Future Sound Systems - Brunswick

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Future Sound Systems - Brunswick

Post by Thonk Support » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:22 am

On sale exclusively on Thonk - https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/fss-brunswick/

The Brunswick is perfect for those who want an introduction into the world of patchable analogue synthesis!
The Brunswick Synthesizer from Future Sound Systems is a newly designed, affordable synth voice with plenty of connectivity for exploration and integration with other devices. The Brunswick features a single VCO (Pulse & Sawtooth), multi-mode two-pole VCF and a character filled onboard VCA. The synthesizer also features it’s own internal LFO and envelope sections alongside FM inputs for the VCO and VCF. The Brunswick features a 24-point patchbay that allows for external voltage control over VCO pitch (v/oct) and envelope gate, as well as a slew of other inputs and outputs on 3.5mm mono jacks (see below for full list).

[video][/video]

SOUNDCLOUD DEMOS HERE

Features

* Full Synthesizer Voice
* Pulse/Sawtooth VCO
* VCO PWM & FM
* 2-Pole VCF with FM
* Internal Triangle & Square wave LFOs
* Internal Envelope & VCA
* PLL & Phase Comparator
* 24 point Patch bay
* Power: 2x PP3 9V batteries (+35, -20mA current draw)
* Batteries not included
* Dimensions: 194 x 120 mm

Patch bay I/O:

* VCO 1V/Octave pitch control input
* VCO PulseWidth Modulation input (normalled to LFO Triangle output)
* VCO FM 1 input (normalled to LFO Triangle output)
* VCO FM 2 input (normalled to Envelope output)
* VCO “Sawtooth” output
* VCO Pulse output
* Phase Comparator input
* Phase Comparator output
* Phase Locked Loop input
* Phase Locked Loop output
* LFO Triangle output
* LFO Square output
* Low-Pass Filter input (normalled to switched VCO output)
* Band-Pass Filter input
* High-Pass Filter input
* VCF output
* VCF FM 1 input (normalled to LFO Triangle output)
* VCF FM 2 input (normalled to Envelope output)
* VCA input
* VCA output
* VCA AM 1 input (normalled to LFO Triangle output)
* VCA AM 2 input (normalled to Envelope output)
* Envelope Gate input (normalled to LFO Square output)
* Envelope output

https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/fss-brunswick/
Thonk - CLICK HERE - Modular Synth DIY + Eurorack Accessories Store

AS of October 2020 this account which used to go by the name of Monobass is now manned by various staff at Thonk.

mtts
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Post by mtts » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:36 am

Looks interesting. How hard is it to build?

Also, I see it runs off batteries. How hard would it be to run it off Eurorack power?

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a100user
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Post by a100user » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:16 am

In DivKid’s Synthfest video, Fin states that it is all through hole and the build is pretty straightforward
I'm looking for nothing at this moment in time

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Post by SoundPool » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:04 pm

first thing I have seen in a while to really catch my attention. I like that it is simple while not at the same time. basic functionality, but with lots of interesting options with all the cv/fm possibilities and what seems like an actual behavior character of its own. also really like the idea of the PLL on there too. the whole thing def brought the MS synths to my mind. might have to actually make one of these...

I imagine it wouldn't be hard to adapt to run off 12v just using a voltage regulator set up properly?

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I ordered one yesterday

Post by NeonFux » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:34 pm

I ordered one yesterday then went shopping for a Korg sq-1 and a bunch of patch leads.
This will be my introduction to patchable analogue synths and my first post on here ;)

Is there a build manual available yet ?

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Post by Tonescape » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:37 pm

Woah, already sold out. Would love to get one of these. Hope they make another batch.
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Re: I ordered one yesterday

Post by templar » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:45 pm

NeonFux wrote: Is there a build manual available yet ?

Bottom of this page: https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/fss-brunswick/

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Post by Jarno » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:19 pm

Wow! Gotta say, they really make the most out of each and every component, that is not a lot of parts for such a full featured thing. Kudos!

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Post by Isaiah » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:57 pm

Mine is 99% complete.
The build doc advises only soldering the signal pin of each 3.5mm socket until you can ensure everything works.
I only had time to briefly check, but I think I might be having issues with my VCA.
When I patched the VCF output directly to the VCA input one of the issues seemed to disappear, so I can only assume that this will be fixed when I solder all of the socket pins (ensuring the internal routing works).

I’ll check thoroughly tomorrow and report back.

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Post by Jarno » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:25 pm

Finlay did talk about that VCA being very simple, a (J?)FET. Given that those components do have quite a bit of variation, it might be that you simply got a part which is less suited. Not sure how sensitive that Roland VCA (I assume) is to component variation.

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Post by Isaiah » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:57 am

Quick update:
I soldered all the pins and everything seems to work now. :tu:

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Post by SoundPool » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:01 am

posting my thoughts here for anyone else they might be helpful to... I'm thinking about making this a winter project to actually build into L*W 4U format. looking at some spec sheets and the build doc to see if its possible without doing too much wiring...

of course using bananas would undo all the normalized connections, but I don't mind that. looking at spec sheets Emerson banana jacks are 9.05mm long after the flange, and the housing portion of PJ301 jacks are 9mm. so given a panel would take about 2.5-3mm off the Emerson it should be possible to actually build this in L*W format while still using the PCB mounted pots - you lose the Serge grid layout, but I hate pot wiring so worth it to me... the only other question with the given jack spacing would be if it would be unusably tight given that the banana jacks are quite a bit wider on the panel than 3.5mm connectors. Worst case, the open space at the top left of the PCB could be used to space out the jacks a bit.

as for keeping the whole project as compatible as possible with outside signal use, the open space on the top right of the PCB could be used on the panel to keep some 3.5mm jacks normalized to the bananas for connecting to other mini synths or an ipod or whatever else. Certainly enough to the phase comp/PLL inputs, and the v/o input to save you needing a format jumbler.

I really like how this synth is already making the most of the limited components it uses, but I'm also thinking that having it behind a panel, while it might get to get a tight squeeze, can also open up some mod options. for example if C5 is the timing cap for the LFO, I'm wondering if one could add a switch with 3 different caps for wider time ranges, so it could either go very slow (since it is a simple design I'm guessing it hits a point where it will just hang) or go well up into audio range to add a crude second oscillator.

the only thing that would remain would be to switch it to 12v power. if I understand the build doc and am thinking correctly this also isn't so tricky. using the recommended DC/DC converter, the synth should then just be able to run off the positive 12v rail.

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Post by DJ_JITTER » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:35 am

Hey folks, anybody have the dimensions for this thing? Would be fun to see if it'll fit in 3U.

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Post by flts » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:45 am

SoundPool wrote:the only thing that would remain would be to switch it to 12v power. if I understand the build doc and am thinking correctly this also isn't so tricky. using the recommended DC/DC converter, the synth should then just be able to run off the positive 12v rail.
Yep, if you can find space for it (I'm not sure if there's a provision on the PCB or if you would have to just build a stripboard "daughtercard" and hang it from the main PCB), shouldn't be hard with any +-9V DC-DC that has +12V in the input voltage range.

Of course, the small caveat is that you still have a synth that internally runs on +-9V voltage rails. The opamps clip way before hitting rail voltages, so you'll have something that won't quite take the full range of voltages produced by other modules. That's not a terribly uncommon case of course.

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Post by flts » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:47 am

DJ_JITTER wrote:Hey folks, anybody have the dimensions for this thing? Would be fun to see if it'll fit in 3U.
Check out the Thonk product page linked in the first post. Looks like it would be just a bit too high to fit between rails (?)

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Post by SoundPool » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:11 am

flts wrote:
SoundPool wrote:the only thing that would remain would be to switch it to 12v power. if I understand the build doc and am thinking correctly this also isn't so tricky. using the recommended DC/DC converter, the synth should then just be able to run off the positive 12v rail.
Yep, if you can find space for it (I'm not sure if there's a provision on the PCB or if you would have to just build a stripboard "daughtercard" and hang it from the main PCB), shouldn't be hard with any +-9V DC-DC that has +12V in the input voltage range.

Of course, the small caveat is that you still have a synth that internally runs on +-9V voltage rails. The opamps clip way before hitting rail voltages, so you'll have something that won't quite take the full range of voltages produced by other modules. That's not a terribly uncommon case of course.
yeah I figured I would hang a little piece of stripboard off the mounting holes where one of the battery compartments would go for a little converter circuit.

good point on the rails though, I hadn't considered that. I suppose it isn't the end of the world, if anything it fits the lo-fi nature of the whole thing. as long as other standard (+/-5v) signals would clip or go a bit over range but not be able to cause any damage thats fine. one can always throw in an attenuator somewhere along the line. maybe there are some drop in replacement opamps that are rail to rail that could at least improve the clipping situation a bit.

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Post by flts » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:54 am

I guess at +-9V rails, TL07x and TL08x can still take +-5V signal without clipping fine. (Disclaimer, I didn't check the datasheet, just from the top of my mind I think there should be way enough headroom!)

I don't know if the design has any parts that might not like the full +-12V range (or eg. 10V gates which is probably the more realistic option), if there's some protection in the inputs for eg. using with Eurorack in mind, or if everything's going to be OK with the kinds of voltages you'd throw at them anyway.

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Circuit

Post by NeonFux » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:05 am

Is there a Circuit for this yet ?
My progress so far has been good until i reached the Matched Pair of 2N3904 , i have not built anything in about 20 years and these 50 year old eyes have let me down , i bridged 2 of the legs on the first one , i should have used thinner solder and some flux, (the 3 holes for the legs are in a row , personally i would have had them in a triangle format if i were designer) anyway i have halted my progress and ordered a new matched pair (to be on the safe side) and some desoldering braid and dug out my flux pen and desoldering pump and i am needing to get myself a brighter light source lol.

The kit is well organised and components for each step are bagged and labeled , instructions are well written and easy to follow. This is not a staged build , ie build one stage then test but is a component type build, ie solder all the diodes then resistors, then caps etc .... get to the end then see if it works , i prefer the build a section then test approach with a description of how that section works , i feel that type of build is more educational also.

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Post by DJ_JITTER » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:05 am

flts wrote:
DJ_JITTER wrote:Hey folks, anybody have the dimensions for this thing? Would be fun to see if it'll fit in 3U.
Check out the Thonk product page linked in the first post. Looks like it would be just a bit too high to fit between rails (?)
:doh: not sure how I was able to read the Thonk page multiple times and miss that, but thanks!

Yeah it looks to be a touch too big to fit through the rails, but it might be feasible to attach a front panel after the board is behind the rails for a more permanent install.

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Post by SoundPool » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:49 am

flts wrote:I guess at +-9V rails, TL07x and TL08x can still take +-5V signal without clipping fine. (Disclaimer, I didn't check the datasheet, just from the top of my mind I think there should be way enough headroom!)

I don't know if the design has any parts that might not like the full +-12V range (or eg. 10V gates which is probably the more realistic option), if there's some protection in the inputs for eg. using with Eurorack in mind, or if everything's going to be OK with the kinds of voltages you'd throw at them anyway.
I got in touch with FSS about this- Finlay seems like a very nice guy and wrote me back within a day. He said everything should be fine for higher inputs, just that the signals will get clipped. Thinking about it after the fact he was demoing it in the video with a Keystep, which I imagine has a 10v gate output. I don't think I even have anything other than 10v gates that really gets that close anyway, MS20 I think has maybe a 7 or 9v tuning range? Since it isn't the fanciest thing I certainly wouldn't have expected it to track well enough to why anyone would want to use such a wide range anyway unless you want to play in tune, but in a very sour sounding way.

Also no guarantee, but he did say that Thonk might also offer PCB only in the next batch, which would be great for those of us looking to do our own custom builds like this or have all these parts stashed around already. Would be great if that happens.

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Post by Alliex » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:10 pm

This was a fun build, but I scorched at least one trace. I fixed that, but need to test a few spots for connectivity.

Soooooo that said, has anyone seen a schematic? >_>

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Post by earlneath » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:46 am

I thought I had stuffed something up in my build. After an extensive visual check and some desoldering braid (the transistor pads are very close together on the rev2 pcb and I may have bridged the legs on one of the 2N3904s, but it was fixed with some braid), it still didn’t seem to work.

My next step was to test everything with the multimeter, starting with battery voltages. This revealed the problem was a flat battery. Now it works! Fun build (my first proper kit after a stripboard version of the MFOS WSG). Very satisfied and I wouldn't say it was hard. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. :banana: :nana:
Last edited by earlneath on Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:01 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by drox » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 pm

this looks great

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Post by ayacombe » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:20 am

Can anybody tell me the dimensions? Can’t find them anywhere, and I maybe already have a case for it.
Have a Werkstatt already, but this seems like a fun project

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Post by csaban » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:53 pm

PCB is ~194 mm x ~120 mm

In case you want to put it behind a panel, make sure you solder C5, C16 and C20 leaning on the board :bang:

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