So, yesterday I picked up a fully stocked modular. For $50.

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mistercooper
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Post by mistercooper » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:16 pm

Yep. I was in contact with them by thursday, picked up on Sat. :D

Its crazy... I still can hardly believe it happened- I usually have horrid luck. Maybe the universe just was doing some checks and balances. 8)

Once I get around to doing some maintainance, refinish a bit, and add 3 or 4 modules to max it out, I'll make a proper plaque with his name and maybe where the other circuits came from (probably MFOS, CGS, possibly some others)

One thing I have to decide on is a proper MIDI/CV converter. Anyone have any good suggestions? The Paia looks good, but it would take up space in the cabinet. The kentons are a little expensive for my blood...

I'm open to suggestions for DIY modules to fill the remaining 5U of 8"x2", too. (wanna add at least one quality LFO, one filter, and maybe some more exotic stuff)
m-audio Radium 61, Korg Kontrol49,
Nord Modular rack, ER-1
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TX-216, VSS-100, PSR-470
Ableton Live, Reason, Cubase, plugs

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metrosonus
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Post by metrosonus » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:40 pm

Umm congrats, Im jealous like h**l.

But, if nobody has asked, is that a drawer above the keys, for which i assume you'd hold cables?

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Post by Bitexion » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:44 pm

Doing a MIDI/CV module DIY is pretty much impossible I think. You have to make a huge bunch of computer code aswell as just the electronics.

But most of the existing modern modular systems include a MIDI/CV module, you could check them out and see if they fit with your power supply.

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mistercooper
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Post by mistercooper » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:47 pm

Actually, there are quite a few DIY midi/cvs out there. Ray Wilson has one made up mostly of 4000 series CMOS, and paia has one that comes with a preprogrammed EEPROM or something like that. I'm leaning towards the paia, since it carries seperate voltages to stuff like velocity aftertouch and mod wheels. I just dont know if I'd rather keep that stuff external to keep space for another module.
m-audio Radium 61, Korg Kontrol49,
Nord Modular rack, ER-1
Soundlab
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Custom built modular w/ ~30 modules
TX-216, VSS-100, PSR-470
Ableton Live, Reason, Cubase, plugs

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mistercooper
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Post by mistercooper » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:54 pm

metrosonus wrote:But, if nobody has asked, is that a drawer above the keys, for which i assume you'd hold cables?
Nope, when the main cabinet is off of the keyboard, it opens up to reveal all of the keyboard electronics. Our friend the engineer actually put divide down circuitry inside it, so it puts out polyphonic audio like an organ, but in the typical synth square-sine-saw variety. This is pretty fun for processing, but for some reason he didn't put in a proper keyboard CV interface :shock: Just gate and trigger. I'll be putting in an MFOS scanner though soon, so that will be fixed up quick. I suspect he used the modular mainly for making the organ type electronics sound interesting... Which is cool, you just dont get nice free running detuned oscillators and such that way. *shrug*
m-audio Radium 61, Korg Kontrol49,
Nord Modular rack, ER-1
Soundlab
CS-50
Custom built modular w/ ~30 modules
TX-216, VSS-100, PSR-470
Ableton Live, Reason, Cubase, plugs

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Post by Bitexion » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:54 pm

Ah I didn't think that there were preprogrammed chips with the code already on them.
A good interface will give you separate outputs for Aftertouch, modwheel, and usually some triggers and gate outputs aswell.
Like the Analogue Systems MIDI/CV module I'm getting with my modular.

Image

Has 5 control voltage outputs so I can route aftertouch, modwheel or any MIDI CC code from an external synth to anywhere in the modular synth.
You set what Midi CC# the ctrl ouputs will use in the menu. Also internal LFO for modwheel vibrato, and 3 extra triggers. It can also send different trigger/gates so you can control a Minimoog for instance that uses the weird S-Trig system.

Wanna control VCO1 pitch with the drawbar controller of a Nord Electro? No problem, just assign the correct MIDI CC number to CTRL1, and patch it into the VCO pitch input. Genious concept. Another nice detail is that you can see what CC# a controller sends when you turn it, so it's real easy to figure out what number to assign the controller keyboards filter cutoff knob to. Just twist it and it shows the CC. All this is converted to analog voltages before going into the synth.
Last edited by Bitexion on Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by Altitude » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:55 pm

Bitexion wrote:Doing a MIDI/CV module DIY is pretty much impossible I think. You have to make a huge bunch of computer code aswell as just the electronics.

But most of the existing modern modular systems include a MIDI/CV module, you could check them out and see if they fit with your power supply.
There are a bunch actually and they are not all that difficult or expensive. Just google DIY Midi CV

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Post by Zonkout » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:47 pm

Just buy an external midi/cv box. That way it isn't stuck to your modular (so you can use it with other synths) and you won't have a midi jack on such a pristine 70's DIY synth.
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Post by mistercooper » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:32 pm

Just buy an external midi/cv box. That way it isn't stuck to your modular (so you can use it with other synths) and you won't have a midi jack on such a pristine 70's DIY synth.
This sums up my thoughts pretty well. I'm looking at the Kenton... Its just kinda pricey. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't really be complaining about expenditure :D
m-audio Radium 61, Korg Kontrol49,
Nord Modular rack, ER-1
Soundlab
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TX-216, VSS-100, PSR-470
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Post by Huppo » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:50 am

This is a completely unique experience you're having. Not for the incredible deal, but the whole 'only one' vibe it has.

What my suggestion to you would be is to see if you can get the gentleman who designed and built the thing on video tape! I mean, do hours of interview with him. It would be valuable n so many levels. You will have a clear representative memory of the man who gave you this gift. You say he's older and fading a bit..your video of him might be the ONLY way to preserve what's in his head for yourself and generations beyond. See if you can have him come to where you live..take him out to dinner or something, then open up the synth and let him ramble as long as he likes about each and every module. Let him ponder out loud on the design and construction, talk about it any way he likes.

You don't owe him for the synth..as folks noted he got what he probably wanted..someone who cares about his creation. But maybe you owe the synth community and the world a good record of someone who might have been another Bob Moog if the tea leaves floated a little differently.

THink about it..not the synth..HIM.
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Post by hyphen nation » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:06 am

Dude, I'd come up from PDX to shoot it with you....I have a decent video set up...not HD, but will do the trick...
Plus, I'd get to check it out first hand!

have you thought about the dot com midi/cv converters?

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Post by mistercooper » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:01 am

I have a GL2 and access to some nicer stuff, so I'm pretty set in the video dept (I work for a video house in Seattle). You'd be welcome to help out if I decided to do that. I dunno though, a lot of people don't like being on camera, and even then I dunno how he'd feel about coming over. We shall see. I will keep in contact with him for sure (he's probably busy moving right now anyways). I'd want to do some maintenance on the spotty modules and get some new patch cords (anyone know where I can get all yellows in varying lengths? :D) first though.

I've been pondering doing a feature length documentary on synthesizers in general. Next year I will have access to some amazing machines, and I'd like to document them somehow (I'll make a separate thread on my college :shock: :D :twisted:) . Maybe this could fit into that?

As for midi/cv... I havent much looked at the dotcom yet, but I'm leaning towards building a paia in its own enclosure right now just for the sheer flexibility.
m-audio Radium 61, Korg Kontrol49,
Nord Modular rack, ER-1
Soundlab
CS-50
Custom built modular w/ ~30 modules
TX-216, VSS-100, PSR-470
Ableton Live, Reason, Cubase, plugs

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metrosonus
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Post by metrosonus » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:40 pm

Maybe this could fit into that?
Honestly, who cares! Do it anyway..!! if it fits, use it, if not upload it to youtube anyway... This guy will probably appreciate the praise more than you'll ever realize. Secondly, he comes from a generation of self reliant people that weren't dependant on consumer culture. That's something that's being lost and I think it's important to keep the spirit alive.

I myself grew up in a small italian town in upstate new york, and it left a huge impression on me how the folks never needed "things" like we all seem to today, and it seemed like they got more out of life as well.

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Post by hyphen nation » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:47 am

mistercooper wrote:I have a GL2 and access to some nicer stuff, so I'm pretty set in the video dept (I work for a video house in Seattle).
ha, I used to work in one of the motion / effects / post houses here in PDX...have a GL1, and killer senheiser shotgun mic....
kinda thinking of selling the video camera, though, barely gets any use any more...

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Re: So, yesterday I picked up a fully stocked modular. For

Post by Mr Knesh » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:36 pm

Did this kid ever make some video demos of his modular?

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