modular synth.

considering this is a large and slow project, and one which i've only recently begun working on in earnest, this can be seen as one of those diary type things. it will probably never ever be updated.

all samples are live.

24 june 2012

a little cleaning up - before and after


20 feb 2010

finally something to show... although this picture is a few months old. There's an extra cabinet on top now.

top to bottom, left to right

row one

cv theremin - digisound dual ring modulator - wasp vcf - korg ms-20 vcf - vast machinery - cgs dual bandpass filter - mfos state variable filter - cgs synthacon filter - korg ps3100 resonator - buchla bandpass filter - mfos 24db/octave vcf - cv theremin

row two

ian fritz's jerkster - dual coron ds7 - cgs quad drum - buffered multiples/clusters - cgs gated comparator - quad vc switch (cv and audio) - joystick interface

row three

cgs burst generator (x2) - yusynth pulse delay - mfos s/h / clock - oakley s/h - mfos noise cornucopia - cgs digital noise (x2) - blacet frequency divider - cgs pulse divider/logic - cgs sequential switch w/sequencer mod

row four

4069 vco - e4m vco - mfos vco - 4069 vco - oakley vco - thomas henry/magic smoke 566 vco (x4)

row five

big-ass audio/voltage meter - ian fritz 5pulser - octave switch - cv clusters - tellun spring reverb - cgs metal shop w/ lockhart waveshaper - cgs sub-oscillator - mfos phaser

row six

mfos quad lin/log vca (x2) - oakley triple vca - quad minimoog vca - audio to gate w/ balanced mic in - 16 channel mixer w/ balanced out

row seven

cgs slope detector - dual attack/release (x2) - mfos dual adsr - thomas henry adsr - oakley lag - utilities-comparator, cv clusters, inverter, variable attenuating inverting thing - cgs super psycho lfo - dual vc lfo

[quick edit] credit where credit is due, all this was possible due to the following:

Ray's Music From Outer Space

Ken's Catgirl Synth

Tim Servo's Magic Smoke, who have realized a bunch of Thomas Henry's DIY synth designs

Oakley Sound


Ian Fritz's chaos modules are pretty cool

many thanks to Scott at The Bridechamber for pcb's, jacks, parts and being a nice guy

and thanks to the regulars at the Electo-music DIY forum, who know lots about everything synth and are very good at sharing knowledge and experience... and pretty good at coming up with their own designs as well. Hats off...

(i'll make a proper links page at some point)

that took ages to write. a quick word about individual modules...

okay so it doesn't do anything very useful soundwise but it looks cool. based on the functions of the (discontinued) doepfer module, i just had to go and build one six times bigger. the schematics are here if anyone's interested. i have no idea how the doepfer works but it can't be much different. thanks to onkel bent for giving me the cool old meter all those years ago.

the most boring module in the whole synth but essential. it used to be passive but i found too many times that clock signals (for example) weren't strong enough to drive more than two modules. so it got remade into a three-in mixer (suitable for audio as well) and three buffered splitters... the bottom two have are linked via a switching jack, so there's six possible outputs.

more from ken stone's fine stable. the pulse divider is pretty cool for weird rhythms as it divides from two through to eight... dividing a clock signal by five or seven gives some really interesting sequencing results. as i have an obsession with blinky lights, i just had to hang LEDs of the individual outputs. i don't recommend this as it really sucks a lot of current and can play havoc with other modules sharing the same power supply. it looks cool though.

beside that is the cgs eight-way sequential switch with sequencer mods... it's a fairly simple sequencer but works just fine. there's a cv mix input there to which is handy.

okay i'm off to a party to celebrate the chinese new year. more again soon... hopefully some better pictures / audio.

09 december 2007

question is, have i been lazy, or just lazy updating the site? you decide. anyhow, modules in badly made wooden boxes a few months ago, just before the big move:

...and while we're waiting with baited breath, the cardboard army.

moving is a pain in the face, especially when you've got stuff like this following you around. but it's worth it in the end, i reckon.

once i get this dang thing built, it's going to be so dang impessive...

06 june 2006

things are beginning to take shape. poor quality photo time.


ken stone's super psycho lfo. simple enough to put together, for the hours of fun you can have with it. why have only one lfo when you can have six? the six outputs on the front are linked. they're only for the sake of symmetry. i've found i can quickly use all six outputs, even with the modest setup i have now.

the super bright white leds are for the sake of annoyance. this module can also be epilepsy-inducing after a while.

on the subject of front panels: i've had a whole bunch made up by steve thomas in england. steve started a small cnc engraving and drilling service to the diy community a while back. i only have uncoloured engaving on black aluminium, and i think that looks great. check out his site for some more colourful examples... and a clone of an ems synthi he made. lovely!


better pictures to follow... and check out the date. are you listening to slayer?

27 february 2006

things are going slowly. but steadily. it's nice be able to build a vco with stuff lying around the house. in this case, rene schmitz's synths'r'us site has the ingredients for this cmos vco. i built it from scratch and had it up and running in six hours. simplicity itself. outputs: sawtooth, pulsewidth and one charmingly called 'floppy'. this picture was taken before i added elementary things like decoupling capacitors and buttered the whole thing with heatsink paste. sound clips will come later...


july 16 2005


can anyone guess what this is? here is a clue. more to follow... i promise.


march 20 2005



an ms20 filter clone, from the jørg schmitz website. i built this first (who on earth builds a filter first?) because i had the parts lying around, and it was more of an experiment to see if i could add it to something else. in this case an sh101. this thing self-oscillates very easily, which is fine by me. the blinky green leds are nice as well, they'll be on the front panel. i like this picture, but the sheep just felt used.



effects boxes

the bends


schematics, etc