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Vintage Voltron Panels
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Vintage Voltron Panels
odditymedium
after reading this fantastic comment by Clockgate on the VV3

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1975577#1975577

i was intrigued by the VV panels, and their newer redesigns (such as Loudest Warning's, etc), where can i learn more about them?

please share any info/tips you have on all of the six (?) Vintage Voltron panels in this thread

this is the kind of one-liner implicit knowledge that our community holds that can unlock someone's practice, can lead to years of explorations....

so, i beseech you, more of this, please!
GrantB
The Vintage Voltron panels were a series of nine panel designs by COA Modular aka Dmitri https://dmitribuildssynths.wordpress.com offered via group buy here on muffs. They were made to be used with the CGS/Serge PCBs by Ken Stone with an emphasis on the earlier paperface era Serge circuits and panel graphics. Dmitri also did a run of the NCS1 and NCS2 "New Compact Serge" panels which included the PCO PCBs licensed from Serge and utilized the more advanced CGS/Serge boards such as VCFQ and VCSM.

This series of group buys (not to mention the BOCGS panels and others) were great for those of us building in the traditional fixed panel Serge style. These days it seems that 4u DIY has moved on to the LW and R*S formats based on smaller modules, or you can build a EuroSerge with kits from Elby Electronics.
ndkent
since you brought up vv3, there something similar from http://73-75.com (which is THC originally behind the bog, swamp etc.) - scroll to "Preset" - the release date came and went so maybe it will never show, the "Homebuilt" panels are being sold though.

COA was great in it's day because CGS had so many Serge boards coming out so the panels were really handy and affordable...though certain choices were a headscratch. And not super easy to buy. Still building mine. Yes you have to sort of hunt for the doc all over. Remember many people build CGS in some other format but the tips can still apply. And of course the CGS info is now at http://Elby-designs.com

Actually one thing I noticed that's fairly easy to solve but irking me is that Elby offers parts kits as an option, which I have no problem with the retail concept of. So the archived CGS pcb doc now links to a newly made BOM from Elby - but what makes total sense in context to buying an elby kit of parts - the bom tells you what you get in the kit. BUT if you want that bom list to buy your own parts, I'm scratching my head to figure out if any of his specs for parts are really necessary to the build.

What I mean is his bom has things like all 1/2 watt resistors and calls out 5% ceramic caps. My thought is those specific kinds of specs aren't required afaik. Like I should be able to use 1/4 watt resistors and old school 20% ceramic caps. Don't think 5% ceramic caps were even manufactured in the 70s. So the short answer is to check on archive.org and see the old CGS bom and see if they actually call out other than standard specs and any substitutions known to work or not.
cygmu
ndkent wrote:

Actually one thing I noticed that's fairly easy to solve but irking me is that Elby offers parts kits as an option, which I have no problem with the retail concept of. So the archived CGS pcb doc now links to a newly made BOM from Elby - but what makes total sense in context to buying an elby kit of parts - the bom tells you what you get in the kit. BUT if you want that bom list to buy your own parts, I'm scratching my head to figure out if any of his specs for parts are really necessary to the build.

What I mean is his bom has things like all 1/2 watt resistors and calls out 5% ceramic caps. My thought is those specific kinds of specs aren't required afaik. Like I should be able to use 1/4 watt resistors and old school 20% ceramic caps. Don't think 5% ceramic caps were even manufactured in the 70s. So the short answer is to check on archive.org and see the old CGS bom and see if they actually call out other than standard specs and any substitutions known to work or not.


I agree with this. I mentioned it in another thread a month or two ago and got shouted at... but anyway, the point of this post is to say that you no longer need to mess about with the Wayback Machine to dig up the BOMs because the CGS information is now reproduced on the sdiy wiki

https://sdiy.info/wiki/CatGirl_Synth

As well as the individual module BOMs, Ken Stone's Parts FAQ can be found there:
https://sdiy.info/wiki/CGS_parts_FAQ
muncky
On the vv3, I made mine into a ‘plus’, taking advantage of the Loudest Warning panels squeezing in 17 rows to include a clock divider and Barton Simple Quantisers. Was fun to build (debugging wasn’t - thanks to Cygmu for helping me find the errant 15k instead of 150k resistors on the Programmers!).

syncretism
muncky, the divider module is a great addition.
odditymedium
what do you folks think of vv6?
hemeroscopium
I've been talking with Charlie aka Loudestwarning and we came up with this:



Gonna get it soon ~~
Prunesquallor
Very nice! Those row selectors above the routers look new, and very useful.
syncretism
odditymedium wrote:
what do you folks think of vv6?


I have one, and while I like it a lot, I'd like it more if it were more in line with current specifications, which I expect is possible with a current build via Elby, LW, et al:

    The mounting holes on my VV6 panel aren't compatible with any boats I own; I had to drill four news one into the sides of a boat and secure the panel with zip-ties.

    The DUSGs' outputs are bipolar on mine, so I tend to treat them more as audio sources than CV sources. As on my Ken Stone Serge VCS 5u modules, their pots control time, not rate. In practice, this reverses the control of any STS or Random*Source slope generators I've used - fully CCW on the VV6's DUSGs is equivalent to fully CW on the R*S. This isn't bad, but it encourages me to work with the panel as a complete audio source more than as a collection of utilities in a larger setup.

    The panel artwork reflects the original layout, IIRC, where you can't make the DUSG cycle with a shorting bar. You can use a shorting bar to make a generator on the bottom trigger the one above it and a cable to self-patch, but it's just another minor quirk that calls for a brief cognitive reset whenever I engage.


Then again, the matrix mixer's outputs can switch between bipolar and unipolar, exposing amplitude and mixing control possibilities (with feedback) otherwise unavailable. So, VV6 still gets a strong "buy" from me, but if it were more like the rest of my panels, it'd be unbeatable.
GrantB
syncretism wrote:
odditymedium wrote:
what do you folks think of vv6?


The DUSGs' outputs are bipolar on mine, so I tend to treat them more as audio sources than CV sources. As on my Ken Stone Serge VCS 5u modules, their pots control time, not rate. In practice, this reverses the control of any STS or Random*Source slope generators I've used - fully CCW on the VV6's DUSGs is equivalent to fully CW on the R*S. This isn't bad, but it encourages me to work with the panel as a complete audio source more than as a collection of utilities in a larger setup.


The good news is that both of those things are totally fixable. The CGS DUSG board has both kinds of outputs, so I like to enlarge the stock LED hole to fit a blue jack and put the LED in a new hole. The rise and fall pots just need their connections reversed.
syncretism
GrantB wrote:
The good news is that both of those things are totally fixable. The CGS DUSG board has both kinds of outputs, so I like to enlarge the stock LED hole to fit a blue jack and put the LED in a new hole. The rise and fall pots just need their connections reversed.


Rad! Maybe I can enlist someone to do these. Thanks!
GrantB
syncretism wrote:
GrantB wrote:
The good news is that both of those things are totally fixable. The CGS DUSG board has both kinds of outputs, so I like to enlarge the stock LED hole to fit a blue jack and put the LED in a new hole. The rise and fall pots just need their connections reversed.


Rad! Maybe I can enlist someone to do these. Thanks!


Another option is to make the output switchable with a push-pull pot. I did this on my VV1 panel for the "V.C. Slew" module which I built with the DUSG board. The rate pot selects bipolar/unipolar and the VC pot selects cycle mode. That way you don't have to drill any holes in the built panel which is a pita, though you might need taller standoffs and screws depending how yours in constructed. I think the two jacks is superior for usability though.
Pierrelegere
if this might be available as a panel only, I'd be highly interested as I have a vv1, vv2 and vv4 system... that would be a great addition!

hemeroscopium wrote:
I've been talking with Charlie aka Loudestwarning and we came up with this:



Gonna get it soon ~~
the bad producer
I can always order one in for you, it would be slightly different as it would lack the CV address (UP and DOWN would be moved back into the 'correct' position)... Currently using Schaeffer for one-offs, so this would set you back £150.
mestlick
I have a VV3 and it is indeed awesome. Using the routers for pulses/gates is super cool.

There are per stage gate outs on each programmer and the sequencer.
The routers can be used as 2:1 or 1:2, and cascaded into more complex networks.
There are per stage pulse inputs and forward and backwards clock inputs on the programmers, and clock and reset inputs on the sequencer.

Then I've used programmer or sequencer gates as selects to the routers, or I've used row CV's from a programmer as selects. I've also used the compare out from an SSG to add some randomness.

Some ideas I've tried include:
3 2:1's to implement a 4:1 with 2-bit binary select (first level shares select input)

1:2 to have clock and direction input to programmer

2:1 or 4:1 sequencer outputs to reset input to have VC sequencer length

Above can then be patched so a programmer selects the sequencer length, and the sequencer clocks the programmer. Now the programmer has per-stage clock division, set by 1 or 2 rows on the programmer.

One programmer drives selects for 4:1 to choose rows from the other (this is how you get a 16 step sequence from one programmer, and much more complicated patterns are possible)


Another cool thing is that the stage select inputs will override any clocking, so you can force a programmer to stay still. And if you press multiple buttons it will sum up the knob values. I like to set up fills this way that have CVs coming out of the programmer that don't exist on any one stage.
drew
The vv page from the original cgs website is here:
CGS - Vintage Voltron
Pierrelegere
PM send

the bad producer wrote:
I can always order one in for you, it would be slightly different as it would lack the CV address (UP and DOWN would be moved back into the 'correct' position)... Currently using Schaeffer for one-offs, so this would set you back £150.
ndkent
drew wrote:
The vv page from the original cgs website is here:
CGS - Vintage Voltron


I've used this page as reference numerous times, note that there were 3 more vintage voltron panels and then two more panels that needed a PCO board.

#7 VCO panel
#8 Ken Stone's Cannon Engine
#9 CGS Drum Voice Panel

As I'm still building mine, I thought I'd contribute some details that took me a while to figure out.

The stereo mixer is meant to be an alternate parts stuffing of CGS81, I thought reading CGS 81 that it was a mistake until I realized it's a modified build - and the doc is somewhere online if hunted for. More recently the CGS 101 pcb has showed up which is far more feature rich with voltage control. Still figuring out if and exactly how to incorporate it, would need more holes in the panel. Has anyone worked out putting CGS 101 into a VV?

The gates are specified as CGS 64, which is the CGS VCA, since then CGS 79 has appeared and has an alternate pcb stuffing as a Serge VCA. I see the panel holes match the CGS 79 built as a gate much better than the 64 given the Serge includes lin and log CV ins and AC and DC signal ins

CGS has not created the earlier or any Serge VCO though they are x4 on panel #7 (I'm not talking about the Dimitri panels with the supplied PCO PCBs), clearly these are the original Serge VCO, though at the time the doc said to use the CGS 48. The 48 advantage is it is 1v/oct, lots more features and available. The disadvantage is no variable waveshaping, where to wire the other features and not the Serge design. Anyone figure out what to do? I mean other than leave the waveshaping non-functioning? I guess one answer other than making my own PCB would be to get the elby euro version though that's not ideal given it's a Euro sized PCB that comes with the cost of a euro front panel
chocolatyshatner
ndkent, the CGS 48 vco does have variable waveshaping, in the docs for it Ken mentions he tried to get the variable waveshape close to the original Serge Osc, but with accurate 1V/oct tracking. So the CGS vco CAN be built with the same features of the Serge Oscillator. Doug Lynner does a comparison with the original Serge Oscillator and the Elby Euroserge oscillator, which I believe is based on the CGS 48, on youtube.

Edit: the Elby Euroserge oscillator is NOT based on the CGS 48 vco, but the CGS 48 sine-saw waveshaper IS based on the original Serge Oscillator
Gandalf
chocolatyshatner wrote:
ndkent, the CGS 48 vco does have variable waveshaping, in the docs for it Ken mentions he tried to get the variable waveshape close to the original Serge Osc, but with accurate 1V/oct tracking. So the CGS vco CAN be built with the same features of the Serge Oscillator. Doug Lynner does a comparison with the original Serge Oscillator and the Elby Euroserge oscillator, which I believe is based on the CGS 48, on youtube.

Edit: the Elby Euroserge oscillator is NOT based on the CGS 48 vco, but the CGS 48 sine-saw waveshaper IS based on the original Serge Oscillator

The EuroSerge oscillator IS the original Serge oscillator with, I believe, some minor updates. That is why the comparison is there - to compare the old and the new. The CGS48 uses a recognised sawtooth core and offers 1V/Octave and good tracking, in addition it has the waveshaper circuit so makes a good drop-in for the Serge oscillator and could be compared in many regards with the PCO
teleport
GrantB wrote:
Dmitri also did a run of the NCS1 and NCS2 "New Compact Serge" panels which included the PCO PCBs licensed from Serge and utilized the more advanced CGS/Serge boards such as VCFQ and VCSM.


...and for extra completeness there was also the NCS Drum Panel
https://www.modulargrid.net/s/other-unknown-ncs-drum
which consists of several Hexinverter and Nonlinear Circuits drum boards along with a CGS Quad VCA and DTG.

Not sure whether the NCS's are technically part of the Vintage Voltron series - but they often get discussed in the same context.
GrantB
teleport wrote:
GrantB wrote:
Dmitri also did a run of the NCS1 and NCS2 "New Compact Serge" panels which included the PCO PCBs licensed from Serge and utilized the more advanced CGS/Serge boards such as VCFQ and VCSM.


...and for extra completeness there was also the NCS Drum Panel
https://www.modulargrid.net/s/other-unknown-ncs-drum
which consists of several Hexinverter and Nonlinear Circuits drum boards along with a CGS Quad VCA and DTG.

Not sure whether the NCS's are technically part of the Vintage Voltron series - but they often get discussed in the same context.

Did that one actually get made? Can't remember.
teleport
GrantB wrote:

Did that one actually get made? Can't remember.


Am in the final stretch of putting one together (got it second hand, so not sure of the backstory on the panel run), so it seems that at least a few did get produced - (though there's certainly very little info online about it). Will aim to post some pics when it's wired up.
GrantB
teleport wrote:
GrantB wrote:

Did that one actually get made? Can't remember.


Am in the final stretch of putting one together (got it second hand, so not sure of the backstory on the panel run), so it seems that at least a few did get produced - (though there's certainly very little info online about it). Will aim to post some pics when it's wired up.


Cool, I thought there was one I didn't buy. Looking forward to your pics!
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