Thursday, 29 May 2014

Buchla meets R2 D2

A bit of fun.

A few pics of the above patch.

The 262v and 296e are a perfect match. The envelopes from the 296e are triggering the 262v harmonic oscillator.

The master clock is via the 208.
And it's sequencer provides CV to the 258.

The Baron Hotel - Aleppo Syria

There was another news report on Syria today. Makes me so sad.
I remember a beautiful country. Some of my happiest memories are of a trip I made there in 1998/99.

When in Aleppo the place to stay was the Baron Hotel.
Only $20 a night.

The rooms are Spartan. Definitely not the Hilton but dripping with history. The furniture is probably from the 1920-1930s.

Built around 1909 by the Mazloumian Brothers, this used to be the centre of luxury.
If you were royality or someone famous, there was only one place to stay when visiting Aleppo ....
.... The Baron.

This is the public waiting room.

The guest list reads like a who's who of the mid 20th century.
In 1934, Agatha Christie wrote the first part of "Murder on the Orient Express" in room 203.

Lawrence of Arabia slept in room 202 and he didn't pay the bar bill :-).

The Presidential Suite occupants list include Charles de Gaulle of France, King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (the founder of
the United Arab Emirates) & Syria's former President Hafez Al Assad.
David Rockefeller the American Billionaire also stayed there along with Dame Freya Stark, Julie
Christie, Mr and Mrs Theodore Roosevelt, Kemal Ataturk, Lady Louise Mountbatten, Charles
Lindbergh and Yuri Gagarin

King Faisal declared Syria's independence from the balcony in room 215.

For more travel postcards click here

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Buchla 296e - 16 Voltage Controlled Filters

Buchla 296e - 16 Voltage Controlled Filters - The programmable Spectral processor
Exploring those 16 VCAs on each of the bandpass filters.

I'm using a few NLC (NonLinearCircuit) modules to supply the CVs
... mainly the 8 Bit cipher, the 4x4 Logic module and the two bindubba sequencers.

The 8-bit cipher & 4x4 Binary Logic modules.

bindubba3 polydirectional sequencer.

bindubba1 sequencer

Buchla format 262v - Harmonic Oscillator

Monday, 26 May 2014

Moog 960 sequential controller

A beautiful piece of gear deserves it's own post.

The Moog 960 Sequential controller.
If you're looking at this you probably already know what it does.

Lovely hand soldered components.

 The unit requires +12V, Ground, -6V to run

Sunday, 25 May 2014

What U is that synth ??? - Modular synthesizer sizes.

Confused with the different sizes and dimensions that modular synth manufacturers use? 
Well here is a brief break down of how they measure up with one another.

Most synth manufacturers use varying widths, but standardize when it comes to height.
The dimensions they share stem from  rack mounted equipment (audio & computer).
Modular synths between 3U and 6U are the most common.
Width and height are the most important factors.

Width is usually measured in units of TE (TeilungsEinheiten, german.) or HP (Horizontal Pitch)
One TE/HP = 5.08mm = 0.2inches or 1/5"

Height is usually measured in terms of  HE (HöhenEinheit, german.). or units (U, english)
One U =  44.45mm = 1.75 inches.



1U (1.75 inches or 44.45mm) Not a very common size when it comes to modular synths.It is used extensively in audio gear. Some synths that use this format are Thomas Henry & erthenvar
Dopefer also produced a few 1U synths like the MS-404. Not a modular though.

Erthenvar sell 1U PulpLogic modules such as this Sample & Hold.
Very handy if you have limited space.

2U (3.5 inches or 88.9mm) Again, this is not a very common size when it comes to modular synthesizers. This height is more common with audio gear. Some rack mounted synths that are are sold in this size include the Paia Fatman and the Waldorf Pulse. And one of the most popular digital synths to ever come from Roland the JV-1080 took the 2U format.
Wiard does produce a 2Unit 311C Dual JAG Controller

 3U (5.25 inches or 133.4 mm) This is probably the most common size when it comes to modular synths.
It includes the the huge Eurorack/Doepfer range and all Frac-Rac, Blacet, Wiard, Metalbox, BugBrand, PlanB, Livewire, Bananalogue, Analogue Solutions, Analogue Systems, NonLinearCircuits (NLC), Synton, Paia, Metasonix, etc, etc etc
An assortment of 3U Eurorack modules from different manufacturers. (Blue Lantern, WMD, ADDAC, Snazzy effects).

Doepfer's 3U mini synth voice the A-111-5 (it's the eurorack version of the Dark Energy) next to Din Sync's modularized Roland TB 303 filter.

4U (7 inches or 177.8mm) Serge - STS , polyfusion
(out of production), NonLinearCircuits (NLC) , Driscoll & Buchla

Three Buchla 200e modules:281e, 292e.261e. Each is 7" high and 4.25" wide

A panel of Driscol modules. Width varies but height stays the same (7").

An early 70's era Paperface Serge 4U modular panel (7" x 17").

The 4U NonLinearCircuit Cellular Automata sequencer panel.

 5U (8.75 inches or 222.25mm) MOTM - Synthesis Tech, Moog, Synthesizers Dotcom, Encore, Modcan B series, Metasonix. 

The Moog modular synthesizers use the 900-series of modules.

(almost) 5U Modules : Cyndustries  Format A & Modcan  A
Modcan A modules are 9" high (5u is 8.75 inches) and single width modules are 2.25" wide
The most compact packaging is the Cyndustries sixpacks (13.5" x 9" x 7"). These are entirely different from the dimensions of 19" racks.

6U (10.5 inches or 266.7mm) Wiard 300 series. They are designed to fit in a 19" rack mounting frame (6 across)

9U (15.75 inches or 400.05mm) - A Real Monster of a Synth  : Technosaurus

                      *** For any corrections or mistakes please email me *****

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Buchla 296e - Dual morphing filters

Demoing the filter programming & morphing capability of the 296e.
The 296e Spectral Processor is a very complex 16 channel bandpass filter. It has 16 VCAs and 16 envelope followers (but more about this in another post). Just focusing on the filter morph/program today.

By pressing the  DISP switch on the top right we can jump between the two level inputs A & B.
Programming each spectral shape is done via the touch potentiometers.

By using the morph control you can pan between the two spectral shapes. The actual net filter response can be viewed by selecting “progrm”.

A control voltage can rapidly alter the degree of morphing. I'm using a LFO from the modulating VCO of a 259r.

Harmonic Oscillator (262v) & NLC 4x4 Binary Logic

An experiment using logic gates to trigger the Verbos Harmonic Oscillator.
I'm using a NonLinearCircuits 4x4 binary logic module.

Some pics of the setup:

Adam's beautiful retro 112 touch controller/sequencer.
And the 121d. Love that joystick. :-)

Friday, 23 May 2014

NonLinearCircuits 6 panel portable case

I commissioned  this case to house some of my NLC and Serge panels.
I wanted a portable case to carry to gigs with enough space above the panels to be able to close the case
without having to remove patch cables.
Many thanks to Nathan for his excellent work.

Solid construction.

Panel 1:                                             Panel  2:                                         Panel 3:                        
New Timbral Oscillator                   Random Source                               Sequencer
Precision VCO                              Smooth/Stepped Generator               ASR
+ N Comp                                     Dual/Transient Generator                  Active Processor
Pulse divider                                  Dual Processor                               Dual VC Clock
Triple Wave Shaper                        Dual Universal Slope Generator        Pulse Divider
Audio mixer                                  Quadrature Oscillator                       Boolean Logic
X Fader                                                                                              4 Stage Sequencing
Variable Q VCF                                                                                   Programmer
Universal Audio Processor

Panel 1:                                      Panel  2:                                         Panel 3:                        
NLC VCO 1                            ADSR 1                                           It's a 555... Resonator
NLC VCO 2                            ADSR 2                                           Bleeding Gate 1 & 2
Mixer                                     CV Processor                                  Jerk Off 3 & 4
VCA                                      Conjoined Transient Generators         Spam Filter
LFO 1                                    Jerk Off 1 & 2                                  Arp Filter
LFO 2                                    Neuron 1, 2, 3 & 4                           Divine CMOS
Envelope Generator                Transient Generator                           

Thursday, 22 May 2014