North Coast News

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 14: Multiples
2018 May 30th

Modular synthesis intro, part 14: Multiples

This is Part 14 of a series that started with Part 1. The basic operation of patching a modular synthesizer consists of connecting an output to an input.  Perhaps you have a MIDI interface with a V/oct pitch control voltage output, and you…

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Modular synthesis intro, part 13: Envelope generators
2018 May 15th

Modular synthesis intro, part 13: Envelope generators

This is Part 13 of a series that started with Part 1. When we think about what makes one instrument sound different from another, we often think about the spectrum of the sound - harmonic like a violin, inharmonic like a bell, bright with many har…

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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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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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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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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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2018 Jan 7th

Modular synthesis intro, part 4: Some pitfalls

This is Part 4 in a series that started with Part 1. This week I continue the series on how to get started with modular synthesis by looking at some common pitfalls beginners encounter, and mistakes I hope you can avoid making. Beware of…

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Modular synthesis intro, part 3:  How to get started
2017 Dec 24th

Modular synthesis intro, part 3: How to get started

This is Part 3 in a series that started with Part 1. I will assume that you've already read Part 1, which describes what a modular synthesizer is; and part 2, which says that you shouldn't buy one. Your spouse isn't allowed to kill me because I di…

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