North Coast News

Behind the scenes
2018 May 6th

Behind the scenes

A few days ago I suddenly found myself unable to log in to the admin section of this Web site. That's understandably a problem when I'm running a business through the site. Upon investigation, it turns out that my e-commerce provider had made some…

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Modular Synthesis Intro, part 12: Sequencing
2018 Apr 30th

Modular Synthesis Intro, part 12: Sequencing

This is Part 12 of a series that started with Part 1. Many beginners say they're interested in making "drones" with their modular synths - musical textures that eschew conventional musical notions like rhythm and melody. I think part of the appea…

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Alternate harmony with additive synthesis
2018 Apr 22nd

Alternate harmony with additive synthesis

Much of musical harmony comes down to combining notes that share harmonics. Sounds produced by (some...) physical objects typically have consistent waveforms, where each wave is the same shape as the last. That is also typical of modular-synth osci…

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Modular synthesis intro, part 11:  Digital oscillators
2018 Apr 17th

Modular synthesis intro, part 11: Digital oscillators

This is Part 11 of a series that started with Part 1. Trying to divide modules into "analog" and "digital" may be a losing game, and it's certainly a recipe for flame wars on Web forums, because strictly speaking, "analog" and "digital" are proper…

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Frequency, latency, and uncertainty
2018 Apr 8th

Frequency, latency, and uncertainty

Some wigglers want "fast" envelopes that will turn a signal on and off without any delay and without any perceptible clicking sound. Some wigglers want spectral effects, like frequency shift or vocoding, without any latency between the input and out…

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Transistor Mixer press release
2018 Apr 3rd

Transistor Mixer press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New mixer from North Coast uses only six transistors TORONTO, Ontario - April 3, 2018 - North Coast Synthesis Ltd., Toronto-based manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, today released its Transistor Mixer, a f…

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Modular synthesis intro, part 10: Analog oscillators
2018 Apr 1st

Modular synthesis intro, part 10: Analog oscillators

This is Part 10 of a series that started with Part 1. Once you have an electrical signal that represents a sound, you can process it into music with such modules as filters and VCAs. But where does that sound come from in the first place? Quite…

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News, reviews, and demos
2018 Mar 26th

News, reviews, and demos

We're coming up to the end of the first quarter of 2018, and I'm happy to note that based on the current projection, it looks like the company will actually have a profit this quarter - probably about $10. (Edit: Well, not quite. The quarter ended…

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One minute op amp analysis
2018 Mar 11th

One minute op amp analysis

You can understand most op amp circuits with just three simple rules. If, through negative feedback, the op amp can bring its inputs to equal voltage, then it will do so. Otherwise, it will drive its output near whichever power supply voltage co…

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Voltage control modifications
2018 Feb 25th

Voltage control modifications

There's a recurring thread that comes up again and again in SDIY fora, where someone asks how to "mod" an existing device that is not voltage-controlled to give it a CV input. Sometimes this question is asked in relation to a specific product, in wh…

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