Yes, the whole thing about putting together your modular synth is that you’re making your own instrument; a true one-of-a-kind that exists at nobody’s fingertips but yours. You alone have the ability to make a unique collection of patches. But what about your case?
Sure, there are a few choices from the likes of Doepfer, Tiptop, 4MS and more, but, compared to the number of combinations and permutations of modules you can assemble, chances are you have a case that’s a bit less personal than the modules it powers and protects.
It’s an easy fix though: time to breakout the crayons and build your own custom modular case…
Customise your Doepfer Low Cost Case
The Doepfer low cost cases are great. They’re also popular, and for good reasons: they do the job that needs doing, and they’re affordable, letting you spend more of your hard-earned on the fun stuff.
That’s why we chose a Doepfer LC6 case to customise for this blog post. It’s a great choice for a starter case: the power supply is in there already, you’ve got two rows to fill with modules of your choice – spacious, but not unrealistic, it comes in at a good price of £179 and, as it’s finished in a light-coloured wood that’s nicely sanded and ready for your finish of choice.
Of course, you’ll invalidate the warranty as soon as you start customising, so give your new case some running-in time first, but the Doepfer low cost case can be the canvas to showcase not only your aural art, but your visual as well.
Our Red Dog custom modular case project
I’m not a flash guy. I like leather wingbacks, tawny port and I own perhaps the largest collection of blazers and satchels in East Central Scotland. I wanted to go with a more dark-wooden furniture style for this case. Classy, restrained, and discreet.
Time to bring on the woodstain!
We started with the basic Doepfer LC6 case out of the box. The we plugged some modules in an played for a bit.
I’ll admit I got a bit distracted playing with the modules for a little while, but at least I knew that everything worked as it was supposed to do. Then it was back to the DIY.
The first thing was to woodstain the bottom of the case and the lower half of the back and sides. I used a water-based stain and applied it easily with a cloth; I will admit I was actually quite impressed with the grain pattern that the stain brought out in the wood. Once that had dried, I was able to attach the rubber feet, stand it on those to lift it off the ground while I finished staining the rest of the case.
I’ll admit I was quite lazy with this one. I really should have spent longer letting things dry and so on, but I really was rather keen to see the finished result. So, without removing any of the hardware, I used a cotton bud to apply the stain around the front and stain around the mounting hardware so that I wouldn’t have to remove the rails to do the job the proper way.
Like I said, I was desperate to get the modules back in and get patching again!
Staining complete, it was time to attach the handle and screw on the flightcase corner protectors. Probably not really necessary, but I thought they looked the part.
All in, the complete job probably only took between two and three hours, and I think it looks quite smart. The cost of the bits and pieces for the job was only around £20, and there’s enough woodstain left over to do another few cases. Time to expand with an A100 LCB…?
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