Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sat Arvo Jam

Hanging out with my friend Paul. Aka Cobramatic.
Lots of cool toys. Especially loved the Serge.

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Some nice patches here:

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This second one is very Krell like.
That TKB sequencer/keyboard is wonderful.

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I also loved the Ciat Lombard Tetrax
It's now on my shopping list.

Ibiza - Town - Spain

Some old pics of Ibiza. Great memories. Its not just nightclubs.
These are pics of the old town.

There is loads of history here. Ibiza town was founded in 654BC by Carthage. Its one of the oldest towns in Europe. The first settlements date to over 3000 years ago.

Carthage was a great trading nation and Ibiza in those early days had a large harbor and strong city walls. Nothing has changed.
The Romans called Ibiza, Ebusus. Evidence of the Roman occupation can still be seen by the gates at the entrance to Dalt Vila (the Old Town), where there are two copies of Roman statues.
The Arabs came in the 9th century A.D. and stayed for almost 500 years. They called the island Yebisah.  On the hill in Ibiza Town, they built a large mosque (on the ruins of a temple dedicated to the God Mercury) and fortified the city walls. The remains of these walls and some of the watchtowers can still be seen today.
Ibiza was conquered by the Catalans on the 8th August, 1235.
The Catalans tore down the Arab mosque, and built the present day Cathedral on its foundations.
In the 16th century, the Italian architect Calvi completed the construction of the walls of Ibiza Town - the same walls we see today.
travel postcards:

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Numberwang - NLC - Build notes

These are my build notes for the Numberwang Eurorack module by nonlinearcircuits.
The Numberwang is a 4:16 decoder using the CD4514 CMOS logic chip.
I plan to use this for triggering drum modules.
It takes 1-4 gate signals and converts them into a 4 bit number, the corresponding output goes high.
It means you can mix clock signals to get complex timing structures and patterns.
There is also an overall sync input.

This is not to be confused with the Wangernumb module which I built earlier .(See previous notes).

The Numberwang is a 4:16 decoder. I plan to use this for triggering drum modules.
Andrew's build notes are here:

++Andrew's build notes are here: 
++ NLC Blog

 to be continued.

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Null A - NLC Build notes.

Here are the build notes for the Nonlinearcircuit Null A module.
This is in Eurorack format.
It's a reasonably big build so probably not good for a newbie.
Though it has all the major modules one would want so if you feel game go for it.

 2 VCOs, 2 LFOs, 3 VCAs, 2 filters,  1 sequencer, 1 clock divider, 1 mixer, 1 S&H, 1delay, 1 headphone amp and a chaos generator.

Andrew's build notes are here:
His blog notes are here:

There are lots and lots of SMDs and 2 PCBs.

I've seen the golden goat.
 These lyrics are from the band "The residents". From the album "Our Finest flowers"

I've seen the golden goat
He would like to lick my throat
I know he's mean and poor
And he waits at my door

He's too weak to do me harm
But he has a big long arm
It fills my dreamy head
Then I shake and wet my bed

Well, there's something I must tell you
I need something I will swear

The only perfect love
Is the one that isn't there
Yeah, the only perfect love
Is the one that isn't there

More NLC wisdom.

Traditionally, in Aristotle's logical calculus view, there are only two possible values
(i.e., "true" and "false" or 0 & 1) for any proposition. 
This is also known as Boolean Logic and is the basis of modern computers.
But in multi-valued logic, there are more than two truth values.
For example, Ɓukasiewicz and Kleene accept the values "true", "false", and "unknown".
Fuzzy Logic is another example of a non-Aristotleian view of logic.
Here the truth values can be any real number between 0 and 1. It is employed to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.

Not sure what this one means.
Back to the build:
First components. The 074 op-amps


Using 4 x LM13700MX/NOPB
Mouser NO:  926-LM13700MX/NOPB

The module uses one PT2399. Its a guitar aUDIO processor/delay chip.
Mouser doesn't stock these. So found some on ebay.
Look for SOP 16 size.

There are three CMOS chips.
4024,4029, 4052.
Mouser numbers:

I'm using sizes SOIC-14/16, SOP-16
SOIC = Small Outline IC
SOP = Small Outline Package 

"A Small Outline Integrated Circuit (SOIC) is a surface-mounted integrated circuit (IC) package which occupies an area about 30 to 50 % less than an equivalent dual in-line package (DIP), with a typical thickness that is 70 % less. They are generally available in the same pin-outs as their counterpart DIP ICs. The convention for naming the package is SOIC or SO followed by the number of pins. For example, a 14-pin 4011 would be housed in an SOIC-14 or SO-14 package."
To be continued.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

mODCAN format - Cynthia programmer.

Cyndustries has been out of business for a bit so these are getting hard to find.
Even Cynthia's website is no more, so those old manuals, are sadly gone from the net.
If someone out there does have copies I'd be so grateful if you could contact me.
Anyway, these modules use the Modcan A format.
BENARES is a reference to Serge Tcherepnin.
Back in March 1977 Mr Serge Tcherepnin wrote a do it yourself article in Synapse Magazine for a voltage "Programmer" module. He published it using the alias of Mr. "Arpad Benares" .

The Modcan-A format uses a module height of 9", and a horizontal unit of 2.25".
Banana jacks are used.
A yellow jack indicates an output of some sort;
A gray jack is a signal input;
A white jack indicates a control voltage input;
A red jack is a trigger or gate input (or output in this case).

Each button has an individual gate output and gate input to activate other
modules in your system.
There is also a Common Pulse Out (CPO) jack to
fire your envelope generator no matter which of the buttons is pushed.
The AEP jack --- At End Pulse ...sends a pulse once the last step is reached. handy for switches, reset, transistional events etc 

The format uses ±15V power. The power connector used is a 3-pin MTA-156 connector.
It's very similar to the MOTM format, in which a distribution board connected to the power supply is connected to modules using short power cords with female connectors on both ends.

 Is that a CGS logo on one of the PCBs?

Modcan A modules are 9" high (5u is 8.75 inches) and single width modules are 2.25" wide
The most compact packaging is the Cyndustries sixpacks (13.5" x 9" x 7"). These are entirely different from the dimensions of 19" racks.

This programmer seems very similar to a Serge Programmer. 

But it does have its differences too which makes it worthwhile having. I really dig the extra step and voltage row on the modcan version. Plus those step inputs are so cool. .. you can step back and forward with different lfos

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These programmers can be chained to increase the step length.
Excuse the poor mobile phone audio.
As I don't have a manual I just winged it a bit.
These ribbon cables are how the chaining is accomplished.

i SET up the 3 programmers in a 10/5 step configuration.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Carl Craig - Synthesizer Ensemble - Sydney 2017

Wow .. and what a honour to see this guy live. A legend from Detroit.
This was held at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia

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DJ, Producer, musician. Carl Craig.

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I couldn't see what instruments Craig was using, but each member of his ensemble used a prophet 6

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

TTL - Index and notes

There seem to be three common families of ICs that I regularly come across when building synths.
1. CMOS (digital)
2. Linear (mainly analog)
3. TTL (Digital)

Linear ICs are solid-state analog devices characterized by a theoretically infinite number of possible operating states. They operate over a continuous range of input levels. In contrast, digital ICs have a finite number of discrete input and output states.

I've already started a page on CMOS. You can see it here.
(I'll do a Linear page later)
TTL and CMOS contain digital devices such as logic gates, flip flops, counters, decoders, etc.
Linear ICs are mostly analog and you will see them in amps, oscillators, regulators, etc etc
TTL stands for Transistor-Transistor Logic. They are built from bipolar junction transistors and resistors.
The ICs are mostly 4 or 5 digits and usually start with a 74 or 54. (eg: 7400 or 5404).
They are less sensitive to static electricity (unlike CMOS),
 but have a narrow operational voltage range (5 to 5.25V).
Inputs should always go somewhere. That is not be left floating.

TTL ICs use much more current that CMOS but are faster.
TTL have a low input impedance in comparison to CMOS .

Common ICs
7400 - quad 2 input NAND  eg74HC00
7402 - quad 2 input NOR gate
7404 - Hex inverter
7408 - quad 2 input AND eg:74HC08
7410 - triple 3 input NAND
7411 - triple 3 input AND
7420 - dual 4-input NAND
7421 - Dual 4-input AND
7427 - triple 3 input NOR
7432 - quad 2-input OR
744002 - dual 4-input NOR
744075 - triple 3-input OR
747266 - quad 2-input XNOR
7486 - quad 2-input XOR

The history and identification of the TTL chip family
TTL was invented in 1961 by James L. Buie. The first commercial integrated-circuit TTL devices were manufactured by Sylvania in 1963. TTL became popular with electronic systems designers after Texas Instruments introduced the 5400 series of ICs, in 1964 and the later 7400 series in 1966.
The Texas Instruments 7400 family became an industry standard. Compatible parts were made by Motorola, AMD, Fairchild, Intel,and many other manufacturers around the world.

* 74xx - old original chips. Now obsolete
* 74Sxx - Higher speed Schottky. (1969). Also obsolete
* 74LSxx - Low power Schottky
* 74ASxx - Advanced Schottky (1985) 
* 74HCxx - High speed using CMOS circuitry
* 74HCT - High speed,low power using  CMOS circuitry. The devices are pin compatible with             existing devices such as the 74TTL, 74STTL,  4000 series and the 74LS family.
 * 74xx - that have other letters after the 74. These are usually modern, fast surface mount

TTL devices are usually packaged in dual in-line packages (DIPs), usually with 14 to 24 pins.
Today, many TTL-compatible devices are available in surface-mount packages, which are available in a wider array of types than through-hole packages.

Most manufacturers offer commercial and extended temperature ranges: for example Texas Instruments 7400 series parts are rated from 0 to 70 °C, and 5400 series devices over the military-specification temperature range of −55 to +125 °C.

+ Ken Stone Digitally controlled oscillator
+ List of 7400 series ICs
+Transistor-Transistor Logic

 Please let me know if there are any mistakes or omissions.