Sunday, December 9, 2012

Going Modular!

So it's kinda been in the works for a while, but I've decided that I'm going to build a modular synthesizer!!

And no, I still didn't get the space and money for the Monster Modular, which I'm actually still working on. Nope, I'm going to build one, straight from scratch.

Well, by scratch I mean I'll take components and link them together in neat ways. Close enough.

Here are the modules, going from top left to bottom right: VCO, Waveshaper, Lowpass filter, Highpass filter, Dual Ringmod, Distortion, Multiples, VCA, Dual Slew limiter, Dual Manual Voltage Generator, EQ, CV processor, Dual Hard mixer, Waveshaper II, Mixer.

There are a couple wierd ones, so I'll explain those now:
The initial waveshaper is the one I blogged about not too long ago. The second one is actually a shaper that I have in progress.
Multiples is a series of jacks that are connected together. In this case, it's three sets of four.
Slew limiter actually creates a gradual change when a hard voltage change is applied.
Manual Voltage Generator is useful for changing parameters the same way. Also useful for slow complex LFOs or Envelopes.
The CV Processor is useful for delayed triggers, inverting signals, and clipping, which creates a unique waveform.
The Hard Mixer is actually an accident. I wired three oscillators onto one track on my breadboard, and it caused almost FM-like sounds. Neat stuff.
The Mixer is actually a series of 5 attenuators.

And, the neat thing is, I can build all of this. I can even do the panels with my spare aluminum (if I can find a safe way to mill it). Only problem is I need more materials. Potentiometers, silver knobs, 1/8" jacks (or I can make it not Euro and use 1/4"), all the rack mounting hardware, all the rack stuff, clear sticky paper to make labels... oh, and a proper power supply. Still deciding whether I should use a 9V adaptor and just run that into it, creating bipolar power supplies where needed, or if I should build a 9V bipolar power supply. That's probably the better route, except I really don't like the idea of dealing with mains power. And I also don't know how I'd connect the modules to the main power bus.

Definite first thing, though: get money to do all of this :) Though if I get a constant income we all know I'd just save a few grand for a Doepfer setup while building this, haha!

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