Prototyping Nearness, a minimal panning mixer module


Just built one of these and now I think I need another. @bmoren (or anyone else) — any suggestions on a PCB manufacturer for the pcb panels?


I used for the original run of black panels, but I highly do not recommend them. The quality is fine, but it takes about 1 month longer than they advertise.

If you don’t mind purple solder mask, is the best fab I’ve ever used for speed cost and quality.

For the attenuated version I’m testing out I’ve seen some boards from there and they are high quality (and you get 10-12 for about the same price as oshpark’s 3) This takes a bit longer than osh park, but is cheaper. I’m told to just be sure to use the DHL shipping otherwise it’ll get stuck on a boat for a month. Oh, and you can choose a bunch of options too like solder mask color, ENIG vs HASL, you can even order aluminum boards from them, which is an interesting prospect for a panel.


Great information, thanks so much!


I feel slightly dumb asking this, but for the attenuation jumpers on the back — should all 3 pins have a jumper on them? 2 pins? Which pins?


If the jumper is placed across the two pins marked -6dB, the mix will be attenuated. Otherwise, including if the jumper is removed entirely, the mix is not attenuated. The third pin is a dummy, not connected to anything, and just there to provide a place to “park” the jumper to avoid losing it.


Awesome, thanks for the clarification!
This module is super fun.


Just curious if any more technically minded people have a good idea of resistor values for changing the spacing of the pan positions? I’d like to build a second one with slightly different positions to combine with a first nearness (and a switch)(or two).


Just added a new rack and built a noisy patch around Nearness (via @bmoren) to test things out.

Patch notes: 6x6x6x6; a quick noisy patch to test out a new rack. 6 channels of Tempi into 6 channels of Just Friends (envelopes) into 6 channels of Stages (audio-rate LFO’s) panned by 6 channels of Nearness. Triple Sloth scrubbing JF’s frequency, Clouds’ Pos, and Tempi’s state. Processed lightly through Clouds, El Cap, and Blue Sky.


any idea when the 2hp one might be available to purchase again? :blush:


Again? Did I miss it or something?


Oh, sorry I’m not totally caught up with the situation - saw they were “sold out” on the website but maybe that just means they have yet to be made available.


Looks like it’s still ‘express interest’ on the info page, so if you haven’t done that already, definitely go express interest. :grinning:


just got home from my trip and the attenuated PCB’s are back from the fab. Looking forward to soldering these up this week! They look good, except i forgot to heed the warning about dirty pcbs adding a order # to the silk and the only silk on the panel was on the front! I guess maybe this version of the module is called the *52800* now :man_shrugging:


Beautiful panel! Those triangles are a really nice touch – really helps strengthen the attenuator/input association :+1:


This thing works wonderfully! The only issue is that (as I do on every design :man_facepalming: ) I got the direction of the turn on the pots backwards. Right is quiet, left is loud. I’ll be making a rev2 of the pot/jack board before releasing the designs, but everything else is working great!

The new backpack I designed is much easier to solder and is 100% compatible and interchangeable with the original backpack. This means 2 things:

  1. If you want to switch your existing/original nearness to an attenuated version, you don’t need to re-do the backpack part, just solder up the jack/attenuator PCB, grab a new panel, pop on the original backpack and you’re good to go!
  2. If you want an easier to solder original nearness and are scared to try the 0603, you could use this backpack PCB with all 0805 components with extra large, hand solder specific, pads!

oh, right and here is the modular grid page:


…hmmm… picking up the jack/attenuator PCB is tempting.

Nice work! :+1:


So upon further inspection of the schematic / pcb layout. It turns out that my schematic had the pot pins correct, but my footprint was reversed. Should be an easy fix. Hopefully have rev2 on order by the end of the weekend.

I guess that’s what happens when you do PCB layout on vacation!



Rev 2 of the pot/jack board is in! Hopefully get it tested before the weekend.
I’m going to have some left over PCB packs available if anyone is interested.


REV2 All soldered up! Looking forward to testing when I get home from the studio tonight.

[update] Everything works great!

There’s a chance I’ll have 1 complete module FS soon. In addition I’ve got 6x Panel/PCB sets available, check my FS listing for details.


Attenuated Nearness files are now live on github! The BOM is there if you got / want to get a PCB set from me :slight_smile:

The Travelling Rack Project