Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Circuit bend Elmyra v1.3 for external input!

Circuit bend Elmyra v1.3 for external input! Neutral Labs has released a new hardware revision - Elmyra v1.4. The new...

Posted by Elk Elektronik on Monday, January 4, 2021

Elk Elektroniks workshop - Jan 2021

 The next Elk Elektronics workshop is scheduled for 
 Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 2 PM UTC+11 – 6 PM UTC+11

Price: Free · Duration: 4 hr
Public Anyone on or off Facebook.
Synth Sessions are an opportunity to meet with other synth nerds, make some music and learn about synths.
You will have the opportunity to hear talks on different topics, live performances and DIY kit-building classes.
Synth Sessions are intended to engage people who are interested in synthesizers and provide an opportunity to meet other like-minded people, share knowledge, ideas and listen to synthesizers!
You are very welcome to bring along a synthesizer that you would be happy to have on display or demonstrate during the Session.
If you have something you would like to perform, that would also be very welcome. I just ask that you please let me know what you are bringing or how long your performance is so that I can coordinate these things.
If you would like to give a talk on a particular topic or would like to prepare a performance for future Sessions please contact Elk Elektronik with your idea.
The cost is $10 at the door.
Since the numbers are limited, we will confirm attendance closer to the date.

We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 impact on restrictions in the Wollongong/Sydney area.
At this time we are able to operate small events with some COVID-Safe precautions in place:
- Please do not attend the Synth Session if you are feeling unwell or have cold/flu like symptoms
- Limit of 10 visitors to the Synth Sessions (11 including me)
- You will be required to register on arrival for contact tracing
- Please observe social distancing rules
- Hand sanitizer will be available and require regular sanitizing while participating in the Session
If the situation in NSW changes we will adjust our plan of events accordingly and cancel events if necessary. Updates to event details will be reported here

Monday, 11 January 2021

GenoQs Octopus - Basic Navigation

These  basic notes are for a friend who may be purchasing one of these.
They aren't official in any way.
The Octopus is a beautiful handcrafted instrument. I think the wood is beech. 
I wish more manufacturers would build devices like this today.
I have owned this sequencer for over 10 years
and each time I decide it's time to sell it, I change my mind. 
Music is art. And I feel that an instrument which is a work of art helps inspire the musician.

GenoQs Co. was dissolved some years ago, thus the Octopus & Nemo aren't in production anymore. Nevertheless, the former owners appear to provide continued support, such as repairs & OS updates (latest OS: 08/2017). 
I think reading the manual is essential to truly grasp what this instrument is capable of.
There are so many sequencers out there, and none are perfect. Many are boring and conservative. 
This is neither.
The Octopus has a tree like structure.
Because there is no screen or display, all information is communicated with LEDs.
Reminds me of the Latronic Notron (though they are not related).
This decision to not use a liquid crystal display makes it both beautiful and cryptic.

On the left is matrix consisting of rows of 16 by 10 LEDs with a round ball below each.
These are buttons, and they feel beautiful to touch. 
On the right is the spiral (reminds me of a galaxy of stars).
This is where you find things like chords, tempo, transport, sequence chaining, and mode selection.
A good place to start is to just play a few simple sequences.
The transport buttons & tempo controls are on the right .

The main tempo control is the top right encoder.
Turning the encoder will change the LEDs indicated. They are a kind of bar graph.
Pressing the LED/buttons will also jump you to various fixed tempos.
The lower transport buttons are start, stop, pause, FF, etc . 

When you first turn on the sequencer, you will enter what is called "Page Mode".
This is what most people would expect to see in a standard sequencer.

Pressing the play button, will start the sequencer. 
You will see a row of 8 LEDs move across the matrix from left to right.  You are on your way.
Pressing LED/buttons will enter steps. Adjust pitch (PIT) and Velocity (VEL) , etc

There are 4 Modes:
2. Page
3. track
4. Step

GRID mode
At the top of the tree is the GRID mode.
This is your view of the universe.
The universe (GRID) is divided into 144 pages. 
Each of these 144 buttons is your gateway into the page.
Page Mode

When the Octopus powers on , you will immediately enter the page mode.
To toggle between page & grid  modes, you can double click the 
selected page LED button, press ESC or PAGE + selected page LED button.
I find just using the ESC button is the easiest way to toggle between the two modes.
A flashing page LED indicates you are in PAGE mode
to go to GRID mode press the grid button.
The grid LED will now flash and you will see lit LEDs in the matrix section indicating a active page
To go to page mode press the page button 

To jump to different pages, press the desired LED/Button.
It will go green.
Hit ESC.

To create a new page, Press a unlit button/LED
Hit ESC.

 The important ESC button
Track mode
Burrowing down past PAGE view is TRACK view.
Here, you can inspect & tweak fine track parameters. 

To enter track mode, double press the button (selector button) to the left of the track you wish to edit.
You will see the track LED flash in the MODE section.

The 10 Track attributes:
PIT - pitch (this represents the base value)
VEL - velocity (this represents the base value)
LEN - length (this represents a multiple to the value in step mode )
STA - start (this represents a multiple to the value in step mode )
POS - position - this shifts the steps around
DIR - direction - (Forward, rev, ping-pomg, browian. rnd.)
AMT - amount - amount of random
GRV - groove
MCC - Midi CC
MCH  - Midi channel

STEP mode

Burrowing down past Track view is STEP view.
Here, you can inspect & tweak fine step parameters. 

To enter step mode, double press the step button you wish to edit.
You will see the step LED flash in the MODE section.

To be continued ....


The Hainish Cycle - Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness is the most famous book in the Hainish cycle - The LHOD was published in 1969.

The novel is set in the fictional Hainish universe and many readers describe it as part of the 'Hainish Cycle
although  Le Guin herself often discounted the idea of a "Hainish Cycle", writing on her website that "The thing is, they aren't a cycle or a saga. They do not form a coherent history. There are some clear connections among them, yes, but also some extremely murky ones.
The Hainish Cycle is also sometimes referred to as the Ekumen Cycle .
The Hainish Universe consists of different civilizations of human beings on planets orbiting a number of nearby stars. The idea is that humans did not evolve on earth.
 Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the people of the planet Hain colonized a large number of worlds including Earth, which they named Terra. Most of these planets were similar enough that humans from one world can pass as natives of another. 
 Hainish civilization eventually collapsed and the colony planets (including Earth) over time lost contact with one another and eventually forgot that other human worlds existed.
Ekumen (or the League of All Worlds,
Genly Ai in The Left Hand of Darkness explains that there are 83 planets in the Ekumen, with Gethen a candidate for becoming the 84th

The Hainish novels The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed (1974) have won literary awards, as have the novella The Word for World Is Forest (1972) and the short story "The Day Before the Revolution" (1974). 

 You don't necessarily need to read these books in any order.
I read the Left Hand of darkness first.
All the books are pretty stand alone. Left Hand of Darkness is a great place to start! ...

Order of publication

 Rocannon's World (1966), 

Hainish Reading Order by Ursula LeGuin:
  1. Rocannon's World.
  2. Planet of Exile.
  3. City of Illusion.
  4. The Word for World is Forest.
  5. The Left Hand of Darkness.
  6. The Dispossessed.
  7. A Fisherman of the Inland Sea.
  8. Four Ways to Forgiveness.

An ansible is a category of fictional devices or technology capable of near-instantaneous or faster-than-light communication. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance or obstacle whatsoever with no delay, even between star systems. As a name for such a device, the word "ansible" first appeared in a 1966 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. Since that time, the term has been broadly used in the works of numerous science fiction authors, across a variety of settings and continuities.[1]
The word was a contraction of "answerable", as the device would allow its users to receive answers to their messages in a reasonable amount of time, 

 Sci Fi
My sci fi index. 
Synthesizers and Sci-Fi go hand in hand. 
Electronic music is about Futurism. 
Synths and drum machines represent a new future where science and technology 
hold the promise of a better world.
From special effects, to movie soundtracks they feed off each other. 
I owe programs such as "Dr Who" and movies like "Star Wars", “Forbidden Planet” and “The Day The Earth Stood Still” a great debt for introducing me to electronic sounds and music. Those early films and programs were enhanced by those synths and they in turn paved the way for commercial artists like David Bowie and Pink Floyd to expose the masses to electronic music.

 I'll update this post over time. .. The link can be found in the index to the right.

Asimov's (Isaac) Foundation
+ Asimov  - I, Robot -  - novels & Magazines
+ The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov

+ Dune - The Chronological order of the novels
+ Dune Universe Timeline
+ The Hamish Cycle - Ursula K. Le Guin



+ Hugo Awards Best Sci Fi novels of the 1950's
+ Hugo Awards Best sci fi novels of the 1960's
+ Hugo Awards Best Sci Fi novels of the 1970's
+ Hugo Awards Best Sci Fi Novels of the 1980's
+ Hugo Awards Best Sci Fi novels of the 1990's
+ Hugo awards Best sci fi novel of the 2000's (2000 - 2009)
+ Hugo Awards Best Sci Fi novels for the decade 2010-2019


+ vorkoisgan saga reading order - Lois McMaster Bujold

Rack & Pinion Steam Railway - Queenstown, Tasmania

 This Wilderness Railway is the Perfect Way to Access Scenic Views of Tasmanias West Coast. 

 It's a reconstruction of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company railway between Queenstown and Regatta Point.

The new terminus in Queenstown is on the site of the original station yard. The station at Regatta Point terminus has been renovated..

tHIS is
the only operating rack and pinion section in the Southern Hemisphere.

 The railway was the only way to get copper from the mine at Queenstown . Until 1932, when a Hobart road link was completed, it was the only access through to Queenstown...
rack-and-pinion railway ARE also known as cog railways, or cogwheel railways.
 The trains are fitted with one or more cog wheels or pinions that mesh with the rack rail.
The steepest gradient on the rack section was 1 in 12 (8.33%).

The railway ceased operation on 10 August 1963 due to increasing maintenance costs and the improvement of road access to the West Coast from the north..

Friday, 25 December 2020

MetroModular Power 202 PSU

Some build pics of the MetroModular Power 202 PSU.
It's a eurorack power supply. Model number: MM1537 v0.1

Justin's Power 101 board combined the PSU with the distribution board. 

It's a very easy build. There are a few surface mount components, but they are 0805 and 1206.

Justin may have an new version of this by the time of posting, so check his website for updates.

Mouser 894-shhd001a3b41z

Its a DC/DC converter 18-75V in. 12V out

The next 2 regulators are 580-OKI78SR12/1W36C

 Non-Isolated DC/DC Converters 12Vout 1.0A VSIP
tHE 5v converter


Gotta love  the choke.
Learn more about inductors here:

Some Links
+ Metromodular Facebook
+ Metromodular Youtube
+ Metromodular website  

Eurorack Format

Ornament & Crime - Piqued - envelope generator - cheat notes.

These are my cheat/summary notes For the O_C
A friend asked me to do a brief summary. This is for beginners so skip if you're famillar with the module. 
The "Piqued" app is a great place to start exploring the module.

 Piqued is a quad voltage-controlled envelope generator, based on envelope generator code from the Mutable Instruments Peaks module, but extending it with voltage control, additional envelope types, including re-triggering (looping) envelopes, additional segment shapes, adjustable trigger delays, and a unique Euclidean “trigger filter” which turns the app into a Euclidean rhythm generator which can output envelopes, not just gate or trigger pulses.
Selecting an App
To select the Piqued app use encoder 2 (right encoder).
(Encoders can be pressed or turned).
1. Long Press (>2s) encoder 2 to enter the App menu.
2. turn encoder 2 to select the app
3. Press encoder 2 to select the app.
 Saving your changes.
 (You must do this to save any changes).
1. Long Press (>2s) encoder 2 to enter the App menu. 
2. long press encoder 2 a second time to save the
     module state. 
     This will make the selected app the default at the next boot.

Tim Churches Video

There is also a “Euclidean trigger filter” included, which turns the Piqued app into a quad-channel Euclidean polyrhythm generator
There are 4 envelope outputs
A to D Outputs are the 4 jacks on the lower right corner.
The top 4 inputs on the left are for triggers
The bottom 4 inputs on the left are for CV 

There are two buttons. The top increases the values when pushed in segments of 32.
The lower decreases (in segments of 32) when pushed.

There are 2 encoders.
Encoders can be pressed & turned.
Encoder 1:  
Pressing it will toggle between Setting Mode & Duration/Visulation modes.
Turning it in settings mode will select the envelope type.
Turning it in Duration/Vis mode will select one of the 4 channels: A,B,C,D.


Encoder 2
Pressing it will toggle between envelope settings mode & envelope segment duration mode.
Turning it will either move the cursor (between the different env stages) OR
change segment duration.
There are lots of envelopes to choose from.
A= attack
These (ADL2, ADRL3, ADL2R,ADARL,ADARL4) are interesting.
The looping is an automatic retrigger.
Illustrations of these envelope types can be found here.

 Do let me know if there are any mistakes or omissions.
Over time (when I get a chance) I'll break down the other apps in this cool module (and the Utile Temps too).
Hope this helps.
Merry Christmas. J