Thursday, 30 October 2014

ARP 2500 - Patch No 2

Really loving the Mix-sequencer module.
Its a very expressive tool.

Some pics of the patch:

  Left side


I'd like to thank Mini & all the staff from ToneTweakers in NYC
who lovingly restored this grand lady. Great job guys

ARP 2500 - first patch

This is a first experimental patch on the ARP 2500.
I'm still getting used to using the matrix rather than traditional cables. It takes a bit of
getting used to & is definitely less messy and easier to record patches.

I'll upload pics of the patches as I work through my experiments so if you wish to duplicate them on your own modular go right ahead.

If you are an owner of a 2500 please write.
I'd love to swap & share ideas, patches, etc.

Left side. Modules used are 1004 & 1023 oscillators, 1047 (filter resonator), 1006 Filter/Amp, 1046 Quad EG (envelope generator),

On the right we have a 10 stage sequencer (1027 - The Clocked Sequential Control Module)  & a mix sequencer (1050).

The 1050 mix sequencer is especially interesting. I have never come across anything like it.
It's a rather unusual 8 channel or two 4 channel mixer. More about this later.

I'd like to thank Mini & all the staff from ToneTweakers in NYC
who lovingly restored this grand lady. Great job guys

Friday, 24 October 2014

OctaTrack & MachineDrum - End of time - Minimal

Experimenting with the Elektron Octatrack & Machine Drum.
Great combo.

FAIRLIGHT CMI Series III Synth Sampler System Stewart Copeland The Police

Wow, Stewart Copeland's Fairlight (series III) is going up for auction on Ebay.

For those who don't know, Stewart Armstrong Copeland is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and composer best known as the drummer for the band the Police.

I'm tempted  though I already have a Series IIx.
But this is some serious piece of music history.
May it go to a good home.

It's a steal at the price of $12K USD.

Item description:

FUNCTION - Computer Musical Instrument
DESCRIPTION - This listing is for a FAIRLIGHT CMI Series III Synth/ Sampler System. We are selling this system on behalf of our client, Stewart Copeland. This was a very personal Fairlight system of his as seen by the very cool artwork and coloring done on the pieces. Note that the road case for the mainframe says "The Police" stenciled on the side. This represents a very rare opportunity to own a complete Fairlight system, not to mention one that was part of the personal arsenal of a music legends!
  • ACCU & DCCU System CPU & Interface (Loaded with cards & in road case with "The Police" stenciled)
  • VDU Series III Monitor (in road case)
  • MKB & ADK Series III Music Keyboard & Alpha-Numeric Keyboard with Data Pen (in road case)
  • Multi-Disk-Drive Rack Unit w/ SCSI CD-ROM Drive
  • 2x Q256 - 256k RAM Cards (in addition to one already installed)
  • Manuals and System Disk (in original box)
  • 3x Expression Pedals (for use with MKB Music Keyboard)
  • Large lot of various cables and snakes used for system wiring and interconnection
LINK - More information available from VintageSynth, SoundOnSound, and Wikipedia.
ACCESSORIES - Includes ONLY what is shown in the photos and listed above. NO additional accessories.
WORKING CONDITION - This system was recently pulled from storage and has not been fully tested by us as Fairlights remain an item that requires some dedicated expertise to get up and running. Admittedly we do not have the expertise on staff at the moment.  It may or may not need some restoration to bring to optimal condition for use. With that it is being sold under the assumption that it may need servicing, updating etc. 
TOTAL PRE-SHIP DIMS- 70" x 35" x 32"


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Roland M-240 mixer - power supply replacement (Part 1)

I picked up a beautiful old Roland M-240 24 channel line mixer the other day. Sadly the mixer didn't
have a power supply so it's kinda useless. Roland don't appear to know where I can find a PSU and eBay was equally unhelpful.

The 3 pronged input reads DC -/+ 21.5V and 500mA. It's not your standard Wall Wart.

  Rather than throw it away I've decided to attempt building a new power supply.

Some pics of the circuit board:

This is the underside of the power PCB of the mixer.  It contains 4 voltage regulators: AN7812F / AN7815F / AN7912F / AN7915F. They provide voltages of +/- 12V & +/-15V.
These regulators should be able to handle voltages ranging between 35V to 18V. ..... though I'm not totally sure about how it will effect the rest of the mixer...... So do be careful if you are making these sorts of mods.

Anyway, I decided to test the mixer with a variable DC power supply.
At +/- 18V the mixer works with the exception of the UV meter which doesn't light up.

Nice! +/- 21.5 V and the meter is now also working.:-)

Ok, so we do need at least 21.5 V.

Possible soltions: 

I'm thinking of building one of Ken Stone's PSUs.

Varying the 78XX and 79XX regulators on the CGS14 board will hopefully give me the required voltage
A 7822 & 7922 regulator would be really nice but these are nearly impossible to find.
Maybe the LM317 & LM337 could be used instead.???

The LM317 has three pins: Input, output, and adjustment. The device behaves like an op amp
Vout = Vref (1 + RL/RH)
Vout = 1,25v (1 + RL/RH) .... there might be a small error due to some slight current flows from the
                                               adjustment pin.

It will be fun to play around with and experiment with different resistor values. Also these regulators
look like they could be very useful in future projects where unusual voltages are called for.

Finally, a good tech friend of mine has also suggested I build just the rectifier section of the CGS14 board, leaving out the regulators. (The Roland mixer already has the required regulators on board).

I stumbled upon a very cool site the other day.
There is a useful entry on their blog relating to bipolar power supplies:

They use the LM317 & LM337 regulators.

I'll update this page as I go along.:-)
These ideas are so far untested so proceed with caution if you are doing a similar thing.
I take no responsibility if you connect a power supply to the mixer and it burns out!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Korg MS-20 mini sequenced by Elektron Machine Drum

What's not to love about those Korg filters.
The Ms-20 is still after all these years one of my favorite instruments.

I'm  using the External Signal Processor in this patch.
Like an envelope follower ... its a very useful addition to the MS20 arsenal.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Cuba - Havana 1

A few pics taken on a recent trip to Cuba.
The beautiful old buildings are undergoing graceful decay.

For more Travel Postcards Click Here
For more on Cuba Click Here

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Elektron A4 synth & Rytm drums - Entrancer

Analog Four, Elektron Rtym & a Buchla 200 modular synth,

The track was recorded in a single take. No audio processing.
I'm using a combination of LZX modules & a Korg entrancer to process the video.

Some pics of the setup:

hERE is a link to the audio file for this composition.

And finally, below is the same video pre video manipulation:

Friday, 10 October 2014

Video on a oscilliscope

Exploring vector rescanning.

Found this video (it's not mine) but I'm experimenting
using the LZX modular system to do a similar thing.

Input the video signal into the z-input of your scope and supply the X & Y inputs with

 The circuit uses a LM1881 IC - Its a video sync separator.

Here is another video using the same idea:
Creating X and Y sawtooth ramp signals from the vertical and horizontal sync pulses.

Schematic is here:

Using a Tektronix 485 in XY mode
There is a useful muffs post on Vector Rescanning

Op-amp basics

A friend of mine was asking about op-amps the other day.
They are used extensively in the synth world.
I found this great little video and thought I'd share.
It's very basic but a great introduction to this very important
building block of electronic music.

Around 7.15 into the video is a integrator circuit.
It's a classic way to convert a square wave to a triangle wave.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Elektron Analog 4 & Rytm - Feedback 2

The Elektron A4 & Rytm are a great pair. They are made for each other.
Though the video is processed, the audio was done in a single live take.

Below is a free link to some high quality Wav files of this video
If you wanna have a go at remixing this be my guest.

I've had a few requests for a version without the video editing. everyone can see the machines without the video synthesis getting in the way. Here it is:

Roland 808, 303 & Jomox 888

Love the Jomox 888. Those kicks stand up well next to the Roland 808.
We (jondent & cobramatic) are just having a bit of fun on a sat arvo.

After a good red everything sounds better... The 303 devilfish is very very different to a standard 303.
Takes a bit of getting used to.

You can download the audio files from this video here.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A visit to Non Linear Circuits - Perth, Western Australia

While on a recent trip to Perth I dropped by to visit my friend Andrew F of  Nonlinear Circuits.

I got to meet Pinky :-)

This is "Synth Porn"

And even more famous than Pinky are Randy & Bill
Randy is on the left. Bill who is only 4 months old is on the right.

Back to the synths:
This is all Eurorack format, consisting of :
2 tri-core VCOs 
2 LFOs 
2 LPGs 
3 VCAs 
VC spring reverb 
jerkoff chaos 
2x  Buchla inspired 281 EGs 
Sauce of Unce (SOU). Based on the Buchla 265

A new NLC Serge format Panel.

This comprises:
Two VCOs
Vibes (a collection of fixed filters) 

This is part of an electronic analog computer which Andrew rescued many years ago.  It's programmed using patchcords that connect op-amps, capacitors, resistors, etc. to carry out calculations.

                                A adder circuit. It's a lovely illustration of how the Op amp's
                                    negative feedback can be used to do computations.

 This circuit adds the 3 inputs.
Vout = -R4[V1/R1+V2/R2+V3/R3]

                                                                     The integrator.
This op-amp circuit performs the mathematical operation of Integration

 The output voltage is proportional to the integral of the input voltage. (ie: the size of the output is controlled by the length of time a voltage is present at its input). This is determined by the negative feedback capacitor which charges/discharges.

I'm not sure of the age of this computer. Maybe 1950s /  1960's ????
It's beautiful though. 

 Pieter Brugel-the-elder, "The Triumph of Death"

  c. 1562. The original can be found in the Museo del Prado, Madrid 

Skeletons hauling a wagon full of skulls.
Death is indiscriminate. We will all have to face it one day.

An early valve synth

All pics are reproduced with the kind permission of NLCs.