Whatcha think of a more compact, lighter 5U format? (fishin'

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"New" 5U 1" Grid Module Line...

Poll ended at Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:13 pm

I wouldn't screw that in _your_ rack!
4
31%
Huh? What? Matters.
9
69%
 
Total votes: 13

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bridechamber
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Whatcha think of a more compact, lighter 5U format? (fishin'

Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:13 pm

So... I guess I'm fishin' here. I had a lot of trouble moving my big ol' 5U to a Euro format geekfest, while the Euro folks of course hardly broke a sweat. So's I got to thinking of how to make things lighter. The obvious answer is to go Euro, but I can't abide the 1/8" jacks!!!!!

I'm thinking of laying out pots and jacks on a 1" grid.
(Richard Brewster? http://pugix.com/synth/small-knob-panel-group/ ? Never heard of that!!! Okay, okay, I stole the idea from him!)
But to make things even lighter:
Thinner panels (.09")
No brackets. All PCBs are mounted via pot/ switch combos -- 9 pins per pot/ switch, up to 72 pins of support per PCB!

There would be a whole line, all 1U width:
8-Step Sequencer
VCO
VCF
VCAs
EGs
Chaos
Voice... yup, a 1U voice w/ noise and lfo!

Power would be for multiple formats -- MOTM, DotCom, ModCan.

Maybe a rack case w/ power.

Questions:
Does anyone even care? Would you buy it , notice it, or avoid like the plague?
Would you care if panels were dark brown w/ cream legending? I'm pretty much over black and white.

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russma
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Post by russma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:32 pm

<...looks for a curmudgeon emoticon.....>

Hell no.

8_)

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russma
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Post by russma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:34 pm

....hmmm....that made me sound like a dick.


Hell no, please.

:razz:

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:54 pm

While I certainly wouldn't replace my full sized modules with these, I am in the early stages of putting together a sort of large suitcase synth for portable duties! :tu: Moving my big synth causes this to happen :omg: :ripbanana:

I definitely want to stay with ¼" jacks but I may also stay with full sized knobs as much as possible. But those darn EGs etc take up so much space I'll probably cave and build a bunch of those skinny Mattson EG/VCA combos like Mr. Brewster did!

That "dark brown w/ cream legending" color scheme doesn't sound appetizing to me though . . . :sadbanana: . .

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bridechamber
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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:58 pm

Yeah, I'll probably keep the brown-and-cream dealie to myself.
: )

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ach_gott
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Post by ach_gott » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:02 pm

Different colors & form factors is fine. (Brown is a hard one, though... and I like matte finishes if I had a choice.) I prefer the current lineup, of course.

Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:02 pm

It's important for my implementation that the behind the panel depth will be 3" or less. It sounds like you are going to be.

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Re: Whatcha think of a more compact, lighter 5U format? (fis

Post by Just me » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:03 pm

bridechamber wrote:So... I guess I'm fishin' here. I had a lot of trouble moving my big ol' 5U to a Euro format geekfest, while the Euro folks of course hardly broke a sweat. So's I got to thinking of how to make things lighter. The obvious answer is to go Euro, but I can't abide the 1/8" jacks!!!!!
1/8" jacks suck. The obvious answer is a roadie or Wheaties!
bridechamber wrote:I'm thinking of laying out pots and jacks on a 1" grid.
(Richard Brewster? http://pugix.com/synth/small-knob-panel-group/ ? Never heard of that!!! Okay, okay, I stole the idea from him!)
Too dense for patching and live playing for me. I have a hard enough time in 5U as it is.
bridechamber wrote:But to make things even lighter:
Thinner panels (.09")
No brackets. All PCBs are mounted via pot/ switch combos -- 9 pins per pot/ switch, up to 72 pins of support per PCB!
My cabinets aren't that heavy or unmanageable. I would hate to have flimsy panels that couldn't handle patching forces and transfered those forces to the unbracketed PCB,s causing fatigue failures.
bridechamber wrote:There would be a whole line, all 1U width:
8-Step Sequencer
VCO
VCF
VCAs
EGs
Chaos
Voice... yup, a 1U voice w/ noise and lfo!
That all sounds good enough but the voice and seq I would want 2U so I could work the knobs.
bridechamber wrote:Power would be for multiple formats -- MOTM, DotCom, ModCan.

Maybe a rack case w/ power.
Cool, a rack that wasn't more than 8 inches deep!
bridechamber wrote:Questions:
Does anyone even care? Would you buy it , notice it, or avoid like the plague?
Depends on the above.
bridechamber wrote:Would you care if panels were dark brown w/ cream legending? I'm pretty much over black and white.
I'm not over Black and White. I'd live with blue pretty easily!
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Post by sduck » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:11 pm

I wouldn't be interested, I don't think, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea. I'm all for saving room, and have done lots of repaneling of stuff to have it fit in 1U instead of 2. And a lot of the stuff that you sell panels for just don't make sense to me in the panel size/usefulness ratio thing - the old motm grid doesn't always use space well. 5U for the doomsday machine panel you sell is way too big for instance - even my 3U version is too big for the amount of use I get out of it.

2.3mm panels probably wouldn't be an issue for many.

I'm not a fan of pot and switch mounted pcb's - I've had to fix too many of these. It's great in concept, but sucks the road-worthiness right out of a module. Personally I'd think old fashioned brackets would still work, but perhaps have all the wiring interconnect based like the dotcom stuff?
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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:13 pm

ach_gott wrote:
Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.
Ah, but they won't really be vanilla. Ian's interested in the VCO, so there will most likely be switchable 5Pulser and Phase Animation dealies. The first VCF is my take on the Polivoks. The Chaos I'll try to get Ian to do. EGs will be normalled to complex looping action. Voice will have variable noise and other fun.

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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:18 pm

sduck wrote:
I'm not a fan of pot and switch mounted pcb's - I've had to fix too many of these. It's great in concept, but sucks the road-worthiness right out of a module. Personally I'd think old fashioned brackets would still work, but perhaps have all the wiring interconnect based like the dotcom stuff?
Hmm... the combo pot/ switches give out or what? That's the key for me, to cut down on time, cost and weight.

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Post by J3RK » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:24 pm

Well, since I'm just about finished with a couple of my own, similar designs (only a lot more dense where jacks are concerned,) I'd have to answer yes. :) I just finished a four stage shift register S&H, stepped generator module in a 1U. However the jacks are slightly denser than MOTM format, (in order to expose internal and external clock connections, etc.) I'm doing perpendicular boards, but small ones, so they could still fit in a shallow-depth case. I'd love to see more modules like this, without having to make them all myself, so please move ahead! :party:

I'm working on a suitcase (two rows of 5U) with the highest functional density per module that I can do. (just ordered a bunch of kits from you too to fill in the gaps) or maybe that's the other way around, filling the gaps with my own :mrgreen:

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Post by russma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:26 pm

bridechamber wrote:.....Idiotboy: Gimme back my stapler, then!...

...all right, but I'm gonna have to burn this place to the ground....


:mrgreen:

Don't get me wrong Scott, your ideas are great. I guess I'm just a 5U purist.

:despair:
Last edited by russma on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Entrainer » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:26 pm

What about 4U and banana?

3U 1/8" to small.

5U 1/4" to big. :haha:

4U Nana just right.

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Post by ach_gott » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:27 pm

bridechamber wrote:
ach_gott wrote:
Here's the main thing, though... the line sounds decidedly vanilla. I have a fair bit of that stuff.
Ah, but they won't really be vanilla. Ian's interested in the VCO, so there will most likely be switchable 5Pulser and Phase Animation dealies. The first VCF is my take on the Polivoks. The Chaos I'll try to get Ian to do. EGs will be normalled to complex looping action. Voice will have variable noise and other fun.
Well why didn't you say so? That's a horse of a different color! (And note that brown is a regular horse color. :razz: )

Seriously, though, it would depend on the functions in question. On the other hand, maybe I'm a bad person to ask. I have enough demand in the current Bridechamber catalog (if not always the $ or the build time) to force me out of house and home. What turns me on these days is slightly more esoteric.

On the other other hand, I :love: the Bridechamber and would sell some of my more vanilla modules to support a project. Unless it was really and truly a brown cow. :hihi:

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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Ooh, ooh, are you going to offer those boards for sale? That would be cool!

I might do 9 jacks in height, too. As long as we're stuffin'...

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Post by VinceL » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Let me chime in with agreement on several of the points that sduck and Just Me made.

I have my 5U stuff in Dotcom portable cabinets (a lot of them..will be 8 next week). But, each cabinet is pretty easy to handle.

I would be VERY concerned about thinner panels, unless, as sduck brings up, you follow the Dotcom model of not mounting jacks or knobs or the panel to the PCB. Thinner panels would most likely lead to PCB cracks, broken solder joints, etc. when you are patching big-ass 1/4" plugs.

One of the reasons I use 5U is my chubby, clumsy hands. Any knobs or jacks packed tighter than current 5U modules would drive me crazy.

If I was going to try to have a modular synth that was really easy to transport, I would just sacrifice the benefits of 5U and go with something like a Vostok or Tereshkova.

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russma
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Post by russma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:32 pm

...are you talking about selling this in addition to, or instead of, traditional 5U?

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bridechamber
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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:33 pm

You are all evil! My idea is best ever! (Yeah, my idea, not Richard Brewster's. I didn't get it from him. Nope.)

But seriously, thanks! The feedback is great. I don't want to make a bucketload of modules to just sit in, you know, buckets.

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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:35 pm

This would be a separate line.

I had .09" Neural Agonizer panels and they didn't flex one bit. Have others had different experiences?

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Post by pugix » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:38 pm

Looks like a hard sell. :lol:

I agree with the point about the small knobs close to jacks making it harder to use. I'll mix them with regular formats in my portable cabinets. I really have to, because a lot of my favorite modules are 2U wide.

All my panels are the standard MOTM thickness and all of these small knob projects use brackets from Bridechamber, because I like sturdiness. No-bracket designs like Oakley and Blacet work as well as they do because of the pot brackets that remove stress from the pots. I don't much cotton to the thought of a board dangling off the pins of a pot or switch.

I got into these small-knob projects for one, "just because I could," and also I think because I'm running out of cabinet space (and space in the studio) and that led me toward density, not that I haven't always had that bent. :twisted:

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Post by bridechamber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:00 pm

Dang, Richard found this. Now I have to eat all those words I said about his morally degraded layouts!
:oops:

Don't folks think 72 or so pins from the pot/ switch combos would be enough to support the PCB?

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Post by synthguru » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:08 pm

Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? :despair:

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Post by JohnLRice » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:31 pm

synthguru wrote:Well, as I've said to the synth manufacturers for years:
Don't give me weighted keys; give me weighted knobs.

Does anyone remember the big, must-have-been-one-pound knob that used to be the volume control on old Onkyo hi-fi amps?

Little knobs? :despair:

Zon
Will this work? :tu:

http://www.surplussales.com/ShaftHardware/Knobs-12.html
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Post by J3RK » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:31 pm

Well, if the standard MOTMish layout was altered slightly (like I've done with some of my DIY designs,) you can still fit the full sized knobs, and plenty of jacks on a 1U panel. Maybe not quite as many as the 1" grid, but I got two knobs, a switch, 9 1/4" jacks on a 1U without completely ditching ergonomic ability. I'm not opposed to small knobs though either, as long as the pots behind them were still stable. Maybe still do panel-mount pots with small knobs for a more sold approach? :despair:

Something I did on the panel I mentioned above was stick a jack in the center of a set of four, so it would be a little tight, but since it's just in the jack-field, not next to a knob, I don't think its' that bad. The overall aesthetic is the same, but obviously if you had it next to a MOTM, you'd see the difference in layout plain as day. (knobs at different heights, switches in different spots, etc.)

I too like panel mounted controls, but like I say, the knob size doesn't make a huge difference to me. When I get my panel made soon, I'll post a couple of pics. Right now I just have an FPD file.

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