Soundlab Ultimate & Ultimate Expander build thread

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

Moderators: Kent, dslocum, synthcube

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Post by johnstilton » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:52 pm

I am nearing completion on the first round of PCB work for my overly ambitious MFOS ultimate+Expander+Extras project. Inspired by some of the builds here incorporating the Ultimate, Expander and 1V/oct keyboard module, eventually I hope to have a duophonic keyboard synth. The keybed is a Lowrey Teenie Genie and I have two 1V/oct boards that I am going to troubleshoot first. As long as I have success with the keybed conversion, I will begin my main panel build and start troubleshooting the Ultimate+Expander circuits with Winter. Thank you all who frequent this topic in advance for your expertise once I get there!

Image

Image[/img]

User avatar
Bodo1967
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:53 am

That is gonna be one awesome synth when it's ready :tu: .

If you have space, consider some more modules as well - or place them in an extra modular case, like I did (work in progress, there's another thread in this subforum).
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Post by johnstilton » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:56 am

Thanks!

The Teeny Genie is a budget organ from the 70s but it's keybed switches are organized into two separate circuits, a right hand and left hand. The right hand has all kinds of additional contacts and I can use them to made freely-configurable triggers.

I literally, found it on the curb waiting for the garbage truck and with the home owner's permission, I wrestled the keybed out of the console.

So because it is now a duophonic project I purchased additional MFOS PCBS: 1 VCO, 1 ADSR, 1 dual AR, 2 dual VCA, 2 LFO, NLC timbre! wavefolders for each VCO, an Oakley Overdrive, Oakley Transistor Superladder, YuSynth Steiner VCF and a YuSynth quadrature LFO.

I plan using perma-proto boards for making MFOS saw-triangle circuits for the three VCOs on the Ultimate (for the wavefolders to use) as well as a pair of dual DC processors, a pair of dual comparators and a pair of slope detectors based on Ken Stone's circuits to greate gate automation, a pair of joystick controllers. I have about 10% spare room so I am going to KnowCon this weekend and see what else, maybe some variable slopes?...it seems to be some sort of a sickness.

But I am not even going to buy any parts for the above boards until I get when I have started working monophonically .

The keybed chassis is 34" wide so I have made calculations of this I plan on building into one 34" x 19.5" paperfaced panel. All the operators will be on the right of the panel and the jacks on the right, as I have seen on some very stunning examples here on MW. All the PCBs will mount on to a fixed vertical backplane in the style of industrial control cabinets that I am experienced in assembling. The panel will hinge at the top to swing upward to service the PCBs. I have a big box of surplus shielded twisted pair cable that I plan on using to (hopefully) keep everything nice and quiet. It is going to be big and heavy and not really modular at all, and it will take a while. I just want to build something. I am in no rush.

This is very exciting, I have been doing digital and numeric control work for my career and the last time I studied in depth with analog circuits was in technical school. I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I am so glad that there is so much well documented projects and this website available now to work with.

User avatar
Bodo1967
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:18 pm

johnstilton wrote:additional MFOS PCBS: 1 VCO, 1 ADSR, 1 dual AR, 2 dual VCA, 2 LFO, NLC timbre! wavefolders for each VCO, an Oakley Overdrive, Oakley Transistor Superladder, YuSynth Steiner VCF and a YuSynth quadrature LFO.
That's precisely what I meant in my previous answer 8-) :mrgreen: :tu: .
johnstilton wrote:I plan using perma-proto boards for making MFOS saw-triangle circuits for the three VCOs on the Ultimate
I have four 'triple saw to triangle converter' boards left over and lying around - circuit by Ray Wilson, PCB layout by me, manufacturing by JLCPCB. You need to buy at least 5 from them (minimum order amount), and I only need one.

I could send you one or two at self cost price, or provide gerber files (KiCAD) if you want. Would save you the work of designing your own.

@moderators - I hope it is OK to post this here instead of BST?
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Post by johnstilton » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:39 pm

I did not even know that such a PCB existed!

Yes, I would like to purchase one of these if you are offering.

PM me the details?

Thank you!

User avatar
Bodo1967
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:00 pm

johnstilton wrote:I did not even know that such a PCB existed!
It's nothing "official", I just I had them made for myself (mainly to feed the MFOS WaveFrealer,. provided I get it working somewhen :roll: ).
johnstilton wrote:Yes, I would like to purchase one of these if you are offering.

PM me the details?
Sure!
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

User avatar
Bodo1967
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bodo1967 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:09 pm

This is said Triple Saw to Triangle Converter:

Image

Image

The front panel is only 1" wide (there's only 6 jacks on it).

I have three PCBs left, so if anybody needs or wants one, just PM me.
Last edited by Bodo1967 on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

User avatar
synthcube
you will be assimilated
Posts: 2145
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:42 pm
Location: Boston
Contact:

Post by synthcube » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:11 pm

very nice!
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2SynthCube

synthcube webstore www.synthcube.com/cart
music from outer space: www.musicfromouterspace.com
blacet research: www.blacet.com
MOTM DIY Analog Synthesizers: www.motmsynthesizers.com
music from outer space euro smt: www.mfoseuro.com

User avatar
Bodo1967
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm
Location: Germany

Post by Bodo1967 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:23 pm

synthcube wrote:very nice!
Thanks :D. And if you want the KiCad files I'll gladly send them over!
... why buy it for $100 when you can build it yourself for $150?

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Re: Soundlab Ultimate & Ultimate Expander build thread

Post by johnstilton » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:42 pm

I have completed my panel assembly for my Ultimate, having been inspired and guided by many 4U builds I have seen from the Serge world. Panel wiring starts now.

I recall seeing somewhere in Ray’s documentation that, to avoid “bleed” some circuits benefit from twisted pair or shielded cable. I spent 15 minutes looking through all my Xerox copies but now can’t find them except for the mods section on coupling the ultimate VCA to the expander.

Does anyone know which circuits should be shielded ?
Attachments
BEB4C5E0-F8B8-44F3-9CC4-F697907D62E3.jpeg
BEB4C5E0-F8B8-44F3-9CC4-F697907D62E3.jpeg (2.03 MiB) Viewed 944 times
5B5DA8D5-698D-4CBE-BAEB-1FEF659CCC81.jpeg
5B5DA8D5-698D-4CBE-BAEB-1FEF659CCC81.jpeg (3.05 MiB) Viewed 944 times

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Re: Soundlab Ultimate & Ultimate Expander build thread

Post by johnstilton » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:51 pm

Starting with the lowest row of controls and the lowest of points on the PCB and the audio mixer circuit is done. I de-normalized the MXO from the mixer to the VCF by cutting the trace and adding another 3K to bring the mixer output directly to a banana jack.

In fact I am denormalizing everything and have omitted all of the wave shape switches. Thanks to Mr. Bodo who generously sold me a triple saw to triangle converter board, and then the future inclusion of Nonlinear Circuits Timbre! waveshapers, I will have square, saw, triangle and variable fold outputs available on the front panel. I’m also omitting the “fine” pots and have acquired ten-turn wirewound pots for the tuning.
Attachments
image.jpg
image.jpg (3.44 MiB) Viewed 944 times

johnstilton
Common Wiggler
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:31 am
Location: West Chicago

Re: Soundlab Ultimate & Ultimate Expander build thread

Post by johnstilton » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:22 pm

After a lot of procrastination I finished the panel wiring on my Ultimate Soundlab, powered up and after correcting a few things made a simple patch, my first patch ever.

Here is VCO1’s square wave into the VCF with the resonance turned up to about 75%
2C9C3B8C-32B7-4DEC-ADD0-C9D88D863422.jpeg
58FAFCBC-2ABE-43B0-918F-4977A8E80F41.jpeg
I haven’t attempted to calibrate or set up anything yet, but I have close to the right waveforms on all of the oscillators. With only a coarse frequency input via ten-turn pots, the VCOs go up to nearly 13kHz 4.3Vp-p on the square wave. Similar amplitude on the LFOs.

The repeat rate generator is working And has a 10V square wave and the envelope generator seems to be working goes from -4.8 to 4.2 when gates from the ramp generator

White noise looks noisy.

With full resonance, the VCF puts out a sine wave. But currently the VCF is attenuating the amplitude of the signal significantly. The VCA does not have a gain of 1 yet either and is attenuating it by About half.

The S&H isn’t working. It might be putting out pulses In the trigger output but not with the width or amplitude necessary to trigger the EG. It’s output is always 10Vdc.

This is not a bad place to be and I am looking forward to using Ray’s extensive set up and troubleshooting notes next weekend!

Post Reply

Return to “Music From Outer Space”