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Modular synth madness

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FransSacco View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote FransSacco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2019 at 10:25
Hi..they're really nicely put together. I got one of their systems back when I knew next to nothing about analogue synthesis, so the straight forward design was a great benefit for me.
There's been times when I've been tempted to sell it so that I can get some of the fancier new modules that have come out over the years, but I'm glad I've never succumbed to that urge.
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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 07:18
Back again, got completely irritated by a pair of people behaving like imbeciles on here. 

I've been a busy little beaver. Firstly, I've reopened the music website and started a Facebook page for the band. Secondly, I was completely messed about by flightcase builders. The scam is that they expect to make an additional profit by insisting that they supply the hardware, which gives then about an extra 15 profit. Or no profit at all when you say no thank you then. They could actually charge me an extra fifteen quid, I wouldn't be bothered, but no, silly games time. So I told them all to stuff it and contacted a friend, Guy Mitson, who does chunky studio furniture out of reclaimed wood. 

I asked Guy to make me a 21U high rack (101cm all in) with rubber feet on, rack strip, 200mm depth and to add some rubber feet. He makes cases out of reclaimed wood. A few weeks later, the case arrived. Lovely. I got the router out and added side handles, a top handle, put a 5.5mm ply back on it and here's the result, before stripping, staining and varnishing. 



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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 07:21
The case is being currently stained (why not ? ) and will be varnished and reassembled tomorrow. Two coats of "Brooklands Green" wood stain and then probably three coats of gloss varnish with sanding between coats. It then gets reassembled, then all the internal wiring is reconnected, tested and I can start populating the case. 

The fun then starts as it all has to be calibrated. To do this, you need an oscilloscope, a volt meter and the ability to swear a lot. For several weekends. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 07:22
PS Hi FransSacco, sorry for the late reply, I was taking a break from the forum. ;-)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 07:26
PS Case "half full of modules". "Test for fit" time. 

Everything fits. ;-)

That's a multi colour rack light on the top, incidentally. With the amount of knobs and cables this thing has, you tend to need good illumination, especially in a stage setting. I'm vaguely thinking of converting two BNC gooseneck LED lights as extra illumination and having them pluggable into the case on panel mounts. Means more routing. I went nearly deaf routing the damn side handles in. ;-)

Coming along nicely. If I switch it on, no fuses blow and I get a stable 12v out of it, we're in business. 



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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 08:20

Keith Emerson's modular synth - recreations of which cost $150,000

Versus mine.

Specs for the Keith Emerson Moog -

Oscillators: 6 - mine has fourteen
Waveforms: Pink Noise, Pulse, Pulse Variable, Saw Down, Saw Up, Square, Triangle, White Noise
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Fader, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Pitch Wheel, Glide / Portamento, Ribbon, Ring Modulation, Sequencer, Sync Hard

Envelopes: 7 - mine has ten
Evelope Paramerters: Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release

Filters: 4 - mine has twelve
Types: 24dB Slope (4-pole), Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Oscillator, Pedal, Portamento, Ribbon, Sequencer

LFO: 2 - mine has seven
LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Square, Triangle, Freerun, Key Sync

Sequencer - One 16 step sequencer with customizations
Mine has nine, all with  eight steps, chainable, and two external 16 step sequencers.


Mine also has delays, waveslicers, ramp generators, phasers, a whole shedload more. There's a lot more planned. 

However.

Comparing a 1970's Moog with a modern Eurorack system is not really all that fair. Moog had enormous problems with getting hold of suitable electronics - which is a piece of cake, now. Printed circuit boards had to be expensively hand made in the 70's - I can design mine in a couple of hours and get them manufactured in China for nothing. Components had such wide tolerances then that everything had to be hand checked, and that's really not a problem any more. So whilst my system is far in advance of an old Moog, that's not the complete picture. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2019 at 14:25
^Yes, it's not fair, especially since 45 years ago only 1 in 5,000,000 people had one. Haha!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2019 at 09:34
Oh, they all had soldering irons, no one stopped them from making their own. ;-)

Too cold and damp to apply a varnish coat today, but here's the Interocitor taking shape. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2019 at 09:35
When varnished, it gets reassembled and the internal wiring loom connected. I then check voltages, if they're OK, this is what goes in next. And it all has to be calibrated. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2019 at 09:37
It then gets to live with two little friends..... and eight other analogue synths, two basses, six saxes, a flute and six guitars....



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2019 at 09:37
And that's less than half the stage setup. ;-)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2019 at 06:13
Done by one of my friends. 

"2001 - A Case Odyssey". ;-)

After this one's finished (proof of concept) I've got some vague plans around commercially producing a few synths which will be nearly this size but based around the older Moog format. They'll be modular - you buy the case and power supply - the case will be oak and 20mm thick ("built to last"). There'll be an inbuilt keyboard. Probably 49 key. 

You then choose three 5U panels populated with various pre-made modules. For example, one will have two oscillators, a filter, voltage controlled amplifier, low frequency oscillator and an output module: another might have one oscillator and two filters. There will be a number to choose from, all pre-built. You just mix and match.

The only construction required on the part of the owner is to plug a power connector into the back of the panel and then attach the panel to rack strips using four screws. I've got most of a home built system designed, well, the important bits, so I'll look into it later. Avoiding using Kickstarter, I find it a dishonest system. May be a year or two off, but if you want a big Moog modular, watch this space. 

Alas, it won't be all that cheap,  but it's not going to be a complete rip off, either. ;-)





Edited by Davesax1965 - May 07 2019 at 06:15

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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2019 at 03:30
Slight pause whilst I put together a (non MIDI sync) clock generator - this will feed into a clock divider (which I'm also building) - this provides clock out for the sequencers. And LFOs. And anything which requires a clock. 

I really should stop doodling at work, as I came up with an idea for an angled 19" base unit which the main case sits on, which will contain two Doepfer Dark Time sequencers (which I've got) bolted side to side and acting as the master (MIDI in / out) sequencers for the system, sending clock and gate to an accessory cabinet with eight sequencers in it. I've got all the stuff, it's just woodwork time. ;-)




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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2019 at 03:36
There's the Dark Time sequencers. Ignore the Moog Minitaur synth. ;-)

More woodwork, I must stop doodling at work. Just requires casing up and a breakout panel being made. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2019 at 11:35
Look at those beautiful knobs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2019 at 03:13
As the actress said to the bishop. ;-)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2019 at 06:15
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

...


Absolutely wonderful ... was this one of the centerfolds in Playboy?

Wink
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2019 at 00:46
And now to spend an interesting day stripping all the crap out of the box bedroom, reorganising everything, moving the case into it, finishing off the internal wiring and doing voltage tests. Fire Brigade already pre-warned. ;-)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2019 at 09:30
Half the system. Ready for the other half, which goes in next to it in a couple of days. When I've cursed and swore my way through a spaghetti maze of wiring. 

Gone for the "monolith" approach here due to limited desk space. The other cab, which is about the same size, will sit next to it. Same height, easy to cross - wire them. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 10:28
The new case is getting near lift off...... then it joins the other monolith. Couple of days more wiring and generally messing around in the garage. 



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