Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crazy Idea

As you know, I am crazy and possibly too inquisitive. And, since I am, for God knows what reason, getting into electronics and how they work, I'm thinking... build my own analogue subtractive synth. Let me explain...

I had an idea after seeing what the KORG Mono/Poly can do, and decided to mix that, an Arp 2600, and an Etherwave together, and then add some of my own touches. Here's that plan thus far:

Name: Yoa KereMAX P

Oscillators: 4, each able to do saw, ramp, sine, triangle, square, "digital" (sample and hold on a sine wave probably) and noise, with octave, frequency, fine frequency, and volume controls with kill switches.
PWM: specially noted because I want it to be able to modulate saw, ramp, square, and the sample length of "digital" waveforms, and modulate the LFO's
Unison: with detuning and spreading
LFO's: 3 (you'll see later why), with level, wave, and frequency controls
EG's: 3, one for each oscillator's amplitude, each filter, and each oscillator's pitch, as well as master VCA EG. All EG controls are sliders.
Filters: either 5 separate or 2 switchable, just because I want a comb, HP, LP, BP, and BR filter, all with Cutoff and Resonance controls, maybe more controls. 5 would be more interesting, probably.
Aftertouch: acts as a CV to control whatever, with amount control and 3 patch bays (WHAT??? Keep reading)
Portamento: has time, retrigger, and legato controls
Bend range amount: from -12 to +12
Master EQ: Just to help smooth out any scary edges that subtractive synthesis tends to have sometimes
Effects: Overdrive, Distortion, Ringmod, Bitcrusher?, and then Stereo Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, and Phaser
Arp: it's a gated arp with speed control, with the gate part helping the...
Sequencer: yes, as in a 16-step sequencer using held pitches, speed, and volume controls
Controllers: Just one more interesting thing is that aside from a keyboard, it will also have theremin antennae and possibly a MIDI-CV converter
X-phony: Crazy idea that's totally not stolen from KORG, the ability to have monophony, polyphony, unison, chord, and note hold options.
Vocoder: pretty obvious, uses...
VCA: has a mixer for all osc's, audio I/O (including RCA), effects, and a master volume.
Audio I/O/T: Allows for you to use an external audio source as an oscillator, has stereo audio out, headphones out located in the front, and audio through so you can simply use the synth as a cable extender, should you need to. Though, as you'll find out why shortly, this need only act as a kind of patch bay.
RCA I/O's: for using either sound sources or effects modules using RCA connectors. Also a patch bay kind of deal, just with RCA I/O.
Fans and heatsinks: I feel like this thing will get hot.

Some other things may be added.

And, the neatest part which makes it all make sense... Full modularity.

So, what does this mean? Well, it's basically the world's most incredible synthesizer plan to date. Sure, other synths have neat modulators and stuff, and if this thing wasn't already packed full of everything you'd ever need I'd add them.

You can technically use it as the most scarily complex themermin in the world. Or it can be a simple monosynth. Or you can use the keyboard to control a pad as you screw with the lead part with the theremin. Or whatever.

Now, I'm not sure how I can implement all of this, but if I work in true modularity (like, say, having the keyboard needing to be patched, and having the individual oscillators patchable, and even separate the antennae and make them patchable), then I can at least pull off some of it. Cool thing is, I have schematics for a lot of this stuff. I just need to know how to throw it all together. It'll take some time, I'm sure, mainly because I can't quite afford all the jacks, panels, switches, knobs, and components I'll need for this project. I still don't even know how things will be set up, so it's still just an idea. I'll try to draw it in AutoCAD and hopefully make it smaller than the size of a room. LOL

Yours in music and insanity,
Yoa

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