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[BUILD] Thomas Henry Supercontroller Euro SMT
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author [BUILD] Thomas Henry Supercontroller Euro SMT
UPDATED 5-14-18: BOM revised to incorporate switches

With thanks to Thomas Henry, Fonik, Cameron Korth (RSFC) for the panel design and Bill Manganaro (EAS) for the pcb layout and design-- introducing the Supercontroller for euro SMT DIY

This module & SMT PCB was designed and manufactured with kind permission of “FONITRONIK” and Thomas Henry. It is the Supercontroller Circuit published in Polyphony Issue Sept./Oct. 1981 and his book “Build a better music Synthesizer” 1987. This version of the module is a Eurorack format with some extra functionality added such as an extra delay mode and external sample & hold clock. To quote Thomas Henry: “If the VCO, VCF, and VCA form the heart of a synthesizer, then this module is surely the brain! It gives you most standard controller options (LFO, noise source, and sample and hold), but also includes some extras. The heart of the Super Controller Module (SCM) is the SN76477. This chip is known as a complex sound generator and was originally designed to provide sound effects for pinball machines and other computer type games.” Another use of the SN76477 chip is in the famous video game from 1978 called Space Invaders. The chips role in the Space Invaders game was to meerly produce the flying saucer sound thus it was hardwired for this single sound on the games sound board. Other sound generating circuits on the sound board filled the roles of all the other sounds for the game. Seems a waste and Thomas Henry certainly recognized all the chips possibilities many years ago.

This thread will hold documentation, build examples, troubleshooting help etc

Enjoy! =supercontroller&description=true

Link is to the SN Voice but yes, very good module, the noise part of this is even better than the sn voice.
Dan Lavin
The link to the product is incorrect. Link listed is for the SN Voice.

Correct link to Supercontroller is rcontroller-euro-smt?sort=p.model&order=DESC
State Machine
Folks will also be building this on the Electro-Music Thomas Henry Froum so here is the link to that thread:
State Machine
Good hi resolution video demonstrating hot air reflow of some 0805 resistors.

Dan Lavin
Bill, I see you changed the values on R24 (square output) and R4 (trigger output) from 1.5K to 3K ohms. Was the original peak voltage too low for you or are these typos?
Dan Lavin
I finished my build of the Super Controller and have a couple notes:

First off, the hole clearances for pots, switches and jacks are ridiculous! Do yourself a favor and run a hole reamer a couple times through each. This will save a lot of aggravation later.

During testing I wasn’t getting any signals on both the LFO Square and Gate outputs despite changing both the TL074 and Q3. I fixed this by adding a trimmer to pin 13 of U4, the negative input of that op amp. Seems no amount of trimming my LFO triangle output was triggering U4. It’s a fairly sensitive setting so I used a multiturn pot. I used 50K, but since it’s used as a voltage divider, any value will do. I hot glued the trimmer onto the back of the board and tapped +V and -V off the unused MOTM connector holes. To break the pin 13 connection from ground, I merely lifted the pin and hard soldered a wire wrap wire to it and fed it to the trimmer via the same MOTM connector holes.

For the gate output, I changed the values of the input and bias resistors to Q3. R25 went from 10K to 1K and R23 went from 100K to 10K. This gave me consistent gating for my ADSRs.

Used hot glue to keep wires in place.

I'm guessing the LFO Squarewave output may be unique to my SuperController, but I think the gate outputs would be improved regardless.
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