Shruti-1, the somehow happy end of an infinite story

August 24th, 2010 § 11


UPDATE: since I wrote this article I’ve produced a whole EP using (among other synths) the Shruthi-1, you can find it here (comes as a free download) its-the-end-ep-free-download

On the 14th of April I received a small parcel with a couple of pcbs, some ICs, resistors, capacitors and all the other stuff you need to build an electronic device. It was my Shruti-1 kit, and I had been among the very (very!) few lucky people to get one!


Before I had gotten the kit I had already started to sketch out some ideas on how to build a case for it. The kit was only containing the electronic parts needed to get it going, the case was up to the builder. This is actually a great thing, because people have come up with very interesting and creative cases for this little musical beast (check this site here to see some of them).

Anyway once built the synth would look like this, not really something you could carry to a gig…

shruti naked

for a long time I have been clinging to my initial design, which btw. was somehow inspired by the Tivoli Model One radio  (whose minimalist retro design I love so much). I asked a friend of mine, who is a carpenter by trade, to help me to build that case, and I decided to have the faceplate and the backplate (with the connections) laser-cut by

Sometimes I have time to work on things like this, sometimes, I’m too swaped with work to do anything else, so it took me some time to come up with a working design. I sent all the data to Ponoko and waited for them to send me the stuff back. I waited for several weeks, because UPS lost my parcel somewhere on the way, and it took them 2 weeks to decide that it was lost and Ponoko (or better their Italian partner Vectorealism) had them lasered again.

In the meantime I went to the sea, got swamped by work again, my friend was swamped with work as well and then he went to the sea… and the Shruti-1 was still there on my desk catching dust and risking to break for good. In fact it even fell to the floor one time, and the LCD pcb got loose so that I had to solder it again.


In the end I couldn’t stand the situation anymore and just created a new, Ponoko-only design. Sent the cutting data over and got the cut pieces pretty fast (today). Sat down, sticked everything together and now finally the long story is over, and my Shruti-1 has finally found a decent shell!

The building process was not really painless though, I have made several mistakes, forgot some holes, made some others too small, miscalculated some factors. All in all I’d say I’m happy with the result though! Now what new device could I build? :)

Here’s some pictures of the making process and the finished piece!
(photos are courtesy by Sbrizz, who I would like to thank for the help and support!)


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11 Responses to “Shruti-1, the somehow happy end of an infinite story”

  • Nick says:

    Using the extra veneer of acrylic to mask the tabs/slots on the sides is really clever. The idea had never occurred to me.

  • EATYone says:

    Great enclosure, well done!

  • Michael Una says:

    This looks fantastic. We should collaborate on a new synth I’ve been thinking of…

  • PalmSounds says:

    What a great story, what a great case, love it

  • eS says:

    Wonderful, as usual! :-)

  • Hannes says:

    thanks a lot everybody! I really appreciate it. I hope this will be just the first of a long series of cases! :)

  • Muruzu says:

    uno degli ultimi, credo…
    come hai fatto le scritte??

    • Hannes says:

      tutto con il laser ( il laser può tagliare come anche solo “bruciare” la superficie del materiale… dicesi engraving, non so come tradurlo in italiano…

  • Jon says:

    Very nice case! Looks incredibly strong too!

    Jon @

  • tony brooker says:

    Beautiful case. Outstanding work, & a great story.

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