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Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Once again, a change in direction in the synthesizer. duh
I am not happy about this...
Looks like it will not be made as a paper face panel, as Dmitri has expressed that he will have to revise the quote to reflect the extend of customization plus it will take quite a while so I opted to just go to another direction.

I am currently looking at having the panels done locally, unfortunately the initial quote that came in was quite high. So I may need to look further while revising the panel artwork at the same time. I am still looking at building up at least two panels of Voice and sequencer, but I will opt to ipass the panels to Elby design (http://www.elby-designs.com) to help me with the manufacturing.

Matrix Mixer
Another option that I would love to explore is the BugBrand Modular.
http://www.bugbrand.co.uk
Tom Bugs
Highly elusive as the modules are not freely available, only to the prior system users that Tom has been helping build on a personal level. I am hoping to snag a few loose modules from the BST section at Muffwiggler to get me started.

On a positive note, not all are missed shots and frustration as I was able to build two simple contact microphone with a big help from my friend Dougall. Thanks Man.

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As an introduction, the above image is the ‘workshop’ of my father were he tinkers, makes and repairs anything he can get he’s hands on. A complete anti thesis of my skills I might add. Here is me hoping that someday I can have a fraction of that skill, drive and of course all those tools.
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We started planning it as a wooden enclosure using some scrap wooden planks around. Unfortunately halfway into the cutting we realized that the plank available was not enough. So we resorted to just having it made by Rolly our tinsmith using one of the metal plates available in the workshop. After giving the proper instruction, Rolly came back after 4 hours with this folded metal enclosure.
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After installing the wooden mounting rails. A coat of matte black paint was sprayed and voila:
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Next step is to bring it back to Singapore and to install the necessary power supply while awaiting for the panels from Dmitri.

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In recent light of my recent situations, there was once again an opening for me to pursue music (anti- music) and the dream of owning my own modular synthesizer. Add to the fact that I am almost done with my Portfolio gives it the final push for me. Although it may not be that simple as I am preparing to start a new chapter in my life together with my long time girlfriend.

With all the fine print mentioned we can move along with the actual progress. I have renewed the network of suppliers and artisans that I could engage to help me along in this project. I have been going back to Muffwiggler Forum for news and BST items. This is when I stumbled on a thread about paper face serge: http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=58104&highlight=
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I have always been into the look of paper face serge; with they’re crude and simple circuits. The aesthetic is close to the African arts that I love so dearly. Having said that, these early serge systems are not for the faint of heart (money related) and they are not frequently seen in the open market. But in recent years Ken Stone from Cat Girl Synth: http://www.cgs.synth.net/ has been slowly releasing the simple circuits from the ’73 era with the blessing of Mr. Tcherepnin. Those that are brave enough to solder themselves can actually make a few modules one at a time.

I am at this crossroads right now, as I am confident that I can hold a solder and stuff a PCB but my skills are not to be trusted as this type of projects tends to go kapoot with one wrong component or placement of components. Debugging is a bit of a PITA. I wanted to start small but at the same time I wanted to be able to start playing with something.
The answer was for me to do the simple circuits first and build my confidence from there. And ask someone to build the complicated ones so as I can have a more or less compact system in a shorter span of time.
My plan was to make an enclosure and ask for my friend Dougall’s help on the Power Source Unit (PSU) and make the modules one by one. Enter Dmitri, I have been in contact with him since I saw his post in Muffs. He has been running and perpertuating the paper face serge on the other side of the world (San Francisco, California) and I am very much inspired to take on this challenge with his help. We now have a few rough ideas of the layout for the panels, as I wanted to create a new layout. I know it’s a bit stupid to do the layout myself as I have only a faint idea of what I am doing, though Dmitri assured me that he will look into the layouts himself.
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The above is the initial draft that Dmitri sent me for checking, with this I did a layout on my own and sent it back to him for confirmation:
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This August I will be going home and there will be a chance for me to make the enclosure and do the PSU when I come back on the last week of August.
I am really excited of the slow build up of this.

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