Tag: distortion

Neutral Labs NERMAL – DIY Build

Neutral Labs NERMAL - DIY Build

In the world of modular synthesis, there are many companies that offer distortion modules, but few of them really stand out. The Neutral Labs NERMAL is a destructive 3 layer distortion module that is able to modulate frequencies in the audio range to produce some rather unexpected harmonics. 

Known primarily for the desktop synth ELMYRA, the NERMAL is Neutral Labs first stab at eurorack and from what we can tell, it won’t be their last. We were anxious to get our hands on this build and learn all about its unique abilities. 

The Kit and where to get it (in the U.S.)

After seeing a few demos of the NERMAL, we knew we had to track one down. We ordered up from our friends over at Synthcube and within a few days it arrived safe and sound. Upon cracking the box open we were shocked to see the care in separating the components into “sections” or smaller packaging.

Neutral Labs really made it easy to keep the parts from getting all mixed up. They even state on their build document that one needs to go through one bag of parts at a time so that you won’t lose parts or have to double check resistor values. This was pretty rad that they were thinking of the builder.


Reverse Landfill Veratrum – DIY Build

Reverse Landfill Veratrum - DIY Build

Reverse Landfill’s modules never cease to amaze us and lo and behold they have done it again with the Veratrum; a noise and texture voice with brutal chaos. What is it you ask?

The Veratrum was a intership project between Reverse Landfill‘s own Martijn Verhallen and Freek / FRUKU. It took over 4 months to develop and in the end the Veratrum Noise Module was born. 

Veratrum contains 5 oscillators that go through a “pseudo” ring modulator and this in turn creates chaotic drones and swarming sounds. It has 2 audio outputs (square swarm & filtered) and one LFO output which when used at really low frequencies, blips and clicks seemingly are on the attack. 

Reverse Landfill Logo
Completed Front - Veratrum

The Reverse Landfill Veratrum eurorack module also features two touch pads that control the volume and pitch of two oscillators. Its unique look and cryptic control surface mirror that of its brethren modules produced by Reverse Landfill. Now let’s get on with the build shall we?

Links and more links…

Below are a series of links that have been provided by Reverse Landfill to help assist with the use, building and buying of the Veratrum.

Of course, we are here for you as well if you have any questions while building the module. Just hit us up on our Contact Page.


Reverse Landfill Monotropa V3 – DIY Build

Reverse Landfill Monotropa v3 - DIY Build

When it comes to unique and must have modules for our rack, Reverse Landfill is one of the top manufacturers on our list. This month, we are following up our Aconitum Noise Mixer build with another Reverse Landfill aptly called the Monotropa.

This diy module one of the Monotropa’s currently being offered by Martijn. The other version of the Monotropa is known as the Monotropa II or mk2 and is also available via the Reverse Landfill ETSY shop.

Reverse Landfill Logo
Monotropa - Completed Front

At its core the Reverse Landfill Monotropa is a feedback EQ distortion module or basically a bad ass mother f*cker. It consists of 4 pots for frequency volume, 1 pot for feedback amount and 1 pot for gain amount. Since this kit is the 3rd version of the original Monotropa, several revisions to the layout and panel have also been updated. These are subtle differences but they make one hell of an impact.

To sum up this module, it can make any sound bigger, add bass, mids and highs with resonant qualities. In other words, it can completely destroy your beats and percussion which is EXACTLY what we were looking for. Would this module be love at first patch? Let’s see… 

Links and more links…

Below are a series of links that have been provided by Reverse Landfill to help assist with the use, building and patching of the Monotropa v3.

If you are building an older version of the Monotropa, you will have use this link to see all of the versions previous to and including the v3 (this build).


Cereal Instruments ‘thump’ – DIY Build

Cereal Instruments 'thump' - DIY Build

Cereal Instruments - THUMP - Completed Front

Cereal Instruments ‘thump’ allows you to send two signals through a gritty vactrol amp with low pass gate modes & plenty of gain/distortion. Sounds cool huh? We thought so too and thought it only made sense that the ‘thump’ was our next build. One thing to note is that the ‘thump’ is unlike its brethren kin with regard to power. It is Cereal Instruments first active module, meaning it requires power to operate unlike the ‘mesh’ or ‘swerve’.

The ‘thump’s aesthetics are a matte black panel with orange knobs and white silkscreen give the modules their own unique look. The PCBs that Cereal Instruments uses are excellent quality. They soak up solder like a sponge grabs water. This makes for a stress free build. Speaking of the build, the ‘thump’ would be recommended for intermediate builders and above.

Novice builders could struggle with some of the tight spaces, double PCB layout and the giant pot/switch that needs to be wired in a specific manner in order to get the correct switching.

Let the soldering begin…

Since there are 2 PCBs, start with the logic board first. This is the one that doesn’t have the jack/pot mounting spaces (that is the control board). Resistors, diodes and caps were first up (one cap will be placed on the control board). We used top down soldering instead of bottom soldering due to the ease of access. After these were tacked down, the IC sockets were next. 

Dab one pad with solder and then line up the IC socket with the holes. Heat up the solder and lightly push the IC socket into the melted solder. This will hold everything in place when you turn the control board over and complete the IC socket soldering.  

The main power header is next followed by the standoffs and the electrolytic cap. This capacitor is soldered on the backside of the logic board.  Lastly, attach a wire from the top CV jack pad to the outer CB pot pad as shown in the photo below.

Detailed - Install Wire
fin Divider