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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

An Introduction and a Big "Thank You"
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Fractional Rack Modules  
Author An Introduction and a Big "Thank You"
valis
(I’m sorry if this is not the proper place for introductions. I looked around a little to see where this should go and decided here) confused


Greetings Everyone,

I wanted to take this moment to thank everyone at the MW forums as well as introduce myself. Without everyone’s help I couldn’t of done this. I’ve been lurking around MF for a long while now and it has proven an invaluable resource. Again, thanks..



Here’s a little back story:
After years of circuit bending and synth modifications I really wanted to build a modular synth. I had always wanted a modular synth but figured I’d never own one due to their price. When I began to build this synth I knew almost nothing about electronics. I took books out of the library, asks questions on forums, read the archives, and moved very slowly. It took me about seven months from deciding I wanted to build the synth and doing the research to it making noise and having enough modules for this to be considered a synth.

About this synth:
This synth is built into a fruit crate which I spray painted black. I had a ton of trouble making my panels due to my crappy drill so I finally found a method that works for me. My panels are a thin sheet of aluminum with a vinyl siding wood looking piece of plastic stuck onto it. It looks a bit ghetto but it works for me. All of your pics of your modulars look sooo much better than mine, oh well, perhaps someday I’ll make some better panels.

My PSU is a Condor HAA15 which I wouldn’t of been able to build without MF’s forum on building your own power source. hihi
The PSU is going to a CGS distribution board.

My modules are:

First row from left to right:

Top Row: MFOS VCO, MFOS ADSR, CGS Digital Noise & CGS Real Ring Mod, MFOS Sample & Hold.

Bottom Row: Paia 4720 VCO, Paia 9730 VCF & signal splitter, Paia Function Generator & Spring Reverb (pulled from dead amp), MFOS VCA, Signal splitter and attenuator.

Sitting on top of my modular is my salvaged MiniKorg K2/700s which I’ve incorporated into my modular setup. It’s mods are:

Full Control HPF and LPF Freq, Q, and gate time. VCF in, VCO out, pink noise out, white noise out, Ring mod in/out. There’s still plenty of mods and repairs left to do on this machine..

I also have a bunch of PCBs nearing completion which I expect will be finished soon (which is why I wanted to take this break now). Thanks again everyone for your help. It’s no Buchla but it’s all mine ; )

-David
krisp14u
Looks allot better than my first DIY synth David made out of an old biscuit/cookie tin
I don’t think I have ever been as proud of anything as I was back then and wish I had kept it in that tin I don’t think I have anything of it left

How dose she sound
valis
krisp14u wrote:


How dose she sound


It sounds good (I think). It definitely has character. I could post some sound files online. The old Paia VCO and the MFOS VCO sound pretty good especially through the spring reverb. I desperately need a better filter than the Paia VCF though. A new filter is next on my to do list..
Ranxerox
I'd be keen to hear it in action! Those knobs look amazing, the whole thing looks totally original and, dare I say it, slightly dangerous!
scozbor
fuck yeah! SlayerBadger!
i totally love the ghetto/dangerous look and feel. it really adds something to the character of the instrument (and dare i say it - the sound!)

nice work! it looks like heaps of fun to play Mr. Green
DGTom
Wood grain gripper!! Love it love

is that a PAiA 4700 function generator? Whats it like? I'm kind of wierdly drawn to that system at the moment, the design / form was awesome, wish I could find some cheap!

+1 bring on the audio samples! I wanna hear it in action! Great post.
valis
Wow.. Thanks for your replies everyone. Your positive responses are actually quite touching. I have some great friends but most of them think I've gone off the deep end devoting so much time, effort, and money to this little beast..

Anyway..


Ranxerox wrote:
Those knobs look amazing



Thanks! The VCO and attenuator knobs actually came from this strange old machine a friend gave me that he found at the local college he worked at. The device was essentially used to test (i.e. electrocute) mice and the like for scientific experiments. Poor poor creatures..


Ranxerox wrote:


the whole thing looks totally original and, dare I say it, slightly dangerous!




Yeah, the dangerous look may be the power supply. I hope I heat shrinked it well enough!

DGTom wrote:
Wood grain gripper!! Love it love

is that a PAiA 4700 function generator? Whats it like?


If I'm not mistaken the Function Generator came off the 2700 model and the VCO came off the 4700 model. The Function Generator works but there may be something wrong with it. I can only get it to have variations of a short attack time and a short decay time. It serves its purpose but I need to look at it and make sure it’s working correctly/I’m using it correctly. I do have a JPG of the schematics for it. I got the Function Generator and the VCO in a trade. It looked like at some point the VCO’s circuit board had literally caught fire but after replacing a few components it works okay (although a bit quieter than the MFOS VCO).

DGTom wrote:

I'm kind of wierdly drawn to that system at the moment, the design / form was awesome, wish I could find some cheap!



Yeah, I like that older Paia stuff as well. There’s something kind of charming about these home made little modules from the 1970s. They sound interesting (from what I can tell) and look cool. Those little pin inserts are kind of strange though. I had to take the pin inserts out to incorporate it in my system which was a shame because they were nice and colorful. You can see from the picture that I left one of the plastic red pin inserts in one of the two PWM inputs on the VCO for the hell of it..

DGTom wrote:


+1 bring on the audio samples! I wanna hear it in action!


Cool, I’ll post some samples somewhere tomorrow..
scozbor
valis wrote:

Cool, I’ll post some samples somewhere tomorrow..


You can post them right here 8_)
chromium
Nice job valis! I like the mix of knobs too. Think I saw a Gibson speed knob in the middle SlayerBadger! 8_)

At first glance, the screening and reflection on your Paia panels made me think of circuit board stock. Probably been done, but it got me thinking that old, surplus boards might make some cool looking budget DIY panels too - or even some copper-clad FR-4. That stuff is cheap and sturdy.

Look forward to hearing it!
wetterberg
Welcome, David!
Love the rickety look of that thing SlayerBadger!
valis
chromium wrote:
Nice job valis! I like the mix of knobs too. Think I saw a Gibson speed knob in the middle SlayerBadger! 8_)



Yeah! Good eye! That lone knob on the CGS Digital Noise actually came from a broken "Hondo II" Guitar. Horrible guitar but certainly a nice knob!

scozbor wrote:
valis wrote:

Cool, I’ll post some samples somewhere tomorrow..


You can post them right here 8_)


Oh why doesn't work understand that my priorities lay with my modular synth? confused

I recorded a few demos for everyone earlier which I'll share with you all when I finally get home and in front of my own computer..
valis
Hey everyone, thanks for showing so much interest in my little synth. It's certainly been fun to build and it's been even more fun to play. It's kind of amusing that the first time I actually played with a modular synth is when I built this machine. I read a lot of documentation but there's some things it just takes doing to fully understand. Unfortunately, I don't have an oscilloscope so I had to set the parameters for the wave shapes (on the VCO) by ear, I'm sure it's not 100% correct. I just did it until it sounded okay.


Here's some samples that were requested. I tried to cover a wide range of sounds but upon further listening, there are many other sounds I should of recorded that would of provided an even better example of the functions and sounds of this synth. I suppose you can never cover all of the different things you can get a modular to do so if you have any questions please let me know. I do enjoy talking about this machine. I only marginally documented how these patches were created so take the info with a grain of salt. The info should be fairly accurate though. That being said, here are six short different samples.



<b>Sample 1:</b>
This sample is meant to show the simple functions/settings of the synthesizer by incorporating the modules in a fairly traditional way (i.e. VCO to VCF to VCA with an ENV being used as a control for the VCA and VCF). A C/V to Midi converter is generating my CV and Gate signals. A Square Wave from the MFOS VCO is playing a C scale. I tuned the VCO before I started playing the sequence so it should be pretty close to being the right pitch. During the sequence I play around a little bit with the MFOS ENV. At about 38 seconds you can hear me noticeably adjusting ENV.

At about 16 seconds you hear the Paia 4700 OSC. It is also being driven by the same CV source as the MFOS VCO but the output of this VCO is going straight to my mixer. I did not tune this VCO before I started playing and I am adjusting the pitch knob on the VCO as the sequence plays.

<b>Sample 2:</b>
Fun with sample and hold. Basically this is the S&H driving both OSCs, the ENV, and VCF. I can't remember what the signal source was for the S&H, perhaps noise. You can also hear a little bit of the filter in action.

<b>Sample 3:</b>
Lots of noise. The MFOS S&H is driving the Paia VCO which is playing the “bass” line. The pink noise output, I think, is going into the VCF with the VCOs. The MFOS VCO is being sequenced but pitched very low (you can hear the sequence tuned up at about 1:49 in the sample).

<b>Sample 4:</b>
The Sample Rate on the S&H is being controlled via the MFOS VCO. The output on the S&H is controlling the Paia 4720 VCO. It's a bit squelchy but you get the point..

<b>Sample 5:</b>
Another short sequence (MIDI to CV) but with a longer decay and sustain time coming from the MFOS ENV. The melody is being played with the MFOS VCO. The S&H is controlling the Paia VCO. The MFOS VCO is going through the Paia VCF, the Paia VCO is not.

<b>Sample 6:</b>
This is kind of the whole system going and again a bit of madness. The sample starts off with the same sequence that was previously used but it gets pitched way down at 20 seconds. The sequencer that is playing the melody is triggering the MFOS VCO. The S&H is controlling the Paia VCO. The S&H is being controlled via a noise source. One of the waveforms (I forget which) is being sent to the CGS ring Mod and is being modulated by the VCO wave output on the Korg K2 (which I'm triggering via the keyboard). The K2 has it’s own ring mod but I figured I’d demonstrate the CGS Real Ring Mod..
Ranxerox
These sound great! Very chunky and flexible-sounding wee set-up. I like the sound of the CGS ring-mod on the last one. Interesting that you set the oscillator waveshapes by ear - could you build in waveshaping later as a feature, maybe wire in some pots?

Boards salvaged from a fire, capable of electrocuting mice - it is clear now why it looks like a dangerous machine!
valis
Thanks for the kind words about my "wee set-up" (good term).

Ranxerox wrote:
Interesting that you set the oscillator waveshapes by ear - could you build in waveshaping later as a feature, maybe wire in some pots?



Well, there's some trimmers on the back of the MFOS VCO and the 4720 VCO which are used for calibration (which includes setting the proper wave shapes). You could replace those trimmers with pots on the front of the panel and I actually considered it with the MFOS VCO. I decided against it though because I wanted my first few modules to be as close to the original designs as possible in case I had to troubleshoot (plus there's a whole multi-step procedure that goes into calibrating the MFOS VCO so it might be more trouble than it's worth). I have another MFOS VCO almost done (man, I need more 3.5mm jacks..) so I could give it a try and let you know how it goes..
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