Sunday, November 22, 2015

Boss DR-110 MIDI Sync Project

These past two weeks I have been developing and building a MIDI sync input for the Boss DR-110 drum machine.  This allows my DAW to control pattern Start/Stop and to synchronize the clock timing during recording and playback.

I selected the Arduino Micro to process the MIDI data for its tiny size.  It is relatively affordable and can handle incoming MIDI serial data.
While the Micro was on Order from Mouser, I did initial testing with the Arduino Mega.
I accidentally burned the START/STOP traces, so I had to jumper them.  The wires carry the signal pulse to Start and Stop the drum machine.
I removed the clock wire between the CPU board and the Voice board so that I could add a switch.
The switch can choose internal normal clock, or to use the MIDI sync.
MIDI isolation is critical as host/slave devices can have floating grounds at different potentials.
Close up of the MIDI isolation circuit.
My MIDI isolation circuit comes from a design I did on another project.  This is a MIDI shield I made for Arduino Mega, and proved useful for initial testing on this project.
Close up of the MIDI isolation circuit.
The new MIDI isolation circuit.  It would be powered by the Arduino Micro.
I performed testing at every stage, to ensure I was moving forward and solving problems one at a time.
One of the problems was the Micro needed 9v power, and the DR-110 uses 6v by floating the ground to a different potential.  My solution was to DC bias the 3 control signals CLOCK, START, and STOP using a simple voltage divider and tantalum coupling capacitors.  This way the control signals stay above 0v with relation to the ground that the DR-110 uses.
Final assembly.  The added circuits would be tightly squeezed in together with components and needed insulation.
One final test before everything goes together.  The blue light is the Arduino Micro.
Very careful alterations were made for the switch and MIDI jack.
Finished product.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Crushing On The Roland Boutique JP-08 Synthesizer

Listen to this and just try not to fall in love with the Roland JP-08 module. I have packed a ton of Roland JP-08 sounds into a demo that demonstrates the JP-08 in action. Most of the patches are original, except a factory string patch.

ALL synthesizer sounds originate from the JP-08. The TR-8 provided rhythm backing, Big Sky and Timefactor for effects. All tracks were recorded direct to Cubase SX3 via E-mu 1616. NO additional production, eq, compressors, mastering, etc. was used whatsoever.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Synth Spotting At Dallas Synth Meet 2015

Some brief sights and sounds at the Dallas Synth Meet in Grand Prairie Nov 1, 2015.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Setting A Roland Jupiter-6 On Fire

The Roland Jupiter-6 Synthesizer is an absolute MONSTER. Pads, Bass, Arpeggio, Strings, Leads - it's all here. And the JP-6 is my favorite go-to synthesizer for SOUND EFFECTS. I have crammed a plethora of strangely beautiful effects and noise that demonstrates its versatility which is beyond comprehension.

Obviously no actual synthesizers were harmed in the making of this all Roland Jupiter-6 demonstration. The TR-8 provided rhythm backing, Big Sky and Timefactor for effects. All tracks were recorded direct to Cubase SX3 via E-mu 1616. NO additional production, eq, compressors, mastering, etc. was used whatsoever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pittsburgh Modular DNA Symbiotic Waves - Unlimited Possibilities

Follow up to my first video. This one is more about patching in the filter, envelope, the arpeggio feature on the Midi3 module, and some trials with the sample-hold/glide on the Toolbox module.

To put the possibilities into perspective do the math. There are 16 wavetables on OSC1 and 16 processor types. That's 256 combinations right there. Then consider 16 wavetables on OSC2, that makes 4096 different combinations. Then think about tweaking the tuning, balance, and processor amounts to change the color of the sound. It is absolutely mind-boggling.

Sorry the video is shaky, my stand for the eurorack is wobbly. I will probably start shooting these videos on something more stable.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pittsburgh DNA Symbiotic Waves Module - Digital Insanity

This is the Pittsburgh Modular DNA Symbiotic Waves module. The DNA of the design, if you will, comes from a prototype synthesizer from Spacehardware called the Cygnx. The idea is that two digital wavetable oscillators could be combined using various forms of processing to create a digital super-wave. Each of the two oscillators can be one of sixteen different wavetables. It just gets crazier when you think about being able to detune one of the oscillators, up to an octave, above the other. You can also use control voltages to vary the amount of processing that takes place. In this video I show you how.

The first part of the video I show the basics of how to operate the module. Then after, I punish my Tascam DR-05 direct recorder with ridiculous digital sonic mayhem. Play at your own risk.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oberheim Drummer Repair

The Oberheim Drummer is more than a rhythm sequencer, it also includes groove timing variations for a more human feel.

This unit was having some troubles. While it was able to turn on and buttons worked fine, the control parameters were not behaving correctly. Watch and learn how I detected and resolved the issues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Roland Juno-106 + Akai S900

Chill out to this little jam. Getting to know my Beatstep Pro, some effects from Strymon you-know-what and Eventide you-know-that-one-too. If the beats sound is familiar, I loaded some TR-606 samples into the S900.

Be the first to find out about my synth patching, demos, repair projects, and jams BEFORE I POST THEM. Follow me now on twitter.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

G-Storm Electro Is Now On Twitter @GStormElectro

Be the first to know about my developments in synth patching, demos, new tracks, and repair projects BEFORE they are posted. @GStormElectro is now on Twitter, start following today.

Roland System-1 Synthesizer Patches by G-Storm

Basses, leads, gorgeous pads, soundscapes, strings, drums, and arpeggios. The System-1 can do it all well so just sit back and chill to these compelling sounds. This video is just a short preview of selected sounds. Opening and demo themes are from my track Superfalling on Soundcloud.

Patches can be acquired here. Make sure to BACKUP all your patches safely before loading. Refer the Roland documentation for how to do this. MIDI Sysex transfer methods DO NOT apply to the System-1. It has to be done over USB using the Roland proprietary file transfer protocol. These patches should work for operating system v. 1.20 and on the System-1m module as well. There are 63 patches in all, the last patch in Bank-8 slot-8 is a blank patch.