Year: 2019

BEFACO KICKALL Eurorack Module – DIY Build

BEFACO KICKALL Eurorack Module - DIY Build

Befaco Kickall Packaging

As we head into the summer months here at fiN Studios, we take on our second build of the month … the Befaco KICKALL Eurorack Module. 

The KICKALL is a 6HP compact synth voice that features damn near everything you need to make a big fat KICK sound. This module is a powerhouse. It contains a VCO that tracks voltage per octave, an aggressive wave shaper and has the ability to use CV to control envelopes and pitch.

CV is controllable from Sine to Square wave shaping and the envelope decay for the main VCA is also CV controlled. So, what does this mean?  It’s a badass kick drum synth! 

What about that design?

Before we get into the logistics of the build, we want to take a moment to appreciate the Befaco KICKALL dual PCB layout. As a pretty complex and time consuming build, the two PCBs, once joined are a tight fit.  One would question how they did this so well, but designers uncanny knack to make each piece integrate with the other is amazing. You have to take a step back and appreciate its ingenuity and design.

This can also make for a difficult time for the novice DIYer. You have to be precise with your soldering points. Even as a more experienced builder, we took the time to finesse the module PCBs together.  The main thing here is that you want to make sure that you have no high tips in your solder points as they can short the boards or cause unwanted issues.  With all that being said, let’s get onto the build…


Noise Filtering Power Distribution Board by Synthrotek

Noise Filtering Power Distribution Board - DIY Kit

Instagram Photo - SR Noise Filtering Power Distribution Board Kit

At the core of all our modular racks is power. As with any eurorack module, the most common type of connector is the ribbon cable either with a 10-pin connector or a 16-pin connector. What those connectors plug into is either a busboard on a PCB or a flying bus cable. We will be taking on the Synthrotek Noise Filtering Power Distribution Board for our first June build.

We have a large custom Eurorack case that we need to fill with modules and we needed noise filtering distribution boards to ensure we have the best power/noise filtering available… Synthrotek answered the call!

We opted for this board because it has power on all three rails (-12, +12, +5) and contains an LED for each rail so that we know the power is flowing like it should. The cool thing about this distro board is that it also has its own ground connection on each rail. It can be used in conjunction with the Synthrotek Power Supply System or it can be used with various other power supplies.

On to the build, time lapse and galleries…


Synthrotek Eurorack Nandamonium MK2 Build

Synthrotek Nandamonium MK2 Euroack Module - DIY Build

For our most recent build, we take on the 2019 Synthrotek Eurorack Nandamonium MK2. It is described as a module with low pulsing drones enhanced by high-pitched laser sounds and dive bombs. It contains 6 square oscillators with a delay. Originally released as a desktop synth, Synthrotek has brought the Nandamonium back in 2019 and made it available to Eurorack owners worldwide. It is available preassembled, as a DIY Kit or a Panel/PCB combo.

At a whopping 38HP, this dual 4093 NAND synth is a beast and the sounds that you can get out of it will bring a unique and edgy sound to your modular rack. Desktop synth users, don’t fret.  Synthrotek has you covered.  They also produce a desktop module, complete in 3 forms (Assembled, DIY Kit and Panel/PCB combo) Let’s get onto the build …

Nandamonium - Completed Module
The Synthrotek Nandamonium MK2 - 2019 Eurorack Module - 6 drone oscillating madness!

Nonlinear Circuits Bong0 Module – DIY Build

NLC Bong0 Module - DIY Build

As our summer kicks off,  we take on a new build … the Nonlinear Circuits Bong0 Module.  We decided to take a break from the hole-through components and try out our soldering skills with SMD components. Surface Mount Devices or SMD are different from your basic hole-through builds in that the components are mounted as stated … on the surface of the PCB board.  The actual terminology for this is known as SMT or Surface Mount Technology.  

So what’s the big difference between hole-through vs surface mount components?  Usually the size of the component.  SMD components are small… some of them are VERY small. One’s choices in tool selection is also different as well.  You can use solder paste and hot air guns or you can use small gauge solder and your trusty iron if you choose to.  For the NLC Bong0, we chose small gauge solder and good ol iron sides. 

Ok … enough of the technical jargon, let’s get onto the NLC Bong0 and the build/review itself!


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