Banana jack colour schemes
Banana jack colour schemes used by modular synth brands for which some reference has been found. Note that there is no universal accepted standard.
In the UK Rapid only sell 4 mm bannana sockets in black , red , white , green , blue and yellow .
There isn't always a clear distinction between audio and control signals. It's more important to distinguish between inputs and outputs. There might be some unusual connections such as inputs with restrictions and ground for external patching.
Patch cords are color coded to indicate their length.
On Buchla synthesizers the audio and contol paths and control are kept seperate. The control path uses EF Johnson banana jacks and swings between +/-15V, while the audio path is at 1.228V RMS, (+4dBu professional line level) and uses 0.141" Tini-Jax.
|Pulse output||red||Gate/trigger/clock. Until the late 70s red was for both pulse input and output.|
|CV input||black or grey||Grey for 292e velocity CV in.|
|CV output||blue , green or purple||Green is second channel/style of some CV out (e.g. velocity out), purple is third channel/style of some CV out (e.g. 296e even outs).|
Most modular synth signals can be thought of as either audio or control. The system ground jack provides a ground for connecting to external systems with screened (3.5 mm or 1/4") jacks, so that the signal can be carried with single wire cables (white in Bugbrand interface packs).
Tries to have a different colours for each different type of input, although just one colour for all outputs.
|Output||red||Often audio, but also CVs, envelopes and triggers.|
|Input||black||Audio, CV or digital. Examples: Filter input, mixer input, data input.|
|CV in||yellow||Envelopes, LFOs and other analog control signals. Anything where the actual voltage matters. Examples: Cut-off frequency, gain.|
|Clock in||blue||Digital. Not necessarily a fixed frequency, any input that causes the circuit to “step forward” by one on a rising or falling edge. Examples: Counters, step-sequencers.|
|Trigger in||green||Digital. One-shot events that trigger on a rising or falling edge. Examples: percussion, resets.|
|Gate in||white||Digital inputs that act according to whether they are high or low, rather than triggering on an edge. Examples: Analog switches.|
CGS mostly uses the Serge scheme, sometimes colorful just for fun.
|Audio or signal||black||AC coupled signals|
|CVs||blue||DC coupled signals|
|Pulse in/out||red||Trigger signals|
|Wired-OR capable gate/trig output||orange|
Cool colors are inputs and hot colors are outputs.
|Ground||black||To connect other gear.|
|Pulse out & clock/trig in||brown|
Elby Designs Panther
Elby Designs Panther 3.5mm (EuroRack) and 4 mm banana jacks colour scheme is expanded from the one used by Serge (AC, DC and logic). Differentiating between input, output and special for each signal type.
|Logic||red||yellow||orange||e.g. gates and triggers|
People have also used the Serge STS or Random*Source schemes.
|Special out||orange||e.g. wirable OR|
Regards audio and control signals as interchangeable.
|Pulse and gate Input||white|
|Pulse and gate output||red|
|AGND and DGND||black|
|Signal or CV out||yellow|
|Gate/trigger/logic/sync in or out||red|
The Serge scheme is more about the type signal than its function but with some flexibility e.g. some CVs can go negative. Many black inputs are AC coupled, but most black outputs are not.
|Trigger pulses in/out||red|
|Bipolar CV in/out||black|
|Special functions in/out||yellow , orange , green |
|Sync in||purple||Pink noise out on the Animal panel|
|White Noise out||grey|
- ^ 4 mm Insulated Test Socket, Rapid Electronics Limited
- ^ Frac rack Banana Jack...some spec guidlines, Electro-music forum, March 2009
- ^ a b If you could color code your inputs...., Mod Wiggler forum, April 2010
- ^ Buchla 200e User's Guide, p. 2
- ^ Why Buchla?, Buchla tech blog, 4 Oct 2008
- ^ a b The Good Thing About Standards: So Many To Choose From, Buchla Tech blog, 7 October 2007
- ^ Buchla 200e: Part 1 by Gordon Reid, SOS, Dec 2005
- ^ The 266 project, Buchla tech blog, 4 Oct 2008
- ^ a b serge jack color logic, Mod Wiggler forum, May 2011
- ^ OldBlue Overview (archive), BugBrand
- ^ Connecting eurorack with bugbrand 1 frame (grounding), Mod Wiggler forum, Jan 2016
- ^ Technicals, BugBrand Modular Synth
- ^ a b c d e f g h Power distribution & system overview, Castle Rocktronics
- ^ Serge Fans FAQ
- ^ Serge Guidebook by Rich Gold.
- ^ Ken Stone
- ^ Plumbutter by Ciat-Lonbarde
- ^ serge jack color logic, Mod Wiggler forum, Mar 2013
- ^ Plumbutter 2 quick start, Mod Wiggler forum, Jan 2018
- ^ Panther Jacks – 3.5mm and 4 mm Coloured Jacks
- ^ Charlie Kerr
- ^ [IC] 4U Single Function 'Sergesque' panels, Mod Wiggler Forum, 20 Aug 2014, 09:24
- ^ a b c Kilpatrick Format Technical Specifications
- ^ Modcan A Series manual
- ^ Serge Maintenance Info, Mod Wiggler forum, Nov 2010
- ^ If you could color code your inputs...., Mod Wiggler forum, Apr 2010
- ^ Introduction to the use of the Serge Modular Music System, 1976, p. 14
- ^ Serge Fans FAQ
- ^ Serge Guidebook by Rich Gold.
- ^ a b Best of CGS Build Thread, Mod Wiggler forum, 1 Jul 2011
- ^ The Serge "Animal" - a massive modular in 4U
- ^ Serge Maintenance Info, Mod Wiggler Forum, Nov. 2010
- Comdyna GP-6 analog computer patch panel and color coding, just for curiosity.
- Frac rack Banana Jack...some spec guidlines, Electro-music.com forum, Mar 2009
- Color Coding of Knobs, Inputs and Outputs, Mod Wiggler forum, Feb 2014