Waveform Magazine Catwalk Cattenuator - DIY Build

Issue #5 of Waveform Magazine is hot off the press and is steaming with all sorts of amazing modular goodness. With its reviews, interviews, industry news and modular kits, it is no wonder that so many modular enthusiasts look forward to each issue.

Since the magazines first release, we have been building the WF kits as soon as we get our hands on them. Here are the previous projects that Waveform has released and we have had the opportunity to build/review.

Issue/Project #1: PT2399 Delay

Issue/Project #2: The Gateway Oscilloscope 

Issue/Project #3: The Switchenator 

Issue/Project #4: Catwalk – Mult, Mini Mult and Ribbon 

Project #5 - Cattenuator!

As with all of the previous builds, the quality and the ingenuity continues to get better and better. Waveform really threw everyone for a shocker with their “Catwalk” series from Issue #4, being that neither of the projects took up any space in ones rack (hence the name “catwalk”).

Issue #5 is no different and we are fortunate to have another x3 Catwalk modules (actually 4, the Catwalk Attenuator contains x2 of the same modules). With all that being said and done, let us get on with the builds so you too can see how cool these new Catwalk modules are! If you would like to bypass and jump to a specific Catwalk module, use the quick links below.

Quick Links:

This build is quick and easy. The Cattenuator simply consists of x2 jacks, x1 potentiometer, x1 PCB and x1 Panel. The cool thing about this kit is that there are actually x2 Cattenuator’s in the package, meaning you get double of everything. Since attenuators are commonly used in modular synthesis,

Waveform Magazine has now hooked us up with two more that do not take up any space in your rack. Another nice thing about these attenuators is that they are passive, meaning they do not require a power source to function. 

Time Lapse Build Video (v1 - Slower)

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Time Lapse Video (v2 - Stylized)

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What is an Attenuator?

According to Wikipedia, the basic definition of a passive attenuator is “a simple un-powered circuit using only resistive elements (usually a potentiometer) to reduce voltage. Rotating the potentiometer will change the output from 0V to 100% of the input without distorting the shape of the incoming voltage.”. You can think of it like a fader basically and that makes everything easy to understand.

The Build ...

With regard to the Cattenuator, the build process is really quick and easy. Start with the jacks and place one at a time onto the PCB. After placing on, tack down the ground pin with solder and then place the other jack. You will want to tack down the ground pin on the second jack prior to moving onto the potentiometer.

Next, place the potentiometer onto the PCB but do not solder it yet. After setting the potentiometer, take the panel and place it onto the jacks and pot. Hand tighten the screws on the jacks to hold the panel in place. Once you verify that the jacks and pots are lined up correctly, flip the board over and solder the rest of the pins on the jacks and the remaining ones on the pot.

Pat yourself on the back, you just finished your first Waveform Magazine Cattenuator. For the second attenuator, simply follow the same instructions as before and you will be done in no time. 

Build gallery

Wrapping it all up...

When it comes to mounting the Cattenuator, Waveform supplies the standoffs and the installation screws. Make sure you have about 12HP available in your rack on either the top of the bottom mounting screw locations. You might need to rearrange a few things to make sure that the space is available.

When you have found space that works, unscrew the two eurorack screws from the module you will be using to secure the Catwalk module. Insert the standoffs into the area where you just removed the screws from so that the standoffs now become the mounting screws for the modules below them.

Place the Cattenuator over the standoff’s and depending on what type of screws you use, you might need to use a small washer to ensure a snug fit. If you need to tighten the standoffs, a good pair of needle nose pliers work great. Now its time to patch away and attenuate away!

Final Thoughts...

Waveform Magazine has done it yet again with its Catwalk series. This project is innovative, inspiring and thoughtful of them as rack space is very cherished by artists. As we wind up our review and build guide, we have to say thanks to the gang at WF. We can’t wait to see what the next project is!

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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