Buffered multiple

A very boring yet crucial part of any setup. A buffered multi always comes in handy and it’s pretty easy to build as well. Since I was building one myself I added a few leds to indicate signal and it’s polarity, that way I got some indication what’s going on. I used 2 separate leds since I didn’t have any dual coloured leds lying around. It would look a bit fancier with a dual led, maybe I should order a few, just in case I build a few more of these.

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Input module

It shouldn’t be all weird stuff, sometimes one needs some simple building blocks. After a bit of experimenting with sending audio from the mixing desk to the modular I found myself short of a way to amplify a line level signal to the audio levels used in a modular. Hence, I thought I build myself an input module with the sole task to take in a line-level and give it a nice boost. It’s a simple module actually.

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Crusher

I was one of those guitarists who spend more time with his effect pedals, then with his guitar. I ended up exchanging my guitar for synths when it came to music making. Not really a surprise there, but my love of piling effects together into a huge unpredictable pile is still there, and somehow, even with a bunch of 19″ racks I haven’t been able to scratch that itch. You could use a computer these days, but nothing beats a bunch of wires and noisy electronics to spark creativity. Guitar pedals are nice and all, but do lack in certain areas when you try to use them with synths.

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FML – 4 operator FM percussion drone module

While doing research for the oscillator I stumbled –  seems to be a common theme — upon these IC’s. The ICL8038 promises to be a stable oscillator with very few external components. It’s an obsolete product, but I could get a few of them via Ali-express cheap enough to experiment with. Since it offers a sine output I immediately thought about doing some FM type percussion. That way I wouldn’t need 1/v per octave and pitch fluctuations wouldn’t be that much of a problem either. I also had a V2164 quad VCA chip around, so a 4 operators (aka oscillators) seemed a perfect fit. Enough to provide some interesting FM timbres at least.

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VCO-1 – The Oscillator One

Since Coolaudio started reissuing old IC’s used in various synths I always eyed the V3340, which is a reissue of the CEM3340 chip as used in many classic synths such as the Roland SH101, Prophet 5, Memory Moog and plenty of others. It’s, in essence, a fully featured 1V/oct oscillator on a single IC and thus takes away a lot of the headaches inherent to VCO design. Things like linearity and temperature compensating are taken care of for you. This takes away a lot of the pain of building VCO’s, in fact, since these IC’s are available again a DIY polysynth starts to become a possibility.

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