Make Noise 0-Coast

Make Noise 0-Coast

The 0-COAST is a single voice patchable synthesizer. Its name reflects the fact that it utilizes techniques from both the Moog and Buchla paradigms (aka “East Coast,” and “West Coast,” due to their locations), but is loyal to neither and thus implements “no coast synthesis.” While the 0-COAST utilizes classic modular synthesis techniques, we designed it to operate with or without the use of patch cables. The necessary connections have been made from circuit to circuit so it operates as an expressive, musical MonoSynth. Using only the MIDI controller of your choice you could apply new timbres to your existing musical forms! Using the included Patch Cables you could get more scientific, experimenting with new ways to wire up the circuits. You might even forgo MIDI altogether, disappearing into a cloud of analog FM induced Sidebands and harmonics scattered around a single fundamental drone that has nothing to do with any form of music you’ve ever known.


So I decided while I am in the process of building my eurorack and kinda rushing to get sound out of it without really knowing what i'm doing it would be nice to have something to mess around and learn from.

So at the suggestion of a fellow modular friend (Bill T Miller / Orgy of Noise) I decided to get the Make Noise 0-Coast. 

I had a bit of a hard time locating a unit most place I usually order from were out of stock and well i'm not patient lol, finally found one in at savedbytechnology.com in Toronto and they shipped it super fast ! Friday order got it monday morning :p

I've been playing with it for a week now and love it, I am not really sure what I am doing most of the time, at least I know what are the input / output, I am having a hard time with the program pages and how to use them properly, 

The patch cables supplied with the unit are enough to do most of the demo patch, I ordered 20 extra ones from technosynth.com :) super good service.

I am planning to film video of me messing around with the 0-Coast and share on youtube in the coming days. Also I printed tons of page 43 from the manual to share patches, i'll be including them here in pdf form.  

 

Next batch of modules

Here's some modules I have ordered, I've been trying my luck on ebay auctions and well I suck at it, I won 2 so far. Here's some of the modules arriving soon. Mind you I don't have a clear plan on what i'm gonna buy but I know having one of each type of module won't go to waste while I learn more.

A-132-4 Doepfer

Quad exponential VCA Module A-132-4 contains four identical voltage controlled amplifiers (VCA) with exponential control scales. Each VCA has two control voltage inputs (C1, C2), a signal input (In) and a signal output (Out). The control voltage inputs C1 and the signal inputs can be normalled by means of internal jumpers, i.e. the corresponding input signals of unit #1 can be connected to the switching contacts of unit #2. Those of unit #2 can be normalled to unit #3 and those of unit #3 to unit #4. If the normalling is not desired the jumpers have to be removed. In addition the sum of all four outputs is available (bottom left socket with the sum sign). Therefore unit #4 has only one control voltage input (only C1, no C2). If desired this socket can be jumpered as control voltage input 2. But then the sum signal is no longer available as a socket (only as an internal pin). For each VCA output a jumper is available that determines if the output signal of the corresponding VCA is added to the sum signal. From the factory all four jumpers are set (i.e. all four VCA output signals are added). By removing of one or more of the jumpers one can choose which VCA output is added to the sum. The jumpers can be replaced by switches too.

2HP LPF

Low-Pass Filter LPF is a four-pole, voltage controlled low-pass filter. Its 24 dB per octave slope and OTA topology provide a smooth, buttery character. Resonance can be pushed to self oscillation, turning it into a sine wave VCO with accurate 1V/oct tracking across four octaves. In addition, CV over resonance gives dynamic sound shaping possibilities under voltage control. Hit the slope with LPF.

PHASE 45 EMW

Analog Phaser The EMW Phase 45 is a simple yet powerful analog 1-stage phaser module. It features manual controls for Feedback and Phase as well as a CV input for Phase modulation (Mod In).

ADSR Synthrotek

The Synthrotek ADSR is a small and simple envelope generator with some very useful features. CV is additive for overall length of ADR stages in ADSR mode, add even more length to just the Release stage by adding CV into the Release jack. AR mode with CV over release length allows for snappy to long dynamic rhythm lengths. Very short minimum lengths, self cycling and a maximum output of 5 volts makes this tiny (4HP) envelope a very feature packed and versatile module.

First set of modules DIY

Late update, I won 2 DIY kit in an ebay auction, at 20$ each I had nothing to loose getting them, the last kit I build was in high school, some radio shack radio transmitter, I remember it was super small and had maybe 10 pieces... so it's been a while since I attempted any soldering, I ordered a helping hand kit too to help thing out.


Kit one : AI002 Mixer by AI Synthesis

The AI002 Mixer is an audio or cv mixer. All three inputs have a level control, with full clockwise allowing full volume prior to the summing mixer. The summing mixer is at Unity when at 12’0 Clock, and overdrives as it moves clockwise. This kit is ideal for those who know how to solder, but are still starting out in their DIY Synthesis journey.

It took me about 2 hour in total to assemble, soldering the IC socket and power pin were the hardest part as I used too much solder and contact point would connect with each others. When I first tried it only one of the channel worked so I touched up each solder point a second time and it fixed everything. It took me a little while to realize there were a tiny screw on the knobs... lol.

Kit two: CVpal by Mutable instruments

Cheap and cheerful DIY USB>CV/Gate interface Entry-level, fool-proof, DIY kit (only 25 parts to assemble) Plenty of modes (mono CV/Gate/Velocity/Square digital oscillator ; duophonic and dual channel modes ; 4 note trigger conversion ; CC to CV conversion...) Digital calibration provides better accuracy than offset/scale trimmers USB-powered

This one was much easier to build I recon doing it in under an hour, getting more comfortable with the soldering and using proper amount without making a mess. Once I powered it up and connected it to my computer Ableton Live wouldn't see it as a midi device, rechecked every connection and went to their website for troubleshooting (one thing I love with those kits is that they are very well documented)... lurking around in the forums I found out some of the IC chips weren't programmed when sent out... I was pretty sure I was gonna need to order a new one until I realized that I had put the IC chip in the wrong direction... once I flipped it all worked :p and while I was digging in the documentation I found out there's actually an oscillator when you use a different midi channel so my box can make sound ;)

Anyway I really enjoyed building the kits and planning to get more. 

Eurorack modular case completed

Modular synth building... first modules planning

okie... so status update... still awaiting the tiptop audio stuff, my case is getting closer and closer to being done, i've redone all my sanding/staining because well I went too fast, so now i'm letting everything dry for at least a day before applying other layer and cleaning after each time. Not sure i'll be done with varnishing when the stuff arrive but will see.


One would wonder if spending all that time building this silly box and learning i'd have a clear plan on what i'd put in it... honestly... nope. lol... i'm building a kitchen space without knowing how to cook... which is a bit silly... but I know i'll be learning along the way and i'll probably have to redo this multiple time... gotta start somewhere.

My first case is 84hp... which means 19 inch wide... so i'm quite limited with what to include in there, which mean I need to find some purpose for the box.

I decided i'd use my computer (Ableton) to sequence/trigger stuff via midi so that will leave me plenty of space for modules. Here's a build I made in ModularGrid.net to visualize how much stuff I can fit.

My first buy will be with µMIDI from intellijel   (MODULE 1)
"The µMIDI provides all the essentials to control and sync your Eurorack modular from your computer, iPhone/iPad, or hardware MIDI device with a minimum of fuss. No menu diving or configuration scripts, just two buttons. The connectivity, feature set, and compact size make the µMIDI ideal for integrating your modular with the rest of your rig while not taking up too much space in your case."

I know i'll be using Ableton Live with this box and my other gear so it will have to talk with the rest of the team ;) 

MODULE 2 - Tiptop Z3000

Basic sound out... :) next... mmm filter, another vco, fx, mixer... loop. I'd really like a display :)

Music, Modular, Dokta...

Hey... been a while since I wrote a blog post, kinda missing that, I've been working with artist in the music industry for a while, did my little podcast on dirtyradio and over the years i've been buying random piece of equipment without much of a purpose.

Last year I started to buy equipment to just enjoy listening to music properly and record my podcast and while doing that I expanded a bit...

Current gear (updated September 22 2017)

  • Yamaha MG10XU Mixer | Yamaha
  • KRK Rokit 5 G3 Studio monitor | KRK
  • Korg nanoKONTROL2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Controller (Black) | Korg
  • Korg Volca Sample - Digital Sample Sequencer | Korg
  • Korg Volca FM - Digital FM Synthesizer | Korg
  • Akai APC Key 25 Ableton Performance USB MIDI Keyboard Controller | Akai
  • Audio-technica PRO 70 Cardioid Condenser Lavalier/Instrument XLR Microphone | Audio-technica
  • M-audio Vocal Studio USB Microphone | M-Audio
  • AKG K172HD High-Definition Headphones | AKG
  • Roland UM-One USB to Midi interface (to send sysex patch data to the volca fm) | Roland
  • Make Noise 0-Coast | Make Noise

Software

  • Ableton Live 9 Studio (main host / sequencer / mixer) | Ableton
  • Adobe Audition (editing / eq / export) | Adobe
  • Audacity (editing / chopping up files etc) | Audacity
  • dBpoweramp (audio conversion / encoding) | dBpoweramp
  • VOSYR (The free volca sample manager) | Frederikson-Labs

VST

  • Dexed (FM Plugin Synth, to export Sysex patch to Volca FM) | Dexed
  • ImpOSCar2 (emulation of the rare and classic OSCar synthesizer) | GForce
  • Retcon - Boards Of Canada Synthesis | Retcon
  • V Collection 5 (17 authentic recreations of the legendary synth) | Arturia
  • Softube Modular | Softube

MODULAR

I quite enjoy my little setup at the moment, i'm learning every bits of toy one by one slowly, most of my attention at the moment is toward the Volca sample which I play with almost everyday and building library of samples to use with it.

Wish list for 2017/2018
  • Arturia Beatstep pro (black)
  • Arturia MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer (red or SE wood)
  • Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer (red)
  • Korg Monologue (red)
  • Korg minilogue 4-voice Analog Synthesizer
  • Korg : all other volca models
  • Roland SE-02 Analog Synthesizer Module + keyboard
  • Teenage Engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer Workstation
  • Teenage Engineering : any of the pocket models

Direction ? what direction... i'll be honest here i'm pretty much trying to trick my brain into buying anything other than rum so that's my direction and focus.

I've been massively hypnotized into the modular world, I have never touched or seen one in person but I know i want to have one in my life ;) some people want a child... I found my child robot ! yay!

I like to draw and well there's no preset no nothing I just draw on my blank page... and well with synths and presets I feel like i'm not being myself I need more control I need to start from scratch and the modular world seems to be what i'm looking for. I don't mind putting the time to learn and all.

I've started to build my case for my first tiny modular which will be 84hp / 3u with tip top rails and ears / hub... getting the "Tiptop Audio Happy Ending Kit - Black" I learned a lot from youtube videos... learned that I need a lot of stuff to properly bend wood like i'd like it to bend... anyway ;)

First case is almost done, awaiting my kit and hope it will actually fit in my enclosure... then it's going to be module hunt...  I expect the rack to be empty for a while, I don't think I have the skill to etsy that stuff yet... 
will probably need a random job to fill the void. 

 side project or another side project... 

will see.