I recently received a custom order request asking whether or not I could re-do my voltage ‘controlled’ bandpass filter as a 1U tile – the answer was ‘yes’ but with some fairly significant strings attached. Specifically, that it would be expensive – in this case somewhere north of £150 ($200)
Here’s why …
Building synthesiser modules has a lot in common with writing software – it is important to do one thing and do it well, and having the correct tools for the job is a definite bonus too.
Here’s a brief rundown of the stuff that I use …
Building a square-wave oscillator from 1/6 of a 40106 hex Schmitt trigger is a bit like the ‘Hello World’ of synth DIY, and for good reason – you don’t need a huge number of parts in order to get an audible result. Instant gratification, and all that.
Yes it does.
mcu328: Eurorack version
mcu328: Desktop version
Something of a chameleon module, this – it arose out of me having a bunch of Arduino Nano boards loitering in the bits box and having no idea what to do with them until I dreamed this up.
… because everyone loves VCAs, even ghetto ones.
Once upon a time I had a module called the OptoThing – it used an optocoupler IC to do weird and strange things to an incoming signal (side note: if you want one, you can get it as a super-easy DIY kit)
This, then, is its successor, with a bit of a difference – rather than being a Eurorack module, it is in a compact, desktop-friendly format.
I get asked this often enough that it’s probably an FAQ …
Do you do custom orders?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer follows:
The CD4069UB hex inverter is an interesting and versatile piece of silicon – you can use it for its intended purpose of inverting a signal, but it is far more fun to put it to uses that its designers probably never thought of. I’ve used it in a number of past modules: a twin-T bass drum module (which was sorta-kinda OK but I’ve fi
nessed the design to use op-amps now), the Buzzsaw VCO, which is based on a design by Rene Schmitz that I’ve fiddled with and the 69er resonant low-pass filter which uses the inverters as linear amplifiers to create a wonderfully unruly and shrieky resonant filter.