Prototyping Nearness, a minimal panning mixer module


No need to worry, the passive components can all be replaced by compatible ones. I’ll add some notes about that to the README file in the repo later tonight.



Life keeps happening. I’ll just chuck those notes here real quick.

There’s nothing special about the passive components in the BOM. If they’re out of stock, just substitute compatible ones. Here’s what you need to look for:


  • same package (e.g. 0805)


  • same resistance, with the same or lower tolerance
  • same or higher power rating
  • same type (e.g. thin film)


  • same capacitance, with the same or lower tolerance
  • same or higher voltage rating
  • same temperature coefficient (e.g. C0G/NP0)

The diodes are only there for protection, and could theoretically be replaced by wire and a commitment to never, never, never plug the module in the wrong way. But let’s not. Instead:

  • same type (Schottky)
  • same or higher maximum DC reverse voltage
  • same or higher maximum forward current
  • B140HW-7 should work fine

Hope that helps.


this had passed me by but is an amazing concept :slight_smile: modules with no controls really appeal to me at the moment for some reason.


I just got one of these (Nearness built by Takaab in Thailand). I only got it because the store page explicitly mentions whose design it is and that you can build it yourself, with a link to the repository.

I was planning on getting a 2HP Txn version by @bpcmusic (I already got the excellent Txo and Txi from him) but I live in Japan and international shipping would have made this a quite expensive small module. The Takaab version is the original in 3HP and uses a black PCB panel instead of aluminum so all in all it’s probably cheaper to produce and considering shipping (cheap from Thailand to Japan) it ended up being maybe 40% of what the Txn would have cost me and I’m trying to really limit music gear expenses (small babies have a higher priority :wink: ).

Anyway, it’s well built and solid, packaging is good and includes everything you can need for it (including screws and two small plastic things that I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to use). The panel is black with just two white circles around the outputs, which fits the mininal design of the module. The holes are circular (unlike the Erica Synths 3HP modules which are longer), so you might need to slightly adjust adjacent modules to make it fit exactly if you have fixed rails but that’s normal.

The module works perfectly, and Nearness is really as nice in practice as it seems when you read about it. Very elegant design, very useful and probably a welcome addition in almost any system.

I’m just testing it now using droning oscillators tuned to beat against each other with the nearness outputs going into one of the stereo inputs of my Bastl Ciao (main output module), with a heavily self modulated Just Friends stereo’d through a Pico DSP’s granular delay in the other stereo output and it really gives a nice sense of space to the (not very subtle) patch.

I’m looking forward to also using it as a fixed FX send module, using one output for dry signal the other through some effects…


I made a 1U panel for my Attenuated Nearness. It fits snugly between the 1U rails. The only problem is that the markers on the pots were also rotated 90 degrees, so it’s hard to tell where they are set at a glance. I’ll probably put caps on them to fix that.

I’d like to plumb the stereo out of this into the input header behind my Praga, but that is a project for another day…



What are my options to purchase an assembled Nearness of some variety? (Located in North America?)


You could get this one from Thailand:

or wait for:

Occasionally you can find one on ModularGrid …


Is this based on the same schematic from my Attenauted nearness? If so, can you post a link here to the open source files? It looks great!


fyi: I’ll be publishing my schematics and build tools for the 2hp version when I’m done with the massive build i’m at the end of and open up my store. I’ll post the details here.


finally got my panel in from FPE, big ups to @joshhh for the panel template. the bronze idea intrigued me, so i ended going with a variation on a theme with the gold nuts for the outputs to save a little $

such a rad little idea, more ups to @billyhologram, @bmoren and any others involved along the way to get this to fruition.


Quick question: where did you buy the gold nuts?


i just cannibalized them some some stereo switcher thingers i had laying about


Ahhhhhh I’m lookin’ for them and can’t seem to find any for sale…


That looks so sleek. Love it. The gold nuts are perfect!


Something beautiful in the mail.


Hi there. A quick note that I’ll be opening up my store on Monday at 2 PM PST with a bunch of 2HP Nearness (TXn) for sale. Full details are here:


So top/bottom is output. is that corresponding to L/R in stereo? The middle inputs will be ‘centered’ and the closer you get to the outputs they are panned more to that direction I’m guessing.

“The closer you are to an output, the louder your signal will be there (and the quieter it will be in the corresponding output).”

So this means the middle will be the loudest and the more you pan to L/R it gets quieter? Have a ratio for this?

This seems like an amazing module! Just bought it. :smiley:


You got it!

The pan law closely approximates constant-power, so if you’re monitoring the two outputs in stereo, all inputs should sound about as loud (electronic, acoustic and psychoacoustic caveats apply).

As for the spacing, I’ve been meaning to write about this, but in brief: imagine seven speakers arranged in a semicircle in front of you, 22.5 degrees apart. Nearness is a simple model of that.


Been reading through the whole thread in an attempt to figure out if the module is — in its latest incarnation — DC or AC coupled (personally would prefer the latter, since Mangroves tend to have a decent offset …). I assume it is now DC coupled?

@bpcmusic How did you implement it in your version?

Many thanks for all the great work and informative insights further up this thread, @billyhologram! :slight_smile: