So, what happened to Frac?

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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algorhythm
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So, what happened to Frac?

Post by algorhythm » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:43 pm

Seemed to be on a roll in early 2000s and now, it seems awfully quiet around here. What happened? Why did Euro 'take over the world?'

P.S. Still lovin' my Blacet, Metalbox and Flight of Harmony fracs!!

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Post by dogoftears » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:58 pm

if all the Frac manufacturers would make shallower modules ala Euro, i would certainly still be actively buying frac. something about the "skiff" aesthetic has just taken over my soul. so nice to be able to lay my modular flat in front of me. i still have a bunch of frac that i love to death but it's all too big and exposed to take out to gigs. my 6U goikes case OTOH has an entire universe of sonic power in it and is only about 80mm tall.
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Post by e-grad » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:14 am

Both PAiA as the inventor of Frac and Blacet as the best known Frac make supporting DIY. Thus I doubt that what's behind the faceplate will shrink since it would make the projects more prone to error.

With the Wiard 1200 series still in production I'd advice any novice to start a Frac system. Even back then when the "Euro-fame" started with Plan B ( :woah: ); Livewire etc. However since Wiard turned to Euro it left a gap behind. At that time I totally understand anyone turning to Euro.

Today with the Synthtech DSP-modules in Frac I think Frac is back. I won't miss out anything now. Well, there's one exception: I'd miss a LPG.

There so much to explore in Frac while the Euro-Wigglers keep still discussing which marvel just has been released and which marvelous thing is to come any time soon. Also I prefer the ergonomics of Frac over the usual Euro-density.

However most of my modular is DIY so I've not the same constraints as someone who depends upon the availability of built modules.

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Post by slow_riot » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:08 am

euro plus frac is the future for me.

you can't ask blacet to comprimise his standards... diy (larger circuitboards) and very high quality +/-15 PSU.

both 3u minijack... mix and match or die!

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Post by negativspace » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:19 am

I believe Euro is what happened to Frac... fortunately they play pretty well together, so one can still have the cake and eat it too. With Blacet and Bugbrand in the format I think it has a stable (if diminished) presence.

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Post by e-grad » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:24 am

negativspace wrote:With Blacet and Bugbrand in the format I think it has a stable (if diminished) presence.
Don't forget about PAiA.

Balcet and PAiA are to my best knowledge the only sources for complete and well documented kits which is very appealing for anyone starting DIY.

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Post by algorhythm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:07 pm

Yeah, I guess I'm finding this dichotomy a bit frustrating... especially when Euro and Frac are so close in dimensions. What initially turned ne away from Eurorack was the startup costs. I mean, until recently the price for a Eurorack and PSU were crazy. Glad to see some reasonable options now.

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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:52 pm

the cost of power and case was keeping me away from starting a modular system. after a year of playing with DIY I decided I could do power for about $30 or $40. the case can be made of MDF or scrap wood. now its way more exciting for a beginner and DIY enthusiast like myself.
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Re: So, what happened to Frac?

Post by Tubeampguy » Fri May 24, 2013 7:58 pm

:blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet::blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet: :blacet::blacet:
Last edited by Tubeampguy on Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
:tu::blacet: :tu:

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Post by JohnLRice » Fri May 24, 2013 8:16 pm

If it makes FRAC folks feel any better, 5U took a huge hit from the eurorack "fad" :hihi: :tinfoil: The MOTM side of 5U in particular! :waah:

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Post by noobyscooby » Fri May 24, 2013 8:23 pm

The worst part is that its very hard to find anything used now. Wish id bought more on the used market a couple of years when it was more available. Used frac market's very competitive. Might just have to break down and buy a few things brand new even though im such a cheapo.

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Post by noobyscooby » Fri May 24, 2013 8:27 pm

Yep 5U really took a big hit. Im sure modcan and motm sell way more euro these days than 5U.

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Post by Rob_C » Fri May 24, 2013 9:44 pm

Shallow-fy your PAIA modules to be more like Euro? I too like the smaller depth possibilities of Euro modules. If you were building a custom Frac enclosure the circuit boards on the PAIA 9700S system lineup (midi, VCO, VCF, VCA) look like they would fold over nicely to mount parallel to the faceplate, rather than at a 90 degree angle. It doesn't appear any wiring changes are required, except for several LEDs that mount directly on the PCB. This would reduce the module depth to several inches. Of course the circuit boards at 6 inches or so are taller than the 5.25 inch faceplates so the enclosure must accomodate this. Again, this would only work for a custom case. Anyone try this already?

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Post by synthcube » Fri May 24, 2013 10:01 pm

Long live frac

We are working hard to support most formats... 12v and 15v.... No reason that cool new modules plus legacy classics can't sit in a frac or frac banana system...

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Post by noobyscooby » Fri May 24, 2013 10:25 pm

Do you sell completed modules though? All I typically see are the kits on your site. Am I missing somewhere?

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Post by revmutt » Fri May 24, 2013 10:25 pm

I have a frac set up with blacet and bug brand, it's great, totally different in terms of what choices I have in that set up and both companies are really special.

What happened to frac?
Well we live in a culture where people are often excited about whatever is newest, euro is a bigger market. If we all wanted quality we'd have both.
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Post by slovo » Sat May 25, 2013 12:52 am

I have to admit I kinda love these formats' suffering. Ppl keep selling to buy Euro or Serge, and I keep picking up loose ends where I can afford them. The size is a bit of a hassle but I really don't give a damn about having things look similar or at the same angle, so... I just keep enjoying my mixnmatch synth... I do plan on adding a nice controller skiff of Euro, though. Eventually.
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synthcube
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Post by synthcube » Sat May 25, 2013 7:12 am

noobyscooby wrote:Do you sell completed modules though? All I typically see are the kits on your site. Am I missing somewhere?
Our stock of assembled modules is listed on the site under 'Modules'
We also take orders for assembled modules, with payment due when the module is completed and ready to ship. Frac modules assembled in both traditional jack and banana jack types.
In Frac, we have (or will have)

- Analog Metropolis AM4023 Filter (1U and 2U versions)
- Barton Dual Simple Quantizer (1U)
- Steiner Microcon (3U)
- j3rk Dual 258J Oscillator (3U)
- moogah SEM VCF

ALso planned:
Analog Metropolis AM2140 and AM3320 Filters
Additional Barton circuits
Additional j3rk circuits

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Christopher Winkels
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Post by Christopher Winkels » Sat May 25, 2013 7:56 am

Frac seems to have been a victim of the success of other formats, particularly Euro but to a lesser extent MU. Someone looking for a wide breadth of available options and a booming used market is best served by starting with one of those two. Success breeds success in that case, and no doubt new users are predominantly drawn into one of those two orbits largely because of the huge numbers of available options. There may be some amazing modules in Frac, but if they're hard to come by used (and hard to sell if you have one you want to offload) that will potentially discourage any investment in the format.

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tIB
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Post by tIB » Sat May 25, 2013 8:32 am

Christopher Winkels wrote: There may be some amazing modules in Frac, but if they're hard to come by used (and hard to sell if you have one you want to offload) that will potentially discourage any investment in the format.
The last part is what's kept me in the format really, seems it's even harder in the UK too since we've already paid big taxes to get it here in the first place. I tried to sell a 2 row system as a bundle recently which was an absolute bargain for what it was- its the only sensible way of selling it though trying to sell module by module would have taken an age. In the end I sold something else that was more salable instead.

I'm not all disappointed by that though; blacet designes are among the best Ive tried, it sounds great and (for the most part) the format's stagnation keeps the GAS at bay.

Incidentally although it follows the same standards, I don't really consider bug to be part of frac; more its own thing.

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Post by paults » Sun May 26, 2013 2:21 pm

Frac has just a smaller installed base is all.

I am looking at doing my next filter to be 'Frac-Friendly' by biasing everything internally at +-10V and running sub-regulation to work both Euro and Frac.

It will be the MOTM-480 CS-80 filter but with a few more output options. And not using obsolete parts :sb: But all SMT, no DIY. :bang:

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Post by induktor » Sun May 26, 2013 3:04 pm

paults wrote:Frac has just a smaller installed base is all.

I am looking at doing my next filter to be 'Frac-Friendly' by biasing everything internally at +-10V and running sub-regulation to work both Euro and Frac.

It will be the MOTM-480 CS-80 filter but with a few more output options. And not using obsolete parts :sb: But all SMT, no DIY. :bang:
:hyper:

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Post by scozbor » Sun May 26, 2013 6:36 pm

That is really exciting news Paul! :bananaguitar:

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synthcube
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Post by synthcube » Sun May 26, 2013 11:28 pm

Paul,
Dare ya!

:)

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induktor
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Post by induktor » Mon May 27, 2013 8:43 pm

I'd still like to get my hands on a MOTM 1490. Is there any chance these will be available again?

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