“Rack space is expensive”

I was reading posts in a Facebook group dedicated to Eurorack synths the other evening, when I came across a conversation about whether people tend to just keep every module they buy or periodically “clean house” and swap things out. The argument for only keeping what you really like and need was that “rack space is expensive”, so you tend to cycle stuff through your rack and stick with the faves.

Which led me to the thought… hell yes, rack space is expensive (even when you DIY it).

A more important question might be: why, and does it have to be?

Take our test rack as an example: it’s about as simple as it can be, a pair branded 84HP rails and desktop ears, a DIY power supply and a DIY bus-board. It’s incredibly untidy and (to be honest) a pain in the arse to work with – and even that’s coming out at over £100, probably approaching £1.50 per HP.

So, a new mission for MakeSynthsNotWar – we’re gonna try our damnedest to make an 84HP, open-back, desktop rack, with an integrated and a properly-tied-down power supply and an expandable bus, all for £1 per HP.

Why? Because rack space is expensive and we’re idiots and we love a challenge, that’s why.

Oh, and how about this for an idea – we’re going to design it so that you can take it to bits and mount it into a “proper” case when you’re ready, with minimum fuss. Or you can just buy the bits and kit a case out with them. DIY FTW!



StringTheory ships tomorrow!

Our poly string-synth eurorack module, StringTheory, will be available to purchase through our Etsy shop from noon (UK time) on Saturday 14th April 2018.

Initial stock is limited, and we’ll be honest – we’d completely underestimated the level of interest that this module would generate. We’re expecting the first batch to sell out very quickly – so we’ve already ordered component stock for more. If you don’t grab one of the first ones don’t fret – there’re plenty more on the way.

Fully-assembled modules will be on a 1-2 week lead time (we’re not going to rush builds and everything is going to be properly tested before shipping).

New products for April

Here’s what we’re cooking up for release this month:

ThirdRail: For those of you with just +/-12V in your modular, we’re releasing a 5V supply, to the same form factor (and with the same modular edge connectors) as the MiniBus power bus.

ThruBox: We’re re-stocking this very popular build right now (the first production run sold out in under 2 weeks!)

StringTheory: The “Revision A” boards have arrived and the first prototype will be assembled, tested and recorded this week. In this revision to the original prototype, we’ve improved the output RC filter and added a “gate-to-bus” feature; we want it to be as good as it can be before we release it. Not long now! StringTheory will be available as

  • PCB & panel
  • PCB, panel & pre-programmed ATMega chip
  • Full kit

MidiIn: Dead simple, dead useful, 2 components. A 5-pin DIN MIDI socket with a pin header on the back; use this to add a “big” MIDI socket to your StringTheory module, or to receive MIDI into an embedded ThruBox via your Eurorack’s front panel. Available as

  • PCB & panel
  • Full kit

MidiAccess: The daddy of Eurorack MIDI distro. One full-size DIN MIDI IN, 2 x THRU and, on the back, 3 sets of pin headers for sending MIDI behind the scenes to other modules (StringTheory, for example). And you can daisy-chain them for even mo’ MIDI. This module sets you up to interface with lots of future developments that we have planned! Available as

  • PCB & panel
  • Full kit

Bundles: There’ll be cost-saving bundle options for adding a MidiIn or MidiAccess to any StringTheory order.

All of the above should be in store around the middle of the month – we’ve just got a lot of building, photography and document-writing to do first!

Towards the end of the month, we’ll be releasing StringTheory Synth, a stand-alone version of StringTheory which will run from a 9 to 12V DC supply, with DIN-format MIDI In and MIDI Thru. StringTheory for everyone! We’ve designed this to exactly the same form-factor as the ThruBox – that is, you can drop it into a Hammond stompbox for road-ready toughness.

Phew – busy times!