Neutral Labs PIP - DIY Build

Neutral Labs PIP is two morph-able CV generators/complex LFOs in 8 HP that can be synced to each other in predefined ratios, unsynced or phase-shifted between each other. The module also allows you to record, morph and time-stretch your own external CV or knob movements. Like the NIJEL, PIP is an easy kit to build: It comes with most of the components pre-soldered. You will only have to solder pots, LEDs, buttons, as well as some jacks and sockets, so there is very little room for error with this build. Let’s get on with it … 

To start off, you will want to place the IC socket as well as the power header. You can place these parts and then flip the board over to tack down one pin. Adjust and reheat if needed. Once you have these in place, solder the rest of the pins into place. After completing this, mount the 4 switches on the front of the PCB. Do not solder them yet though. 

PIP - Completed Front

Jacks and Pots

Snip the anti-rotation tips off the pots and place them according to the PCB. You can place one line of jacks, solder the ground pin and then move onto the next line of jacks. This helps keep things in place as you maneuver the board and continue to build the front. Do not solder anything other than the ground pins on the jacks at this point. Next up are the LEDs.


Now insert the LEDs in their holes without soldering them. D1 and D4 are the milky LEDs with longer legs. D2 is a clear white LED with shorter legs. D3 is an orange LED identifiable by, you may have guessed it, its orange color. The long legs of the LEDs go on the side marked on the PCB with a “+”! 

Now put the LED holder over the LEDs as shown. The wide cut in the holes should be facing up, towards you. The holder is there to keep the LEDs in position and minimize light bleed from each LED to neighboring light ports on the front panel. 

Lastly, Add the button caps as shown: Gray on SW1 and SW4, white on SW2 and red on SW3. Press down on them firmly until they stay in place by themselves. Make sure they point up perpendicular to the PCB

Neutral Labs PIP - Time Lapse Build

Play Video

Front Panel Placement

Now attach the front panel using the nuts for RV1, RV2 as well as the ones for J1 to J8. Lightly tighten the nuts. Test each of the buttons. If everything is in working order, it is time to solder it all into place. This can be tricky due to the LEDs. Just make sure they are flush with the front panel. When this is the case, solder one leg of the LEDs at a time. Adjust accordingly along the way if you need to tweak anything. When you have completed this step, you are almost done.

IC and knobs

Next up is to place the IC chip into the socket. You might have to bend the legs slightly to get it to sit where it needs to. We used our leg bending tool and made short work of placing the IC. When this is complete, move onto the knobs.

Two knobs need to be lined up and pushed down onto the pots. The plastic pot will not have a knob so do not worry about that one. You have just completed the build of the Neutral Labs PIP module. 

PIP - Build Gallery

Neutral Labs PIP - Final Thoughts...

PIP is an interesting character. To be honest we didn’t know what it was really or how to use it when we got the kit. After watching an intro video and playing with the module, we have to say this thing has a ton of potential. There is a lot packed into this module esp with the multiple pages and waveforms available to the user.

The build was quick and easy with a few “gotcha’s” here and there, so pay attention esp when placing the LEDs and switches. We look forward to spending some hours with this module which is something we don’t say very often …. the PIP is cut above the rest and should be in everyones racks. 

If you have questions about the build process or suggestions/feedback about this article, feel free to let us know by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Until the next build …

~ f i N

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