powered modules would require you to put the power plug on the opposite side of the board for one side of the rack.
This might not work next to a Power Distribution Board.

I really want to squeeze the most out of the real estate in these racks.
After all, using space efficiently is the cornerstone of the small formats.

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:51 pm

i don't think any of those would fit...

but, i recall someone made a very cool post on the Blacet list back in the day...

he had successfully mounted a Bar Graph over one of the rack ears, very cool application. He took out the 4 rack ear silver screws and replaced them with 2 standoffs that was threaded on one side....the threaded side screwed down into the frac chassis (also holding the rack ear piece in place), one side faced upwards and the Bar Graph was screwed into it.

pics make it look really slick

i have a set of 3 1/8"-to-1/4" adapters built into one of my rack ears

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Cat-A-Tonic
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Passive Attenuators

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:02 pm

How do you wire up a passive attenuator?

2 jacks, a pot, and a resistor? Connected how?

This would probably make an ideal rack ear module.

Would a passive feedback looper be a good candidate for a rack ear module?

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Post by Liquidcolor » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:01 am

I've done quite a few "Ear Modules" for my customers. Different sorts of banana/1/4"/RCA adapters, Psycho LFO's, ASR's, trunk lines, dual ring mods. There's a lot of stuff that will fit. However, there's a lot that won't. A mixer is probably out of the question, because there is only space for five or six jacks/pots. You would only be able to get a 2-input mixer in there. A dual passive attenuator would probably be a better choice.

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Post by Kwote » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:24 am

yeah. i'm thinking about pursuing some passive attenuators diy. i was considering a 1u 19" panel but the rack ears thing is seeming more appealing as i acquire more fracs. i've got a couple rack ears with mults. maybe i should do attens next instead of more mults. hmmm.
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trunk line?

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:42 am

ifferent sorts of banana/1/4"/RCA adapters, Psycho LFO's, ASR's, trunk lines, dual ring mods.
What is a Trunk Line?

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Post by Liquidcolor » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:06 pm

"What is a Trunk Line?"

Possibly a misnomer. Four 1/8" jacks in the front connected straight through to four 1/4" jacks on the back. Similar to a patchbay, connect the 1/4" in the back to DAW inputs or a digital reverb etc.

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Post by eyehue » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:00 am

reviving this for pics and to hear if anyone else had success. did you end up installing anything to your frac ears, Cat-A-Tonic? my frac space is finite and nearing its end, i'd really love to see more pics of what others have fit into the ears.

my PAiA shot, multiples in the left ear, CGS Psycho LFO in the right:
Image

overdrive distortion in ear (the shitty 1u panel to its left is a Vactrol CV Crash Sync distortion, soon to be moved to the ear above):
Image

overdrive distortion in ear (no flash so you can see the cool led lens my friend built into it):
Image

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Post by Kwote » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:22 am

i have a couple rack ears multed. i think i'd love to do more but i live in an apartment so dremmeling the frac racks up in order to fit the newly modded ears isn't really realistic. plus i'm scared the blade will come flying up into my face someday :hihi:

just kidding. sorta.

but yeah, at some point i'll have to do this to all my racks.
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Post by eyehue » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:25 am

i've used a sawzall and a step bit to work on mine. either way, lots of metal shavings. they are all over my yard :doh:

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:46 am

I just moved 9 blocks down the road and now have a music room instead of a scifi-spy closet! This is why I haven`t been on the forum lately.
I won`t have internet at that place until next week.


I am going to see if I can squeeze Blacets Splitter/Mixer kits into the ears.

It will be a tight fit if it works at all, and it makes a big difference for the power chord and other bits whether they end up on the right ears or the left, or even upside down. OR I could manually wire the jacks to the board so that I can get them to line up with the pots for a tighter squeeze...

I have enough other projects ahead of me from Bridechamber, including a Psycho LFO for an ear, that I may end up squeezing those Splitter/Mixers in with another module somewhere.

Some of the Bridechamber PCBs are tiny, but others have the board mounted pots spaced for MOTM so the PCBs will have to go in horizontally for the ChaQuo and the Wave Multiplier. Those probably have enough features to each fill up a 3 U Frac without any additional space, but we`ll see. I will probably put the J H Freq. Shifter in a 1or2U rack, and maybe my pair of SN Voices as well. I have a ton of DIY ahead of me!!!!!

Mucho props for the Divider/Logic/Mixer inspiration Eyehue!
and your distortion ears look cool too. What do they sound like?
Where did you come across them?

I really need a dremel or a drill of my own before I can make any of this happen. Do you have any recommendations on buying a dremel?
I was thinking about a Proxxon with an option for a drill press accessory.

Right now I am building the Blacet LFO, but don`t want to finish it up until I can mod the panel with the rate switch I got for it.

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Post by eyehue » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:01 pm

Congrats on the new space! Thanks for the props!

i have two different distortions, the crash sync and the overdrive distortion.

the overdrive is just nasty harsh clipping, still cool. i've used it on beats mostly. i didn't build this one, came with the used frac. of my six fracs, i only bought one new.

the crash sync is one of my favorite simple 555 circuits. let me get the text and schematic right from the designer, James Hollis.

http://www.hollis.co.uk/john/circuits.html

"Crash Sync
This is an oscillator sync circuit that gives the kind of effect you find on old analogue synths. Oscillator synchronisation is performed by using one oscillator to reset another. In this instance the guitar signal is used to reset an oscillator running at a higher sweepable frequency. The effect is not dissimilar to flanging. Not one for the tone freaks, this is a destroy-your-tone effect for noise vandals. The front end is copied from the MXR blue box."

Image

it's got a sound really hard to decribe, again i've used it mostly on drums. i added a cv input to the frequency (pin 5). definitely one of the coolest simplest distortions.

once i run out of room (hopefully soon), i will also try to squeeze the blacet multi/attenuator into an ear. let me know how your attempts go fitting the splitter/mixer into an ear, seems like a similar pain in the ass! :hihi: i also have plans to make another CGS mixer for ears, four inputs in left ear, 4 knobs and output in right ear.

good luck with your new space.

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Re: Rack Ear Modules

Post by scozbor » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:16 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote: Has anyone tried installing a Mixer, Splitter, Scanner, Seq. Switch, or Multi.+passive Attenuator in the Frac ears?
I'm thinking about trying to put one/some of these in my frac ears.
I don't think they would fit with the pcb mounted pots.

Maybe mounting the pcb to the inside of the rack and flying wires to the pots/jacks? You think this would work?

Obviously not possible on the side where the power distribution board is though...

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:34 pm

You only need a power distribution board on every other rack.
On the right side ear there should be room, but how much room depends on what module is mounted next to it.
Blacets tend to have knobs and PCBs to the far right, whereas STG PCBs are on the left and the knob layouts are more spacious.

Image

I made this to help me plan my layout and for use as patch notes for a cute little colored-pencil modular diary.

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Re: Rack Ear Modules

Post by eyehue » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:41 pm

scozbor wrote:
Cat-A-Tonic wrote: Has anyone tried installing a Mixer, Splitter, Scanner, Seq. Switch, or Multi.+passive Attenuator in the Frac ears?
I'm thinking about trying to put one/some of these in my frac ears.
I don't think they would fit with the pcb mounted pots.

Maybe mounting the pcb to the inside of the rack and flying wires to the pots/jacks? You think this would work?

Obviously not possible on the side where the power distribution board is though...
i've attached many pcbs to the back rail. the holes just need to be made a little bigger for the standoffs i use.

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Post by eyehue » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:42 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:You only need a power distribution board on every other rack.
On the right side ear there should be room, but how much room depends on what module is mounted next to it.
Blacets tend to have knobs and PCBs to the far right, whereas STG PCBs are on the left and the knob layouts are more spacious.

Image

I made this to help me plan my layout and for use as patch notes for a cute little colored-pencil modular diary.
i love that! i need to do something similar for mine once it's done.

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Post by Kwote » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:23 pm

i dunno. i have PSConn's on every frack rack. i tend to use most of the connections.

but then i only have two rack ears multed which are easy to fit.

i know Blacet has mentioned you can mount PSConn's on the back instead of the side but you need to get your own hardware.
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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:30 pm

I am running almost 3 Fracs on one power supply and one PSConn.
I need to setup another power supply soon, but so far I haven't had any problems pushing the power limits.
1 PSConn can distribute to 9 modules. You would have to be using alot of smaller modules to need 1 PSConn per rack.
But if that is how you roll than more power to you.

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Post by Kwote » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:55 am

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:I am running almost 3 Fracs on one power supply and one PSConn.
I need to setup another power supply soon, but so far I haven't had any problems pushing the power limits.
1 PSConn can distribute to 9 modules. You would have to be using alot of smaller modules to need 1 PSConn per rack.
But if that is how you roll than more power to you.
i dunno. i find i have no problem filling up most of the PSConn's per frac rack. i think the main reason i'm doing it is i like having my cables running across. things don't always seem to stretch far enough when i'm pulling from top or bottom. and also i like avoiding running module cables directly from the PS500 which is where you're probably saving your extra connections.

just don't like having to open that fucker up everytime i need to pull a cable. personal preference fo sho.
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IDEA!!!

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:42 pm

You, know how one connection can take a patch in a different direction, or just add a little spice...
I often like to make such connections momentarily. Off and on.

I was thinking it might be useful to make a rack ear module with either a switch or a momentary button that could connect and disconnect, or select between 2 or 3 different sources. Maybe with a mult. out to use up all 6 possible jack spaces on an ear.

Kind of like a really basic preset selecter.
It seems like it would be very easy to wire up.
AND it would be really useful in a live setting.
What do you think?

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Post by scozbor » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:45 pm

^^^^ that sounds like a great idea! I would love to give DIY mults/atten/switches a go!

help a brother out eh? :hihi:

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Post by eyehue » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:21 pm

hey Cat-A-Tonic, sounds like a great idea! quick switcheroo of ideas without patching and unpatching, perfect.

i would try it myself, but i am out of room!

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Post by Kwote » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:25 pm

the concept is interesting. let us know how it goes.

this also makes me think of the mults on the Wiard's. being diode protected they can double as a mixer. i wish all mults had this kind of functionality.
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Post by plord » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:14 am

Kwote wrote:the concept is interesting. let us know how it goes.

this also makes me think of the mults on the Wiard's. being diode protected they can double as a mixer. i wish all mults had this kind of functionality.
You got it backwards!! The mult is just a mult. It's the per-step gate outputs of the Sequantizer (and the same per step outs of the Metalbox/CGS Sequential Switch) that are diode protected. You can't use the Wiard mults to mix together anything else!

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Post by Kwote » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:44 am

plord wrote:
Kwote wrote:the concept is interesting. let us know how it goes.

this also makes me think of the mults on the Wiard's. being diode protected they can double as a mixer. i wish all mults had this kind of functionality.
You got it backwards!! The mult is just a mult. It's the per-step gate outputs of the Sequantizer (and the same per step outs of the Metalbox/CGS Sequential Switch) that are diode protected. You can't use the Wiard mults to mix together anything else!
right. i was just oversimplifying. i know it's not the mults themselves that are diode protected. just got lazy to explain that aspect. where i'm truly off is i thought all of the 300's are diode protected thus making any of the mults usable as a mixer. beggin zee pardin.
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