Foxfield Instruments - some things I made

There’s been a string of slightly cryptic photos of work in progress in the Pictures thread and now they’ve turned into a thing:

Foxfield Instruments is a little imprint of mine making music instruments and tools. I launched with a set of DIY 1U tiles:

From left to right: a dual gate-to-trigger (left input normalised to right); a 1U clock source with three ‘ranges’ that does 0.1hz up to 500hz; a ‘utility LFO’ that spits out tri/square bipolar waves; an attenuverter normalised to 5V. All surface-mount, all Pulp/Erthenvar size (sorry, Intellijel 1U folks), and all tile-tail power connectors. (I also have a tile-tail adaptor board).

If you’re afraid of SMD, you shouldn’t be: these are all designed for human assembly with soldering irons and tweezers and use big 1206 parts. I made a film about making the LFO to demonstrate that you can build these even with shaky hands:

The kits are available now from Thonk in the UK.

I’ll be at Brighton Modular Meet on 2 July in the UK with these in a case, along with a variety of new prototypes to show. There are two 3U modules in the works - one, a useful set of utilities designed as a first surface-mount kit; the other, a kind of cousin to Monome’s Walk - and 3/4 new 1U prototypes. My 1U stuff tends to try to do a tiny bit more than some of what’s available, all whilst fitting into 6HP.

This is a slow journey: two years ago, I’d never designed a circuit board. I’ve learned from the experience of others, friends, people on forums like this, and the open source community; special shouts to Olivier Gillet (whose Shruthi-1 was the beginning of my dive into SDIY) and Tom Whitwell (whose open-source files and libraries have been invaluable). The designs were mainly done in January, but turning them into useful kits has taken time and lots of learning smiles. Foxfield is a part/spare-time endeavour - it fits around my other work and is ‘bursty’ in the way it takes attention - but it’s definitely meant to continue. Hence why I think of it more as an ‘imprint’ or ‘label’ than an industry, at the moment.

Very small beginnings, then, but: onwards.

(I hope it’s OK to share this here; people have been following along and enthusiastic)


Wow thats awesome! Congratulations!

Gonna pick up the whole set as they are exactly what my 1u selection is missing! Especially looking forward to the gearbox!

These look like fantastic little utility modules. I look forward to building em all.

Also, congrats on reaching this huge milestone in your journey!

Well done! I hope your ambition for creative 1U tiles is as expansive as your products are handsome.

Just wanted to say a big CONGRATS here. It takes a lot of energy and effort to put something like this together. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

I’m really looking forward to building mine and finally putting some 1U modules into my system. They look quite thoughtful and cleanly put together. Might order up a second set!! :slight_smile:

Also, that SMD video is killer. It is such a wonderful tool to help through-hole DIY folks gain confidence in SMD. That must have taken quite some time to put together; I’m sure people will appreciate it.

Not sure if I’m going to get to building the modules before a bit of travel - but I’ll let you know once I’ve got them humming!