Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oscillographics - Electronic Spirograph



This is the first results of a project built from Elektor Magazine 1978 - Oscillographics. Kind of like an electronic spirograph circuit that drives an oscilloscope to produce wondrous Lissajous figures. The circuit is producing sync'd dampened sinewaves and you can hear them at the same time as watching - mmm trippy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Elusive Technics WSA1R Expansion Card Exposed


This shot is of the expansion card for the Technics WSA1R. Sound on sound had this to say about the synth at http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/dec96/technicssxwsa1r.html...........The name for the technology employed by these synths -- Acoustic Modelling Synthesis -- really does promise a lot. Anything with 'modelling' in its name implies some sort of DSP-based physical modelling system, such as is found on Yamaha's VL series. To a certain extent, this is true of the Technics synths, although their physical modelling sections are simplified and more accessible.

The WSA1's architecture works like this: at the start of the chain is a sampled PCM waveform, or Driver, which forms the attack portion of a sound; there are 307 waveform samples available, including raw synth waveforms, real instruments, percussion, and various useful samples of fret and breath noise. The Driver is treated by a Resonator, the modelling section of the synth, with models including string, cylinder, cone, flare, plate, membrane, and others. The Resonators are provided in several different flavours -- bright, mellow and soft, for example -- and can be modified quite drastically, courtesy of a comprehensive range of parameters; Resonators can even interact with each other. The Driver/Resonator combination is further processed by a traditional synth section, offering control over Pitch, Filter (a choice of 12dB low- and high-pass, and 24dB low-, high- and band-pass are provided) and Amplitude. Each of these 'synth' blocks has a full range of envelope and LFO parameters. What Technics term a Sound -- a patch to you or me -- is made up of four of these Driver/Resonator/synth collections (or Tones), plus routing to the three effects processors.

The next stage up is the Combination -- up to eight Sounds that can be split or layered. Here, the workstation and rack diverge slightly: the WSA1 has a 16-part multitimbral section to go with the 16-track sequencer, but both it and the rack have a 32-part multitimbral mode which is accessed via two sets of MIDI sockets, and controlled by a comprehensive mixer section. This is used for assigning Sounds, and controlling volume, pan position, effects and output routing to the main and subsidiary outputs, and so on.

BTW this is a shameless plug for my eBay auction at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200072643809

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tiny Analog Synth

As usual, title link takes you to the auction on eBay. Presumably a homemade project, this is one tiny synth. Features a single square wave oscillator with frequency knob and trigger buttons.

Would be interesting for a dancer as the electronic equivalent of a finger cymbal, or a pocket synth for traveling...except that it requires a DC 9V adapter, so much for that idea.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lost and Found




I was visiting my Brother Bruce and this is what I found in his shed...

Crumar Orchestrator and a Yamaha SY-1

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hammond Solovox



Anybody know about this? A monophonic Novachord perhaps?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guess the Electronics challenge!

CatSynth.com presents the Guess the Electronics game.

Simply go to the site, listen to each of the challenges, and leave a comment on how you think each was one created. Synthesizers, techniques, technologies and software packages are all fair game. You can also take a guess as to which examples include acoustic material.

Have fun!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Building the Wiz - Chapter III


The work goes on! I just got my front panel and front panel components. The panel you get from Elby Designs is huge! I mean, REALLY HUGE! It's so much bigger in person and it weighs a lot. Now, all I need is a cabinet (which I'm currently designing). I'm sending the ASM-2 PCB back to Elby Designs for corrections and, probably, some testing before I start wiring - to make sure it's 100% functional when I first turn it on! I had to pay $180(!) duty for the front panel stuff, so my budget is pretty low at the moment. When I have enough money to start working again, I will! This is gonna be the most awesome DIY synth ever built (at least according to me ;D)!