North Coast News

Ambient chord progressions
2019 Dec 20th

Ambient chord progressions

I get a lot of questions about ambient chord progressions. Actually, I don't get any questions about ambient chord progressions. What I get is search engine traffic from people who were looking for that on the Net, and end up reading my old arti…

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Toronto Sound Festival
2019 Nov 22nd

Toronto Sound Festival

The Toronto Sound Festival starts tomorrow, November 22, 2019, at "Beverley Halls" (aka the Polish Combatants Association).  I'll be there as a vendor, with demos and sales of all my modules and kits.  There will also be a lot of other i…

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What's the deal with phase reversal?
2019 Nov 18th

What's the deal with phase reversal?

Alternate title: "This Dad put -10V into a TL074 and here's what happened to his liver!"Most everybody knows that it's a bad idea to bring the inputs of the common TL074 op amp to a voltage more negative than about 4V above the negative power rai…

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Tokyo Festival of Modular
2019 Nov 13th

Tokyo Festival of Modular

The Tokyo Festival of Modular is coming up this weekend, November 16 and 17, 2019, and North Coast Synthesis is a sponsor.  I won't be attending in person this year but attendees will receive North Coast stickers and cards with an exclusive d…

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Three suggested systems
2019 Oct 28th

Three suggested systems

Newcomers who are just getting their feet wet with modular synthesis often ask for summaries of how to build a starter system. There are a few things to understand about that. Everybody's needs are different, and customization is a big part o…

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Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo
2019 Oct 23rd

Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo

I'll be exhibiting at the Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo on November 9 and 10, 2019.  Drop by to try out North Coast modules in person and pick up a sticker and a discount code. This event is being described by its organizers as "f…

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The Truth About Ferrite Beads Will Shock You
2019 Sep 22nd

The Truth About Ferrite Beads Will Shock You

Q: The analog synth circuit I'm building calls in the schematic for ferrite beads on the power rails, but it doesn't give any further information. What kind of beads should I use? A: Pick some that will look nice on the board, maybe in a co…

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Designing for adjustment
2019 Sep 15th

Designing for adjustment

Testing and adjustment are often underestimated in DIY circuit design. It's all very well to choose exactly the right topology and component values for a circuit; but even with a perfect design on paper or in the simulator, how does one get from…

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New look for DIY kits
2019 Aug 31st

New look for DIY kits

If you've been following the North Coast Synthesis email newsletter you'll probably know that I've had ongoing quality problems with the knobs I use in most of my products.  The main issue is with the setscrews used to hold the knob onto a sh…

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How to choose component values
2019 Jul 28th

How to choose component values

When I draw the first draft of a new circuit design, I'll usually work out the topology of the circuit first, and leave out any component values unless it's instantly obvious what they need to be. The topology means which components exist a…

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More music of the dwarves
2019 Jul 1st

More music of the dwarves

I've written before about the music of Dwarf Fortress - not just music to listen to while playing (which is the main thing you can find if you search the Web for this topic) but the music described in-game. The game simulates a procedurally…

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Testing homemade fluxes
2019 Jun 13th

Testing homemade fluxes

In the last four articles (start here) I've gone through a lot of the technicalities of flux: what's in it, how it works, and how to make your own. Now, let's bring it together and try out all these experimental fluxes.What about the solder?The…

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