Waveform Magazine Project 3 - The Switchenator - DIY Build
Issue 3 of Waveform Magazine (Winter 2020) is chock full of reviews, interviews, gear and even a new DIY Project. For their third DIY project, Waveform have provided us with another utility module that requires zero power and allows attenuation and signal toggling on the fly.
Waveform Magazine Project 3 is known as the one and only Switchenator!
We were thankful to take this build on and see what this module was all about!
To sum it up, the Switchenator is a dual passive attenuator and dual switch for Eurorack systems…. and it’s a little 4HP beast.
What’s this Waveform Magazine again?
As previously mentioned in our Gateway Oscilloscope write up, Waveform Magazine is the first and only publication dedicated to modular synths. With that being said, we were stoked to receive the Winter 2020 edition of Waveform earlier this month partially due to all of the new gear reviews and industry news that they provide.
One of our favorite features is interviews with the modular synth manufacturers. It’s really cool to get to read about their journeys into modular synthesis and how they started their businesses. The interviews are so well written, it almost makes it feel like you know the owner of the modular company upon completing the article.
Note: In case you missed the opportunity to get the first three issues of Waveform, you can still pick them up over at the Waveform site (which we HIGHLY recommend you do!)
You had us at hello,,,,
To say we were intrigued by Project 3, would be an understatement. What was it going to be? What would Waveform come up with for their 3rd DIY project?
Upon receiving our new issue, we jumped right to the DIY build pages and saw the fabulous new project. Next thing we knew we ordered up the Switchenator and sat back and waited a few days. After watching the mail almost every day, it finally arrived.
Packed tightly and safely, the module was calling our name. Since we previously ordered the Gateway Oscillator, we thought the packaging would be somewhat the same. To our surprise, Waveform has kicked up their packaging with a nice card stock tab (a discount code is hidden under the card!!) and also bundled with the components was a rad vinyl decal.
As we headed to the build shop, we made sure to grab our water bottle to place our new found decal on. (you can see that in the first part of the time lapse build).
Prior to jumping into the build, we coated the Switchenator panel with clear coat and baked it in the oven on low for up to 30 min. This helps keep the panel from scratching easily and cuts down on the oily fingers when using it.
We also had the new Hainback/Issue 2 Limited Edition Pro Signature Eurorack Blank Panel, so we decided to shoot that with clear coat as well.
Waveform Magazine Switchenator - Time Lapse Build
Bill of Materials (BOM)
- 1 Faceplate
- 1 X x PCB
- 2 x latching on/off/on mini toggle switches
- 2 x B50k Song Huei 9mm long shaft potentiometers
- 10 x Philco style 3.5mm stereo jacks
- Faceplate only = 12$
- PCB/panel Set = 18$
- Full DIY Kit = 32$
- Assembled = 47$
Long legs and short legs...
,Start by laying everything out and remove the nuts from the jacks and switches. Set these aside and warm up your iron, it’s time to solder. Line the jacks up but pay special attention to the orientation. You want to make sure that the long leg of the jacks is in the middle of the three solder points. (You can see this in the photos below). You will later cut off the excess leg, once the jacks are all soldered into place.
At this stage in the game you want to make sure to only solder one leg of each jacks, switches and potentiometers. This is due to panel alignment and making sure that everything lines up. (We accidentally soldered all of the pots on and had to go back and desolder and adjust after the panel was mounted).
Upon soldering one of the legs on everything, place the panel on the components and line everything up. Go ahead and put the nuts back on the switches and the jacks and tighten everything down. Once everything is lined up, flip the module over and start tacking everything down.
That’s it, you are done building together the Waveform Magazine Switchenator!
The Final Words…
Switches are everywhere in the modular world. They can be used to momentarily pause a signal in live performances or add texture and layers to compositions. Project 3, the Switchenator by Waveform Magazine is a no brainer when it comes to “should I buy this or should I not?”. The answer is simple. Yes. It’s inexpensive, has a sleek design, could be a limited release and it’s damn easy to put together.
While we haven’t had a lot of time to play with our Switchenator at the time of this review, we can say that what we have done is had a little fun using it to attenuate signals when we needed to. Being that this is a passive module, it requires no power which is a nice change to all the heavily powered modules out there. At 4HP and an inexpensive utility module… you need to just go ahead and pick one up today (or maybe 2). You won’t regret it, by any means.
Cheers again to Waveform Magazine for releasing another kick ass module. We can’t wait to see what’s next!!
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 …