North Coast News

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 bu…

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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 buying…

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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 com…

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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 - which a…

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Tools for getting started with SDIY
2018 Jun 26th

Tools for getting started with SDIY

Visit the North Coast Synthesis SDIY page!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…

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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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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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Modular synthesis intro, part 5: Saving money
2018 Jan 21st

Modular synthesis intro, part 5: Saving money

This is Part 5 in a series that started with Part 1. Back in Part 3 of the "intro to modular" series I said it would cost about US$1000 to US$2000 to get started in modular synthesis, and I said that although there are ways to economize,…

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Random thoughts on negative resistance
2018 Jan 14th

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 see…

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