Tag: synth DIY guy

Zlob Modular Diode Chaos – DIY Build

Zlob Modular Diode Chaos - DIY Build

Tailgating off the Triple Chaos, we decided to pick up the Zlob Modular Diode Chaos due to the uniqueness of this module. The Diode Chaos is a 3HP analog low frequency voltage generator that is packed full of chaos. The module is based on a circuit from a paper called “A Simple Chaotic Circuit With Light Emitting Diode” written by Volos, Wang, Jafari and Kapitanik. 

What makes this module really unique is its “Trig Out”. The trigger is not a standard “trigger out” in that it has an exponential rise and fall to its peak. This means that it cannot trigger every module out there because some modules are looking for a perfectly squared off edge in their rise. 

An example of this is if you pair the Diode Chaos with Maths. Maths cannot handle the trigger coming into the Trig In, but it can accept the signal into its Gate In. Unusual? Yeah, we thought so too. It was time to get on with the build!

About the kit ...

Zlob Modular provides some really great documentation via their website which is always a plus when taking on a new build. The components were also individually labeled which shows how much time the company puts into their product. This also made it easy to sort things out when cracking the kit open.  

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Hackerboutique DESTRUCTO – DIY Build

Hackerboutique DESTRUCTO- DIY Build

Social media is a place where many things can happen, both good and bad. One can also find some true gems in the rough as they scour the internet for new and exciting modules.  In our continued search to find unique eurorack modules, we stumbled upon a post about a new module called the Hackerboutique DESTRUCTO.

Posted by a gentleman by the name of Luis on a Synth DIY group, this VCF was a module with some serious balls… and we had to have it. 

Quick Link:  DESTRUCTO BOM

DESTRUCTO Glow!

As we were used to building kits, we were anxious to get our hands on this build. This kit was comprised solely of a panel, PCB and a pentode tube, which was unlike any of the other kits we have built in the past. A quick message and PayPal transaction later and we found ourselves anxiously awaiting our panel and PCB to arrive. This build was to be our first “sourced” build, meaning we had to track down all the components needed to build the module (the BOM is located above).

Luckily, we had just completed our Synth DIY Parts Locator, so we had some direction to start in. Luis also created a Facebook group for his Hackerboutique DESTRUCTO builders. This page became our go-to for anything related to the build… (we even gained a few new friends!). 


Zlob Modular Triple Cap Chaos – DIY Build

Zlob Modular Triple Cap Chaos - DIY Build

Started in 2015, ZLOB (pronounced ZWOB) Modular offers a unique take on modular synthesis. Their latest module, the Triple Cap Chaos is unlike anything that came before it as stated on the ZLOB website. We found this intriguing and once it was announced via their social media feed, we jumped on the kit and ordered one up. Shipping was fast and before you knew it, it was ready in waiting in our backlog. 

Triple Cap Chaos (C^3 Chaos) is a 2hp analog, chaos based, noise oscillator, pseudo ring modulator/harmonics generator, and audio mangler. Sounds friggin’ rad huh? We thought so too.  According to the ZLOB website, “It expects a +5v to -5v max signal in to modulate the chaos. The “IN” jack is an A.C. coupled input for audio in, although cv and audio can work for both the “CV” in jack and “IN.” The “IN” will interfere and interact with the onboard chaotic oscillator depending on the frequency of the input, which may take some experimentation”.. This module … is right up our alley.  Let’s get on with the build shall we?

Triple Chaos - kit
Zlob Modular - Triple Cap Chaos Kit

About the kit ...

ZLOB provides some really great documentation via their website which is always a plus when taking on a new build. The components were also individually labeled which shows how much time the company puts into their product. This also made it easy to sort things out when cracking the kit open. We used our handy dandy acrylic sorting tray to separate out all the parts prior to jumping into the build. 

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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
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