I expected to ship around this week initially but I am waiting for a few parts but meanwhile I start assembling. Shipping will not happen mid December as I planned initially but it is getting closer and closer.
An update about the BATTLE (04-01-2021):
It has been some busy and stressy weeks with lots of preparations for the BATTLE and the PHONO PREAMP. I expected to start shipping mid December... It is now January and only one module has been shipped out yet and meanwhile I had a few times contact with the factory about the PROFADER. The PROFADER is not a common product which is now in production in Tokyo for the BATTLE module. They first only shipped 4 faders and that was a bit scary as on one day they said it could be around April before they are finished with the rest. Today I got a message that the PROFADERS will be shipped before the end of this month!!!! Meanwhile I have collected all other parts and I soldered 25 assembled BATTLE modules with the BOURNS fader. Also all DIY kits are almost finished. I am now soldering 15 PHONO PREAMPs and next week the DIY kits for the preamp will be finished as well.
Ah well... designing products can be stressfull and scary sometimes but the moment it is all set and the preorders are shipped it is all worth it.
* Better/more pictures will be uploaded soon.
* More technical information will be added regurlarly.
Although it almost looks like a regular dj mixer it is not! I designed it with a different goal in mind. I am adoring the concept of patching in an eurorack setup on itself and the idea for the BATTLE is more based on the freedom of patching and creativity inside a rack than it is based on DJ-ing. So instead of a vinyl with drumloops I am more thinking about a patch on one side and a record for scratching on the other side... or a sampleslicer or wathever you imagine of course... that's the fun of modulars.
* 2 mono channel audio inputs
* CV controllable crossfader
* Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA)
* CV controllable BASS/TREBLE eq
* CV output from the crossfader
* Gate outputs detected from crossfader
* Adjustable crossfader curve
* FX loop on both channels
* goldplated RCA inputs
* PHONO/LINE select
* RIAA equalization
* GND connection
* MONO and STEREO output on modular level
As you would probably expect, the name comes from the scratch hiphop scene battle mixers.
When I play live I love to bring a little fisherprice record player and sample some scratching... I am a big fan of turntablism, the more I am focussed on this technique the more I realize that most of the music I listen to has some scratching sounds or turntablism on the background and I love how some mad genius can play the recordplayer as an instrument. Although I suck in scratching, I just love the idea to integrate that feeling of using a crossfader and a turntable as a kind of voice. So I designed the battle with that in mind.
* Note that the modules in the pictures have homebrewed frontpanels. The frontpanels will be high quality manufaured by REPOS in Dokkum in The Netherlands.
This is the factory which makes all my aluminium frontpanels.
Pre-orders will be shipped after all parts are collected. As delivery from the factories will take some weeks I expect to start shipping mid December.
*I expected to ship around this week initially but I am waiting for a few parts but meanwhile I start assembling. Shipping will not happen mid December as I thought but it is getting closer and closer.
The BATTLE standard comes with a high quality BOURNS carbon fader. If you are a real fader wrecker and love just the best quality faders, you can choose for the PROFADER option which is a gliding rails conductive fader only used in proffesional studio equipment and last forever.
A brief description of all the features of the BATTLE:
Inputs A and B
These are the audio inputs. Input A relates to the left side of the crossfader, while input B links to the right side. The inputs are normalised to
each other, that means that if nothing is plugged into input B then the signal connected to input A will also appear there, and vice versa. That's very useful when using inserted effects (see below).
GAIN A and B
These knobs determine the gain for input A and input B. Set these to get the desired signal gain and to avoid clipping. If you'd only like to use a single input, and don't want the normalisation mentioned above, then you can turn the gain on the side you're not using all the way down, to mute that side.
Both inputs have an effect loop. You can send input A or B into another module, for example a delay or a filter, and take the treated signal back into the BATTLE. This will create an effect on that channel. It's important to note that the signal is send out after applying the crossfader. The advantage of this structure is that -for example- the decay of an inserted delay effect won't be cut off by the crossfader; the fader will only affect what is send to such a delay. This means the effect on a channel will continue even when the crossfader is set all the way to the other channel. Thanks to the normalisation between inputs A and B, mentioned above, you can also crossfade between a "clean" and a "wet" signal, for example by only supplying an audio signal to input A, and inserting the effect into side B. This is quite different from how effect loops work on other mixers, but with a bit of experimentation you'll find it works very well for using the BATTLE as an expressive instrument.
The fader allows you to transition between inputs A and B.
CF (CrossFader) input
This CV input allows you to use external modulation sources to fade between inputs A and B. The signal has its own attenuator. The value of the signal is added to the position of the fader. This CV input accepts a bipolar signal, with a positive signal fading towards input B, on the right, and a negative signal towards input A, on the left.
The Curve determines whether the crossfader transitions smoothly and linearly between inputs A and B, or whether a sharper, more "cutting", transition is used. If you turn the Curve knob all the way to either end, the transition is very sharp on that side. With the knob in the centre you'll get a linear transition. This affects the combined value of the fader and the CF CV input.
VCA, BASS and TREBLE functions
The BATTLE has a VCA and EQ for Bass and Treble, all applied to the overall sound. Each of these functions has a dedicated knob. And each also has an attenuated CV input. These CV inputs accept a bipolar signal, attenuated by the corresponding trimmer. This signal gets added to the position of the knob, to determine the final value of the function.
This is the output of the audio part of the BATTLE; a mix between inputs A and B (as set by the crossfader) and affected by the EQ and VCA.
The gate outputs and the Position knob
Each side of the fader has a gate output connected to it. You can use these gate outputs to trigger or send gate signals to other modules. For example to trigger a sample or envelope each time you "open" the fader, or to reset an LFO. When the fader is on the left side, the left gate output will be high and vice versa. The Position knob sets the threshold between the two sides. There are two leds above the fader, that show which of the two gates is currently high.
CV output with switch
The CV output reflects the position of the fader. The CV output voltage is zero volt on one side of the fader, and a maximum voltage at the other. With the switch you can set which side want to be 0V and which side will be maximum voltage. There is a trimmer on the back of the module with which you can set what the maximum voltage should be. This is not affected by the Curve setting or the CF input. By not being affected by the Curve setting, the CV output is still useful as an expressive modulation source, even while mixing audio using
a steep curve.
A phono preamp is not just an opamp with a lot of gain. A phono preamp is a very sensitive piece of electronic equipment.
The phono preamp is build up around two high-end low-noise opamps and a RIAA filter. The RIAA filter compensates the RIAA curve used on recordings on vinyl and the filter restores a flat frequency response.
As the phono preamp needs a very high gain boost and requires a stable power supply and a proper shielding I only used high quality capacitors and an extra PCB for shielding.
In the audio path only WIMA capacitors are used and the power rails is flattened with Nichicon aluminium electrolytic capacitors.