2021/01/26 at 21:51 #1878Johan von KonowKeymaster
I have sketched on affordable (less than $20) modular Eurorack devices that anyone can 3D print and build at home (like the LEET devices). Instead of using discreet components, I plan to use a powerful digital microcontroller and high-resolution DACs (24bit I2S). This makes the modules flexible, upgradable and reduces the component count and cost. By using “off the shelve” modules and a 3D printed core, different devices are created like building with LEGO blocks.
Using this approach comes with pros and cons, compared to traditional modules:
- Less professional look – the 3D-printed devices will not look as solid and precise as the metal/ PCB versions typical for Eurorack modules (although custom front plates can of course be added).
- Digital modules – I’m sure people will argue that a true analog system sounds better, no matter choice of algorithm, resolution and sample frequency.
- Limited input and output range – without additional circuits, the voltage range will be 0-5V (unipolar). This will reduce the dynamic range (when 1V/ octave is used) and makes it less compatible with other modules (but it is possible to build simple converters to scale voltage, handle bipolar signals etc.)
- Significantly lower cost – An LFO would probably cost around $15 with a graphical OLED. Since you need lots of modules, this will save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a typical setup.
- Easier to assemble – Connecting modules with 2.54mm/ 0.1” pitch is easier than soldering tiny SMD components on a PCB.
- Upgradable – since everything is controlled by software; new features, UI, or even synthesis can be altered by upgrading the firmware.
- Customizable – everything will be open source and can/ should be hacked. If you don’t like the position of the knobs – modify the 3D model and print a new case.
- Expandable – By using low-cost standardized building blocks, it is easy to expand the system. Need another VCO, VCA, MIDI converter, delay, or want to try a new filter? – Just print, assemble & play ;)
My first question is if there is any interest for devices like this, or if it is too ‘niche’?
My second question is if someone is interested in assisting with FW development? (because it would take me forever to develop this myself)
2021/04/14 at 00:02 #1887mushParticipant
I think it‘s a cool idea and a cheap way to start a own eurorack.
2021/04/18 at 09:09 #1897Johan von KonowKeymaster
I have continued to experiment with this and it looks quite prommising. After feedback from other users I plan to support +-10V levels to work with existing modules.
2021/04/26 at 23:21 #1900AzoundParticipant
This project sounds very interesting to me. I’m still working on setting up my first LEET Keyboard, but would be very interested in a modular system that could skip the laptop DAW.
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