Cereal Instruments 'mesh' - DIY Build
Tailgating off the last build, we take on the Cereal Instruments ‘mesh’ module. Another passive module in the Cereal Instruments lineup, the ‘mesh’ is actually 6 attenuators. ‘Mesh’ allows you to passively, mix, mult and attenuate in a small 8hp size.
Now, this might seem like overkill on attenuators, but think back about the last time you actually needed one and you didn’t have one. This is a utility module with purpose, much like the other modules produced by our newcomer friends at CI.
Another cool thing about the Cereal Instruments ‘mesh’ is that each of the rows set of 3 inputs are normalized together so that they can actually act as an attenuative passive mult. Read that again, that is cool. Let’s not stop there though. The columns on the ‘mesh’ have their top outputs normalized to the bottom, allowing you to mix the top and the bottom rows when nothing is plugged into the top. With this being said, you now may be wondering what exactly an attenuator does.
An attenuator is an electronic device that reduces the power of a signal without appreciably distorting its waveform (according to wikipedia). What this means is that an attenuator is effectively the opposite of an amplifier, in that while the amplifier provides gain, an attenuator provides loss or gain less than 1.
In other words, an attenuator is a control that can reduce the strength of a signal or voltage going through it (learningmodular.com). Now, thinking about what this means, the ‘mesh’ automatically becomes an important module to your gear. Ok, enough of the tech talk, let us get onto the build.
'mesh' - Time Lapse Build
The Kit ... and The Build...
The ‘mesh’ DIY kit consisted of 6 potentiometers, 6 resistors and 12 jacks. Nuts and knobs are also included of course which makes this kit a pretty simple build. Novice builders would not have a problem with this modular DIY build. Cereal Instruments also provided a quick start guide along with their build doc. We have scanned it and included it below in the quick links. Make sure to check it out if you need to.
As for the build, start off by soldering the resistors to the PCB. We put ours in at a 45 degree angle as you can see in the photos due to the holes being pretty close. It doesn’t hurt anything and plus you can quickly tack them down from the top side of the PCB to hold them in place. After the resistors, populate the potentiometers and jacks.
The pots fit snuggly as they have arms that grip the PCB, whereas the jacks kinda wobble. This can easily be fixed by taking each row of the jacks one by one and soldering the ground pins down on one row prior to moving to the next. This not only keeps the jacks in place, it allows some wiggle room for the panel placement.
'mesh' Build Gallery
The Cereal Instruments ‘swerve’ module has great asthetics. The matte black panel with its white silkscreen and bright orange knob really make it stand out amongst other modules. We also got a kick out of the little SUV on the front of the panel and the quote on the PCB by the one and only Clive Barker… “and this storey, having no beginning, will have no end“. One thing is for sure, along with its cereal bowl logo, these little things really give the module character.
Next up is the panel. Carefully line everything up and place the potentiometer nuts and the jack nuts in place to hold everything in place. Now that you have these tightened down, flip the module over and solder the rest of the jacks and pots. Once you finish this part, you only have one more thing to do and that is to attach the rad orange knobs that came packaged with the kit. Now, a lot of times, we swap out the knobs that come with kits; in this case we did not. The orange knobs against the matte black panel really make it stand out in the rack. It’s like a Halloween look to the module, (which is our favorite holiday btw).
The white PCB has another quote on it like the ‘swerve’ did. It states “Man, when you lose your laughter, you lose your footing” a quote from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey (1962). These little things really make the Cereal Instruments stand out. Simply put, it’s time spent making things unique.
Our Final Thoughts . . .
While we haven’t had a lot of time with our ‘mesh’ module, we can say that we look forward to really putting it through its paces. There is just so many things you can do with it and being that it is passive, it is not going to strain anything in our case. In fact, it will do nothing but enhance our music… period. Who wouldn’t want to buy one of these considering that we all use mults, we all need to attenuate and not to mention mixing signals. Make sure and check out Cereal Instruments YouTube page and you can see some uses and patch examples. These are only a few things you can do with this 8HP module, so just experiment and see what becomes of your patching.
Partnered with the ‘swerve’, Store-O-Rack and our soon to be complete ‘thump’ module, the ‘mesh’ is a module that pretty much everyone needs in their systems. The black and orange color scheme that Cereal Instruments uses also adds some cool aesthetics to their family of modules. Head on over to their reverb page and pick one up, you won’t be disappointed, trust us.
Oh and one other thing...
Cereal Instruments is located in the UK, so after we ordered the module up on Reverb we were expecting it to take its time getting to the US. This was not the case with any of the modules from Cereal Instruments. You might pay a tad more in shipping getting things from the UK, (unless you live there of course), but your module will be at your doorstep within a week or so. It was so fast and we really appreciated it. (Just a little FYI).