I’d like to have a module built. Where to start?

Hi all! :slight_smile:

I’ve got an idea for at least one eurorack module and I’ve drawn it out and thought about the features as best I could and think I’ve landed on a version I’d like to try. The issue is that I’m a music producer and don’t know a thing about electrical engineering or sourcing pieces.

Does anyone have any tips or insight on what to do from here? I think the majority of the module would be analog but I’m open to it being all digital if it’s significantly easier for the testing phase.

Thanks in advance for any info or guidance!

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Cool! If going the analog route, I would recommend to get a solderless breadboard and start researching the functional blocks you need to get the functions you want. Then order some parts to begin experimenting.

If you think digital is easier to start with, you could prototype something in max or pd, supercollider etc.

Getting a proof of concept down is a big first step and will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t.

Good luck!

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You could consider making it first for VCV Rack - much cheaper entry point!

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Or you could look at the Daisy Patch

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Depending on your skillset your options (as I see it) are:

  1. Model it in eg matlab to see if it really is a good idea
  2. Prototype it in higher level abstract ways eg vcvrack, Max, pd, etc
  3. If you want to go analog then start reading about it eg The Art of Electronics, Small Signal Audio Design, etc. Also start looking at open source designs eg TiNRS, Mutable Instruments, etc to see how they have been implemented for eurorack. Learn design software and pcb layout techniques and art.
    3a. Model it in eg LTspice, breadboard if you like, prototype it.
  4. If you want to go digital, learn the analog stuff above then start looking at embedded/real-time systems eg STM32 programming and interfacing.
  5. Collaborate and persuade someone to build it for you (very very unlikely as most people who can design their own modules have loads and loads of their own ideas).
  6. Pay someone - very very expensive

(EDIT: my usual route for analog is to model the functional blocks, sometimes even the whole module, in LTspice; then go straight to a funtional module with panel - ie lay out a SMT pcb and panel design in eagle. Sometimes I build it and sometimes I get a pcba build. If it’s digital I’ll usually start in matlab then go to an stm32 dev board, then a pcb)

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You also might be able to do a lot of learning on your own, and also pay someone for their time to do a couple design reviews along the way. Less expensive than paying someone to do all the work, and easier than completely going at it alone.

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Just wanted to add - you dont have to be working as an electrical engineer etc - anyone can do this ! There are loads of good ways to learn. Audio is only a pretty small subset of the EE space. Also pcbs for audio are far more tolerant of imperfect design in the audio realm than many other applications. The embedded (digital) side is pretty specialised for audio/eurorack and so is maybe a less steep learning curve.

EDIT: One obvious suggestion! Share your idea here and get some free feedback (possibly!) Eurorack is so diverse now, with so many manufacturers, diy projects, small startups etc that new ideas that could make money are pretty rare. With the best will in the world, if you lack the skills to design the electronics it’s unlikely you can make money from your idea so the best way to get it realised may be to enthuse a community of people…. dunno, just a suggestion! (I wasnt sure from your post if you wanted a working module for yourself or if this was a business idea!)

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It’s difficult, without a background in engineering, to estimate the complexity of turning a design into reality. Moreover people often both tremendously under and over estimate the difficulty. I’d find someone you know/trust (or possibly even just in this thread) and share what the modules are have to do. They will be able to give you a feel for the complexity of the design and how you might implement a working prototype (be it software or hardware). Once you have a handle on the scope of the work you can figure out how to proceed.

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I say dive in, as a preveous contributer said find breadboard friendly simple analogue circuits and try to build them.
If you google “look mum no computer” His website shows you how to make filters and a 1vOCT curtis synths on veroboard all the material is free from there.

I built a nice sounding analogue synth from their drawings and made it my own.

Now i’m tinkering with Digital Synths, and have just produced this little desktop midi synth.

Not saying any of that happened overnight. And ive broken chips, transistors, capacitors along the way.

And the YM2149F TRS MIDI synth wouldn’t have happend without @Obakegaku who helped and guided me. So collaboration is super important, or maybe if your just me… Ha! :sweat_smile:

Have a go!


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This synth kit popped up in my feed today. It’s digital but you can add analog components and it can be made Eurorack compatible. They’re launching an online course to go with it.

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Wow thank you all so much for these great responses. I’m going to try to make it and I’ll keep you all updated as I make progress. It’s mainly noise circuits and a filter with two different slopes so it shouldn’t be tooo crazy. Thank you ! :slight_smile: hope you all have a great day

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MI Kinks has a nice noise circuit you could copy (I have !). You could build a simple voltage controlled filter with different slopes in lots of different ways using eg 2164s or as3320, ssi2144 etc (I’ve used all three at different times). If you want multimode then I’d probably go with the 2164 (really easy to do multi-pole/multimode filters - there’s a great paper on pole mixing by Emilie Gillet on the MI site. You could adapt MI Ripples open source files or many other open source and published schematics…)
For the 2164 the SSI app note (AN701) for use as a filter (also includes pole-mixing) is also excellent reading…
If you decide to model it, then you can find LTSpice models of the 2164 online…

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If you are comfortable with programming, I’d recommend the Daisy Patch Submodule.

It features all of the typical signal conditioning for Eurorack so you can skip the circuit design and jump straight into implementing your module’s functionality.

The Simple Platform as mentioned above also seems like a great entry point.

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Welcome to lines, Andrew!

So psyched you’re here :+1:

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I started building the Erica Synths mki x es.EDU line of modules to achieve similar goals. I have only built the VCO so far, but if it is any indication, I have to say the manuals walking you through the design are excellent. There are a couple things here and there that could use clarification, but overall I’m finding they explain the circuits pretty well.

They’re also very affordable.

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i’m also building those edu kits and also recommend them as a good place to start, documentation/explanation is beyond excellent and fully live up to the “education” category