This question pops up regularly. So why not write up a blogpost about the topic and save myself the effort of replying the same thing every time. Heck, maybe drive some extra traffic to the site and propel this blog to new unknown heights paving the path to world domination. Maybe I should start plastering adds all over the place and cut up this post into 10 smaller ones on different pages… and…
Anyhow. How to start with this whole DIY synth thing. It’s seems such an insurmountable amount of stuff to learn. And yes, it is. It’s a lot of stuff to absorb. But it has never been easier. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, most information needed is only a Google search away, for some more esoteric questions you might need to scroll to page 2 of the search results though.
It’s one of the modules I use a lot, so I thought it was about time to get rid of the prototypes I have in my rack and build one that looks more like the real deal. I’ve taken all good things from the first 2 versions, ditched all the bad stuff and add some new stuff. That’s a lot of stuff.
In short, It’s a percussion sound generator, with a focus on metallic sounding percussion. Cymbals, hihats, tin cans, gongs, cowbells, … you name it, it’ll do it. It doesn’t really stop there, it’s able to create quite some unique sounding percussion elements, as well as some interesting drone textures. So it’s quite a versatile thing to have in your rack.
Second batch of the old school VCA has landed. A few minor changes have been implemented in the design to get rid of the annoyances I encountered using them. And since I’m the C-level executive of S&C, whatever I say goes! I also empty the trash bin and mop the floor, comes with the perks of being a one-man company. But, more to the point:
- It’s has a black front panel now.
- An extra CV input has been added for all your tremolo or other CV shenanigans. One of the CV’s goes directly to the VCA while the other one has an attenuator. This makes much more sense.
- The output has been boosted a little bit.
For another project I’m working on I needed a multimode filter. For the uninitiated, its a single filter that has a HP/BP/LP function, and does it all simultaneously. An OTA design is fairly common for this type of filter, so that’s what I did. Now, there are a zillion different implementations to be found online, so why not adding one more to the confusion. After all, chaos reigns supreme.
I accidentally, a filter. Who knew that could happen. Maybe I’m picking something up about that whole electronics stuff after all. One can dream. But here it is and I proudly call it VCF-2, quite original, I know. But I ran out of cool sounding names a while back so I’m going the descriptive route.
We don’t often like to admit it, but we all like the blinking lights in our studio. I don’t use many leds in my modules, only when I feel it would add something to the usability, but this one is all about the fancy lights (also this is posted close to Christmas, so that might have something to do with it.)
There’s that saying that you’ll never have enough VCA’s in your modular system. IMHO you never have enough of anything in a modular, but let not digress. VCA’s are useful little buggers that you simply can’t do without. I’ve build a variety of them in the past, mostly incorporated into other more complex modules, but I thought I might as well just make a few standalone ones. I’ll probably post more approaches to the VCA issue in the future.
This one has been in my own rack for a long time already. At the time I hadn’t taken the habit of writing my schematics down consistently. But last week the power got plugged in backwards, which, obviously fried a bunch of stuff. Since I was already taking it apart for repair, it seemed like the ideal occasion to note down the schematics.
According to wikipedia, A Phaser is a “an electronic sound processor used to filter a signal by creating a series of peaks and troughs in the frequency spectrum. The position of the peaks and troughs of the waveform being affected is typically modulated so that they vary over time, creating a sweeping effect. For this purpose, phasers usually include a low-frequency oscillator.” This sounds like a lot of fun.