So it's been about 3 months since I started my eurorack hobbie, I still have a 84hp 3u rack (the 0-Coast isn't mounted) I switched to a 3 row setup in modular grid to plan ahead ;) I might build a new rack during winter will see.
I didn't plan to rush this in anyway so it's moving slowly I got the 0-Coast to have something functional to play with while the rack would start to have some form of functionality ;) Buying module has been a bit harder than expected, I though i'd buy off ebay mostly but i'm way out of my game lol haven't really used it since the early days, I won a few modules so far... buying from modular grid/facebook marketplaces has resulted in 0 module so far, mostly because they were already taken so I need to keep an eye out more often.
Buying from shop online so far I've learned to ask if anything is stocked before paying, some site have list but they don't always seem to be up to date. So far I had to cancel 2 order that I paid because my order was set to out of stock with no way to know when more would come...
Got to be patient and talk to people lol ;) anyway everyone is really nice so far, feel likes the early days when I was trading music tapes by mail.
So I now have a few of the basic... Ableton live can talk to the rack, sound can be routed to my mixer, things can be patched in and out to the 0-coast... got about 50 patch cables. Right now I can have basic oscillator noise with the sequencer and basic filtering/modulation. Next buy will be in the line of envelope / ADSR / random / delay / reverb and whatever I find for cheap ;)
I am not planning to have this with mobility in mind, I guess whatever I find i'll find a use for it somehow even if its just to trade later.
Things that i'm planning to get... if $$$ rain on me lol.
1. lots of make noise stuff, i'm so happy with the 0-coast i'm curious to explore the rest of the family
This is a simple analog VCO. Its “thing” is that the triangle output gets AC coupled back into the triangle core, thus self-frequency-modulating itself. New harmonic content results as the shape of the core becomes less definable. Since everything derives form the triangle core, all the wave outputs get distorted. The videos below demonstrate this.
Furthermore, the self mod control is sensitive to speed of knob rotation. If swept slowly there is no notable change in pitch. If swept not-slowly, the movement of that control will result is a momentary pitch swing. This can be “played” for effect and adds bellow or fluctuation to the pitch. If self-mod starts to near its maximum position, the VCO will go slightly flat. This can be noticed near the end of the sine video.
About the sine output. It’s nowhere near a perfect sine, but it’s pretty sine-ish. It is also inverted relative to the phase of the triangle and square outputs. If the sine is mixed with the other waveshapes (through external patching) this serves to cancel out the fundametal frequency in the other waveshapes, and only the harmonics are left. This has a highpass filtering effect and can make useful tones.
The frequency knob controls a useful audio range of about 10 – 10,000Hz. Through the use of CV that can be pushed to sub and supersonic levels. The circuit is not useful as an LFO, no voltage will result if the VCO is slowed (through high negative CV) to less than about 1Hz.
The circuit is well compensated against temperature related pitch drift, and has good 1V/oct tracking. Fine tracking adjustment can be done from the front panel via small flathead jewlers/glasses screwdriver. If overtracking turn left, if undertracking turn right. A blue trimpot on the circuit side of the module adjusts the initial frequency set.
Rosie is an output interfacing module with the added functionalities of FX Loop, Crossfader and Auto-Cue system. It is designed to facilitate live performance on the modular synthesizer by allowing the artist to preview and modify portions of a patch using the Auto-CUE system, while the audience is listening to a different portion of the patch as selected by the crossfader. Additionally it allows for Stereo processing of all sounds via the FX Loop. The Rosie is suitable for headphone monitoring of the modular system and interfacing the modular system to a recording environment. Internal Level Matching and Limiting w/ overload indication makes it easy to connect the modular system in the studio or on stage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 ;)
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...
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)
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...