Inaugural post- MFOS subforum- tell your MFOS story!

Discussion & Documentation for Ray Wilson's synths, modules and noise boxes.

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synthcube
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Inaugural post- MFOS subforum- tell your MFOS story!

Post by synthcube » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:20 pm

We're happy to announce the establishment of the MFOS subforum on muffwigglers. Over time, we'll add dedicated threads for each of Ray Wilson's legacy designs, including much of the original documentation as a resource for everyone. We'll also post with updates to MFOS modules, new products etc.

With the help and support of Ray's widow Debra Wilson (the Maiden of MFOS) we'll be continuing to offer MFOS pcbs, panels, kits, swag etc with plans to build on the original work over time.

It's amazing how many people have contacted us to say 'my first DIY project was from MFOS' or something like that-- please use this sticky thread to tell your MFOS story and post examples of previous MFOS builds!!

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Bodo1967
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Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:20 am

OK, I'll start.

I am one of the many whose first DIY synth is a MFOS. In retrospect, I think I was among the last customers to order from and e-mail with Ray :waah: (September 2015, that is).

It is a Soundlab Mini Synth Plus, with some add-ons and modifications by myself.

First of all, I gave the synth its own 4 octave keyboard by dismantling a common MIDI keyboard, only using the keyboard itself, its interface pcb and a MIDI to CV converter by Roman Sowa of midihardware.com.

I set this up in a way that allows me to switch between the internal keyboard, external MIDI In, and external CV In.

Also, I added a pitch bend wheel and made the LFO amount switchable between the main panel and the small panel left to the keyboard (where the pitch bend and modulation wheels are located in many or even most synths).

The instrument is housed in a sturdy and heavy wooden enclosure (all built from scratch by myself).

I have documented the entire build (followed by my work-in-progress TTSH and Jasper builds, more to come) with about 90 pictures in my favorite photo forum. However, this forum is in German language - apologies to all of you who don't speak or read the language.

This is what it looks like (pictures are taken on my workbench, the synth is now in my home studio):

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... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

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drip.feed
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Post by drip.feed » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:09 am

Bodo1967 wrote:Image

:jawdrop:
Dripfeed

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Great idea!!

Post by sixbyseven » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:43 pm

I am a huge fan of Ray Wilson's work, along with the work of Thomas Henry, Scott Stites, etc. Many of the folks here have gone more that the extra mile in building the synth DIY community.

I have built several of Ray's circuits, mostly on strip board though. Lately my mistake level has gone up,. so I started purchasing the bare PCBs from synthcube, modular addict or various other suppliers. My last finished builds were the keyboard matrix controller with a trashed Casio diode matrix keyboard and the mini synth MKII, built as separate modules.

I am currently building his quantized vari-clock sequencer with 3 additional CV/Gate controllers to power an 808/909 clone and TH-MPS.

Would love to get a thread going on each board MFOS supplies. I am currently having a timing issue with the vari-clock LEDs

Here is the MKII synth....http://sixbyseven.ca/the-delphichord-an ... nthesizer/

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For Bodo1967

Post by sixbyseven » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:59 pm

:yay:

Beautiful work Bodo! I would love to talk about the progress on the jasper Wasp. I put my name in for round 4, but it should be a while yet. Would also love to build a TTSH, but i have 22 projects in front of me now....

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Re: Great idea!!

Post by synthcube » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:31 pm

sixbyseven wrote:I am a huge fan of Ray Wilson's work, along with the work of Thomas Henry, Scott Stites, etc. Many of the folks here have gone more that the extra mile in building the synth DIY community.

I have built several of Ray's circuits, mostly on strip board though. Lately my mistake level has gone up,. so I started purchasing the bare PCBs from synthcube, modular addict or various other suppliers. My last finished builds were the keyboard matrix controller with a trashed Casio diode matrix keyboard and the mini synth MKII, built as separate modules.

I am currently building his quantized vari-clock sequencer with 3 additional CV/Gate controllers to power an 808/909 clone and TH-MPS.

Would love to get a thread going on each board MFOS supplies. I am currently having a timing issue with the vari-clock LEDs

Here is the MKII synth....http://sixbyseven.ca/the-delphichord-an ... nthesizer/

Image

Image
that is a beautiful build,,,, and

our goal is to create dedicated build threads for each MFOS module here... (including the (sssshhhhh.... dont say anything yet) planned line of euro format, SMT versions :cloud: )

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Post by koerby » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:58 am

ok,

everything started around 10 years ago with the famous WSG.
This was my first step into the world of DIY.
Ray's Page was a great source of inspiration and knowledge. I liked the combination of humor and science.
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After the WSG it was totally clear for me that the time had come for something "bigger".
So I built the Soundlab with some additional modifications, it's unfortunately not in the best shape anymore.
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The next step was complete cabinet with all the (at this time) available Modules.
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Finally, and in my opinion, the crown of Rays inventions: The Ultimate+Expander. It is still my favorite Synth, I've never seen a sDIY project which is so perfect.
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[video][/video]

Ray was (and is still) the main source of my inspiration, I loved his passion and his willingness to share his knowledge with the community. I was devastated when I heard that he passed away because I was so confident that he would win this fight.

Ray, you was one of the greatest guys, I miss you.

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Post by synthcube » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:17 pm

Thanks for the awesome post! Would it be OK with you to share it with Ray's widow Debra and his children? I know they would love to see it.

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Post by minime123 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:41 pm

we bought a MFOS modular synth from a customer a few years ago. we've already get enough synths, but this thing truly kicks ass so we kept it around. the filter and phaser sound amazing. we decided to sell it soon since those 2 modules are the only ones we NEED and we'd love for to keep this system intact for its next owner, but we're hoping to buy new boards for these modules again and to build them into our eurorack system because theyre really exceptional. we've also got some unstuffed boards that we hope to eventually assemble (soundlab 2 etc). are there mouser BOMs for this stuff out there?
thanks
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Post by koerby » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:25 am

synthcube wrote:Thanks for the awesome post! Would it be OK with you to share it with Ray's widow Debra and his children? I know they would love to see it.
no problem for me

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Post by synthcube » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:02 am

minime123 wrote:we bought a MFOS modular synth from a customer a few years ago. we've already get enough synths, but this thing truly kicks ass so we kept it around. the filter and phaser sound amazing. we decided to sell it soon since those 2 modules are the only ones we NEED and we'd love for to keep this system intact for its next owner, but we're hoping to buy new boards for these modules again and to build them into our eurorack system because theyre really exceptional. we've also got some unstuffed boards that we hope to eventually assemble (soundlab 2 etc). are there mouser BOMs for this stuff out there?
thanks
mini
no mouser boms yet, but coming soon

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Post by DozenCrows » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:32 pm

I found Ray's book online and bought a copy while looking for projects to further my growing electronics skills ... and was hooked! The MFOS site has given me great inspiration, and hours of engagement poring over the circuits.

I'm on the journey of building my own modular, with some MFOS modules already built (ADSR, VCA, keyboard controller, wall-wart PSU) and taking inspiration from or adapting other circuits.

He left a great legacy to the electronics & synth world, and I'm really grateful and humbled that he did.

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Post by Borellus » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:58 pm

MFOS was my gateway drug into DIY. The Noise Toaster was my first project (my feeble attempt at an external Gate In didn't work, but everything else does):



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"...I often heard sounds which filled me with an indefinable dread --the dread of vague wonder and brooding mystery. It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth, and that at certain intervals they assumed a symphonic quality which I could hardly conceive as produced by one player."

--H.P. Lovecraft, The Music of Erich Zann

http://soundcloud.com/xrmx-1

http://xrmx.bandcamp.com/releases

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Post by synthcube » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:32 am

that is awesome!!
can you say more about the case and the fantastic panel graphics?

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Post by Borellus » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:59 pm

synthcube wrote:that is awesome!!
can you say more about the case and the fantastic panel graphics?
Thanks!

The case is a Hammond 515-0940, which is tall enough for the speaker which came with the MFOS kit to be mounted vertically against one of the side vents, using a hot glue gun. I purchased it from Newark or Mouser, I don't remember which.

http://www.hammondmfg.com/pdf/515-0940.pdf

http://www.hammondmfg.com/scpg.htm

I did the graphics in Pixelmator. First, I printed a simple template to mark where the holes needed to be drilled. Then I created the full graphics version, which I printed out on Canon photo paper, applied about ten coats of Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x to it for protection, and then affixed it to the panel with 3M Super 77 adhesive.
"...I often heard sounds which filled me with an indefinable dread --the dread of vague wonder and brooding mystery. It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth, and that at certain intervals they assumed a symphonic quality which I could hardly conceive as produced by one player."

--H.P. Lovecraft, The Music of Erich Zann

http://soundcloud.com/xrmx-1

http://xrmx.bandcamp.com/releases

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Subcommander

Post by mcasemo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:09 pm

I'm new here, have made mostly guitar effects, but have bought several of Ray's noise maker boards (toaster, echo rocket, etc....) but have only completed one of them, the Subcommander.

Love this thing, so fun. Great way for guitar people to learn some synth basics.

I found a guy on etsy making octagon shaped dice trays out of oak and he made me a box, which is beautiful. The graphic is something from a Russian artist, Tebe Interesno, a submarine orbiting the earth. I covered the top in aluminum tape first, then clear waterslide decal over the tape.

I made long wire runs so i could flip the board to troubleshoot, but still managed to make a few too short.

After Ray passed away and the boards were not available, did a few of his schematics in Eagle CAD and made a few PCB's as a way to get familiar with the process. I made a wave freaker (works mostly), spring reverb (need to build) and I made his phaser and added stages for 12 stages. I'm troubleshooting this one now and may post my issues for help.

Anyway, Ray was awesome, answered all my stupid emails, redlined schematics for modifications and such. Miss him much.

Cheers,
Mark

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Image

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Post by synthcube » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:43 am

welcome to the forum!

thanks for the awesome story and pictures--- we have gotten so many emails like this one, its awesome!

hope to see you here more often--

thanks

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Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:57 pm

Even if that thing sounded just half as cool as it looks, it'd still be awesome :tu: :tu: :tu: :nana: !

In other words - this must be the coolest looking FX box I've ever seen!
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

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Post by mcasemo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:53 pm

haha! much thanks! got obsessed with the octagon hammond enclosures for guitar effect pedals, so i'm making all things octagon shaped now.

Your Soundlab mini synth looks amazing, all the stuff here does.

cheers
mark
Bodo1967 wrote:Even if that thing sounded just half as cool as it looks, it'd still be awesome :tu: :tu: :tu: :nana: !

In other words - this must be the coolest looking FX box I've ever seen!

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Post by Chartreuse-J » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:18 pm

Here is the MFOS 10-Step sequencer.

Fun build. Box is made from solid tiger maple and aniline dyed orange. Knobs are Davies I believe. All in all about $350 to make, used all precision Dale 1% resistors in the thing. 3.5 jacks used instead of the 1/4, works well with eurorack.





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Post by rico loverde » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:38 pm

My first venture into DIY was MFOS. I built a Soundlab. It was a mess and didn't work at first. When I finished it it was only partly working. I was tired and frustrated so I opened the door to throw it out into the street. My wife said quit being such a baby and just put it away till tomorrow. An hour or so later I decided to give it a once over after calming down and found one wire I missed. It worked instantly after that and I was hooked. Built a ton more MFOS stuff over the years and Ray helped me many times via email and even by phone once. Its crazy that it all eventually led to my current job at Malekko/Darkplace building modules and running the pick n place machines.

Thank you Ray!!!! RIP!!!!!The DIY community lost a great.

Heres some of the projects I built. Sorry for the shit pics.

My first, the one that almost went out the door

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One I did for friends album release, album cover in background of panel

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and other.....

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works for Darkplace Manufacturing

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Post by j450nn014n » Tue May 08, 2018 10:20 am

I wanted to share my NT case. This is the first synth I've built since building a Paia Gnome in the mid-70s. I have a nice 3d printer at work, and made up this nice semi-transparent case, also added an external power supply & external CV mod.
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Autistic. I like making noises at my workplace. I usually end up breaking something.

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Post by synthcube » Tue May 08, 2018 10:34 am

that's awesome!!!!

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Post by j450nn014n » Tue May 08, 2018 12:45 pm

Borellus wrote:MFOS was my gateway drug into DIY. The Noise Toaster was my first project (my feeble attempt at an external Gate In didn't work, but everything else does):
This is so beautiful. I'm inspired to try something next time, but I'd never come up with something that nice. Wonderful
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Post by JCHaywire » Mon May 21, 2018 8:23 am

Borellus wrote:MFOS was my gateway drug into DIY. The Noise Toaster was my first project (my feeble attempt at an external Gate In didn't work, but everything else does):


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I can't BELIEVE how cool everybody's builds are. This forum is peopled by amazing builders.
JCHaywire, St. Paul, MN USA

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