what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

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what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

negativesaucer
I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on
or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges
associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most
appreciative.

Thanks
-Joe
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RE: what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

Peter Forrest
Clearly the numero uno requirement is to think up a really really bonkers name for your module :o)
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: negativesaucer [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 10 May 2017 23:28
To: Analogue Heaven
Subject: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most appreciative.

Thanks
-Joe

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Re: what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

John Emond-2
Not to mention indecipherable graphics, unique CV levels, and unmarked power inputs.

Monde Synthesizer gives you More
www.mondesynthesizer.com

> On May 10, 2017, at 6:44 PM, Peter Forrest <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Clearly the numero uno requirement is to think up a really really bonkers name for your module :o)
> Peter
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: negativesaucer [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: 10 May 2017 23:28
> To: Analogue Heaven
> Subject: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?
>
> I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most appreciative.
>
> Thanks
> -Joe
>
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RE: what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

Peter Forrest
In reply to this post by Peter Forrest
This is the real deal!
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 11 May 2017 00:22
To: Peter Forrest
Cc: Analogue Heaven
Subject: Re: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

Basically it is similar to making any piece of electronic gear to sell.

The basic requirements for eurorack is that it runs off of +12, -12, and or +5 Volt power. It should draw as little current as you can make it.

You can find the technical details for the power cables and such on this page on the Doepfer site - http://www.doepfer.de/a100_man/a100t_e.htm

The panel sizes and other mechanical specs can be found here - http://www.doepfer.de/a100_man/a100m_e.htm

Even though cabinets are getting cheaper, there is still this perceived value in smaller panel sizes by many users. I think that many modules suffer ergonomically because of this. If you module has lots of knobs or jacks, space them out for big fingers.

If at all possible, design the PCB to be parallel to the front panel. This makes for a “skiff friendly” module that can be used in the more performance friendly shallow cases.

There are companies like Darkplace manufacturing in Portland (https://darkplacemfg.com) that make modules for many different eurorack companies. They can take your engineering files and deliver all the way to boxed and tested units if you want them too. You can have them just make the PCBs if you have time watching TV to assemble things and save some cash. If your modules take off, they can grow with you. They are cool people too.

Marketing is by work of mouth, FaceBook, Muffwigglers and synth meets and trade shows. If you have a cool and unique product it will take off. If your module breaks easily, can be easily destroyed by users plugging things in “wrong” etc., the community will spread it around fast. You want to make your module as robust as possible. It should survive larger than expected control voltages, CVs plugged into the audio inputs, short circuits, and wrong connections. New users will be trying everything.

One thing to realize - YOU WILL NOT GET RICH DOING THIS. The typical distributor will not pay you more than 30% off list price to sell your stuff. If you deal with selling outside your home country, there will be VAT, customs and other fees involved. Set up a business PayPal account.

Those are general things. You have to have a passion for synths to do this. I started Synthwerks in 2010. The type of module may make quite a difference is how well you sell them. The types of products we make sell very slowly. We make controllers and utility modules. Most users buy controllers and utility modules only after they have built up a large system, They wait till they get tired of reaching “through the spaghetti” of patch cords before buy a controller module. They also seem to wait till after they have done a few live shows before they see the need for a LAMP module. Basically most players tend to spend the money they have on other items before they think about the need for the types of modules we make. For most Dealers, this results in our products moving too slowly off their shelves, so they tend to buy something else first (the latest sexy module usually) before restocking. Because of this, we mostly sell direct now. If you have a cool and “sexy” module right out from the start, you will make enough money for the next run and maybe a new product. You just have to keep that up. Many Eurorack companies make only a small number of modules for their line. That is cool if your overhead is low.

Start slow and don’t over invest in productions and manufacturing. See how things go. make small runs like 50pcs or so and see how it works. Lots of PCB vendors will easily turn those small numbers for you. If it takes off, make more.

-James
James Husted, Designer, Synthwerks LLC • www.synthwerks.com • [hidden email][hidden email]

> On May 10, 2017, at 3:44 PM, Peter Forrest <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Clearly the numero uno requirement is to think up a really really
> bonkers name for your module :o) Peter
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: negativesaucer [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: 10 May 2017 23:28
> To: Analogue Heaven
> Subject: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?
>
> I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most appreciative.
>
> Thanks
> -Joe
>






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Re: what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

negativesaucer
In reply to this post by John Emond-2
yes I plan for my module to accept only db-9 connections and all CV
inputs will be scaled to a range of -2v to +11v

also the panel will be triangular and made of ice. we're going to
forgo screwholes and will instead include some user-mixable epoxy in
the box.

in all seriousness though, I have an idea that isn't out there, that
would probably be decently popular, and wouldn't be result in a
terribly expensive module.  it sounds like in the USA, working with
WMD/darkplace is a very viable option from a manufacturing standpoint.
  I'll continue to read the replies and wanted to take the opportunity
to thank everyone for the responses thus far.

-Joe

On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 7:11 PM, John Emond <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Not to mention indecipherable graphics, unique CV levels, and unmarked power inputs.
>
> Monde Synthesizer gives you More
> www.mondesynthesizer.com
>
>> On May 10, 2017, at 6:44 PM, Peter Forrest <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Clearly the numero uno requirement is to think up a really really bonkers name for your module :o)
>> Peter
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: negativesaucer [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: 10 May 2017 23:28
>> To: Analogue Heaven
>> Subject: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?
>>
>> I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most appreciative.
>>
>> Thanks
>> -Joe
>>
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Re: what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?

John Emond-2
Hah ha, sorry for being a smart ass. James' comments were much more useful and are pretty accurate.

Monde Synthesizer gives you More
www.mondesynthesizer.com

> On May 11, 2017, at 11:14 AM, negativesaucer <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> yes I plan for my module to accept only db-9 connections and all CV
> inputs will be scaled to a range of -2v to +11v
>
> also the panel will be triangular and made of ice. we're going to
> forgo screwholes and will instead include some user-mixable epoxy in
> the box.
>
> in all seriousness though, I have an idea that isn't out there, that
> would probably be decently popular, and wouldn't be result in a
> terribly expensive module.  it sounds like in the USA, working with
> WMD/darkplace is a very viable option from a manufacturing standpoint.
>  I'll continue to read the replies and wanted to take the opportunity
> to thank everyone for the responses thus far.
>
> -Joe
>
>> On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 7:11 PM, John Emond <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Not to mention indecipherable graphics, unique CV levels, and unmarked power inputs.
>>
>> Monde Synthesizer gives you More
>> www.mondesynthesizer.com
>>
>>> On May 10, 2017, at 6:44 PM, Peter Forrest <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Clearly the numero uno requirement is to think up a really really bonkers name for your module :o)
>>> Peter
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: negativesaucer [mailto:[hidden email]]
>>> Sent: 10 May 2017 23:28
>>> To: Analogue Heaven
>>> Subject: [AH] what does it take to bring a eurorack module to market?
>>>
>>> I know several of you are in this business.  if someone could reply on or offlist with a  basic list of requirements and challenges associated with bringing a module to market, I would be most appreciative.
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>> -Joe
>>>