Sunday, November 30, 2008

klee design continues

seems like ive been designing this sequencer forever, but its 95% there now

i have had photoshop crash on me about 100 times due to the amount of layers i have in this file
the amount of objects throughout my layers is astronomical as i have multiple layers of different components forms, then the silk screen holes and lines underneath, then multiple versions of silk screen sizes for different pots and renders of previous designs. my non-universal binary version of photoshop hates me hehe, especially since it is running on my intel macbook pro.
so yeah it has crashed so many times, i get so spiteful once it crashes and i loose hours of work.
however hopefully those times are now past

So here is my latest klee v2 design
the good thing about taking so long to get the design happening is that i've come up with some ideas of additions to add to my front panel.
The first is the A?B cv out with a switch to change from A+B to A-B
The second thing is a MFOS quantiser.

I really wanted a Blacet Miniwave / Quantix 8, however i dont have space in my planned modular to fit it in but i since i have so many random generator and complex processors i thought it would be good to add the quantiser as a feature inside the Klee. It can be used independantly from the Klee CV output, but if you want to quantise the Klee CV you can flick the switches next to the CV outs and bus up your voltages. The MFOS quantiser has a summing input too so you have more than one going in, so i could try to pointless things like A+B+(A-B) hehe wouldnt that be nuts! joke, well the main point is you can A+A+B, or B+A+B or A+External CV etc.

so there are some cool new things to explore
i think i'll have the cash to get my panels made early in the new year
so i have some time to finally do the last drafting tweaks
but im really hoping that i dont have to do too much work on this sequencer design
too much already, i get so sucked into this stuff


so in other news my reverb tanks arrived and they are fuckin huge
ill take a photo soon
im also doing a design for a tube vca that im calling the vc-hearing aid as it uses hearing aid tubes. the 5672 tubes are pretty low gain so my design just is amplified a lot. ill be breadboarding the design tonight and once it is finished and tweaked to taste ill do a pcb layout and post it.

not much else is going on, apart from starting to order mb808 parts.
my xoxbox project is stagnating as i dont have a 9Vac wallwort
need some $$ so i can get it rolling again

Friday, November 28, 2008


k, getting to the final design phase of this phaser
going with the 4Ux3U box idea
will need to use a wallwort

the box will probably be 1mm steel folded and welded to shape
top will be open, just some edges bent over to allow the face plate to clamp down
as well as the oblig, wood sides :)

i've got an image here showing how the pcb and jacks fit into the box
i hope that the pcb can be mounted so that there is verticale room to mount the jacks on the back pane of the box.. there should be.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

fast pace

well things are really moving, got a large package of bits today including my xoxIO pcb

perhaps i can finally finsih my xoxbox today
it was really painful not being able to completely finish the xoxbox while i was waiting for this IO kit. hopefully the build was smooth and i have no trouble shooting to go through. fingers crossed.

also my lpg boards arrived. these things look smooth

Monday, November 24, 2008


dropped the tellun doomsday machine and the tau phaser (as ill make myself a little wood box for it) and i have added another dual vca-1, a dual vcs and freq-shifter. funny that i can fit 5 modules in the place of 2. i think this is a lot more versatile and fits my design contstaints of fitting as much in as possible. the freq shifter design is a bit wonky but is reasonably spacious, i even had room to fit large knobs.

i am still to redesign my klee panel, i think that the current size of the wheel is too tight. i might make the ring a bit more oblique as i have lots of space either side. perhaps ill do this tonight

and here is build status
green = ready to panel or pretty much finished
orange = needs some tweaks, mods or to fix some bugs
purple = next to build

Sunday, November 23, 2008

to do list

well i fixed the bugs in my arp4072 vcf
and i got the final buttons fitted into my xoxbox
it looks great with the IO back plate
i need to trim the pots, hehe, im so pro, cant believe i forgot to do that before i soldered them in.. whoops, hehe

so.... things to do:

klee (test the board then drop in the replacement cmos chips)
wavemult (work out what is happening, grrr.. and once it is going mod it so it has 6 stages)

finish klee design
finish case design
boxes for schulze phaser & kent's solina chorus

xoxbox IO mod (once pcb gets here)
schulze phaser (once futurlec shipment arrives)
digisound IO (once futurlec shipment arrives)
wogglebug (once futurlec shipment arrives)
dual vca-1 (once futurlec shipment arrives)
qfg (once futurlec shipment arrives)

quad lfo (and try add sync)

call auburn metal and get quote for panels
source my etching sauce
get a bulk load of transfer paper and start etch tests

solina panel

i have huge sellers regret on this module
hope i can get jurgen to do another run
here is my first draft design

switches labelling is being finalised at the moment

jhaible phaser design draft 2

made it a bit fatter, the panel will be 4U x 4U
it will be a alu or steel box with hard wood sides
and the faceplate will screw ontop to close the box
jacks on the back panel
manual osc switch also on the back panel

this wont use a wallwort, it will have a toroid transformer inside
as im worried about the existance of wallworts in the future

the stomp bypass switch is pretty close to the glass jewel, but i think it should be higher than the jewel even when the switch is depressed. well see when it gets here, perhaps ill have to redesign if it sinks too low

Saturday, November 22, 2008

compact clone phaser design

just noodling around in photoshop to get this little machine designed
it is 4U x 3U and probably a bit over 1U in height as i think the lamps are pretty tall.

i was going to go a bit nuts with this box and give it a real industrial/metal flavour, i had even started stipping stripping some metal structures down, however i decided that going with classic modular moogesq designs is good for effects like phasers. you really want an organic look unless the phaser is really digital sounding.

here is my pleminary design.. still missing some switches and needs some tweaks on graphics
i have some grand plans for the knobs for this one
i just have to work out how i can easily manufacture the case

this is kinda based on the moogerfooger style
i have noticed that it kinda looks like those bose frequency shifters, but this wasnt on purpose

i really cannot wait to use the large amber lamp jewel, its going to look amazing
hopefully the circuit build goes a bit smoother than im going through at the moment.. sigh

Friday, November 21, 2008

mini-modular post stain

i think they came up trumps
now just to get these damn arp vcfs working
i think i just need some new lm3900s
once that is done, i just have to wait for the power plugs/connectors to attach the wallwort
and then they are finito

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

almost december! quick update

progress update:

xoxbox IO kit is here (althrough brian forgot the pcb, so that should be here in the next few days)
cd4034s are here from statemachine for my klee
i have etched my digisound I/O and processor pcbs, they came out great (funny story with the processor pcb as the pcb took 1 second to transfer as i accidentatly dropped the pnp onto the hot pcb because i rubbed up against the steaming hot copper, i freaked and quickly picked it up and the ink ripped off the pnp to leave a near perfect transfer. weird. 1 second transfer, must be a world record hehe, i only had 1 or 2 traces to fix for small breaks)

my digital noise module is fixed (well modded for more range)
my steiner vcf is re-built

bug to still work out:
arp-vcf boards are having some problems
wavemult main folder is not working
klee needs to add 4034

to finish building:
xoxbox IO kit
stain the boxes for mini-modulars

then more once my futurlec order comes in

sound examples of the mini-modulars

ill add more to this post as i go


303 example [303 > tube vca > mackie mixer > motu > abelton (no fx or eq) > aif]

tubevca 303 demo by prblmchild

Yusynth ARP 4072 VCF

CGS VCO SQ WAVE > VCF > mackie desk > motu > abelton (no fx or eq)
clean sample then mixed into vcf out channel
i pull the freq down initially with no resonance then put the res up to about 6 or 7 and drive it up
this thing can be pushed a lot harder too

Sunday, November 16, 2008

trouble shoot away

as part of getting pcb backlog out of the way an integral part is to try fix bugs in modules that are already built and either not working at all (like my steiner vcf) or ones with wierd bugs (like my digital noise and wave multiplier.. oh and my klee sequencer)

my steiner vcf was driving me insane, for some reason it was not working. i had been tinkering with it for the last few years with no luck so made a decision to quit! However i still wanted a steiner vcf in my modualar as it is state variable... very handy... and a killer sounding vcf (like a cross between a 303 and a moog).... so i decided to see if i could ghetto up another one, ie make it from bits lying around on whatever veroboard i could find. it ended up being a really small bit of vero too. hehe

i managed to fit everything on and even have some cable connectors. i still have to get some female connectors so i can't check it. im kinda stressing that ive not cut some strips and i know if it doesnt work, may as well chuck it. there is no chance im going to be able to trouble shoot this thing. check it out



so the suspense builds till i can get some femail .100 connectors, fingers crossed. in all honesty i give it about a 33.3% chance to work. :)

i have also been working out how to extend the range of my cgs digial noise. the internal clock inside it is a 4046 vco (similar to the vco in the wogglebug). it is not cranking down low enough for my taste. ken stone recommended that i change the cap. i did this and it just lowered it. SO.. gotta learn some cmos vco skills to find out how to extend the range on this vco. i think it will be usfull to learn this as the wogglebug design i have differs from professional wiard wogglebugs by the extended range, therefore it is possible and if i learn to do it i can really fire up the power of my wogglebug too. :)

thats all i did today,. but while i was taking some photos i took some of my studio :)

with room lights on:

and with main lights off, focussed lights on (how i usually roll when i am working on gear and making music)

hopefully by next post, my xoxbox IO kit will be here and i can finish my xoxbox finally. The cmos chips for my klee will have arrived, the futurlec order will be close to being shipped and th steiner vcf will have worked :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

mini-modular 2

another mini-modular design for a friend who wants to process drum machines and his old russian synth

features the
CGS tube VCA
Utility Module w/ Ringmod
CGS steiner state variable vcf
Haible/Yusynth Wave folder w/ shape vc mod

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

been busy

update !!

i made a quick colour chart to show where i'm up to
i just order parts for some more projects so it is all rocking

currently working on
compact clone / krautrock phaser (building for a friend)

starting plotting to build my 808 also
for every shipment i make im going to order a couple of modules of the construction
i ordered the core and psu parts this round
exciting :)

krautrock phaser:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ready, set ,,.. go!

woo freedom
so now its time to start building

got my QFG pcbs almost finished
just need some TL064s or LF444s
i might try TL074s

just transferred the VCA-1 pcbs
going to try etch this this arvo with some 2nd hand ferric chloride
hopefully this week i can get a new batch of this grimey crap so make the etching process go a bit faster. would love to find out some methods to filter out the copper gunk so it works a bit better
hopefully someone can tell me some good way to do that soon

AND banana plugs are IN
400, 200 white, 200 blue
i might try find some purple ones too

so next step is to order some 3mm alu and get all my face plates cut to size
then get some alu etching mordont ingredients and off we go

Copper sulfate

1 Kilogram

NaCl (sodium chloride -- table salt)

1 Kilogram

NaHSO4 (sodium bisulfate as SaniFlush)

25 grams

H2O (water -- depending on strength of bath)

10-20 Liter

Sunday, November 9, 2008


just me jamming on the tb303 with my modular VCO chained as a sub osc.
707 for drums
added a pad to fill it out when i recorded it into the computer

quad low pass gate Final design (again :) )

i havent been happy with my low pass gate design until now
i think ill stick with this one :)

hope thomas has some extra boards so i dont have to etch my own


Just finishing the cases on these and thought i would post. They came up pretty good, a few caveats but the overall look of them is nice (just dont put them up next to a proper MOTM modular !! hehe)

I made two mini-modulars, both have Yusynth 4072 Arp Vcfs and a multi-wave shape lfo + pre amp and multipe and one also has a CGS tube VCA. I still have to put in some power connections, iron some bugs in the lfo and stain the boxes but they are 80% complete.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Finished thesis!, 1 exam to go. Partying hard-making music-working on synth stuff

completed xoxbox - just waiting for IO kit to arrive
finishing boxes for Richard and Ehsans filter boxes (they look mad too)
building my quad function generator boards

also planning what im going to get done this summer
all the modules in RED are what i'm aiming to get done
ontop of that i would like to build my mb808

so there are some updates on designs
klee just got a work over as i realised some components would not fit inside my rack

the th-vca1 is in and also my cgs digital noise and quad lfo module

cameras ready prepare to flash!