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Showing posts from 2018

Acid Moose - Two 303 Clones in a Hard-driving Box

Danger! Acid Moose on the loose! The Synth Roland TB-303 must be one of the most fascinating piece of music gear of all time. I have never owned or played one but have loved the distinctive sound that has defined the whole acid techno music genre. About two years ago I was looking for interesting synth DIY-projects and found out about Oakley Sound and their TM3030 clone. It's an accurate but modernised version of the original TB-303. It can be built with the original Japanese semiconductors or with more modern and easily sourced components. It doesn't have a sequencer like the original box has but has a special midi interface that reproduces many of the TB-303 features. The Box For some reason I have been hauling an old Macintosh Plus external hard drive enclosure with me for two decades. It's so beautiful in all it's dull greyness and brings back memories from the countless hours spent in front of our first computer back in early nineties. This must have cos

808 Drums!

Modular Drum Machine? It was yet another boring afternoon at work. I ended up searching for some interesting DIY eurorack kits. I had never considered adding any drum stuff to my modular synth. I have the not so perfect Akai Howling Wolf drum machine in my setup and have been somewhat disappointed with the kick drum of the unit. So when I found the cheap  Sound Force 808 kick diy kit  I just couldn't resist. They also have 808 snare kit available so of course I had to get both. Weird-Valued Vertical Resistors I usually start all pcb builds by soldering the resistors. They are easy to install and are the lowest components. Unfortunately these boards are designed for smaller resistor components. They can be built with normal through-hole resistors but everything needs to be installed vertically. This makes soldering much slower and more painful. I have plenty of resistors and capacitors around and these boards don't use any exotic ICs so I thought I could build the

Rack Improvements

As already mentioned in my Going Modular! post my modular synth lives in a standard 19" rack. In addition to eurorack modules I also have other gear installed into the same rack. My first rack was just two 16 unit high rack rails attached to a Yamaha TX81Z rack synthesizer. It was dirt cheap but not very stable and it was practically impossible to move it anywhere. Something had to be done. I'm not really a carpenter and also didn't feel like spending big pile of money on ready-made studio furniture. I had an unused wooden shelf laying around. One day I thought it actually looks like a side panel for a studio rack. After some measurements I realized it's exactly 18 rack units high! So I went to Clas Ohlson and bought another one and ordered 18 unit rack rails. After that it was pretty easy to build a better rack. Clas Ohlson sells wooden panels exactly 18 rack units high! How convenient! This is the level of carpentry I'm comfortable with! I re-us

Cavisynth SEQ-UFD Sequencer

Control Voltages, Please!  My original idea was to control my synth with Ableton Live and MIDI but it turned out it's more fun to generate control signals with LFO's and other synth modules. The logical next step was of course a sequencer module. The Arduino based Cavisynth SEQ-UFD was the cheapest DIY project I could find and the specs looked good. Sourcing Headaches and Jumper Wires, Part 2 This module build was pretty much a sequel to my Cavisynth Ardurack build . I had lots of problems with the required part types and ended up using all kinds of ugly hacks. With a small module like Ardurack I could live with that but the SEQ-UFD has so many jacks and pots that I just had to make another order to Cavisynth and get correct components before turning on my soldering iron. SEQ-UFD consists of 3 PCB:s. It uses the same  The Arduino Pro Mini processor module as the Ardurack. Panel under construction All PCB's are directly attached to the panel wit