North Coast News

Green modular, part 3:  More metal
2019 Jan 29th

Green modular, part 3: More metal

The RoHS "big three" metals I talked about last time occupy a lot of attention of synthesizer manufacturers because we have specific legal obligations we must meet regarding those metals; but many other metals are also used in building synths, a…

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Green modular, part 2: the big three metals of RoHS
2019 Jan 18th

Green modular, part 2: the big three metals of RoHS

In this second part of the series on modular and the environment, I'm going to look at metals. Modular synthesizers are made of many different materials including wood, plastic, and glass, but a significant part of the mass of a synth (or any ele…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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B-stock Leapfrog available
2018 Jul 29th

B-stock Leapfrog available

UPDATE:  This item has been sold and is no longer available.  I'm leaving the Web log posting online for historical interest. Hey, kids, I have an assembled Leapfrog Filter here that failed the initial quality control (because of what tur…

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