AVR Synth, putting it together

Time to bag this one up then! As I anticipated, the clear plexi glass covers about to be binned were just the thing for the casing of my AVR Synth. From the company perspective (where I work, that is), the problem with these was that the plexi glasses have been stored for quite some years, so the thin plastic film used to protect the plexi from scratches had dried up and was no longer anywhere near easy to remove. In practice, removal attempts resulted in a scratched and/or cracked plexi. Now, if you’re trying to sell a new product, scratches or cracks on the surface simply won’t do.. Me on the other hand I’m not selling a new product, so free heaps plexi are always free heaps of plexi ;)

So.. Using two of these covers, I was able to make the upper and lower halves for the casing with minimal effort. To assemble the halves together, I decided to make a bunch of L-shaped brackets from aluminium and thread them for M4 screws. I’ll also decided to mount the potentiometers and switches directly to the plexi, as this will allow me to hide all their mounting screws/nuts behind the front panel. This here is the lower half with brackets etc. mounted..:

AVR Synth, lower half of the casing

As for the front panel, it is simply mounted to casing via two brackets located at the opposite ends of the casing. Small spacers needed to be added in-between to leave room for the screws and nuts. Not exactly the sturdiest mounting/fixing method, but as the synth isn’t too heavy I suppose it’ll do just fine. In practice, when installed to a rack some small supports need to be added underneath the casing as the unit does slightly bend downwards.

AVR Synth, spacer for front plate AVR Synth, gap between front plate and casing, angle 1AVR Synth, gap between front plate and casing, angle 2

I wanted to test making decals out of smaller bits of thermal stickers just see how it turns out, maybe also to test whether their seams could be made clean. Most importantly, just to whip up something quickly. The alignment for the stickers turned out far from perfect, but it’s not like my drilling is exact either. The mismatches should be pretty evident from the following pictures..:

AVR Synth, sticker alignment, angle 1 AVR Synth, sticker alignment, angle 2AVR Synth, sticker seam closeup

At least the potentiometer hole aligment isn’t critical, after all the knobs will cover them up. The LEDs and MIDI channel dip switches I chose to hot glue directly to the front plate. Not too service friendly, but I reckon they’re the last thing to break on this synth anyway. After this, the final step was to mount the connectors to the rear panel. For no particular reason, I also decided to mount a carrying handle to the rear panel.

Soundwise it’s safe to say that this synth sure sounds digital, but I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing! On my unit, some of the controls don’t really seem to do what the label tells you it should either. However, as the software is open for modifying this issues could be tackled with firmware revisions. To see me actually learn coding for this platform, well, that’s a whole different topic altogether ;)

AVR Synth, front view of completed unit

To view more pictures from the completed synth, head over to the gallery page.

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