Rene Button Panel

Get rid of all your touch plate power issues with this panel for Make Noise René with tactile buttons!

The problem

René Button Panel One of the most interesting sequencers in the Eurorack world is in my opinion definitely Make Noise René. I love its non-linear approach and the immediacy with which you can play it. However, after I acquired a portable case with a different power supply than I have in my studio system, René got all wonky on me. Turns out the touch plates do not play nicely with particular power supplies and really need properly grounded power to function like they’re supposed to. This issue is well documented on the muffwiggler forum: Rene and Power Supplies – right and wrong! and Rene touch plate sensitivity.

The solution

My idea on how to tackle this problem was to replace the touch plates with regular tactile buttons. However, I lack the knowledge and DIY skills to research the issue and develop a working solution. Enter Tomash Gzh. I knew who he was through a friend who owns a ‘digital warrior’, which is an earlier project of his. I figured if he knows how to design and produce that, he will most definitely be able to help me with this René project. So I asked him to work with me and he kindly joined in. After a lot of measuring and testing, we have now produced a first prototype. Of course, we can’t test this in all thinkable situations. But I’ve tested this in the worst possible situation I could manage and it works flawlessly. I used a case with a power supply that is known to have issues with René, and I connected it to a verified ungrounded outlet.

The buttons

René Panel ButtonsWe decided to keep things as simple as possible. As you can see in the pictures, the buttons are mounted on the panel itself. This way we didn’t have to add an extra PCB, which would give us all kinds of challenges with the knobs and jacks because we’d have to increase the space between panel and circuit PCB. The buttons are mounted through hole, the headers on the back are surface mounted. We looked for buttons with the lowest possible profile. They protrude 4.3mm on the panel. Sliding your finger across a row of buttons is a bit rougher than if you’d do that with touch plates. But it is definitely possible if you adjust your technique.

Please note that unlike the buttons in the picture, buttons on the completed panels will be grey rather than white!

Want one?

Completed panels will be available for €60 plus shipping. If you want just the panel and source and solder your own buttons and headers, you can get one for €32.

We’re going ‘kickstarter style’ on this one. If you want a completed panel or just the PCB, let us know through the contact form on this website. Please specify what and how many you want and what address you want us to ship it to. We’ll consider your message a pledge upon which we’ll base our PCB and parts orders. When the panels are ready for shipment, we’ll ask you to send us your payment, after which we’ll ship the panel to you. Please be patient as we’re both doing this as a side project and delivery times of parts and PCBs may be long.