Saturday, August 12, 2017

Matrix-12 Pure Noise Chaos Patches Now Available

In my previous post I replaced the battery in my Oberheim Matrix-12 synthesizer, which completely randomized my patch data for very interesting results. Now you can dump this SYSEX file into your own synth for random patch mayhem. This will over-write your entire patch bank! So be sure to back up your own patches safely to computer first! I have a link to my download page on the sidebar to the right side of this page "Featured Post" :) If it's not there, enter 'download links' in the search bar above to get to my download page. I can't possibly manage dozens of links to the page.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oberheim Matrix-12 Pure Noise Chaos Demo #8

I replaced the memory backup battery today. Before restoring my patches, I took a little tour of the corrupted/random patch data. Behold the glorious analog synthesizer dark noise madness. I'm talking full-on freakout mode. Take note of the corrupted patch names - reminds me of some weird alien dialect. In case you're wondering there is nothing wrong with my synth, it's working better than ever before. Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5, only normalization applied to some quiet parts.

What I also discovered is the battery is responsible for holding variable system data like osc and filter auto-tuning data. Before, I was experiencing the 'voice processor 1 malfunction' messages, system lock-ups, and system not booting properly. After the battery replacement, the synth has operated 100% correctly w/ no issues.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Make the Korg MS-20 Synthesizer Sing Like Goldfrapp

In this quick video I show how to make the Korg MS-20 synthesizer achieve the weird theremin-like, sci-fi, singing as heard on the Goldfrapp Felt Mountain album. This classic sound is so very renowned for the MS-20.

Alison would send her mic into the External Signal Processor. This sends pitch and gate control voltages to control the synth. We don't actually need to do that. As the sound is coming from the synth engine, we can simply use the keyboard to control it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Infusor Eurorack Sub-Mixer Demo

In this video I jam on the Eurorack w/ my new Infusor module. Infusor is a 10HP active stereo audio sub-mixer w/ 6 inputs. Wish you had more channels on your outboard mixer? This may be for you. Here's a breakdown of this mix...
Channel 1 - Basimilus in stereo from the EMW VC Pan
Channel 2 - My Transistor-80 Analog Percussion Module
Channel 3 - Tiptop Hats909
Channel 4 - Pittsburgh Synthesizer Box on bass
Channel 5 - unused.
Stereo Outs - going to Pittsburgh Outs module

Recorded direct to Tascam DR-5 through Mackie VLZ-802. I have sold my only available unit, I'll make a few more and have them available on soon. For more info check out

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Transistor-80 Analog Percussion Module Eurorack Demo #1

The Transistor-80 is an analog percussion module I designed as a lo-fi incarnation of those transistor-based CR- DR- and TRs from the circa 1980 era. It is thump-y, hiss-y, and it has those click-y pops and bacon sizzle sounds. Sports 3 sounds: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hats. Bass has a tone control that controls the amount of sub frequency (you may hear a slight boom if you're wearing headphones) the other two sounds have decay controls. It has individual volume knobs for each sound, and a single output jack for the mix. In this video I am feeding trigger gates from the Malekko Varigate 4, and recording output directly to Tascam DR-5.

If you're interested in hearing more check out a track on Soundcloud I made using the Transistor-80.

More modules will be built completely by hand in small numbers, including PCB and face plate. Further details and availability can be found on Modular Grid

Monday, July 10, 2017

Korg MS-20 Teardown: Pulse Width Modulation Install

The vintage Korg MS-20 monophonic synthesizer comes with a pulse width knob, but no way to patch a modulation to it. In this video I teardown the MS-20, and install a Pulse Width Modulation routing.

My PWM will come from the MG/T.Ext circuit that is already present on the synth. 90% of the time I want to use the MG, AKA the LFO, to modulate the Pulse Width. So all I will do is add a small pot and current limiting resistor for routing the MG/Total circuit to the Pulse Width.

What about the other 10% of the time I don't want MG going to PWM? Well the MG is only normalled to the Total/External jack. If something is patched into the Total jack, it will override the MG and be routed to the new PWM pot. It behaves exactly the same way as the MG/Total pots for Pitch/HPF/LPF. Pretty sweet.

At the end of the video I patch various things to modulate the Pulse Width. Stay safe, don't electrocute yourself, and be sure to unplug the synth at all times while doing work inside the unit.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Analog Drums Development Prototype

I've been developing a eurorack analog drum kit for some time. It's inspired by the sound of simple machines like the Boss DR-110 and the Roland TR-606. It's a basic kit made of of Bass Drum, Snare Drum, and Hi-Hat. The Hi-hat has a choke gate, so it can behave open/closed using a single voice just like a real drum kit. All 3 voices summed to a single output. It will have controls for independent voice levels, bass drum tone, snare decay and hat decay. I think you will want kill switches for all incoming gates as well. I am looking into how to integrate an accent trigger pulse as well.

In this video I audition some sounds using the Beatstep Pro as a clock, Varigate 4 for the gates, and nothing else. I didn't use a digital recorder this time, I'll save that for when the module is completed.
I added a quick soundcloud demo

Friday, June 30, 2017

Basimilus x Disting x Juno-1 x Synth Box x JV-2080

In this video the Eurorack is patched for a noir future tech workout. Think Blade Runner meets Air Liquide meets Blue Room Project. Basimilus and Disting team up for filthy glitch beat detail under command of the Varigate 4. Then darkened up by the JP-6 VCF. Disting is loaded w/ TR-606 sounds, but mangled by pitch modulation. Bastl Little Nerd is spitting out gates in all directions. Pittsburgh Modular Synthbox simmers a nice PWM bass pad. Ere there be JV-2080 Mellotron Choir getting the chop-chop from Bastl Skis. Soaring leads and swells are the Juno-1, my Aurora Pad 1 patch. Timefactor Delay on the Juno-1. Mixed on a Mackie 802-VLZ3, recorded direct to Tascam DR-05.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Infusor Eurorack Mixer Module

Infusor is a 6-input, Stereo output mixer module. It's loosely based on the MFOS simple mixer w/ some revisions. How did this come about? I'm currently adding a row in my euro case for percussion modules. I like the idea of putting my own 'drum machine' together from various bits and needed a way to sub-mix, say, four of them together - plus an outboard drum machine like TR-8 - without eating up all my desktop mixer inputs. Currently waiting on the trimpots to arrive. I plan on making one to sell. Depending on how that goes I could make a few more in limited quantity. For more info