The VCS3 Card : Every 208 / Easel needs a SYNTHI !

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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papz
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Post by papz » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:43 am

A customer posted this video.
Enjoy :guinness:

[video][/video]
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Post by papz » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:23 pm

I did the PSU upgrade in a BEMI Easel, it works perfectly as expected.
This Easel also had the aforementioned problems even with only the ToolBox or VCS3 Card connected on its own : the 208's envelope looper didn't work, the pitch changed when a card was inserted.

Now all works as it should with a Hub and VCS3 Card, ToolBox and BOB expander together.

Here are pics http://www.portabellabz.be/images/vcs3/psu_upgrade.zip
I'll update the buildnotes asap.

The DC converter can be mounted to standoffs above the existing board's standoffs.

White cable is -Vout connected to the edge connector -15V contact
Red cable is +Vout connected to the edge connector +15V contact
Black cable is 0V connected to the ground banana
Blue cable is -Vin connected to +12V of the DC socket, after the mains switch
Green cable is +Vin connected to 0V of the DC socket

The modified wiring of the jack sockets is not related.
It was done previously to reduce the noise at the outputs by disconnecting the sockets from the PSU/output/midi board.
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Post by papz » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:26 am

Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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lumin
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Post by lumin » Sat May 11, 2019 11:19 am

I have a quick question regarding the PSU upgrade papz did above.
Somewhat specific to the NLM CardOC, but I can imagine it would apply to other cards as well.
When CardOC control over pitch is activated, I get proper tuning. If I plug my 218 into the pitch jack on 208, my tuning goes out of wack. Would doing this upgrade prevent this from happening? or is it inherent due to the introduction of the 218 circuit and component values into the whole mix which I assume drops voltage somewhere?

Thank you!
Lu

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slam
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Post by slam » Sun May 12, 2019 1:16 pm

Sounds like you need to adjust your wack control

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Post by lumin » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:03 pm

slam wrote:Sounds like you need to adjust your wack control
incredible advice right here. solved not only my easel issue, but my overall life in general. thanks a million

i was finally able to test my voltages at the program card slot, and found with nothing connected, my voltages are lower than the 15V papz shows. I have not yet done the additional power supply mod that he has demonstrated, but I wanted to ask a question prior to making the purchase of necessary components.
Is there any component(s), be it on the 208 itself or the power supply, that I can test to determine what may be causing a sag in my voltage?
I do have a feeling that the power supply is the culprit, as nothing was connected to the PSU (including disconnecting the 218), when taking this measurement, but I figured I would ask.

Thank you for any help offered


Image

Image

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slam
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Post by slam » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:02 pm

Hey man, anytime. I’m glad things are finally turning around for you.

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lumin
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Post by lumin » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:39 am

Anyone with actual advice and a functioning irony meter, I'm all ears.

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slam
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Post by slam » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:24 am

Whoosh

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papz
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Post by papz » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:48 am

Hi Lumin

The problem with the Easel weak PSU is about current (not enough extra mA available), not voltages. The voltages you measure are ok.

When you plug in the cOC or another active card does the 208 oscillators pitch change ? If so, the PSU is weak.
The problem with the 218 may be related but I have no experience with the cOC neither do I know how it's supposed to work. You should ask NLM or start a specific thread about this issue.
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Post by lumin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:27 am

Thank you for the explanation papz. I thought my voltages needed to be at 15 or something was sagging somewhere. Will do more testing pitch-wise and add the extra power supply if need be.
Much appreciated!

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Post by papz » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:22 am

With an early BEMI 218 keyboard that I have here, switching the VCS3 Card's "key" switch slightly upsets the 208 CO and MO pitch.

The cause is the BEMI 218's "main" output is not buffered.

I added a simple buffer to this output and now the CO and MO pitch is stable regardless of the VCS3 Card "key" switch position.

It's a very easy upgrade without permanent or risky modification of the 218.
All needed is a TL071 opamp, a 100nF cap and 60cm wire. Total cost for the parts is less than 1€.
Any person with basic soldering skills should be able to do it.

1. Disconnect the blue banana tab from the PCB and bend it
2. Snip pins 1 - 5 - 8 of the TL071 to ease mounting
3. Bend and connect together pins 2 and 6 of the TL071
4. Solder the TL071 to the bent banana tab using it's soldered pins 2 and 6
5. Solder pin 3 of the TL071 to the PCB tab where the blue banana tab was formerly soldered
6. Connect pin 4 of the TL071 (black cable) to a -15v pad on the 218PCB : the via spotted in red on the pic or where the power connector is wired
7. Connect pin 7 of the TL071 (blue cable) to a +15v pad on the 218 PCB : the via spotted in red on the pic or where the power connector is wired
8. Solder the 100nF cap across pins 4 and 7 of the TL071


Image

Image
Last edited by papz on Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by papz » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:01 am

Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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lumin
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Post by lumin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:27 pm

Big shouts to papz for the 218 buffer mod. This has repaired a tuning issue I had with using powered cards.

Also want to add that I really really dig his synthi card. The tones that come out of it are awesome and the additional features like the random/noise output and CV control over the cards functions are incredibly useful. Have been using it quite heavily on songs for my next album.
Wanted to share my thoughts.
Highly recommended

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Post by papz » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:39 am

Thanks for the feedback and glad the buffer mod fixed your issue !
Is it possible to listen to your songs where you used the VCS3 Card ?
:chug:
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I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by lumin » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:19 am

papz wrote:Thanks for the feedback and glad the buffer mod fixed your issue !
Is it possible to listen to your songs where you used the VCS3 Card ?
:chug:
Thank you again. Much respect.
The album hasn't been completed yet, but I will post a link for you when it is done. I may do a little one-off recording of just the easel & card without all the other instrumentation for you to hear how I use it.
Peace my man

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Post by papz » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:12 pm

Thanks !

I started a new own thread for the buffer mod viewtopic.php?t=221671
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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ArguZ
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Post by ArguZ » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:01 am

lumin wrote:I have a quick question regarding the PSU upgrade papz did above.
Somewhat specific to the NLM CardOC, but I can imagine it would apply to other cards as well.
When CardOC control over pitch is activated, I get proper tuning. If I plug my 218 into the pitch jack on 208, my tuning goes out of whack. Would doing this upgrade prevent this from happening? or is it inherent due to the introduction of the 218 circuit and component values into the whole mix which I assume drops voltage somewhere?

Thank you!
Lu
Hello,
yes , papz solution for the 218e is exactly what you want in the case you have a cardOC V1.
The outputs on that one are buffered as they should be, but the 218e are not.
As we can not change the way the 218e is produced we made a new version of the cardOC which is shipping now and that one has buffered inputs as well.
If you use the 218e with that, it compensates for the unbuffered outputs.
So two solutions for the same problem, depending on what one already has.

One more benefit of buffered inputs is that one can use the internal 208 sequencer to play a little melody and the 218e to transpose that melody for example.
Check out the picture...


Image

The blue line is the sequencer playing an octave jump..
The big orange one is the keyboard transposing it by 2 octaves
And the yellow one is the output going to the pitch circuit shared by both oscis.

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Post by papz » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:05 am

Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by misa » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:22 am

... I never thought that I would own a synth that has the picture of a nun on it!

thanks to papz I now have a finished 208r/218r Easel with a Synthi card installed and I am quite impressed.

I built most of the Easel myself, but recently realized that I can't finished it -- I just don't have the time to build *and* play/write music, so I gave up and asked for papz' help.

After losing one of two parcels in the post (it magically reappeared after 2 weeks), he went to work and finished, fixed and calibrated it. To avoid the same problem, yesterday I drove to Belgium, met up with him, picked up the Easel, raced back home and got lost in sound for the whole night....;)

I can't thank him enough, he really went out of his way to make it a beautiful sounding, awesome looking instrument and I am very grateful.

If you have been thinking about asking someone to build you a Music Easel, I can recommend papz!

(Disclaimer: I didn't compare -- I only know his work and it's great. I'm sure others in Europe can also do a great job and it makes little sense to ask him if you are outside Europe for postage and customs reasons)

;)

PS: I spare you my silly phone-audio videos. People with a much better video setup have shown what the card/Easel can be like, so just watch them..;)
OUT NOW: GRAT - CHAOSMAGIC. on CD (digifile) and download, three dark ambient tracks rooted in Magic Realism. CHECK IT OUT HERE

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Post by papz » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:59 pm

Thanks for the confidence and feedback, misa, your visit here was a real pleasure. :tu:
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by lumin » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:57 pm

edit
*moved to 218 thread*
Last edited by lumin on Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by papz » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:07 pm

Hi Lumin and ArguZ
Can you please talk about this cOC issue in the cOC thread or start a new dedicated one ?
It's not related to the VCS3 Card at all.
Thank you.
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Post by eveldave » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:56 pm

Digging the new card.

[video][/video]

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Re: Every 208 / Easel needs a SYNTHI ! [now available]

Post by papz » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:26 pm

Wiggler 01235813 kindly designed nice patch sheets for the 208 (various revisions), the ToolBox and VCS3 Card.
Thank you !
http://www.portabellabz.be/images/Patch ... 235813.zip
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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