North Coast News

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 "passive" modu… [Read more]

Listening to the Mandelbrot set
2017 Dec 31st

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… [Read more]

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… [Read more]

Maximizing inharmonicity
2017 Dec 17th

Maximizing inharmonicity

As I've said before, I'm interested in slow ambient drones - sounds that smoothly change their texture over a period of time without any sharp boundaries or beats. If you have something like this playing in the background, I want for it to never… [Read more]

Modular synthesis intro, part 2:  Don't do it!
2017 Dec 10th

Modular synthesis intro, part 2: Don't do it!

This is Part 2 in a series that started with Part 1. When I started the market research for my business, I put together a profile of who'd be buying my products. I imagined my customers as the kind of people I've met in the modular synthesis hob… [Read more]

Modular Gift-Giving Guide 2017
2017 Dec 3rd

Modular Gift-Giving Guide 2017

The Solstice is rapidly approaching and I'm doing my usual routine of putting off making any plans until the very last moment, then panicking, buying a bunch of random gifts, and handing them out with little regard to who's receiving what. I've c… [Read more]

2017 Nov 26th

Modular synthesis intro, part 1: What is it?

My mother asked me to explain what I'm up to in one sentence, for inclusion in the annual Christmas Letter, and I said that I'm making electronic musical instruments. That's a pretty good summary as far as it goes. But people often want more detai… [Read more]

Free MIDI software rundown
2017 Nov 19th

Free MIDI software rundown

Modular synthesis involves a lot of on-the-fly experimentation with the hardware, but if you're going to make music in a preplanned way, there's a good chance you will end up involving a computer and connecting it to your modular via MIDI. Here a… [Read more]

Ribbet!
2017 Nov 12th

Ribbet!

The Leapfrog VCF does not actually go "ribbet," at least not without some effort. But after being told by one friend I showed it to that most people don't want to make real music with their modulars but just want something that goes "uuuuuuuuuuuL… [Read more]

Leapfrog press release
2017 Nov 9th

Leapfrog press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENorth Coast announces 21st Century modular synthesizer filterTORONTO, Ontario - November 9, 2017 - North Coast Synthesis Ltd., Toronto-based manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, today released its flagship Eurorack syn… [Read more]

Totally tubular
2017 Nov 5th

Totally tubular

It's just one thing after another with the Leapfrog. I'd been hoping to have them for sale by now, and I am getting close to that point. I actually have the stock of the first batch on hand and ready to sell now. But there's still a fair bit of… [Read more]

Preferred values for resistors and capacitors
2017 Oct 29th

Preferred values for resistors and capacitors

You've probably noticed that although resistors and capacitors come in many different values, some of which seem like they could be randomly chosen, there's nonetheless some sort of logic to it. You'll see power-of-ten sizes like 1kΩ, 10kΩ, 100kΩ… [Read more]