North Coast News

Passive multiples and friends
2021 Jan 29th

Passive multiples and friends

Passive multiples are often recommended as first synthesizer do-it-yourself projects. There are a few reasons for that: they're simple modules without too many things that can go wrong; they're useful modules that almost everybody needs; the pa…

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Beware fake parts
2021 Jan 21st

Beware fake parts

There are a lot of counterfeit electronic parts in circulation. It's especially a problem with parts that are obsolete, hard to find, or expensive; sold privately in places like eBay or AliExpress at unusually low prices; and shipped from the People…

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Listening longer to the Mandelbrot Set
2020 Dec 26th

Listening longer to the Mandelbrot Set

I've long been interested in ways to sonify fractals, and I wrote an article here about Listening to the Mandelbrot Set in 2017. At that time, I was thinking of it as a way to generate a waveform: basically, imagine running a point along the (in…

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December 2020 updates:  shipping, Twitch
2020 Nov 29th

December 2020 updates: shipping, Twitch

I'm looking forward to a little bit of relaxation in December. I won't be going on vacation this year as I usually would, and that means I can fill orders throughout December. However, my local post offices have become unsafely crowded on weeken…

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Vexations
2020 Nov 6th

Vexations

Erik Satie was a French composer who lived around the turn of the 20th Century and did a number of bizarre things, including the creation of a piece of music called Vexations which was not published during his lifetime but which has fascinated peo…

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PCB design mistakes
2020 Oct 4th

PCB design mistakes

Electronic design is sometimes imagined to begin and end with the schematic. Whoever drew the schematic gets the "designer" credit; hobbyists search the Web for "free schematics" and just assume they will encounter no issues getting from there to…

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Genome Jazz
2020 Aug 31st

Genome Jazz

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everybody interested in virology, and molecular biology more generally, and one of the cool things about living in the Future is that genome sequences have become accessible. Where it used to be the work of a person…

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MSK 013 release
2020 Jul 13th

MSK 013 release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Complex VCO takes the harmonious path TORONTO, Ontario - July 13, 2020 - North Coast Synthesis Ltd., Toronto-based manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, has combined through-zero phase modulation, wavefolding,…

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Logic, before ICs
2020 Jun 19th

Logic, before ICs

So, you want a simple digital logic function in a synthesizer. Maybe it's an AND gate, or a couple of XORs, maybe as much as a shift register. How will you build it? Today it often makes sense to just throw in a microcontroller chip. They're…

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Middle Path sample patches
2020 Jun 2nd

Middle Path sample patches

I'm preparing for the release of the Middle Path VCO. That should be announced in the email newsletter within a few days. There will be only a few modules available in the first wave so I'm probably not going to do the big public announcement until…

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What's Euclid got to do with it?
2020 Mar 21st

What's Euclid got to do with it?

There's a lot of talk in modular synthesis circles about what people call "Euclidean" rhythms, which are claimed to exist in most kinds of traditional music around the world. Unfortunately, this concept is often oversold, and presented in a way t…

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Design mistakes in synth schematics
2020 Feb 28th

Design mistakes in synth schematics

There are a lot of bad synthesizer schematics on the Web, and it doesn't hurt their popularity. As a designer who tries to get everything right, it's somewhat disheartening to see designs with obvious, simple flaws get built commercially and cite…

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