North Coast News

Coiler VCF (pre-) release, vacation
2018 Dec 3rd

Coiler VCF (pre-) release, vacation

I've been talking for a while about my development process for the MSK 009 Coiler VCF, and now at last it's available for purchase in the North Coast Synthesis online storefront.  It's a limited, preliminary manufacturing run, using up a f… [Read more]

Updates and new module development
2018 Nov 3rd

Updates and new module development

This posting gathers together a bunch of small news items:  new features on the Web site, notably including homegrown videos, the current state of the business, and some ideas I'm working on for future modules. Web site stuff I've been mak… [Read more]

Exponential converters and how they work
2018 Oct 12th

Exponential converters and how they work

Exponential converters are basic building blocks used in many synth circuits, but for many of us, they are incomprehensible black boxes.  The basic concept of how an exponential converter works is very simple; but the simplest possible circui… [Read more]

Level up on circuit simplification
2018 Sep 22nd

Level up on circuit simplification

In my last entry I talked about the rules for simplifying series and parallel circuits. Two resistors in series can be replaced by one with a value equivalent to the pair of them; two in parallel can similarly be replaced; there are other rules… [Read more]

Combining components for new values
2018 Sep 19th

Combining components for new values

When I started breadboarding the Coiler VCF (see my new videos about it...), I ran into a problem: the design called for a couple of 6800pF (also known as 6.8nF) capacitors, and I didn't have any of those on hand. I didn't want to rush out and… [Read more]

Common parts to keep in stock
2018 Aug 23rd

Common parts to keep in stock

One of the most common beginner SDIY questions is which parts are frequently used and worth buying in large quantities to use on multiple projects.  The people who ask this question think they're going to save serious amounts of money by buyi… [Read more]

RSS works again
2018 Aug 9th

RSS works again

As the title says, North Coast's RSS feed works again.  The URL is in the footer of every page:https://files.northcoastsynthesis.com/rss/That's a change from the old URL, but the old URL still works if you're already subscribed to it.  Sinc… [Read more]

The vanity of "Having A Lot Of Parts"
2018 Jul 30th

The vanity of "Having A Lot Of Parts"

It is often said that the secret of Taco Bell's success is that they only use six ingredients:  refried beans, seasoned ground beef mixture, cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and corn tortillas.  Everything on their menu is just some… [Read more]

B-stock Leapfrog available
2018 Jul 28th

B-stock Leapfrog available

Hey, kids, I have an assembled Leapfrog Filter here that failed the initial quality control (because of what turned out to be a problem with the board-to-board connectors) and in debugging it, I had to do a bunch of desoldering and ended up overhe… [Read more]

Transistor ADSR release
2018 Jul 11th

Transistor ADSR release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEEnvelope generator offers full ADSR with minimalist designTORONTO, Ontario - July 11, 2018 - North Coast Synthesis Ltd., Toronto-based manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, has extended its line of discrete-transistor u… [Read more]

Transistors for the Perplexed
2018 Jul 8th

Transistors for the Perplexed

Most transistor circuits are quite straightforward.  If you look at the schematic of something like the North Coast Transistor Mixer, you can easily recognize common patterns - an emitter follower here, a common-emitter amplifier there - w… [Read more]

Tools for getting started with SDIY
2018 Jun 26th

Tools for getting started with SDIY

It's a fairly common question "What tools do I need to get started with synthesizer do-it-yourself building?" and most people who ask or answer this question seem to think it starts and ends with a soldering iron.  That tunnel vision then become… [Read more]