Sunday, 11 September 2016

Ikea RAST 8U rack case

For about a year or so, I've had a couple of rack sized effects units on my table that were being used for live jamming for my MiniBrute; a Behringer Virtualizer and an Alesis Microverb 4. For the longest time, they have been taking up space on the side of my room in a non-optimal place to store and use them, so I have been looking for another solution.

Step in the Ikea RAST, a cheap side table with an amazing feature: it's 19" wide, the perfect fit for a rack unit. Just add some 6U metal rack rails and M6 bolts and you can convert this into a 6U rack unit - the cheapo wood preserver from B&Q was a couple of quid so in total the project was only £15 if only.

I can't take any credit for being able to build this, as I completely followed the great Instructables how-to for the 6U version and managed to get hold of a Rast unit before they were discontinued in the UK.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

DSI Evolver and MoPho

Sometimes, good things come in pairs. I recently jumped on the chance to buy two second hand synthesisers from a chap in Kensal Green; a MoPho module and Evolver module from Dave Smith Instruments. Despite only wanting the Evolver initially, I found that to buy both was only £100 more so I jumped at the chance to grab another cheap analogue box.

I have always been attracted to the Evolver, initally because the keyboard versions looks and sounds like a blue UFO but now because a 4 oscillator monosynth with three delay lines and four sequencers sounds immense.

Both synths, now discontinued, have had a good run; the MoPho in particular providing cheap and reliable analogue bass and lead sounds to a generation of musicians with both enough hands on control with a deep and rich feature set for those looking to get under the hood.

Monday, 20 June 2016

A guide to Second Hand Synths in UK

So you want to buy a synthesiser, but don't necessarily have the budget to go all out on a new item: where do you go next? The UK second hand market is full of options and people selling their gear for a variety of reasons, whether it's to raise funds for newer hardware, whether children on the way, a change to all in the box or perhaps relocating to another country.

However, it can be daunting for newcomers to know where to get the best deals or just what to expect in terms of prices, availability, selection and so on. So here's a little run down of some of the places to go where you can check listings and maybe pick up something fun to play with at a decent price.

And as always with these things; Caveat Emptor!