Effects Eurorack SMD Synth DIY

Kammerl Beat Repeat (MI Clouds)

This is Mutable Instruments’s Clouds with an alternate firmware, turning it into a clocked sample slicer/rearranger (amongst other stuff).

I really like this module, CV control of the parameters really brings it to life for glitching up anything from drum loops to pads.

Build wise, it’s an MI Clouds. 0603 surface mount components, and a couple of fine pitch ICs – the ARM processor and the Codec.

Ballpoint pen for scale. ARM processor and Codec (below right) are much finer pitch than the other ICs.

There are a couple of ways to go about soldering these – drag soldering with a small chisel tip on the iron, or solder paste and hot air rework station.

I much prefer the latter. There will be bridges, but these are easy to remove with an iron and 1mm desoldering braid (I find it helps enormously to dip the braid in solder flux first, it wicks it away much more effectively).

You’ll also need to flash the ARM processor using an ST-Link and Olimex JTAG adapter or ST discovery board. Flash the normal Clouds bootloader first before uploading the Kammerl firmware.

Now this one didn’t work first time like my first Clouds build did. It flashed OK, but the audio was distorted. I suspected the Codec, which I reflowed and examined with a loupe, but that was fine – turns out it was a microscopic solder bridge on the processor. No dramas.