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Subject: Call me crazy

From: "J. Larry Hendry" <jlarryh@...
Date: 1999-07-08

OK, I have been thinking (a dangerous thing for Larry of the 3 stooges)
about the ultimate configuration for my MOTM set up. I have been toying
with case designs and thinking about multiples and such. And, I have been
thinking about the one thing that I guess many modular users think about
and that is all those cables hanging out there on the front between me and
all those great knobs I want to twist and tweak.

Well, one of the things I have heard others mention is some normalizing to
reduce cables. But, as neat as that may be, it runs against my general
wishes since I have plenty of synths that are "normal." I plan to connect
my MOTM stuff in all the abnormal ways I can think of.

On Synth-DIY, I have seen a variety of panel layouts where guys have
attempted to place all patching in areas away from knobs and such. But, I
don't like that as you have to struggle to figure out what jack is with
what module. I really like the layout of MOTM with the jacks all on the
bottom of the panel and knobs and switches above ( along with other great
things I like about MOTM). If one's entire MOTM set up included only a few
modules in a single row, the patch cables would always be at the bottom out
of the way. Of course, once you have more than one row (whether rack or
case) then you are back to cables stretched across the tweaking area.

Now, here is where my warped idea comes into play. I am throwing this out
not to suggest "my perfect plan." But, rather to get some feedback on:
1 - what others might like or dislike about the concept
2 - any and all suggestions for improvement
3 - what plans others might have that are different / better

Here's my thought. Instead of making my multiples in MOTM rack space
units, make them on 19" blank rack panels. I have some that I bought
(about $7 each) that have a nice black finish with the splattered look of
Paul's panels (not as nice of course) and have the top and bottom edges
rolled back for strength so there is NO flex like some of the 19" blank
panels that are just flat stock. The number of jacks and combinations
could be whatever each thinks is right for their system. My plan was not
to group the multiples, but to distribute them. Like this:

Below each row of MOTM panels is a one rack space panel with nothing but
1/4" Switchcraft jacks. The drilling and spacing is made to match the ones
on the MOTM panels above. So, you could have as many as 40 jacks on that
panel. Multiple # 1 could have a jack in each of the 5 double MOTM
positions across the panel. You could have as many as 8 multiples like
this on a 19" panel. However, this panel would be wired with coax to the
every other 19" rack panel. So, Multiple # 1 would have appearances on
every 19" panel in the system below each row of modules. Multiple # 2
would be the same and so on. The number of jacks per multiple could be
varied by user needs and desires. BUT, every multiple number would appear
on every 19" panel at least once.

So, instead of patching module # A on row # 3 across two rows to module B
on row # 1 with a long cable, module # A would connect to multiple # 1
directly below it and module # B would connect to multiple # 1 also on the
19" panel row directly below it. Two cables would be used. BUT, all
cables in such a set up would be shorter and none would stretch across the
"land-o-knobs-and-switches." Now, this set up would not eliminate direct
module to module connections. I plan to arrange my modules to facilitate
some of that (you know, an EG right next to the VCA and one next to the
VCFs). However, it would eliminate long cross country cables.

This same 19" panel with the multiples could have those connections from
other rack gear that is on the back you want moved to the front. For
example, many of you may plan to have MIDI 2 CV converters or rack mount
effects with rear jacks you want patched to the front. And, if necessary,
these 1-space 19" panels can have XLR connectors or switches mounted. I
have one in my studio with XLRs (drilling the holes was a bitch for that

OK, I think that is enough to get the idea across. Now, lets hear from
some others (especially Curley and Moe). Throw tomatoes if you like, but
keep those fingers to yourself (Moe).

Larry Hendry