Thursday, 17 May 2018

Sequential Circuits - Drumtraks - Drum Tracks

Some pics of my old Drumtraks. I'm considering selling this.
To quote Vintage Synth:
"While its electronic drum kit sounds may not be as popular today as the TR-909 or TR-808, the DrumTraks exceeds them with superior editing capabilities."
Main panel features a segment display, 13 dynamic trigger pads, 9 buttons and numeric pad.
I'll probably miss this if I do decide to sell , but I'm running out of room. I have too many drum machines.
The Drumtracks hails from 1984.
 At the time of its manufacture it was the only drum machine that let you program both volume and tuning individually for each sound.

 The inclusion of Midi lets you program all your drum parts, including volume dynamics and accents in real time from any velocity sensitive instrument, such as the Prophet-T8.

The clock in and out is very useful.
DrumTraks can output a clock signal and is also fully MIDI capable. This makes it very easy to use with old analogs and new MIDI synths and sequencers.
- analog sync IN at 24 /48 /96 PPQ resolution, but it outputs only at 24 / 48 PPQ 

The metronome out generates +5V pulses.
The cassette in/out is for offline memory storage.

There are six individual outputs, one mono mix output.
The drum has an onboard mixer.
Each of its 13 different drum sounds had its own programmable tuning and volume controls.
The 13 sounds include bass drum, snare, rimshot, tom (x2), crash cymbal + ride, open/ closed hihat, handclaps, tambourine, cabasa and cowbell.

 The Pattern edit section

You can store 100 patterns & build 100 songs.
The song edit section with its  9 button numeric pad.

The drum uses PCM waveform samples coded at 12 bit resolution. They are stored on socket EPROMS (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memories).
It is possible to change the soundset by swapping the eproms.

Dimensions (WxDxH): 21 3/8 x 10 x 4 inches
Power: 110 V AC

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Noise Engineering - BIA - Basimilus Iteritas Alter

Some tweaking of this incredible module.

Noise Engineering have made a work of art.
It's much much more than a drum. Fabulous for baselines.

I'm using a Wintermodular eloquencer to sequence the BIA
Sometimes it just sounds so good without any CV sequencing from the eloquencer.
All u need are triggers & gates.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NLC Resonate - build notes

These are my build notes for the Nonlinearcircuits Resonate module.
It's in the Eurorack Format.

The Resonate Module uses the core circuit of the Korg 3100 Resonator, with component choices for the filter sections as per the mods introduced by RJB in his blog back in 2005.
The  Korg PS3100 is famous for the sound of its resonator.

The main difference of the NLC version is that it has 4 VC bandpass stages and a feedback control, whereas the original has 3 stages and no feedback. The 4 VC bandpass stages can be controlled by a single CV on input 1 (with an attenuator) or individually with each of the 4 CV inputs.
The CV processing sub-circuits are greatly simplified from the original Korg version, simply using op amps to drive the vactrols.
The 2 inputs are summed together. Out 2 is an inverted version of Out 1.

Demo Video -

sOME NLC words of wisdom
Nouveau shamanic - another Nicolas Cage Reference.
Nouveau Shamanic is the name he's given to his personal acting style.
 "thousands of years ago, the tribal shamans were really actors. What they would do is they would act out whatever the issues were with the villagers at that time, they would act it out and try to find the answers or go into a trance or go into another dimension, which is really just the imagination, and try to pull back something that would reflect the concerns of the group."

Back to the build.
I like to get the ICs on first.
I'm using a new solder:
This is brilliant stuff. It's not cheap, but flows so easily and is only 0.35mm. It's 5 core.
I've up to now been using 0.7mm single core.

tHESE rectifiers are a protection against plugging in the module backwards.

I'm using 1.0 K resistors for the RLs - LED resistors.

I'm using NSL vactrols

The white dot on the vactrol is the cathode.
On the PCB, the cathode is marked "k"
Install the headers which join the two PBCs


NLC Build notes
Muffs - 2018 modules

You can find more NLC builds here.

Zlob - Clock Divider

A great module. Its just 2HP
These aren't official build notes.
The Zlob website is here:

The build docs are slightly different from my version which I think is currently under revision
 However, it works great.

the 4040 ic must be the type that can run on up to 15V.
The trannies are 2N3904

You need to solder those 5 two pin jumpers, and then connect them with a shunt/shorting block.
This version has these pins for expansion purposes. (With the 16 pin header next to it). I could also solder each of the 2 pins together, if I didn't want the future expander.
For more Euro DIY builds click here:

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Osaka Castle - Japan

Impressive structure.
Very close to the CBD of Osaka , so well worth a visit.
Construction of the original castle began in 1583 and the building was completed in 1597.
The current main tower at Osaka Castle is a concrete reconstruction of the 17th-century castle and was completed in 1931.
Osaka castle is very important in the history of Japan. It played a major role in its (Japan's) unification during the samurai era of the sixteenth century.
It was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi .

The castle became the center of the new unified Japan under Toyotomi rule and brought with it a short period of peace after centuries of civil war.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi looks like an interesting character.
He was born of no traceable samurai lineage, being the son of a peasant-ashigaru (foot soldier) named Yaemon. He had no surname, and his childhood given name was Hiyoshi-maru (日吉丸) ("Bounty of the Sun"). How he rose to his final position of power only he probably knows. He was the general who first united all of Japan.

The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside.
The 3 extra stories are underground.
 It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat.

 Pictures of the outer moat.
The 16th & 17th centuries were the time of  shogunate & the Samurai.

There were eight giant fusetora (golden tiger) decorations and golden shachi (a mythical creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp) roof ornaments. These were believed to protect the castle against fire.
In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died the year after. Osaka Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori who was just 4 years old. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu Tokugawa, who worked for Hideyoshi as a senior retainer, was appointed to the Shogun and he established the shogunate (government) in Edo (Tokyo)  in 1603.

The castle grounds cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres).
The massive stones, (the largest weighing about 130 tons), were transported from all over Japan, but principally from the islands of the Inland Sea.
The first Shogun of Japan, Ieyasu Tokugawa, accused Toyotomi of treason. This was his excuse to lay siege to his castle in 1614 (The Winter Seige).

The Toyotomi forces were outnumbered by approximately two to one, but somehow managed to fight off the 200,000 Tokugawa-led samurai army. Part of the terms of truce included the filling up with soil of the moats of Osaka Castle thus rendering them useless.

However, my the next year, the Toyotomis began digging up the filled-in moat.
So the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu attacked again in 1615. This is known as the second (or Summer Seige) of Osaka Castle. The castle was this time destroyed and the Toyotomi dynasty ended.
The Tokugawa Shogunate, would rule Japan for the next 250 years.

View from the top floor of Osaka Castle

Hideyori Toyotomi, along with his mother, killed themselves as Tokugawa’s soldiers set the castle ablaze, burning everything to the ground.

But Osaka Castle was rebuilt.
Tokugawa completed this second version of Osaka Castle in 1629.

 In 1660, there was a huge explosion when lightning struck the gun powder storage room. The explosion blew most of the castle to pieces.

In 1868, the castle was again razed to the ground. Rather than surrender to the anti-shogunate forces of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 the castle was destroyed.

After this, what was once Osaka Castle, became the property of the Japanese military and was converted to an arsenal. It produced everything from guns to cannons. This was possibly the reason Osaka became a target during WWII.

The current Osaka Castle dates from 1931. The main tower survived the firebombing raids of WWII.
This 3rd version of Osaka Castle combined the two previous castles. Hideyoshi’s palace was rebuilt on top of the stone walls from the Tokugawa Period.

For more travel postcards click here:

Division6 - Dual Sequencer

Looking for the perfect sequencer is like searching for the Holy Grail
It may never end. There are so many out there.

I thought this was worth a crack.
Fairly compact and cheap to build.
I was impressed with the Div 6 pocket sequencer so whynot.

These are not build notes, just some pics to help me remember the build process if I ever want to do it again. The build is quite easy.
The official notes are here:

 Its all through hole. No SMD

For more Euro DIY builds click here: