Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

...and how to do so...
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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:53 am

In most cases, at least where it's challenging, "voltage controlled" really means exponential voltage control at 1V/Oct. The problem here is that there are usually quite a few details about getting the voltage control tuned correctly, exponential converters can be fussy beasts. Sure, you can just build stuff off of the web, but, expect to have many more problems with scaling, range, and general accuracy with voltage controlled stuff.
If i buy a midi/usb to CV module it would fix the problem , no ?
I' d like to buy my own modular system because i have a few hardware synth (the arturia microbrute especially) and i feel really excited when it come to design sound , it do something i can't do with plugin , the sound is just better than every plugin.

I play a lot with modular from softube , and i'm very close to the same feeling of excitation that i have with hardware synth.But i want more....

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:00 am

hivkorn wrote:
In most cases, at least where it's challenging, "voltage controlled" really means exponential voltage control at 1V/Oct. The problem here is that there are usually quite a few details about getting the voltage control tuned correctly, exponential converters can be fussy beasts. Sure, you can just build stuff off of the web, but, expect to have many more problems with scaling, range, and general accuracy with voltage controlled stuff.
If i buy a midi/usb to CV module it would fix the problem , no ?
No, and the fact that you are asking that question highlights a serious gap in your knowledge at this point. You can overcome that given time and focus, but it's not that simple. Start with the Make book, read it, try to understand it.

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:05 am

ghettosynth wrote:
hivkorn wrote:
In most cases, at least where it's challenging, "voltage controlled" really means exponential voltage control at 1V/Oct. The problem here is that there are usually quite a few details about getting the voltage control tuned correctly, exponential converters can be fussy beasts. Sure, you can just build stuff off of the web, but, expect to have many more problems with scaling, range, and general accuracy with voltage controlled stuff.
If i buy a midi/usb to CV module it would fix the problem , no ?
No, and the fact that you are asking that question highlights a serious gap in your knowledge at this point. You can overcome that given time and focus, but it's not that simple. Start with the Make book, read it, try to understand it.

okay i've understand your previous post -_-
exponential converters can be fussy beast
Honnestly i don't have ,yet ,look for this problem , the only thing i want to do first is a tuned Bip-bip ...
But i imagine the quality of component have something to do with the CV delivering ?

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:18 am

hivkorn wrote: Honnestly i don't have ,yet ,look for this problem , the only thing i want to do first is a tuned Bip-bip ...
But i imagine the quality of component have something to do with the CV delivering ?
Ok, which is why I asked you where you wanted to start.

I think that you should start with kits if you haven't built anything before.

http://modularaddict.com/

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:25 am

i don't understand the website your give me , they sell only circuit or pre build (with composent) circuit?

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:27 am

hivkorn wrote:i don't understand the website your give me , they sell only circuit or pre build (with composent) circuit?
http://modularaddict.com/parts/full-kit ... unction=62

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:29 am

ha !!!! thx :)

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sin night
KVRian
1232 posts since 1 Aug, 2006 from Italy

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:05 am

The problem with CV controlled modules is that they are more complex (they need to be able to accept voltage control, so they require additional circuits/complexity just for that) and are likely to require calibration to work as they should... some circuits (especially oscillators) are also very temperature-sensitive, so they require temperature compensation techniques (for example tempco resistors) to track properly.

More complexity equals to more headaches, so you'd want to rule out as many variables as possible when starting out. If the module is simple, then it's easier to find out why it doesn't work. Everytime you face a new problem, you learn how to rule it out when your next build doesn't work.


One of my first modules was a YuSynth 555-based adsr (actually I built four of them). I built it on a matrixboard (I hope that's the right word) instead of using an etched board (I don't have the equipment to make those... yet!) but it didn't trigger properly. The issue was a faulty connection, which looked fine on first inspection (it was open for less than a millimeter). A really stupid mistake, indeed. So I learned to pay attention even to those details.
I'm shure it would have been a hell lot harder to find the cause of an issue if it was in a more complex module like, for example, an oscillator.


Multiple, mixers, adsr and so on are really useful modules, so starting with those things is useful both for learning and to get modules that you would need anyway.

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:36 am

sin night wrote:The problem with CV controlled modules is that they are more complex (they need to be able to accept voltage control, so they require additional circuits/complexity just for that) and are likely to require calibration to work as they should... some circuits (especially oscillators) are also very temperature-sensitive, so they require temperature compensation techniques (for example tempco resistors) to track properly.

More complexity equals to more headaches, so you'd want to rule out as many variables as possible when starting out. If the module is simple, then it's easier to find out why it doesn't work. Everytime you face a new problem, you learn how to rule it out when your next build doesn't work.


One of my first modules was a YuSynth 555-based adsr (actually I built four of them). I built it on a matrixboard (I hope that's the right word) instead of using an etched board (I don't have the equipment to make those... yet!) but it didn't trigger properly. The issue was a faulty connection, which looked fine on first inspection (it was open for less than a millimeter). A really stupid mistake, indeed. So I learned to pay attention even to those details.
I'm shure it would have been a hell lot harder to find the cause of an issue if it was in a more complex module like, for example, an oscillator.


Multiple, mixers, adsr and so on are really useful modules, so starting with those things is useful both for learning and to get modules that you would need anyway.
Thx for all this words :)
I was not aware of 'CV controlled modules' are so complexe to achieve.
I was thinking electronic was the same than electricity but with lower voltage.

Guys , what do you think about a beginner box ? you it is a box with card + connection +component , don't need to weld , someone here already try to have sound with that ? I know this is not 'PRO' but it could be a way to achieve a tiny synth ? (a way to learn)

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27388 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:38 am

hivkorn wrote:Guys , what do you think about a beginner box ? you it is a box with card + connection +component , don't need to weld , someone here already try to have sound with that ? I know this is not 'PRO' but it could be a way to achieve a tiny synth ? (a way to learn)
Not quite sure what you mean. If you're asking can you build stuff on eg a breadboard, then yes, but breadboard designs arent as durable in the long run and are more susceptible to noise etc. All the CMOS stuff in the Nic Collins book is done on breadboard.

If your asking if those starter kits of electronic components you get include enough parts to make a very basic noisemaker, then, maybe, depending on the kit and the noisemaker. But you'd have to be lucky in your choice versus the circuits out there, I suspect you'd need a few other bits and pieces, mostly the ICs.

Get a kit with some 555s or 556s and google 'breadboard Atari Punk Console' and you'll maybe get somewhere. Prepare to keep coming across little shortfalls in your stock of components doing it this way, though.
There are APC and similar kits all over the place, btw.

If you're even slightly serious, though, learn to solder as soon as you possibly can, though. Its actually very easy, I can teach tech-phobic art students how to do it in ten minutes. Its a damn sight easier than learning to design anything will be.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:50 am

whyterabbyt wrote: If you're even slightly serious, though, learn to solder as soon as you possibly can, though. Its actually very easy, I can teach tech-phobic art students how to do it in ten minutes. Its a damn sight easier than learning to design anything will be.
+1

I'm feeling lazy, so I'm glad you responded :)

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:15 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
hivkorn wrote:Guys , what do you think about a beginner box ? you it is a box with card + connection +component , don't need to weld , someone here already try to have sound with that ? I know this is not 'PRO' but it could be a way to achieve a tiny synth ? (a way to learn)
Not quite sure what you mean. If you're asking can you build stuff on eg a breadboard, then yes, but breadboard designs arent as durable in the long run and are more susceptible to noise etc. All the CMOS stuff in the Nic Collins book is done on breadboard.

If your asking if those starter kits of electronic components you get include enough parts to make a very basic noisemaker, then, maybe, depending on the kit and the noisemaker. But you'd have to be lucky in your choice versus the circuits out there, I suspect you'd need a few other bits and pieces, mostly the ICs.

Get a kit with some 555s or 556s and google 'breadboard Atari Punk Console' and you'll maybe get somewhere. Prepare to keep coming across little shortfalls in your stock of components doing it this way, though.
There are APC and similar kits all over the place, btw.

If you're even slightly serious, though, learn to solder as soon as you possibly can, though. Its actually very easy, I can teach tech-phobic art students how to do it in ten minutes. Its a damn sight easier than learning to design anything will be.

I know how to wire thing between them but i don't know what component do on the waveform.It's why i was talking about electronic beginner box.i see into some , that we can make with square / sin / ....
Do you know if there is a 'databank' (on the web) of simple module scheme?
Maybe it could be usefull to begin a really simple database understandable by everyone.
Something like that :

Image


No , Bad idea ?


I have seen this :
http://store.synthrotek.com/Atari_Punk_Console_Kit
Image

Surely the first module i will build , BUT nothing about CV , i mean every module control are 0 to 5 v ?
If i connect this little module on the CV output of my MicroBrute , will it deliver a continue signal or i will have adsr from my microbrute?

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27388 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:07 am

hivkorn wrote:Surely the first module i will build , BUT nothing about CV , i mean every module control are 0 to 5 v ?
As was said earlier, calibrated CV is hard, and adds complexity. Walk, first, run later. And no, module controls are not guaranteed 0-5V; in Eurorack land they're often bipolar (say -5V to 5V) and can run to +8V or higher. There's a fair bit of variation; the 0-5V thing basically comes from the relatively recent prevalence of microcontroller-based Euro modules, but pure analog designs dont have that limitation.
If i connect this little module on the CV output of my MicroBrute , will it deliver a continue signal or i will have adsr from my microbrute?
The APC doesnt respond to CVs because CV hard, complexity. Its controls are variable resistors. If you really want to control one (in a really uncalibrated way) then replace something with vactrols (which can be crudely DIYd with an LED and an Light Dependent Resistor). But its not really designed to be CV'd, and calibration will be, erm, not.

But from your phrasing, Im not quite sure what your asking about CVs in the first place; the CV output from the Microbrute will be whatever the Microbrute sends. If your' wanting to send CV to the Microbrute, then all the APC outputs is audio; IMO, think more about sending that into the Microbrute.

Again; walk first. Forget about 'modular' until you've tried the basics.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:30 am

And no, module controls are not guaranteed 0-5V; in Eurorack land they're often bipolar (say -5V to 5V) and can run to +8V or higher.
:tu: this is THE point i don't understand or how to ask it before!!
I believe every module was 0-5 V ..Now i can understand.... :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:

for the Atari_Punk_Console_Kit , i don't really understand why there are CV if this inputs are not controlling the pitch !

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:46 am

hivkorn wrote:
And no, module controls are not guaranteed 0-5V; in Eurorack land they're often bipolar (say -5V to 5V) and can run to +8V or higher.
:tu: this is THE point i don't understand or how to ask it before!!
I believe every module was 0-5 V ..Now i can understand.... :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:

for the Atari_Punk_Console_Kit , i don't really understand why there are CV if this inputs are not controlling the pitch !

That kit has an input, but it wasn't clear where it's routing it to, but, it takes 0 to supply. So, if you power it with a 9V battery, recommended at first, you can use any input from 0-9V. It won't control the pitch exactly, if I'm reading the page correctly, the page says that it adds "glitchiness."

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