While working on my ProtoTypo PT3 build I came to realize that actually just about any piece of Behringer audio gear would likely make a pretty neat candidate for hacking. I suppose that Behringer brands mostly as sort of entry-level hardware for the budget conscious. That is, anyone looking to get into audio production will often choose the least expensive entry point and grow up from there.
This reflects on Behringer resale value too, as people looking to “step up” want to off-load their (older generation) hardware to a market that’s constantly flooded by Behringer with the next generation gear (often carrying similar price tag with older gen). Why this is great for hacking is, it puts a ton of ‘source materials’ up for grabs at a very low price. Hacking a second-hand Behringer, say, to even see if it works usually doesn’t set you back much.. Even if you end up destroying the device in the process. Just remember to sort & recycle proper!
Take something like the 5€ DJ mixer (VMX100) that I hacked PT3 from: You’d be happy to get even half of new knobs for the same price (VMX100 has 13), add to that everything else like jacks, PSU etc! Looking at it from the electronics side, say, a basic opamp summing mixer is a basic opamp summing mixer regardless of whether it rolls off a Behringer or Focusrite production line. Using a basic functional block like this in a some other context then simply boils down to identifying it with the help of schematics or a some reverse-engineering.
Anyway TL;DR, I’m almost getting carried away so let’s cut to the chase!
Some months ago I spotted this second-hand Behringer HM300 guitar distortion pedal selling for 15€. I couldn’t help thinking “Well that’s a bargain, wonder if this would make a neat Eurorack module?”, and bought the pedal just to have a look. And so we end up with this build post!
I give you ProtoTypo PT5 aka BUD666 aka BUdget Distortion 666 :D
Why the 666? Well although I didn’t end up adding any extra features to the electronics, I still figured my hack has to be at least 2.22 times better than HM300!
I started putting together a build post about the electronics side of my TTSH, but there really isn’t actually much to write about that. It’s a kit, and they just work straight-out-the-box when you learn even the details before starting and keep soldering sessions at reasonable lengths (don’t rush the build!).
That said, building mine was probably the first time ever in the ~20 years of electronics hobbies, that I managed to install a resistor of wrong value, in this case to VCO2 triangle-to-sine wave shaper circuit.. Live and learn; had some D’OH moments doing a part-by-part trace of the entire circuit :)
Anyway I thought I’d bundle some of the simple mods under this post. All these three were suggested by user Nordcore in the various TTSH build threads the Muffwiggler forum. Read More…
Alritey let’s continue details of my TTSH with two spring reverb modifications. If you’re looking for other build / modification posts on the project, please visit the main page right here.
This modification is done to improve the noise floor of spring reverb, by upgrading the opamp in the output amplifier circuit (recovery amp). The mod was suggested by user Nordcore at Muffwiggler forum and looks like this:
I sort of failed with adding this mod in that I didn’t bother taking before and after audio recordings: So it’s rather impossible to say how much the noise floor was effectively reduced. On my TTSH the circuit was noisy before and is noisy after.. Yet I’d still say it’s better.
On to the build..:
One of the first modules I bought for this Eurorack 84HP utility skiff
I’m putting together I was putting together to go with my TTSH, was a DIY kit of Ljunggren Audio‘s Roll Your Own (RYO) Penta sequencer. Upon building it I was delighted to notice that the PCB had marked solder locations on it, from which individual step gate output signals and a hold input (to pause the sequencer) can be sourced. Very modding friendly, just how I like it!
And that’s how Ljunggren Audio meant it too; they host a Penta modification page and also the Penta product thread at Muffwiggler forum has user ‘Stabilt’ (whom I assume to be among people behind RYO) suggesting a basic combined gate output circuit. I decided to use these two sources as a starting point for a gate output expander of my own, aka ProtoTypo PT2.
If you’re looking for download links to pdf schematics, they’re at the end of this post. Let’s try it this way for a change, because why not ;)