Massive Midlife Modular

Discussion and support for users and builders of Oakley Sound musical products.

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Blake Smith
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Post by Blake Smith » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:58 am

Also, you mentioned the nazdir inks being tricky to work with. I've been considering attempting screen printing and was going to try that brand as it seems to be the right stuff for the substrate. How does working with it differ from other inks?

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:20 am

powder coating is pretty easy and flat panels are easy enough to sand down and do again. even if your shop has air, it might be better to start with the craftsman gun because they can be found many places for less than $40. thats what i started with and really their only downside is changing colors is hard because the powder wants to stick in the polycarbonate nosecone container. they offer extras for storing powder but they are way too expensive when the gun is so cheap.
nazdar has less difficult to work with inks then the 59000 series too (that might be fine for panel work), but it sticks to pretty much anything and is indestructible when cured. it likes to clog screens and you need lots of xylene to clean everything.


5 VCOs calibrated now.

Blake Smith
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Post by Blake Smith » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:05 pm

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll give powder coating a shot.

It would be nice to not be dependent on other peoples designs to get professional looking panels.

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:15 am

8 VCO's calibrated! tony and paul, how close are you getting with the HFT adjustment?
on all eight boards i was able to adjust the 1v/oct for a perfect jump between 220 and 880hz once that was adjusted i switched to 7040hz and with the HFT trimmer centered got very close to 14015hz the next octave upon each board. with the trimmer fully counter-clockwise i get a jump from 7040 to 14030-14035hz on all of the boards not the 14080 that would be a perfect octave. i know that's very close and quite frankly above my current hearing range, but i was curious as to the results you were getting, and if it would be better to back the trimmers off of the extreme settings.

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Synthbuilder
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Post by Synthbuilder » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:39 am

fantastic apparatus wrote:i was curious as to the results you were getting, and if it would be better to back the trimmers off of the extreme settings.
Ultimately, the ability of the HFT to pull things into tune is very much dependant on the V/OCT trimmer. A small change in V/OCT will have a far more profound effect on the scaling at the top end compared to the HFT.

The HFT compensates for the lack of accuracy of the exponential convertor. Set the expo up properly with V/OCT and you shouldn't need that much HFT compensation. So if you're not getting HFT to do its job properly it would suggest a problem with the V/OCT trimming.

I'd have another go at the V/OCT trimming on one of the VCOs. Look to get an accuracy of 220.0Hz and 880.0Hz if you are using a frequency counter and +/-0.5 cent on a digital tuner.

But... an analogue exponentiator is not 100% accurate and the VCO core will also go flat as the frequency rises. It is also temperature dependant; so you can set it up perfectly one day and you can come back the next and it'll be off by a small amount. Generally, these things are not to be concerned about. It's a musical instrument so a little bit away from perfection is not normally a problem.

Tony

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:35 am

I grabbed screen shots of the calibration procedures to print out so i did not have to print a ton of extra pages, and i missed the blurb at the beginning of the VCO one about zeroing out the HFT, so i had been starting with them at the half way point and thats why they all ended up all the way counter clockwise before fully correcting the upper register. i noticed when i began calibrating the two VCLFOs that the instructions said to make sure the HFT was all the way clockwise before adjusting the 1v/oct, so i revisited the user guide for the VCO and saw my mistake. i've been using my fluke meter's frequency counter and even with the HFT set improperly i was able to adjust for perfect jumps from 220 to 880hz. i was just a bit shy in the high octaves. i'm sure i can get it much closer now.

oakley modules finished and functional now:
8xVCO
VCO controller
midiDAC
transistor superladder
diode superladder
2x journeyman filters
2x VCADSRs
2x VCLFOs
sample slew

is there a specific reason the sample in jack of the sample and slew module is normalized to ground rather than the white noise or clipped noise, and why the sample out is not normalized to slew in?

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tvh
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Post by tvh » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:40 am

WOW that is amazing - excellent work so far. Can I ask have you tried engraving the powdercoating? I ask because I am going to be starting my oakley build, no where near as ambitious I'm afraid, and thought of anodizing my aluminum. But your powder coating looks great. Did you consider the anodizing way - would paint stick to it you think?

Silkscreening is a bit beyond me, though I'll be acquiring a cnc router in the future which can do engraving.

Vacancy Of Disco
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Post by Vacancy Of Disco » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:30 am

Wow! What a well thought out system, both in the work flow of planning and the actual synth itself. And gorgeous job on the panel design! Can't wait to see the finished project :banana:

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MarilynMonroe
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Post by MarilynMonroe » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Just brilliant :hail:
--
in Love
MarilynMonroe

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:28 pm

thank you.
i have not tried anodizing, but i did try unsuccessfully to dye a previously anodized part. i guess it only takes the dye immediately after the process. the par metal chassis i use often have anodized fronts and i have no problem powder coating them, or getting the silk screen ink to adhere (though i use an aggressive ink)
I've never engraved anything, but i know for sure lasers can engrave through the powder coat, and i imagine a CNC router should work fine too. if you have precision of depth it sure seems you might be able to coat something in two colors and expose the second color with engraving. if you really want to get fancy you can use high temp tape to mask off areas of the first coat for different colors, so you can have a different color for ins and outs or whatever.

richard
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Post by richard » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:57 pm

inspired artwork, playful and easy looking, but very much functional. You could teach a few eurocrap designers a thing or two
Bastard Science Vol.1 and 2 (Hordik, Buchla, Serge, EMS, Oberheim) https://soundanatomy.bandcamp.com/album ... ence-vol-1
https://soundanatomy.bandcamp.com/album ... ence-vol-2

Tales from the Voodoo Box (EMS Synthi A solos) https://soundanatomy.bandcamp.com/album ... ynthesiser

Richard Scott - Several Circles https://cuspeditions.bandcamp.com/album ... al-circles

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:07 pm

i love the blue/ yellow bi color LEDs! they turn purple at audio rates not green though. i've got a blue/red coming for the discontinuity so i'm curious what that color will be when rapidly changing. for now i've got a single color pink LED in the deep equinox. I'll try and find a two lead blue/yellow LED to keep the LFO color scheme going.

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Synthbuilder
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Post by Synthbuilder » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:06 am

fantastic apparatus wrote:is there a specific reason the sample in jack of the sample and slew module is normalized to ground rather than the white noise or clipped noise
White noise is a wideband audio signal and will often get into places it shouldn't via capacitive coupling.The NC lugs of the sample in socket are not sufficiently 'off' enough when a jack is inserted. So what you'd get is the noise sneaking into the sample input when you didn't want it.
... and why the sample out is not normalized to slew in?
That one is connected. However, I now see that if you follow the Builder's Guide to hand wire the sockets and are not using the Sock8 board there is a mistake on the second connection list on page 10. Pin 5 should connect to the NC lug of the slew in. I will correct this immediately.

Tony

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tvh
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Post by tvh » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:48 am

fantastic apparatus wrote:thank you.
i have not tried anodizing, but i did try unsuccessfully to dye a previously anodized part. i guess it only takes the dye immediately after the process. the par metal chassis i use often have anodized fronts and i have no problem powder coating them, or getting the silk screen ink to adhere (though i use an aggressive ink)
I've never engraved anything, but i know for sure lasers can engrave through the powder coat, and i imagine a CNC router should work fine too. if you have precision of depth it sure seems you might be able to coat something in two colors and expose the second color with engraving. if you really want to get fancy you can use high temp tape to mask off areas of the first coat for different colors, so you can have a different color for ins and outs or whatever.
Thanks for the tips and I look forward to seeing your project updates!

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:27 pm

i had normalized both inputs i mentioned on the sample slew. i don't seem to be getting any noise bleed-through, could be because i am using the open frame switchcraft 12a's, at least i'll know the source of weirdness if it does act up. i'm short three IC's and two faceplate reprints from completing the last 4 oakley modules in my system.
here is a self generating melody patch i was using to see if the noise bled into the sample in.

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:06 am

8 VCO "generic mono synth mostly normalized signal path" ipad sequenced and messing with the TSL

i've done a lot of soldering in my 40 years and tony's boards are truly the best and easiest soldering i have encountered. he's taken the stress and guesswork out of sourcing impossible parts or finding sub-par replacements, and worries about lifted pads and easy solder bridges. if you are not in england, dealing with VAT, the strong english currency, and international shipping might seem daunting, but believe me these boards are truly worth it.

ebonics
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Post by ebonics » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:39 pm

fantastic apparatus wrote:calibrated and tracking great. truly amazing products tony.

Man what an incredible project, this is so inspiring!

Quick question about that video - where do you have your wands setup on the mididac to read the octave values?

Keep up the good work - following!

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:06 pm

at the time of that video i could only find black voltron (that's what i call the spring loaded grabby attachments on the probes) so black voltron is actually slipped on the red positive probe or wand and attached to the note out jack. the black wand is screwed into one of the ground terminal slots on a power distribution board.

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:56 am

i moved the synth out of the lab into the studio obviously it sounds much better through my studio monitors than the old JBL PA speaker i've been using. here's a link to some soundcloud files of my first patches in the studio.
https://soundcloud.com/fantastic-appara ... ey-modular

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bcitral
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Post by bcitral » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:58 am

You panels look great mate. :yay:
Screen printing is the way forward.
I've just been getting my head around cnc laser but Im limited to the types of materials I can use with this process.
A mild euro crack habit.

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:03 pm

40 patch cables arrive, 40 patch cables stuffed in synth. i've been using 10ish balanced cables stolen from my patchbay which was quite limiting. turns out 40 get used up quick too, and i'm only half done with this synth.

Image


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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:08 pm

final three ICs came, and the ring modulator and discontinuity are now finished, functioning, and calibrated. 22 oakley modules done. need to print the panels again, before i can finish the 2 SVFs but the boards are 100% populated.


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dadeejaay
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Post by dadeejaay » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:05 am

Looks good! Any plans for the seqeuncers yet?
Cant have enough seqeuencers :hyper:

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fantastic apparatus
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Post by fantastic apparatus » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:13 am

no specific sequencer info yet, though that will go into the thread i have in the DIY section https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... p?t=139254. so i am not cluttering up the oakley sub forum with off topic. after i reprint the panels for the SVFs, this thread will be finished, save answering any questions about the oakley modules specifically people might have.
and while i am already bumping... here is a soundcloud file of my first 40 cable patch with 22 oakley modules and 4 utility modules i designed. it's long but it's worth skimming for some fun stuff. there is some creepy/annoying human voice-y stuff coming off of two VCOs with FM cross modulation.
https://soundcloud.com/fantastic-appara ... -40-cables

and my near future plans since this is already bumped.
1) i need some new ink to reprint the two panels.
been using an old can and its just too wonky now.
both SVF boards have been populated for a while i just need the panels so i can wire them up (really itching to get into some formant synthesis with all six oakley filters working, the expanded FM options on the oakley VCOs really expand their versatility and i have certainly enjoyed messing about with analog FM)
i'll likely be getting the ink next week so those should be done in 2ish weeks.

and you will have to check the other thread for the following updates:

2) i have most of the parts but have not finalized the layouts of my 3MU 16 VCA module and i need to reprint that panel as well having no stand alone VCAs this is a priority and should be finished soon after the SVFs
3) (first i need to make a regulator for a power supply fan and add it to the power supply case because this one module is harder on the positive rail of the supply than all 24 oakley modules in my system) already have the boards for the L-1 vocoder and the 48 switchcraft jacks for an added patchbay in a 6MU panel (that needs to be printed for the first time) but i need to get some paid bench work in to get some scratch for all those f'n THAT chips
4)layout boards for the 4 ADSRs with the arcade buttons and finish up the modules. these panels are already printed and drilled. 4 sequencers will be useless with 2 ADSRs so these will be made first.
5)2 more VCLFOs on boards i layout and etch. since these are cheaper and easier to design than sequencers and i have been getting great results with 2 inter-modulating LFOs of course i want 4.

... then sequencer work gets more focused.
right now in the daydreamy beginning stages of planning, and having 4 8MU panels set aside for sequencer duty, I would like one moogish analog, but with a 4th row. one digital "lit button" gate sequencer to fire ADSRs or possible dedicated drum sound modules (i still have unclaimed slots in the top cab) one unit with 4 turing machines some logic, switching, clocking, and quantizing. and then (remember the daydream warning) a digital sequencer similar to the circular MFOS one but no fine knobs and 4 concentric circles of 16 knobs with clear shaft pots lighting up clear knobs for indication without extra panel space with lots of clocking options and up to 64 note sequences.

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drip.feed
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Re: Massive Midlife Modular

Post by drip.feed » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:35 am

Any updates on this beast? :popcorn:
Dripfeed

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