Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Micro Mammoth

It is obvious that my main 5U system, the Baby Mammoth, is sedentary by nature, designed to be in the studio and remain there.
As I occasionally perform outside my little cocoon, I begun to think about a portable solution to take a selection of Hordijk modules on the road. I wanted something elegant, compact, ergonomic and comfortable to work with.

So, I designed this little cabinet, perhaps the world's first DIY portable 5U skiff with detachable lid :

It's made of beautiful European walnut and coated with natural, clear, outdoor varnish.
I had it cut and assembled at a local wood workshop, because I don't have the tools and the space to work with the kind of precision I had in mind. I did the sanding, coating and mounted the hardware.
There are strips of felt in between the lid and the base to protect the wood and to prevent dust or moisture to enter the cab when it is closed.

I wanted the modules to be mounted at an angle, not straight up or flat, so that the instrument can be played standing or seated in an equally comfortable and ergonomic way :

I incorporated an IEC connector with a power-on switch and a fuse :

Inside is the power supply and the power distribution board :

Ok, so we can fill her up now :

The cab is designed to hold up to 8 single Hordijk modules (equivalent to 16MU wide), and for this particular selection I chose to integrate the Mini Matrix / Node Processor combo as the hart of the system.

From left to right :
Triple LF-VCO
Mini Matrix / Node Processor
Dual Env
Dual Phaser
Dual Fader

I thought this selection to have the right balance between audio sources, CV sources and processors to be able to produce interesting enough sounds to perform solo improvisations.
For this time, the Dual Phaser was prefered over the Triple Input Filter for various reasons, but this can easily be changed.

I deliberately chose to have the cabinet set up in one single row because of the grid layout of the Rob Hordijk modules, like that of MOTM modules, with all jacks at the bottom of the modules. This way, all modules can be fully patched up without having patch cords running all over the controls and thus freeing access to those very sensitive knobs.

The lid can be left attached to the base and thus being used to hold patchcords during performance. Also, the synth can be left patched up with the lid closed.

Ready to Roll

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