Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Modular synthesis intro, part 10: Analog oscillators

This is Part 10 of a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

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 about $6.50 in the red. Still the best quarter on record, though.) Even if sales continue to increase, it'll still take a long time to pay back the losses of previous quarters, and since I'm living on savings now with no real income since Fall 2016 and the company owes me personally a few tens of thousands of dollars, I'm conscious of needing to keep pushing for more sales at North Coast if I'm to stay in business at all, continue releasing new modules, and keep up activities like this Web log for which I don't actually get paid. よろしくお願いします, as we say in Japanese; I hope for your favour. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 9: Other filter designs

This is Part 9 of a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

One minute op amp analysis

You can understand most op amp circuits with just three simple rules. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 8: State-variable filters

This is Part 8 in a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

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 which case there's some possibility of having an intelligent discussion; but quite often it's framed more generally, with the poster hoping that there will be just one single, simple procedure applicable to all (or at least many) non-voltage-controlled modules to make them voltage controlled. In this article I'll talk about some of the issues underlying that kind of request, and how CV "mods" can and can't be done on different kinds of circuits. READ MORE

A note on RSS

I saw in my Web hosting logs that someone visited this site and spent a significant amount of time using the site search and guessing URLs in an unsuccessful attempt to discover the RSS feed URL - which was linked on every single page, but at the time only via an icon which I guess they didn't recognize. So I edited the Web design to label it more clearly with words as well as the icon... and in so doing I found that in fact the RSS URL (actually Atom, but they're basically compatible) was wrong, pointing at Shopify's generic Web server instead of my store's. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 7: the Moog ladder filter

This is Part 7 in a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

The Music of the Dwarves

Orid Oru, "The Universes of Forever": a world not much different from many others, whose most notable feature is a huge inland ocean connected to the outer waters that surround the world only through a small channel in the northwest. The western dwarves of Goden Tarmid "The Rope of Blades" have long followed a complicated prophecy requiring them to send an adventurer around the world, circling the ocean. It was they who built the bridge of Merchantwinds across the strait, making possible, in theory at least, an entirely land-based passage around the world. So far, nobody has actually completed the journey, because there are many dangers along the way. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 6: Voltage Controlled Amplifiers

This is Part 6 in a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

Live-coding a permutation-based fugue

If you've been following North Coast for a long time, you may remember the live video streams I did back in 2016. This week I spent some time getting the software and hardware set up to do that again, which pretty much meant starting over from scratch because enough things have changed that my former config was no longer appropriate. You can read about the technical side over on my personal site. I'm still not sure exactly how I'll be using this capability, but it's something I've wanted for a long time as a way to raise the profile of some of the stuff I do. In the days to come I'll probably plan out some scheduled broadcasts on music, electronics, and other topics. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 5: Saving money

This is Part 5 in a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

Random thoughts on negative resistance

It's been an exciting week here at North Coast. Since selling out the first batch of Leapfrog filters, I've been busy making more. That's still in progress. Then just yesterday I gave a talk at Frequency Freaks, here in Toronto, and that seemed to be well-received. At least, they asked me plenty of questions. I've also been playing a lot with the Roland D-05 I got as a present for the winter holidays, trying to learn how to program it. Somewhere in the middle of all this I'm trying to make progress on the development of the next North Coast module, the MSK 011 Transistor Mixer. There's been Spectre/Meltdown mitigation to do and a move of one of my backend servers to another data centre. And I have a couple of other super secret projects on the go. READ MORE

Modular synthesis intro, part 4: Some pitfalls

This is Part 4 in a series that started with Part 1. READ MORE

Listening to the Mandelbrot set

Okay, it's New Year's Eve, I'm overdue to write this week's Web log entry, and the topic I wanted to write about is held up because of (among other things) a package that apparently was stolen from my front porch after it was "delivered" during my vacation and I told them not to mail it so early but blah blah blah... Instead of the exciting mystery topic, let's dig into the back catalog again and think about how to listen to the Mandelbrot set. READ MORE


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