Gigantic modular synth enclosure

Furniture & Lighting Music
Gigantic modular synth enclosure

Matthew Davidson’s brother built him an enclosure for his modular synthesizer. It looks very slick!

‘ve been slowly building my modular over the last 10 years or so. It started with a 6U Doepfer Basic System I bought used from Germany, with the details of the transaction hashed out via bablefish. Back then, the euro format was supported by three small companies and their presence in the United States was minimal at best. But interest in analog hardware was growing, driven by a new generation of synthesizer enthusiasts, who were rediscovering the lost joy of manipulating sound with physical controls.

At the time, only vintage hardware featured knobs that directly manipulated the sound. All modern instruments were programmed via an LCD menu system. The market for vintage instruments exploded and analog synthesizers became scarce. People discovered these primitive instruments offered a fairly limiting palette of sounds and, for those who sought a combination of hands on control and open ended signal and control path flexibility, modular synthesizers were where it was at. However, modular synthesizers in working condition were scarcest of all, with systems fetching many thousands of dollars. It was under these conditions that a market arose for a new generation of modular synthesizer.
Last year, unsatisfied with the ergonomics of my off-the-shelf enclosures, I asked my brother to design and build a custom case for my modular. My work is entirely in the studio, so portability wasn’t a concern, and, I can barely lift a monster case anyway. After many months of painstaking work under very tight tolerances, this is the result.

10 thoughts on “Gigantic modular synth enclosure

  1. kalleguld says:

    That is one really nice rack. It would make a nice setting for a sci-fi movie :) And it could probably deliver the sound effects, too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    this is absolutely beautiful. analog hardware ftw.

  3. Dave Vosh says:

    beautiful case ! funny about euro, like you, when i entered, there were 3 manufacturers, now there are many – its a great time to be a “modular guy” !

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m drooling over that monome controller in that last pic. Looks like a fantastically powerful way to interface with the entire analog setup above it. E.g.

  5. Mat Edwards says:

    this is the coolest of the most cool..!

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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