DIY modular synth 2012

My dream comes true and winter nights helped a lot. The very first working module of my modular synth (ok, second, but that will come later ;)

One may ask what is the reason to make your own electronic devices. Well, when you play pop it would be really stupid to built a synth yourself. But when it comes to experimental electronics, things are different here. The details come to focus, tiny bits of sounds start to matter. Composers in the 50's and 60's have been making their own synths, or were closely participating in building and designing process, because the composing methods and hardware used were often intertwined and there were no synths to buy.

Dwelling into the electronics helps you to learn a lot, while working on basic sonic components. And there's an opportunity to make some pretty objects of a good quality. Most modular systems are utterly ugly, the better ones are also quite expensive, still usually they lack any beauty.

So I started with two vco oscillators combined in one piece, original circuits by Thomas Henry, I did frontpanel layout (nightmare to make a grid that works across various modules!) + some mods + everything else. Built from scratch, pcb etching etc. I already love the mistakes I made - unintended crosstalk between oscillators is excellent for my experiments! More modules in the pipeline, coming soon, need to finish the basic system (but rather unusual).

I left untreated copper (front plate) to let it slowly corrode, change colours in an organic way, interact with the way I touch it. A kind of a lifetime instrument, I hope.

Once you start buliding modular synth, you're doomed, more ideas are coming, you start ordering IC's from China, forgotten dog pisses on the floor, it is SO labour intensive, living like a monk. So season break for soldering starts on April the first. Need to hurry up.