How to Build Your Own DIY Eurorack Synthesizer Case with Power
Part 1: Choosing the Right Design
When it comes to building a DIY Eurorack case, there are various design options to consider. One popular design is the Bastl Instruments Rumburack 2.0, which has inspired many DIY enthusiasts. Selecting the right design for your eurorack case involves a delicate blend of personal taste, functionality, and practicality. This task is not merely a question of aesthetics, but a significant factor in how you interact with your modules and how portable and resilient your setup will be.
When it comes to choosing your material, consider your use-case scenario. Wood, metal, and cardboard all have their unique attributes. Wooden cases, for instance, are renowned for their vintage appeal and an accessible solid build. Metal cases, on the other hand, provide sturdiness and a modern look but will be will require more machine working. Cardboard, while perhaps not as durable, offers an affordable and customizable option, especially for beginners. Lastly, 3D printing is a viable option which provides both customizability and affordability.
Choosing between a rack mount, suitcase, or a modified piece comes down to your mobility needs and workspace constraints. Rack mounts are ideal for stationary setups, such as home studios, offering a seamless integration into existing furniture. Suitcases or portable cases cater to musicians on the move, offering protection and convenience. Modifying an existing piece, like an old briefcase or furniture, is an excellent choice if you're after a unique look and a conversation starter.
In terms of shape, a flat or slanted design is often a matter of personal preference and ergonomics. A flat design can be easier to integrate into a desk setup, while a slanted design can provide easier access to your modules, especially when standing.
Finding the right components and materials for your eurorack case can be done at a local hardware store or online platforms like Amazon, eBay, or right here at Patchwerks! You can also explore local flea markets, garage sales, or thrift stores for unique items to modify into a case.
The tools required would generally depend on the material and design you've chosen. However, common tools include a screwdriver, a drill, a saw (if you're cutting your own wood or metal), a tape measure, sandpaper, and paint or varnish if you're planning to finish your case.
Ultimately, choosing the right eurorack case design comes down to your individual needs, style, and creativity. So take your time, do your research, and most importantly, enjoy the process!
Part 2: Gathering the Necessary Equipment
Building a DIY Eurorack case for your modular synthesizer system involves several essential components, including rails and frames. Each of these components plays a significant role in the overall construction and function of the case.
Rails: The rails in a Eurorack case serve as the primary structural elements that modules are attached to. They run horizontally across the case, and they contain a series of holes that align with the screw holes on the modules. This allows you to mount your modules onto the rails. Rails typically come in a standard size that aligns with the Eurorack format, which is 3U in height and a variable number of HP (horizontal pitch) in width (where 1 HP is 5.08mm). Rails also often include a lip or edge to accommodate slide nuts or threaded inserts, which are used to secure the modules in place.
Frames: The frame of a Eurorack case is essentially the skeleton that holds everything together. It provides the overall structure and shape of the case, and it supports the rails on which your modules are mounted. The frame ensures that the case is sturdy and stable, and it often includes brackets or other features to secure the rails in place. The size and shape of the frame determine the overall size and layout of your Eurorack system. I do want to point out that you don't need a frame as you can mount the rails directly to the case structure itself.
3. Fixings and Accessories: M3 or M2.5 screws, matching nuts, washers, and rubber feet are integral to the assembly and safeguarding of your case. Thumbscrews offer a great advantage when it comes to regular reconfiguration of your modules, eliminating the need for a screwdriver. Typically, thumbscrews come equipped with a washer to prevent rack rash, ensuring your valuable modules stay pristine.
Part 3: Powering your new eurorack case
Part 4: BUILDING THE CASE
Venturing into the practical phase, it's time to commence the construction of your DIY Eurorack case now that the design is finalized and all necessary materials are at hand. Here's a straightforward step-by-step guide to facilitate a seamless assembly process:
Start by taking accurate measurements and proceed to cut your rails and frames to the desired dimensions using a suitable cutting tool. Follow this by assembling the frame - attach the rails to the sides using screws and other fixings, ensuring everything is secure and properly aligned.
Next, focus on the installation of the power supply. Depending on the type of unit you've chosen, follow the manufacturer's guidelines to install it accurately. Connect it to your power source, ensuring it is properly grounded.
Once the power supply is installed and working correctly, it's time to mount your modules onto the rails. Secure them firmly using screws and washers. Always double-check the functioning of your power supply before finalizing the setup - power your modules on and confirm they're receiving the right voltage.
The journey of building a DIY Eurorack case extends beyond the physical creation of a piece of musical equipment. It's a hands-on experience that offers a unique insight into the heart of modular synthesis, affording you the flexibility to create, the joy of personalizing, and the pride of owning a piece of gear that's genuinely yours.
Each challenge faced and overcome along the way adds to your understanding, heightens your skills, and deepens your connection with your music. The final product is a testament to your creativity, technical acumen, and dedication, marking your journey through the wonderful and endlessly fascinating world of modular synthesis.
However, don't stop there! Building your case is just the first step in this fascinating journey. You can take this DIY spirit a step further by venturing into the construction of DIY Eurorack modules using module kits. These kits provide all the components you need, along with step-by-step instructions, allowing you to piece together your own unique modules, truly making your Eurorack system your own, and fostering a deeper connection between you and your music. Embrace the journey, and immerse yourself in the gratifying world of DIY eurorack.