[sdiy] Standard markings for modular I/O & CV versus Audio?

Kylee Kennedy kmkennedy at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 18:09:05 CET 2019

I like on black panels when the outputs have a white squares around the
jack or something besides just a text indicator. I don't need inverted
text. After use for a few weeks I usually just remember which jacks do what
and could probably patch in the dark.

What most modules still lack when shipped is just a simple one sheet of
features/user guide. I've been DIYing mostly for last 5 years so when I
recently bought a Make Noise Morphagene I was shocked there was no manual
or simple guide. Guess they expect people to sit through all their videos
to learn. At the same time I ordered the WMD Fracture and even though it's
a simpler layout and well labeled on the panel they included a one sheet
quick start guide.

All these companies need to create an internal style guide and stick to
that for designs.


On Friday, December 20, 2019, Quincas Moreira <quincas at gmail.com> wrote:

> Brian, Befaco were kind enough to send me a free set of bananuts and a
> tool, but I don't know what it's called. I prefer Roman Sowa's tool as it
> has a guide in the middle, the Befaco ones are kind of hard to keep in
> place as you turn. But alas, Roman's is the wrong size for the bananuts
> (hint hint Roman!)
> John, I agree that color should not be the only indication, but if
> understand correctly these panels have already been made, so changing the
> graphics may not be an option.  If its the standard seems to be the
> inverting thing you mentioned. Greyscale, Sonic Potions, North Coast, Moog
> and Joranalogue are some examples I see in my system where the writing gets
> inverted for outputs, sometimes with even the jack surrounding square
> included in the color swap.
> On Fri, Dec 20, 2019 at 5:07 AM john slee <indigoid at oldcorollas.org>
> wrote:
>> Colour as an additional, optional signal, sure. I like the Bananuts a
>> bunch. But not as the only signal. Think of your users! What if they can't
>> distinguish colours as reliably as you can?
>> With that out of the way, some things this amateur likes on panels, with
>> names named because I think concrete examples help:
>> * input and output jacks clearly indicated as such. Intellijel does this
>> by inverting the background and text colours for output jacks.
>> Nonlinearcircuits puts subtle but clearly visible rings around the output
>> jacks. I don't really care what, as long as it's consistent (yes I'm
>> glaring at YOU, Make Noise, your stuff isn't even consistent within a
>> single module!)
>> * for knobs that attenuate/attenuvert an input signal, an indication of
>> which type it is — perhaps by using -/+ (attenuvert) or 0/+ (attenuate)
>> indicators a la Doepfer
>> * avoid overly precise indicators for knobs if tolerances are going to
>> noticeable
>> * sometimes *extremely simple* pictures are the best way. Doepfer's
>> A-149-1, A-171-2, A-143-1 and A-143-2 are all examples I like
>> * no irritating knobs that change behaviour from "provide CV" when no
>> corresponding input cable is connected to "attenuate input CV" when you
>> plug a cable in. I realise lots of people want modules with tiny cramped
>> unusable panels, but ... extremely no.
>> * Layout variety. A system full of modules with extremely similar layouts
>> can be super annoying to navigate. I'm not sure how much awareness there
>> was of this when the major systems (Roland, Moog, Buchla, etc) were
>> designed, but you can often identify at a surprising distance which module
>> is which, purely based on the control layout. ie. don't be like this
>> example: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2013/09/rob-hordijk-modular-
>> at-electro-music.html
>> John
>> On Fri, 20 Dec 2019 at 15:52, Quincas Moreira <quincas at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Brian, use color coded nuts! Befaco sells them, look for Bananuts. I use
>>> something like the Serge code. Blue for cv, black for audio, red for logic.
>>> if i want to diferentiate between ins and outs, green for cv out, blue in.
>>> Gold for audio out and black in.
>>> I did this to my FCUK Product, check it:
>>> https://youtu.be/iRDa3DMeReQ
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On Dec 19, 2019, at 22:34, rsdio at audiobanshee.com wrote:
>>> Hello all,
>>> I seem to recall that some brands of modular utilize a consistent set of
>>> markings for Inputs, Outputs, CV (DC) & Audio (AC or DC). There’s also
>>> sometimes the convention that inputs are on top, and outputs are on the
>>> bottom, but that seems difficult to stick to for all kinds of modules.
>>> It seems nice to be able to glance at a front panel and know right away
>>> which jacks are outputs, which are inputs, which can accept CV and/or audio.
>>> What conventions exist? Are there conflicting conventions? Is it
>>> hopeless?
>>> Thanks for any input (as long as you label the inputs),
>>> Brian Willoughby
>>> p.s. I just designed a one-off module that I thought was going to
>>> include a set of multiples. However, I’ve now learned that I need to make
>>> these active, so I have to designate which jacks are inputs versus outputs.
>>> I’ve already ordered the face plate for this one, but I’m still thinking of
>>> how I might have changed the labeling to reflect active versus passive.
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> --
> [image: QMA]
> Quincas Moreira
> Director | QMA
> mobile:  5534988825
> site:  quincasmoreira.com
> email:  quincas at gmail.com
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