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ProtoTypo

Time for a bla-bla-bla post, some personal history to start with..

Eurorack modular synthesizers. You’d think that these things would be the obvious and instant end stop for a DIY synth builder like myself. But I’m my case, not even remotely so. Sure, I’ve been on the map about modulars ever since I started studying sound synthesis in early 90s, and the Euro(rack) format since around 2002. But I just sort of dismissed the whole thing thinking along the lines of ‘looks fun but not my cup‘, and went on to build this and that instead. I’ve even had a number of friends suggest that I should really look into the Euro, but all of that fell to deaf ears!

I don’t know exactly why, but the modular stuff previously never kind of resonated with me. For one, I guess it might have much to do with the fact that what I’ve had the chance to play around with the most, has been dominantly the software kind.. Say, programs like NI’s Reaktor. While software is far more versatile than hardware, for me it lacks much of the spontaneity that patching hardware can offer. Connecting software modules using a mouse just feels more a cumbersome chore than fun, and despite you’re DIYing as much, it lacks all the physical crafting.

Second, I also never stopped to connect all the obvious of what I like. Tinkering with bits and bobs, like a second nature to me. Making compact or miniature builds, yes please! Building or bending audio hardware at my will, hell yeah!

It’s funny really, how much one can be in the middle of it all and not realize the obvious..

TTSH

Photo of my (at the time) work-in-progress Arp 2600 clone build

Now if you’ve been following this blog you know that some months ago I completed my TTSH build, a semi-modular analog synthesizer. The more I got into patching sounds with it, I was quickly met with how limited a system it actually is to work with. So I then moved on to build a Arp 1601 sequencer clone (pending a blog post btw!).. After which I found myself putting together a Eurorack skiff to host some utility modules, all to expand the system.. And while building the skiff I got into modifying some of the things.. So here we finally wind up to subject of this post..:

ProtoTypo

I figured that since I’m going to build and mod some Euro modules, I might as well brand that stuff for the fun of it. And perhaps to have something to group/label the modules at places like Modulargrid.net. So after giving it a good thought I chose to go with ProtoTypo; not to copy-cat the other Prototypos around the net, but because I feel it sums up in a fun way what the essence of my Euro builds will be. Like these one-off prototypes that may contain errors created in the heat of all the joy of DIY. Perhaps like what the electronics equivalent of a ‘typo’ is to written text.

What’s to come

So yeah, under Prototypo I’ll be messing around with commercial (DIY) Euro modules, building new or modding existing gear to Eurorack format (eg. my incomplete Monotron Delay Expander springs to mind!). As I get builds done, I’m going to add them to the official ProtoTypo page here on this blog with build details included, just in case there’s someone out there who wants to make one too.. Or perhaps peer-review the circuits, suggest improvements or whatever :)

Builder caution is advised as usual: As I often say, it’s after all just stuff you found online. If there’s a post for a module then I’ve managed to make a working one, but even so I don’t recommend plain blindly following my scribblings. Things to come, stay tuned!

deadpool-commonsense

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A TTSHshshstart of sorts

I must admit I wasn’t planning on taking up any build projects anytime soon.. But even so, today I found myself looking at a full set of parts for crazy large synthesizer build: The Two-Thousand-Six-Hundred aka TTSH aka a Arp 2600 clone.

A TTSH with basic black case. Photo by Zthee / Muffwiggler forum.

A TTSH in a black metal case. Photo by Zthee / Muffwiggler forum.

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Wrapping up 2013

No christmas special this year (thank god.. err.. Flying Spaghetti Monster), so I thought I’d post a brief end-of-the-year summary.

keep-calm-and-welcome-2014

Photo shamelessly stolen from keepcalmomatic.co.uk !

2013 was special to me because I was fortunate enough to have a sabbatical, spending the year completely off the 9-to-5 routine, enjoying this and that at home and taking care of my kid. Oh so preciousssssssss-ssssss!

So what transpired during 2013? Looking back, the year saw me:

  1. Modding my good old AKAI S2000 for internal SCSI,
  2. tweaking the S-Video output of a Commodore C64,
  3. kludging a substitute for a mouse mat  (very effectively still in use!),
  4. quick-hacking some lamps for a photoshoot and then,
  5. using the results to wrap up a long due build post (+ releasing a single on digital while at it),
  6. cabling up my Klee sequencer build and then
  7. somewhat out of the blue, making some blackcurrant leaf juice (!),
  8. re-working the preamp of my DIY spring reverb, Jerry Springer, and finally
  9. spending a few hours of a rainy dainy to organize home keys.

.. and all this enabled me to hit the 200 post mark.. Yay, I guess?

I also spent the better part of the year working on this big build project. I was really hoping to have it wrapped up by now, but other expenses forced me to postpone some part purchases etc. As it stands the build is about 95% done so there’s no way I’m dropping it this close to finish. The reason why I want to keep it under the lid for now, is to try a slightly different approach to all this DIY blogging. So bear with me, while I get the stuff done ;)

Aaaand that’s about it! I thank everyone of you subscribing the RSS feed and wish you the bestest of new year! 5-4-2-1 OFF-BLAST! \:D/

If  you’re curious to check out more of pointless My DIY Blog stats, then head over to the automated annual WordPress report!

Blackcurrant leaf juice

Following through with my promise to Chris & René, here’s one addition to my magnificient roster of food DIY.

No, I’m still not planning to turn this blog into a food one, but this blackcurrant leaf juice is one of my favorites which I’ve made almost every summer for many many years.. About time to have it featured I’d say :)

What I conceptually like about this juice the most is that it makes use of parts other than the berries. It’s also very simple to make, just about much work as making a (very large) cup of tea.

The hero of our show. Photo by Saxo.

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My DIY Blog xmas special: Turkey, part 3

Not much of a surprise that I had to post-pone writing the final part until christmas day, was just too stuffed with all the OM-NOM-NOM food and belgian ale ;).. And, having spent the better part of christmas eve slaving over the dinner, sitting down to write this wasn’t exactly “priority 1” either.

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