DIY Eurorack Synthesizer

by Elijah Scheele

I’ve been wanting to build my own modular synthesizer for years. However, I’ve always had time, budget, or space constraints that have prevented me from building my own synthesizer. With more and more Eurorack modules being open-sourced or available as lower-cost kits, I’ve been able to start assembling my own Eurorack synthesizer. This project log will track the construction of my Eurorack synthesizer.

Table of contents:

The Inspiration

I’ve always been a bit of a musician - I’ve played a musical instrument since I was 4 years old, although they’ve been traditional brass instruments. The intersection of physics, electronics, mathematics, and music found in electronic instruments has always been a source of interest for me. My first synthesizers were Virtual Analog modeling synths, and I’ve had a great deal of fun using software like Pure Data to create digital representations of analog synthesis techniques. For years, I’ve read sites like Music From Outer Space, and lusted after kits like the Ambika and x0xb0x, but haven’t had the time, money, or space to build these kits. Now that I’ve got a bit more time and Eurorack has boomed in popularity in the past few years, I’ve started working on building my own Eurorack modular synthesizer.

To help keep costs down, I’m trying to build most of my modules, either from pre-packaged DIY kit or from panel/PCB combinations and then bulk-buying components. Currently, I have a number of kits or components to build several modules from makers like Mutable Instruments, Dreadbox, Erica Synths, 4ms, and many others. As I’m not a very experienced synthesist and I tend to noodle around in a variety of genres, I’ve selected modules that will work with a variety of synthesis techniques, including standard subtractive synthesis, granular synthesis, FM, and wavesfolding/waveshaping techniques.

Planned Layout

Synthesizer Build Posts

I plan on documenting my module builds as I assemble the various kits and components. The list below is an inventory of the kits I have components for; as I build them I’ll add links to the individual posts.

Build Videos

I’ll be streaming my builds on my Twitch channel on a regular basis. In addition, I’ll mark and upload my builds to Youtube. A list of uploaded build videos will follow…