Often it’s the little things that count, and for modular users, that means
accessories—cables, hangers, and other gadgets that make the patching
experience more efficient and enjoyable.
Following this month’s holiday gift-guide theme, we’ve assembled a list of
affordable, modular-friendly items that are a mix of practical and fun.
SYNTHESIZERS.COM QHL CABLE HOLDER
|Synthesizers.com QHL cable holder
A well-organized, centrally located rack makes it
easy to find the right-sized cables while keeping
them off the floor where they can get damaged or
lost. One problem with standard racks is that they’re
designed to be attached to some surface—a wall or
the side of your case—which can be inconvenient if
you have lots of cables.
Enter the QHL, a 9"x12" heavy-duty cable hanger
that attaches to a standard mic stand. Because it’s not
nailed to the wall, you can place it anywhere—even
take it to a gig! Designed to hold 156 1/4" cables, it’ll
hold even more banana and 3.5mm cables, as well as
any other cables you have around the studio (MIDI,
USB, FireWire, AC power cables, and so on).
Synthesizers.com also offers the QHS ($19), a
surface-mountable, 36-cable holder that is only 6"
wide, making it a great choice when the side of your
synth case is too narrow for a standard-width cable
rack. (Mounting screws are included.)
KOMA ELEKTRONIK KABELHÄNGER
|Koma Elektronik kabelhänger
For those times when you want your cables
right next to you in the studio or onstage, the
kabelhänger attaches directly to the rails in your
Eurorack case. The racks are available in two
sizes—19 and 24 slots.
LJUNGGREN AUDIO RYO AIRTENUATOR I
|Ljunggren Audio RYO Airtenuator I
$15 ASSEMBLED; $9 PACK OF 3 PCBS; $25
DIY KIT (ENOUGH FOR THREE UNITS) LJUNGGRENAUDIO.COM
A passive attenuator for systems with 3.5mm
jacks, the RYO Airtenuator I has a linear taper
that makes it great for adjusting signal levels and
modulation depth between source and destination
At 2.25" long and 1" tall, the RYO Airtenuator
I is designed to float in the air, suspended by the
input and output cables attached to either end. The
knob is easy enough to turn with a single hand, yet it is lightweight enough that it won’t create stress
on your modules’ jacks at either end. Simply route
your signal in the right direction through the
device. Little white arrows printed on the circuit
board show you the proper connection.
I found the RYO Airtenuator I to be extremely
handy when I needed a way to subtly adjust
the parameters of a patch, especially during a
INTELLIJEL THE HUB
|Intellijel The Hub
One of the handiest, but least sexy modules in your
system is the mult, a device that splits an output
signal into several copies. Although a mult module
doesn’t take up much space in your rack, it does
take some, and in a complex patch, it seems like
you can never have enough of them.
With that in mind, Intellijel created the Hub,
an inexpensive and portable 1- to 3-way passive
mult. The Hub is built into a solid, lightweight
plastic enclosure that is 1.5" wide and just more
than 0.5" thick, and the 3.5mm gold-plated jacks
are mounted onto the PCB. (The unit can be
opened up by removing a pair of screws, if you
need to repair it.)
Magnets on each side allow you to attach the
device to metal edges or posts of your case. (The
Hub is also available without magnets for the same
TIPTOP AUDIO STACKCABLE
|Tiptop Audio Stackcable
Buchla, Bug Brand, and Serge owners have
known all along that the ability to distribute
source signals to any number of destinations
with the use of a cable-based mult increases
your patch complexity exponentially, while
simultaneously saving you module real estate.
Other than converting all of our minijack
modules to banana jacks, what’s a synthesist
Tiptop Audio revolutionized patching
for Eurorack and Frac Rack users with the
introduction of the Stackcable, a heavy-duty
3.5mm plug with a 3.5mm jack attached directly
behind it. The cables are available in five color-coded
lengths, from 30cm to 150cm.
Once you start using them, you’ll wonder
how you ever got along without them. (Bananajack
users can now wipe that smug look off
ERTHENVAR IV CABLES
|Erthenvar IV Cables
In contrast, Erthenvar’s 3.5mm IV Cable allows
you to directly split a signal at the middle of the
cable, using an attached 3.5mm jack—very useful
in situations where you want to keep cable-lengths
as short as possible and your multed
patch-point destination is located somewhere in
the middle of your module case.
IV Cables are available in lengths from 11.8"
to 47.2" and in four colors—Black Magic, Snow
White, Cordon Bleu, and One Shade of Grey.
UTOPB LED CABLE
|UTOPB LED Cable
Inside the LED Cable are two colored cables that
show polarity (one color for positive voltages,
the other for negative) and level (the stronger
the signal, the brighter the color). This not only
looks great onstage, but it allows you to see at a
glance the state of envelopes, gates, and other
control or audio signals.
The cables are most efficient when attached
directly to a module’s output or a buffered mult.
In non-buffered situations, signal strength is
weakened by the cable, which the manufacturer
suggests can be used creatively to smooth
The interior cables are protected by a squishy
silicon outer tube, so be sure to hold the plug
itself when you connect or disconnect the LED
cables. Available in lengths up to 19.7"; choose
from eight colors for the inner cables, and select
3.5mm Neutrik/Re’an silver or black plugs.
DIVISION 6 JACK LITE
|Division 6 Jack Lite
Whether you need something to test the
polarity and strength of an output signal, or
some additional blinking lights, the Jack Lite
will do the trick. The light at the end of the
3.5mm plug will shine red for positive signals,
blue for negative, with brightness indicating
EXPERT SLEEPERS GLOW-IN-THE-DARK PATCH CABLES
|Expert Sleepers Glow-in-the-Dark Cables
If you need 3.5mm patch cables that glow bright
green in the dark, now you know where to find
them. Available in lengths from 12" to 31.5".