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[IC] 4U Single Function 'Sergesque' panels
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18  Next [all]

Are you:
Interested in some panels?
88%
 88%  [ 124 ]
Or not?
3%
 3%  [ 5 ]
Too vague?
7%
 7%  [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 140

Author [IC] 4U Single Function 'Sergesque' panels
the bad producer
Hello!

I've been recently developing and making quite a few 4U panels/modules for myself and others, based on a 'single-function' approach. As someone who can never decide what I want to build, nor how many, nor what to take out for gigs and events, it made sense to me to reconsider what may be seen as a 'standard' - the Serge whole 17” panel thing...

I love the 17” panels I have, and think they're great, but always I'm thinking “ahh, could do with two of them... another of them... don't like that... be good if that had XXX extra feature”

So I decided to come up with this 'single-function' format... (not that I came up with much, as you will see, just a few panel spacing/mounting ideas)...

My idea is that this way you can have whatever you want in your budbox/rack and not have to adhere to the predetermined choices taken in a single 17” panel, you could have a SWAMP without the Pulse Divider and an LPG instead, or a dual VCA, or a TH Control LFO etc... Another way of looking at it is to see it as a useful way to expand your Zthee or Dmitri panels with some specifically chosen modules without having to build a whole panel at once - this is what I'll be doing at any rate... Other pluses for me are the possibilities of density vs functionality - I can leave the modules I won't use at home, or swap, mix n'match, sell what I don't need, make things for less expense and commitment than a whole panel, experiment without fear of overheads, things like that - you know a 'modular synth'!

The idea is very simple:

I split the 17” into 16HP, which gives an HP multiple of 1.0625” (this made sense with eg CGS designs as it allows for the inevitable wiring mess - though probably that's just me - to be squeezed in behind the panel around the PCB). I've rounded these up/down to mm increments.
The panels are 175mm, one can re-fit a budbox with vector rails and mount modules in it (I have more info about this which shall hopefully soon appear on my 'website'.)

Obviously this is all leading up to the other point, the [IC] in the topic!

I'm wondering if anyone else is interested in panels such as this? I'm hoping that a) maybe they are, and b) that might make the panels cheaper all round!

I suppose the actual panel design itself becomes rather important at this stage, even beyond the technical 'standard' of a 'format', so I also have some questions for anyone who might be interested :

• Are you stuck on the Serge aesthetics/grid? I'm not particularly bothered in a rigorous adherence to 0.75” x 1” etc, if something calls for otherwise, works better in space, so be it - what do you think?
• Are you actually interested at all?
• Do you like swooshes, Eras, Blue? Again, I'm not bothered (I'm not super-into 'cloning' as such, and I'm no fan of Eras, swooshes, tini-jax etc!) Having said that some aspects of the Serge grid and the Buchla aesthetics are very appealing! (as you will see that I see below!)

I appreciate this is a rather vague and general post, but my intention is to ask what everyone thinks, and if anyone else other than me is interested in this idea, in getting some panel group buys together?

Here is some eye candy so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about, as you can see mainly and generally 'on-the-grid' but sometimes not... Also, the panels wouldn't say 'loudestwarning' on the bottom, probably 'CGS' or 'Haible' etc, I have rather a lot of designs I've been working on and interested in getting made up, so again, if you have anything you would like to see, let me know...



This is a budbox with vector rails and some modules in it...



A dual VCS...



Quad LPG...



Single LPG, all bells n whistles, proto...



Res EQ...

etc etc, I have more, but maybe it would be more interesting (for me certainly) to hear some other thoughts other than those on my bubble!

(also apologies if I babbled somewhat, I've the flu so maybe not sensible, also to the mods - not sure if this is a suitable [IC] thread, didn't there used to be some guidelines about IC and group buy threads as a sticky?)
GrantB
AKA "CLee style" thumbs up

I'm a 17" guy but those pics look great, nice job.

How is it printed?
jc
I think this is a great idea! I'm not a builder but I am a buyer of CGS/Serge. I could fill up a rack fast. I want something like this. thumbs up
the bad producer
Indeed!

Thanks, they're from re:synthesis, I think it's called 'sub-surface dyed aluminium' then anodized... Very nice quality IMO - best I've seen for sure!

http://www.bigbluewave.co.uk/resynthesis/index.htm
widdly
They look great. I think 4U is a great size and banana's are the way to go.

Have you read hexinverter's 4U ideas?

http://cv.hexinverter.net/?projects=dotnet-4u-diy-format

It would be cool if all these were compatible.
CLee
GrantB wrote:
AKA "CLee style" thumbs up


HA! applause I love it

It's definitely the best way. Serge full panels are nice, but no reason 4U can't have individual modules. I too can't help changing my mind about what should be next to what.

Really nice work, but why not go 1" divisions, 17" of modules/rack space. I do 1" and 2" boards at right angle to the panel so you don't have to worry about butting them up against each other
Microscopial
Nice. More to spend my money on lol
monstrinho
Looks great! I would definitely be interested in these. I especially like the idea of refitting a Bud box with vector rails. The only drawback I can see is the it would be limited to pcbs that are in Serge format (at least if you wanted to fit them in a Bud box). Hexinverter's dotNET format allows for larger pcbs (but with the disadvantage of being less portable). In any case, I definitely like the idea of individual 4U banana modules. It definitely is easier to concentrate on building one module rather than an entire panel (not to mention less of a financial commitment).
themanthatwasused

THIS COULD NOW BE A POSSIBILITY....

I would echo widdly's sentiment for a standard 4u banana DIY format.

I believe a lot of people would be interested in this individual module proposals, makers and users alike.
It has been known that Hexinverter has been working on one.
I know it is also in the back burner from what I have read that clark68 is also contemplating on the same.

A few points that I think should be worth noting down:

+ Aesthetics
This is important but I think majority will not have a problem with different panel design. But it would be nice if it will all be at least in the same grid and spacing ( serge-like) and in the same finish ala grayscale. In this department we are lucky as we have wealth of people designing panels for modules. And you yourself are one of the aesthetics that has gained a lot of followers here in Muffs.

+Less wiring
This is encouraged as the new euro releases that we have seen, so a small daughter board for popular designs might be a great option to get people like me with minimal skills started. Negativespace and Clark68 did a great job in the ResEQ Euro version with a daughterboard. I guess same could be done on a few modules that we know a lot of people can jump into- DUSG, SSG, ResEQ, 266 SOU, 258 Dual Oscillator, and a lot of the AndrewF NLC panel to name a few.

+Power
Should be standard at least. Should be frac or motm. Bugs has a great and simple technical standard for his system. Hope its ok for me to post it up here:
http://www.bugbrand.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2_7
This is in he's public website.

+Case
One of the most important bit that no one has tackled so far is the case. I love your idea of a bud box fitted with rails and hope that this can be produced in a larger scale.

I believe this is a a great time at the moment as roman is also releasing a lot of buchla clones, I hope andrewf would release a lot more of his designs. I myself is always thrilled when a development like this pops out and I believe that we are close enough I make another format
Muffwiggler 4U banana format!

Edited: to make it much more coherent.
the bad producer
Hi Clee!

I've obviously seen your panels and they probably influenced me somewhat Guinness ftw! , but some of the reasons I went with the 1.0625" 'thing' are: that I think I'd prefer PCB's parallel - most of my backlog is not CGS or Serge style PCB's, and these can be quite large and odd shapes (Haible, Fonik, J3RK, Oakley etc) and to be able to fit them into a bud or shallow rack they need to be parallel; also I was torn between 'Buchla' and 'Serge' aesthetics - as you may see from my blog - 1.0625" is a Buchla panel divided by 4, I kind of like the idea of having the possibility of Buchla style panels and Serge style panels in one synth as the mood/need takes you... I made a reasonably large inkscape doc with just about every DIY PCB I have and worked out that this might suit them best...

I guess I'm just suggesting another constraint!

The other thought was that I don't like making little brackets to hang PCB's off at right angles, this way they are all held with stand-offs, which seems nice n easy to me!

I'd like them to be compatible with Hex's great stuff, but the only difference is the mounting holes (which I placed so you could vector-rail into a budbox)... err, and obviously my HP widths!

But again, I posted this to see what the word 'on the scene' was, to have a discussion really!
nanners
lintfresh
As someone who is just starting to get into Serge/CGS, I think this is a great idea.

I'm actually at the point now, that after about a week of research, I'm just starting to get the lay of the land as far as what's involved in DIY-ing this stuff, and I was just wondering why more single module panels weren't available.

I think for some n00bs, starting with a factory panel might be a bit overwhelming. For me it's not, but I could easily see myself adding single modules after my first big panel is built.

So yeah, I'm super down and will be watching this progress with great interest. SlayerBadger!
the bad producer
monstrinho wrote:
Looks great! I would definitely be interested in these. I especially like the idea of refitting a Bud box with vector rails. The only drawback I can see is the it would be limited to pcbs that are in Serge format (at least if you wanted to fit them in a Bud box). Hexinverter's dotNET format allows for larger pcbs (but with the disadvantage of being less portable). In any case, I definitely like the idea of individual 4U banana modules. It definitely is easier to concentrate on building one module rather than an entire panel (not to mention less of a financial commitment).


Hi monstrinho, it was the 'making of one module' compared to 'whole panel' that I preferred firstly, but i think you can do other than Serge, some of my early protos when thinking about this were a Haible Solina Chorus and String Filter:



And also a Mankato filter, two CGS VCA’s and the CGS Saw Pitch Shifter:



(though you don't want to see the backs!)

The string filter became this proto too:



So, really the format is only really dependent on:

HP increments, mounting hole placement, power supply (I'd go 15V, MOTM headers tbh), would be nice to have a consensus at some point, again the main reason I posted all this, for the discussion!
xpando
as you know, im interested in these and think an individual 4U boat would be a nice addition to any serge/4U system.

i like this concept not only because you can pick and choose modules but also because you wont have to shell out the coin for a full panel all at once. thumbs up

i always liked the individual 4U modules that Dmitri used to make. i think its a good idea.
the bad producer
Makes a lot of sense themanthatwasused, especially re aesthetics - I appreciate that everyone has different ideas about what looks 'nice'...

I was going to do a 'how to put rails in a bud box thread', but my SD card fucked up, so it'll have to wait until I do another one, it's pretty straightforward!


themanthatwasused wrote:
Could echo widdly's sentiment of standard 4u nana DIY format.
I believe a lot of people would be in this individual module, makers and users alike.
Hex has been working on one
I know in the backburner from what I have read that clark68 is also contemplating on the same.

Aesthetics is important but I think majority will not have a problem with different panel design.
Less wiring is encouraged as the new euro releases that we have seen, so a small daughter board for popular designs might be a great option to get people like me with minimal skills started.
Power should be standard at least. Should be frac or motm
One of the okay important bit and no one has tackled so far is the case. I love your idea of a bud box fitted with rails hope that this can be produced in a larger scale.
A great time at the moment as roman is also releasing a lot of buchla clones, I hope andrewf would release a lot more of his designs.
I myself is always thrilled when a development like this pops out and I believe that we are close enough I make another format
Muffwiggler 4U banana format!
the bad producer
xpando wrote:
...i always liked the individual 4U modules that Dmitri used to make. i think its a good idea...


Again, a massive and obvious influence to my thoughts! thumbs up
CJ Miller
Nice work! I too have been making 4U partial panels. Quarters - using Buchla blanks from Djangosfire. 1.0625” multiples makes perfect sense, since it 1+1/16", and 1/16 of a 17" boat. But I'd avoid the metric connotations of referring to it as "hp", just to avoid confusing people/ complicating things by mixing inches and millimeters unnecessarily. This way people coming from Euro won't go on about "aw... 16hp? Can you fit it into 14hp?", etc.

+1 to standoffs, and Vector rails in a Bud box.

It's peanut butter jelly time!
hank
How did you fit the vector rails?
CLee
Don't know why I keep forgetting that Buchla is 4U also. Makes sense dividing the 17" by 16.

Just my personal feeling... but I'd like to see folks get away from copying Serge and Buchla graphics. If it's a Serge or Buchla design that makes sense, but if it's not it would be nice to see something new.

I use Serge panel art for Serge and CGS designs




but my own art for other designs

[/img]
pre55ure
I think this is a great idea and would definitely be interested in going with this.

CLee wrote:


Just my personal feeling... but I'd like to see folks get away from copying Serge and Buchla graphics. If it's a Serge or Buchla design that makes sense, but if it's not it would be nice to see something new.


Not to be contrarian, but my personal feeling is actually just the opposite. Maybe its because after a year and a half of only doing euro diy, I am ready for the consistency offered by CGS/Serge style, but to me this is part of the major appeal of the 4u formats. A nice consistent look, and standardization of panel placement of knobs jacks etc... just really appeals to me after the dizzying array of options available in euro.

My 2c would be to use CGS standards- (15v, standoffs, etc...) as this is what the majority of the available DIY 4u pcbs are already.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
w00t
joshuagoran
CLee and Hex's single panel 4U stuff has had me thinking about starting a 4U row for some of the projects that won't fit easily in Euro and I personally think this is a pretty good first draft of a standard, the main difference being the compatibility with Vector rails...

Anyway, I am not yet sure if I will personally be doing anything outside of the Euro standard, but I like the idea!
CJ Miller
CLee wrote:
Just my personal feeling... but I'd like to see folks get away from copying Serge and Buchla graphics. If it's a Serge or Buchla design that makes sense, but if it's not it would be nice to see something new.


This is something I have been thinking about much more lately. What has held me back has been mostly two factors: 1. utter lack of experience with panel design and graphics software, and 2. wanting a very cohesive look for the systems I am working on now. The first of these I have started to overcome, as I have been building experience. I started trying to learn Illustrator with the goal of reproducing Serge graphics. And then, as I progressed, I had fun playing with adapting other modules to Serge format. So, yes, I suspect my next step is to do some of my own original panel graphics. It is a big step for me, as I get very particular. Three! The third factor has been that since Serge style already exist, I could just buckle down and make them happen. Before, I was waiting to devise designs that I'd like, and I got stuck. I had 100+ PCBs stuffed, but no panels, so there was an an anxiety about whether or not panels and completed modules would ever happen.

This week I did more graphics, and did them in exactly Doepfer style. Because they are going in a box which is about 75% full, all with Doepfer modules. So, of course I like that they look great together.

Then, one night last week, I was trying to relax and bolted off of the couch in a panic. I actually yelled aloud something like "WTF! Where is my own graphical style?".

So, yes, this has been very much on my mind as of late! Still not quite sure what I'm doing about it.
CLee
CJ, those are your paperface graphics I used on the Serge panel (edited a little), and I guess a hacked up prototype with odd sized knobs and label maker stickers wasn't the best example of alternative graphics very frustrating
oldenjon
Hey Bad Producer, I think this is an awesome idea!
the bad producer wrote:

• Are you stuck on the Serge aesthetics/grid?


For serge designs I most definitely am. The serge aesthetic is one that I think has really help up over time. The grid is absolutely essential; modules have been designed to take advantage of it. If you try and rearrange or spread out the panels you may lose some of the practicality / logic behind each layout (signal flow, etc.).
Not to mention the PCBs available from Ken Stone are designed with the original panels in mind, so there is a possibility of deficient/wasted space.
I'm not sure you were referring to Serge designs when you asked about the grid though....

Anybody else's designs are fair game though. I say just do whatever makes sense / works best. I've often found it difficult trying to accommodate 5U circuits with a Serge "grid" panel for example. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing some 4U designs that are off the grid thumbs up

Quote:

• Do you like swooshes, Eras, Blue?


I actually prefer the Futura Serge panels, looks cleaner and classier in my opinion. I can do without the swooshes though, and actually quite like the pictures you put up with the swooshes left out. I think Nordlead has found a really great balance with his panels that seems to take a little from early Serge (pre-swoosh) and modern Serge (borders) design. I also think the larger font size is a nice touch.

If you decide to go forward with this, there is one suggestion I would make. This is a concern that I had when I considered making single panels, and I'm not sure if it can easily/cheaply be done. I'd love it if the screw holes could be tapered so that the appropriate screws will be flush with the surface of the panel when mounted. That would really help to keep the panel looking clean and uncluttered.
Reese P. Dubin
These look really nice. But I will go ahead and be the heretic, down from his cabin up the mountain saying its never too late to not get hung up on graphics...



I also find it a shame to go and make them look so nice and put big honking 4/40 screws right thru the graphics or text.

Regardless, this is long overdue and I hope it works out great.
J3RK
Very nice! I love this idea. How thick are the panels in the pics? I would be happy to shift some PCBs into a 6" tall format as I've had a few people asking for this for a few designs, and I already use the same distance for my mounting holes from the edges as CGS, just have to squeeze them into the same shapes. Let me know if you're interested. I have some already, but I'm working on more.
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