Sunday, 30 August 2015

303 acid mix - Eurorack & Buchla

Second patch for Carriageworks gig.


The 4MS Matrix mixer - a wonderful module.

The NonLinearCircuits ADSR312 - It's a envelope generator based on a Aries design 

The Intellijel Metropolis sequencer -- what's there not to love about this great machine.

Can't get enough of this 303

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Chopper/Bi-Di router - NLC build notes.

These are the build notes for the nonlinearcircuits Chopper / Bi-directional module. 
So what is it?
It's a eurorack format voltage controllable electronic switching module.

The bottom section is similar to your old fashioned gate controlled bi-directional router. Functionally, it behaves very much like the Serge triple bi-directional router, though the circuit is very different.

The top section is based on a 70's delta modulator, (at least in concept). Delta modulation (DM or Δ-modulation) is an technique of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog signal conversion. It's used for information transmission where quality is not of primary importance.

The signals being switched are also sent through a comparator & they control the switching. Plus you can add CV to all of this. Cool !

Muff's thread is here:

Andrew's build notes are here:

Andrew's Blog:

 I have  2 versions of the PCB.
I'm currently building Version 2 (on the left).
Version 2 has corrections (mods) already done which you will read about in Andrew's build notes.
Mostly replacing some resistors (470K & 22K) & the addition of the 10K .

A 10 k resistor needs to be soldered from the left pad of the 470k resistor to +V, easiest is the closest pin of
the nearby transistor - the collector of BC547.

I've used two 68uf ceramics for the decoupling caps.
I've used 510 ohm SMD resistors for the  LED resistors.
You need to experiment with this. I might go to a 1K for the next build.

Mount pots & Jacks. I used a 1M & a 100K pot ... using this for CV.
Cool. Looks like it works. 


You can find more NLC builds here.

Buchla percussion patch 1 for the Carriageworks

Cobramatic (Paul) & I are preparing for a gig probably next month in Sydney (The Carriageworks).
This patch is part of the installation.

We are undecided as to the final formal. It may comprise Eurorack & Kilpatrick modulars.
But we will definitely be bringing Buchla.

This patch is focused to provide drum/percussion sounds. It will possibly evolve into something else by the time we get to performing but for now, this is what it sounds like.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Steiner-Parker Microcon - Euro module - Build notes

These are my build notes for the Steiner MicroCon (Eurorack format).
The original Microcon was a full voice module.
It's very rare & was first produced between 1977 & 79 as a complete synthesizer in a single module with its own power supply less keyboard. It has its own LFO, Filter, EG & VCO.
The original module measured 4 x 6 inches.

I purchased this modern eurorack kit from SynthCube.
The circuit/PCB was recast by David Ingebretsen in 2012, with permission from Nyle Steiner.

The euro format panel is designed by Clarke Robinson and produced by synthCube.

Muffs has a very useful thread here:

David's L's Microcon post is here: ocon

It might me fun to install the PCB in a box of the same dimensions as a homage to the original
module, though for the moment, I'll keep this in Eurorack format.

Install the resistors first.
There are 10 Diodes - Switching vR/100V Io/150mA (standard 1N4148)
And two 1n4001 Rectifiers (Vr/50V Io/1A T/R)

Headers & caps next.

The two trimmers and that tempco .... needs to be in contact with the IC.(SSM2210).
It's a dual matched transistor.

The Microcon uses two vactrols : VTL5C3/2. These are the same type used in my Buchla.

The original BOM uses a 74c14n Inverter - It's a Schmitt trigger.
This part is obsolete and has been replaced with a CD40106.

It's time to wire everything up.

     More Links:
1. SynthMuseum

For more Euro DIY builds click here:

Friday, 21 August 2015

The Putney and the Video Synth

This is a bit of an experiment running some EMS VCS3 video through a LZX video synthesizer.
The video synth is a whole new world.

Lots of scope for art & experimentation. I just love it.

My synth case so far.
I'm experimenting with lots of modules. As you can see there are some standard Eurorack
modules in this mix that work quite well with the LZX & Brown Shoes Only video modules.

The LZX visual cortex is very useful. It's becoming the heart of the system.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Acid waves - 4Seq remix

A remix using the Metropolis (Intellijel) & 4seq (NLC).

 The VCOs used were a VC303 (for the acid baseline) and a Piston Honda (The Harvestman)

Disco Ayala - the cave nightclub in Trinidad Cuba

Even if you're not into nightclubbing it's a must see when in Cuba.

 Housed in a natural cave Disco Ayala is lot's of fun.
At 1am every night there are live shows -- firewalkers & acrobats. This guy's got very tough teeth.

Cave nightclubs would never be allowed in Australia so lap up the atmosphere while you can.


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

NLC DP Filter - Build notes.

Th Nonlinearcircuits DP Filter is a really interesting beast.
It takes ideas from the TB303 & Moog ladder and combines this with the EMS Diode ladder.
(The TB303 is a four stage diode ladder filter achieved with transistors where the collectors are connected to base. The Moog is a straight transistor ladder filter).

This DP circuit replaces the diodes and transistors of these 3 ladder filters with opto-isolators
Opto-isolators (also called optical couplers or optocouplers) are basically a LED & a photo transistor in a light tight package. They use light to transfer electrical signals between circuits to keep them electrically isolated from each other. In this module the TLP521-2 is used.

Andrew's Build notes are here:

    More useful links:
1. Large schematic
2. Module description.
3. Muffs thread
4. NLC blog - pics of the module

 This module is probably not the easiest one to start with if you are a beginner.
There are lots of surface mounted components, though on the bright side there is only one SMD IC.
(a 074).
I like to get the ICs out of the way so I'll solder the 074 first then the rest of the caps & resistors

 The back side of the PCB also has SMDs. It's not the cleanest of  SMD soldering efforts but should still work. Fingers crossed.
There are two SMD pads marked "c" on the rear side of the PCB....They are for 100k resistors.
Also, I'm using 0805 sized SMD components (its what I had in my store). The pads on this PCB are sized
1206. If you are using smaller ones like me, be careful when soldering the capacitors - let them cool down before soldering the other pad.
There are 2 versions of this filter - the standard using 100nF for C2,C3,C4 & C5 vs the TB-303
acid version which uses a 33nF on C2,C3,C4 & a 18nF on C5.
I'm building the standard version today.... all 100nF.(104).

The trannies next. Six BC547, and two BC557s.
I didn't bother to match these.
The 2 caps marked C22 & C23 near the power connection are 10uF electros.
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