Sunday, January 22, 2012

And then it was blacker, and bluer

This module has a 5Pulser from Ian Fritz, a Yusynth Saw Animator and multiples and attenuators in the middle. The 5Pulser and Saw Animator take a sawtooth wave input and turn it into a whole lot more. My one VCO now sounds WAY fatter! Check Youtube for demos, as I have yet to invest in good recording equipment.

Here is my whole system after the re-knobbing and new module. I'm started to get excited as it comes together. I have a few modules to go before it really makes sense as a complete system that will be a big part of my sound, and more importantly, give me a voice to express myself musically again. I was really just starting to gel with the last modular that I had before going to school, but that's life. This one is already better in a lot of ways and will only improve as I put more modules together.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Final Report

2011 was the year that I finally started making some progress on my (mostly) DIY modular synth. I've finished a few things since my last post. First was the Attenuverting Mixer from Fonitronik:

It is a really handy module! I would recommend buying or building one to anyone.

I made a couple of stompboxes in the last few months, but didn't get pictures of them before they left to join their new owners.

I picked up a few of these little Hammond boxes for a couple of projects. The first was this little adapter box:

I figured it would be a handy testing/debugging tool for stompboxes and modules, but then I realized that some 3M hook and loop would allow me to use it as the 1/8" to 1/4" output adapter for connecting the modular to the mixer, when it wasn't being used for testing duties.

I plan on building a little 9V power supply for pedals into one as well. When I was trying to think of a project for the third one that I had purchased, my wife suggested I make an ornament that looked like a little pedal, so I did:

I wanted to finish one more module by the end of the year, so I decided it would be a Buchla 292C clone using the DIY PCBs released by Thomas White.

I brought pretty much all of the possible options to the panel, making my layout pretty tight and a little odd. It is actually pretty easy to manipulate all the knobs while it is patched thanks to the pricey, but very nice and small Alco knobs. The top channel has a VTL5C2 Vactrol, the two center channels have the VTL5C3 Vactrols usually found in LPGs and the bottom channel is using a VTL5C3/2. They all sound pretty flippin sweet to me. All of the channels self-oscillate and have a really nice distortable filter sound in addition to the lovely thwips and thwaps that LPGs do so well.

Here is my modular so far, started at the beginning of 2011:

I ordered some knobs and switch covers for the Doepfer modules, so they will blend in with my DIY stuff better. I am working on a second case and the modules to fill it. I will try to do a start-to-finish pictorial on one the modules this coming year. We'll see. I like to build slow and rock out to music. Taking pictures cramps my style.