4U Modular Formats - Looking for build advice

Hi All,

I’m considering a DIY project for a specific case that I have. I already have multiple euro cases/systems that I really need to consolidate and clean up but that is a different story. I stumbled on an old, non-functioning space heater that happens to be almost exactly 18" across and 7" high - perfect for a 4U 84hp project.

My question: which of the 4U formats could I realistically build a complete-ish system in this limited space? I’m strongly considering a DIY Buchla 208 build as I’ve always wanted an Easel. However, I am intrigued by the RandomSource projects as well and already have the VCFQ for my euro system. I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to making this a 3U + 1U euro case full of RS modules. What say you, Lines?

Disclaimer - I don’t DIY much but have owned both Buchla and Serge over the years.

I think either could make an interesting system in that size case especially if you made your own design faceplate(s) and packed the PCBs in there a bit!

Do you want to interface it with your Euro system? If so Serge might be easier as it is readily available (I think) with 3.5mm jacks. Buchla - you’d have to build a converter box/panel for the bananas. Also keep in mind that Buchla CV is positive only which again makes interfacing a bit harder. Buchla can also be a bit fussy about triggers as well.

Your starting point should maybe be whether you are drawn towards the Serge or Buchla patching style, philosophy and sound. They’re pretty different. The separation of CV and audio in Buchla certainly makes patching quite different to the everything (easily) goes everywhere patching of Serge. Do you want building block type modules or more complex multi-featured ones? Do you want LPGs?

Not sure if that’s much help!

This is an excellent question. I know very little in practice about each format. I have a Shared System which borrows heavily from the Buchla philosophy but I like the esoteric nature of the Serge stuff even though I don’t understand all of it immediately.

I’m generally in favor of complete systems versus a la carte - I think prioritizing a complete “voice” ensures that I keep my bases covered as far as utilities and basic plumbing go and tend to get less distracted. I think this is why I’m drawn so much to the Easel concept. That being said, I already have a modest start on a euro-Serge system so maybe that’s the path of least resistance. The R*S panels are so large that I get concerned about fitting it all in 84hp.