Patchblocks For Eurorack Let You Program Your Own Synth Module

patchblocks-eurorackThis video, via Andy Wilson, offers a first look at the Patchblocks for Eurorack module – a Eurorack format of the Patchblocks programmable synth module.

Maker.ie worked with Patchblocks to develop a Eurorack modular synth version of the original standalone Patchblocks module. Patchblocks allows the user to program and customize how the module behaves. For example, it can be an audio oscillator, sequencer, drum machine, effects unit, depending on the patch you load.

Specifications:

  • Module Size – 8HP, depth 30mm (skiff friendly)
  • The module requires 50mA of +12v, 25mA of -12v and 30mA of +5v to operate, and is normally powered from a Eurorack power supply distribution bus.
  • Audio I/O – Left and Right channel analogue audio inputs and outputs, voltage range -10V to +10V.
  • Gate / Trigger Inputs – for the Left and Right switches, voltage range 0-+5V, overvoltage protected.
  • Control Voltage Inputs – for the Left and Right knobs/pots, voltage range -2.5V to +2.5V. When a CV signal is present the knob/pot acts as an attenuator/level control, when no CV signal is present the knob performs the function assigned in the Patch.
  • Digital Audio and mid/serial data I/O – Using a 5pin IDC connector and ribbon cable connected on the back of the module, Left and Right channel digital audio and midi data (TX/RX) can be sent between modules, or to/from a desktop Patchblocks device.
  • USB – USB type B connector accessible at the front of the module, ESD and overvoltage protected.

The Patchblocks for Eurorack module is priced at 139. See the Maker.ie site for details. 

via FSK1138

14 thoughts on “Patchblocks For Eurorack Let You Program Your Own Synth Module

  1. I have some of the original patchblocks, theyre just great because either you can constantly change them around, or just stick to some patch you really dig, until you get bored of it. personally im just into them as effects since at $50 or so each, theyre pretty versatile.

    I want to get into modular, but affordable, and this certainly seems like a great option.

  2. …great to see patchblocks going eurorack and following their concept of programmability. Roland made a similar move with their AIRA FX Modules, so i suspect that there will follow more modules with a programmable interface this year…and i like the idea of having a modular modul in my modular.

  3. Double the price just to add some cv control it’s a tiny bit steep especially considering the flimsy knobs seriously panel mounted knobs make such a difference in the feel and quality they’ve saved themselves a couple of pennies but definitely lost at least one potential customer.

    still hope they keep pushing the idea though

  4. I have the original patchblocks.

    Great idea but small community so there aren’t any usable patches for me. Don’t know what do to with them.

  5. Thanks for posting, there’s also a short first video here too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg1nFQqNgJA

    About the price and the pots comment above –

    The Bill of Materials for the module is quite a bit different for the Euorack module than the original Patchblocks due to a number of factors including additional components, substitution of some of components with different parts (e.g. USB connector), and also they are manufactured in Ireland. We don’t feel like we’ve made any compromises with the quality of the boards and good quality components are specified where needed in the design, & we’ve tried to keep the price as affordable as possible for people. The pots used are Song Huei pots which have a higher 15,000 cycle lifespan compared to the Alpha 9mm pot 10,000 cycle lifespan and are the same pots used by Intellijel and WMD Devices who are both manufacturers of quality Eurorack modules.

    1. Hi thanks for the response I appreciate that these are different devices with more materials and that you have to factor in development costs and stuff having thought about it a bit more the price does seem reasonable but I still feel that panel mounted knobs would feel nicer also surly your extra cycle lifespan is balanced out by wear and tear on the solder joints due to not being panel mounted but I guess it’s down to personal choice in the end.

      I will continue to watch with great interest but please don’t underestimate the importance of feel we are creatures who like to touch things poke prod and pull. If you could get indestructible guitar strings would you use them if they felt horrible to play?

      just a thought

  6. Not a big fan of the mini-pots, was just noticing yesterday how I disliked the mini-pots on my Intellijel uFold.

    Are they replaceable?

    Love this idea and direction!

  7. I’d be all over it if it had 4 knobs… Two knobs are not enough control for most patches that I’d be doing. Everything else seems great! Keep it up!

  8. Love my OG patchblocks. One is on dedicated duty as an LFO (ok, only +-2v) attached to my Microbrute. Gives me S&H, noise, ramp up and sine waves LFO with better control over the rate than my brute’s own LFO (I have a high and low range setting).

    Good fun.

  9. I´m already a user of this module and i call it chameleon hardware!
    Yes, the pots do not feel like having a longer life time, even the buttons and plugging to/from the USB cable
    is also not the best solution. perfect for diy guys 😉 for me this module and the original patchblock are still beta. the editor software is also a better beta version and causes a lot of crashes and frustrates to the max … actually i´m not sure, but for me it feels like the CV inputs are inverted what i already mentioned. anyway, mighty eco system and i hope this project will get some updates, but it´s already a very powerful engine which will be used in my next patches. and yes, not perfect yet but i´m a fan and will push as much as possible!
    check my first steps

  10. About the DIY kit….we did consider during the design stage releasing them as a DIY kit but we didn’t think it would work well for a few reasons…to keep the module a small HP size (what people are looking for in Euro) the SMT components are small size (0603) and are quite tightly spaced on the board, you would need to have access to a reflow oven and an SMT rework station and be very experienced at using these to do the build, which is in our experience above what many people who come to our DIY workshops would have access to and/or be comfortable using. We thought that a lot of people could possibly become frustrated with a kit build as it would be a difficult build, also it would be very time consuming to pack and label all the 50+ resistors and other components as a kit, and to offer troubleshooting support via email etc to builders.

    So, instead, we focused on designing as much functionality into a small as possible module, that works with the software straight out of the box.

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