hmm so what now?

...and how to do so...
User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
148 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:17 am

Hi all,
While I was living in Germany I managed to do some Synth DIY projects. Having little experience with soldering I sort of threw myself in to the deep end, with the Shruthi-1 synth (TubeOhm Phoenix w/4Pole multimode filter) being my first project. With a lot of prior research and OCD-like attention to detail - all was a success and looking back it was great fun - and even if each build is 95% the same as the last, I really love the idea that the build I put together is still at the end of the day my own - something I feel I could never sell (unlike soft synths where I have been able to part with them if I found I am not using them.)

Not long after the Shruthi-1 I got a thirst and possible addiction, and ordered the Sonic Potions LXR. Apart from not quite getting the LEDs straight, it was another success, though not quite as interesting and rewarding as building that analog 4PM filter in the Shruthi-1 clone. There really is something kind of special about it...

Before I left Germany, I had all the parts including a really nice metal case to build a Yocto (e-licktronic) 808 clone. Unfortunately due to a relationship failure - all the parts still remain over there in Germany... You have no idea how it feels knowing I have an 808 clone that I can call my own just waiting to be put together - and it may never be in my hands to build!

So next I'd like to know what you're building and perhaps any suggestions on what to build next? Are you rolling your own synth from scratch? Do you have a blog or something about it? I'm keen to know as the self-assembly bug has bitten me, and I feel I couldn't justify buying anything that I could potentially put together myself!

Cheers

User avatar
RichieWitch
KVRian
594 posts since 15 Jun, 2015

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:27 am

In the past, I've bought kits or pcb/panel sets for Eurorack modules. But I just finished filling my 12U rack, so until I expand the rack itself, there's no point in building any more modules. I'm currently designing a larger custom rack, so that's a DIY project for the future.

I also recently built a Field Kit from KOMA Electronik, a compact electro-mechanical-audio interface with an integrated four-channel mixer used to create Musique Concrete style sounds.

But... at the moment, I have a vintage Tascam M-312b mixer that I bought on eBay. It has a problem on group channels 3/4, so I plan on tearing it down this weekend to replace all the old capacitors and the output op amps. I think the group channel problem is actually located in the circuit boards for the meter bridge, so my plans should take care of that problem as well as totally refurbishing this gorgeous mixing board. Can't wait to add it to my studio!

knockman
KVRAF
1840 posts since 21 Feb, 2004 from somewhere! anywhere!

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:35 pm

I can't get enough of DIY - along with mother nature it's my great consolation in these modern times!

I don't have any recommendations - just gonna take this opportunity to quack about my own obsessions - but there are so many people sharing their knowledge, designs and ideas online, I doubt I'll ever be without a handful of ongoing projects.

I have rudimentary electronics knowledge and skills but I'm learning all the time. I can't design circuits but enjoy building things using other people's layouts, and just occasionally making simple adaptations. I've just finished a building Eric Archer's low pass filter with cv control: http://www.ericarcher.net/wp-content/up ... iy-lpf.pdf

I mainly go for electro-mechanical devices - I think my skills are more suited to the construction side of things, building enclosures and that sort of thing. I'm now close to completing a spring reverb, having experimented with various amp, transducer and pick-up methods. Previously, I went through a phase of making rotary speakers and I'm currently working on a bowing mechanism for a droning string machine.

I also get great pleasure out of tinkering with and refurbishing old kit. I buy a lot of junk and after about 10 years of doing this, I'm starting to feel slightly more confident about being able to get stuff working. I just resurrected a Roland VX-66 mixer amp which has a fabulous bucket brigade echo built in. Luckily, it was just a matter of replacing caps in the power supply, but I also adjust the trim pots to make the echo self-oscillate more readily. I have two of these now!

One thing I should do more of is properly document builds - I have a youtube channel and post here occasionally, but I need to discipline myself to photograph things as I go as well as get round to recording more audio and video.

Anyway, today my AE Modular should arrive - I'll be exploring ways to integrate this into my other stuff and apparently they are working on a DIY module to add in so that could well provide lots of fun in the future.

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
148 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:02 am

RichieWitch wrote:In the past, I've bought kits or pcb/panel sets for Eurorack modules. But I just finished filling my 12U rack, so until I expand the rack itself, there's no point in building any more modules. I'm currently designing a larger custom rack, so that's a DIY project for the future.

I also recently built a Field Kit from KOMA Electronik, a compact electro-mechanical-audio interface with an integrated four-channel mixer used to create Musique Concrete style sounds.

But... at the moment, I have a vintage Tascam M-312b mixer that I bought on eBay. It has a problem on group channels 3/4, so I plan on tearing it down this weekend to replace all the old capacitors and the output op amps. I think the group channel problem is actually located in the circuit boards for the meter bridge, so my plans should take care of that problem as well as totally refurbishing this gorgeous mixing board. Can't wait to add it to my studio!
Awesome. I googled the Tascam M-312b. That's monstrous and a far cry to the 4ch cassette deck Tascam that my Dad used to use to record with in the early 90s! Do you think the modern Tascam stuff is any good? I had bought my Dad a Tascam US-322 a while back so he could record his bass in to a DAW but it doesn't click with him as good as his tapedeck version once did (I might have pushed him too hard when I showed him all the amp simulators and effects and he just gave up!)

Let us know how the repair work goes!

resynthesis
KVRist
414 posts since 17 Sep, 2007 from Planet Thanet

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:12 am

My DIY stuff has mostly been guitar FX and I haven't even had much time for that in the last couple of years. I've been looking around for things I can get finished in short lumps of time and I think the Lunettas fit the bill pretty well. It does help that I like noise :)

Lots of info here

http://castlerocktronics.com/modular.html

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
148 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:17 am

knockman wrote:I can't get enough of DIY - along with mother nature it's my great consolation in these modern times!

I don't have any recommendations - just gonna take this opportunity to quack about my own obsessions - but there are so many people sharing their knowledge, designs and ideas online, I doubt I'll ever be without a handful of ongoing projects.

I have rudimentary electronics knowledge and skills but I'm learning all the time. I can't design circuits but enjoy building things using other people's layouts, and just occasionally making simple adaptations. I've just finished a building Eric Archer's low pass filter with cv control: http://www.ericarcher.net/wp-content/up ... iy-lpf.pdf

I mainly go for electro-mechanical devices - I think my skills are more suited to the construction side of things, building enclosures and that sort of thing. I'm now close to completing a spring reverb, having experimented with various amp, transducer and pick-up methods. Previously, I went through a phase of making rotary speakers and I'm currently working on a bowing mechanism for a droning string machine.

I also get great pleasure out of tinkering with and refurbishing old kit. I buy a lot of junk and after about 10 years of doing this, I'm starting to feel slightly more confident about being able to get stuff working. I just resurrected a Roland VX-66 mixer amp which has a fabulous bucket brigade echo built in. Luckily, it was just a matter of replacing caps in the power supply, but I also adjust the trim pots to make the echo self-oscillate more readily. I have two of these now!

One thing I should do more of is properly document builds - I have a youtube channel and post here occasionally, but I need to discipline myself to photograph things as I go as well as get round to recording more audio and video.

Anyway, today my AE Modular should arrive - I'll be exploring ways to integrate this into my other stuff and apparently they are working on a DIY module to add in so that could well provide lots of fun in the future.
For sure, shoot the breeze!
I looked at the filter you built. I assume you will eventually make a faceplate for this and incorporate it in to something modular? I'd love to try building my own modular stuff - not from scratch though - like you, I couldn't design one from scratch but I could rely on the fact that there's a lot of existing designs out there online that people are willing to share. I think I'd want to do DIY before buying any commercially available modules - there's probably a lot of stuff I could build without having to rely on a manufacturer.

Although I've successfully put together a few DIY builds now, I haven't had the pleasure of identifying and fixing something faulty in an existing piece of equipment. I can imagine that is extremely rewarding, especially if you fix something worth a lot of money (that you got for cheap because it was thought to be broken) - I assume that's what happened with the Roland VX-66?

In addition to having a youtube channel, I recommend you also start a blog - it can be on any website you want but wordpress is pretty good for the job. That way you can sort of think aloud about what you're doing. I did this when I bought a bunch of server-grade computer parts and made a hackintosh out of them. You can have a look at it here for ideas https://shoestringxeon.wordpress.com/

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
148 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:23 am

resynthesis wrote:My DIY stuff has mostly been guitar FX and I haven't even had much time for that in the last couple of years. I've been looking around for things I can get finished in short lumps of time and I think the Lunettas fit the bill pretty well. It does help that I like noise :)

Lots of info here

http://castlerocktronics.com/modular.html
Cool I actually would love to give an fx stombox type design a try. I've found they can be quite expensive though (although what you usually end up with is something as good as if not better than what's commercially available)

I've thought about perhaps making a desktop module that essentially contains multiple guitar fx pedals inside, all hardwired together in series, and replacing the stompbox switches on each with something more friendly for hands - like perhaps arcade machine buttons so the device can still take a beating.

resynthesis
KVRist
414 posts since 17 Sep, 2007 from Planet Thanet

Re: hmm so what now?

Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:41 am

The expense of a lot of guitar pedals is in the enclosure and electro-mechanical parts like the 3PDT really. If you know you're going to be relatively gentle and use cheap hand-operated switches you can recycle biscuit tins or similar. Then you could build something like a Big Muff for less than £10. As you say, foot switches are not too ergonomic on the desktop. I have a homemade multi-fx with a Timmy, Suhr Riot and a MP Deep Blue Delay but the clunk of a footswitch when it's on the desk wakes the cat downstairs!

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