Some personal heath issues

Last year I had a hearth attack. Lucky I survived. Afterwards I had to do a lot of live changing things, eating better, stopped smoking and going to the gym. I’m felling better now but still not where I want to be.

I don’t sit behind my computer that much lately, time fly’s by and and I can’t keep up. So sorry if emails are responded a bit late. I hope to get back into the site and responding emails a bit quicker this year. But I’m taking my time to slowly getting there.

Prices for the Littleben kit, everything is getting more expensive.

When ordering new parts my purchase prices went up a bit. I had to make some adjustments to the prices in the shop. The pcb’s of all modules are still available for the normal/old prices as always. But when ordering new pcb’s I will have to do the calculations on them too, they might go up a bit also. For now only the kit price for LittleBen went up a bit. These worldwide chip demand are effecting the market. Sorry if you where looking for a Littleben kit and now face an increase in price (about 7 euro for the full kit extra).

Using Arduino’s with Kicad, the troubles and solutions (BOM, of LittleBen and NanoGris)

It happens a few times when I sell one of the Nanogris or Littleben’s I get some questions about the Arduino’s. Sometimes these questions are easy to answer and are understandable because I made a small mistake. Quite often these mistake have there origin with Kicad footprints. I am working with Kicad 6 now and have to check if the Arduino’s are all there in the library. Both modules where made with Kicad 5 and I had to download some footprints from the internet. I could have made these footprints myself but as there where available I got a bit lazy. That resulted in some unclear BOM’s. I work quite a lot with Arduino’s uploading code and error’s and warnings are easy fixes for me. Not everyone does work with these modules daily. So here are a few tip’s, explanations and trick for working with Arduino’s, Littleben and Nanogris.

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Untamed the filter in the shop

A friend of mine send me a pcb for a 3350 Chip filter. This filter was based on the digisound 80-16. I was the start for me getting into a search for 3350 filters. This chip is used in the Sytron Syrinx and I really like the sound of it from what I could find. There isn’t much info on this chip and old filters that use it. But I did find someone that took the datasheet schematic and used it in his synth. PolyKit made a 8 voiced synth called the polykit-6 (check out his YouTube and GitHub).

I used his schematic as a base for the Untamed (with permission). Basically Untamed is the schematic from the datasheet of the AS3350 chip, with controls and a eurorack panel. It has it’s quirks but also a unique sound. I called this Untamed cause of the little quirks and raw sound that make it unique. I don’t think it tracks 1v/octave but it sounds awesome.

I would like to thank Polykit for his generosity and putting his work online. I will put the schematics up for everybody to look at. To comment on for further improvements and maybe come to a new module that is a bit more Tamed. The files for the pcb’s to order your own will be released after 10 sales.

Sample and Hold. First batch of dual YASH came in, testing it.

I didn’t have any sample and hold module in my rack. At first I didn’t think I needed one. But seeing a few video’s of what you could do with them I just wanted to have one. A sample and hold basically takes a voltage and when triggered it send the voltages to the output and keeps it at that level until next trigger,in theory. But being in a analog realm the capacitors used to keep the level at the output steady lose there voltage slowly and the voltage keeps dropping. This can be overcome making a digital sample and hold or just to use a quantizer and hope the next trigger will come before the next note is quantized. In practice the last option fits most purposes. So I decided to build a analog sample and hold.

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Untamed.. Something new, a filter prototype

I have been working on a filter design. The design is based on a new version of the cem3350 chip. The cem3350 was used in the Synton Syrinx, Rhodes Chroma and a few more synths. It hasn’t been used that much and the chip is somewhat of a niche filter. This chip is in production again by Alfa as the AS3350. That gives opportunities to design a filter based on this chip. The design isn’t complete yet but the pcb’s came in yesterday, so I was able to do some testing. Found out that the cutoff knob is reversed on prototype. I have been testing it together with the reverb I’ve posted about last week, to give you all a bit of a teaser of what’s to come.

The patch is Braids “VOWL” into the filter to the Reverb.

Daisy, kxmx bluemchen, reverb fx and installing dev-tools on M1 Mac

I was looking for more effect units in my rack. As I’m a big fan of DIY there aren’t that much choices. Lucky I found the kxmx bluemchen. A small module, open source and with a Daisy on the back. I did not know about Daisy and it took me on a journey. Oh I went into a rabbit hole last few weeks.

The website where you can find it advertise it as ” the go-to DSP solution for your next audio project.” I looks a bit like a Teensy or Arduino Nano. It took my interest. I soon found out it can do a lot more then your average Arduino. Daisy is made for working with audio it’s a digital signal processor (DSP). Meaning it can do a lot of things with audio signals. It can even be the source of a audio signal. They also sell T-shirt with the slogan “We make computers sing”. It took me awhile before all of Daisy landed in my head. But now I’m a big fan of this little micro processor.

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Building: The Thomas Henry Mega Percussion Synth (MPS)

Oh boy oh boy. This one is very special to me. I was in a bad period in my life when I started reading the Noise Generator Cookbook by Thomas Henry. Reading it gave me a lot of rest and I learned a lot from it. I didn’t know that much about noise, white, pink, red, blue and the noise in my head, it all started clearing up. In this book Thomas Henry writes about the Mega Percussion Synth (MPS). Back in those days a lot of schematics where based upon 15volt. I always wanted to have a MPS but never found the time and skill to transfer his design to eurorack (12 volts)

Then Haraldswerk released the MPS, and put the gerbers online for building one. Sadly it was still 15 volts and with banana jack. Not typical for eurorack. I wrote about this in the topic Haraldswerk posted on modwiggler. And I wasn’t the only one hoping for a 12 volt version with 3,5 jacks. That started a discussion and.. well

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Some site updates

I found a way to remove all those post about the modules in my rack from the frontpage. I think I have most of them written now. I might need to update a few of them while playing with the modules more and more. I thought the frontpage got a bit messy with all those post so glad to found a way of removing them. Next up all the panel files I made and adding them to the website. After that maybe record some sound samples. Maintaining a website does take some time but I still enjoy doing it.