new modular rack

new_rack02I took some more pics of the new rack unpatched so you can see the current module selection, there are about another 3ru plus a bit more of modules left over. Here’s the pics and a bit of behind the scenes:

The motivation behind making a new rack was wanting a combined studio/live rig as constantly after playing a gig the studio wouldn’t get set backup straight away. I have had the Roadready rackcase for over two years (a bargain of evilBay for $50) and had the mixer and rack effects bolted into it. If you go back and look at the previous case, the sexy thing it is, it held just under 9ru of modules and was pretty ergonomic when placed on the guitar stand, but being 6’4″ it was still a pain if I had to set up on a low bench or table and the rack case with it’s angled top seemed like it would be the suitable height for me . The next issue was with the Doepfer A-138d FX insert module, being that it was painful having to unplug all my pedals, power leads etc each time I went to a gig. Finally I needed a new audio interface as I wanted to run two seperate channels from it into Ableton Live for individual processing, and with only two inputs on the X-Station (see above previous case pic) one was taken with the mic and one taken with the modular. After a bunch of research I decided upon the TC Electronic Konnekt 24D due to its price, features (4 in 4 out plus built in efx that work as plugins) and a few good reviews from friends (thanx Boyd) and the intertubes. I did look at the MOTU Ultralite and had thoughts of Volta or Silentway, but it was about $200 outside of my budget. Maybe that will be the next upgrade…

So the last thing to find was a rack drawer for the pedals and interface. I first found a rack mounted keyboard drawer but it was too shallow for the highest pedal I have – the Frostwave Sonic Alienator – I could have done surgery on the rack with a cutoff blade but luckily I then new_rack01found the SKB VS-1 velcro shelf which was perfect. No height restrictions, velcro to stop everything sliding around, a latch so it won’t roll out by itself and SKB quality. Unfortunately there were none in OZ, no one OS is contractually allowed to ship them retail, and the distributor wasn’t getting anymore until late Jan but after ringing them and getting a list of retailers that had recently taken delivery I called Factory Sound and happy happy joy joy they had one left! Plus I got to meet Ben who is another dark ambient/noise/experimental crazy!

The whole thing then had to be assembled, I bought a bunch of CGS euro distroboards from the wonderful Mr Stone, spent a day or two soldering, rigging up the power supply, drilling a 1ru utility strip which includes a Doepfer A-138b mixer, a Plan B Model 40 Headphone PreAmp & Leveler plus 4 X 4 multiples. The rack was built using 50mm X 20mm angle from Bunnings and six Schroff rails I have picked up along my modular journey.

new_rack03In the assembly process I even worked out that I would be able to include my Korg AM8000R multi-efx in the rack and use Ableton’s external effect plugin! And here is the result. One gig last week and another today and all is well, easy to set up break down with one power plug, a stereo cable to the house mixer or DI, a firewire cable into the laptop and I’m away. It is a bit heavy to lug, and it won’t go on an airplane, but for around town or roadtrips its perfect. The next stage is to modify a laptop stand to sit above it.

Anyway enjoy the pics, drop me a line if you have any questions 🙂