There’s absolutely too many great posts, pictures, and threads relating to DIY synthesis (and other topics) on Muffwiggler. I’ve highlighted a couple posts below but if you want to kill a few hours or need inspiration while setting up your own work-space the Picture thread under Music Tech DIY kills it.
Take a look at two of my favorites
User Magman shows off his insane magazine and manual collection. According to his post:
You are looking at complete or virtually complete collections of Elektor, ETI, Practical Electronics, Maplin Electronics, E&MM, Sound on Sound, Future Music, The Mix, Computer Music, 45 years worth of Wireless World and a large collection of Everyday Electronics, amongst others. By the way, this is less than half of my collection, which currently stands at over 9000 magazines and counting.
And Slaughterhousesam has a series of great pics of his rig and setup. this is just one of them and you can find the rest here. This one is fun for testing your gear-spotting skills.
If your looking for anything and everything Cray & Buchla related, and a Tumblr that’s updated far more frequently than this site then look no further than Its In My Brain Now. If you need convincing just take a look below for an example from the are-you-kidding-me department.
Daniel Franke & Cedric Kiefer created this incredibly fascinating video titled “unnamed soundsculpture” set to Machinenfabriek’s Kreukeltape. Three Kinect cameras recording the interpretive dance of a real woman and the application of some serious technical mojo sets this video apart.
unnamed soundsculpture from Daniel Franke on Vimeo.
There are very few dedicated DIY electronic music/synth cookbooks/reference books available out there so when ever I come across some I try to snatch them up. you can get all six of these spiral bound books from Thomas Henry for under $90 which cover some very specific topics for DIY synthesis and electronic music.
- An Analog Synthesizer for the 21st Century - $20.00
- The Electronic Drum Cookbook - $15.00
- Making Music with the 3080 OTA - $13.00
- Making Music with the 566 - $13.00
- Making Music with the NE570 Compander - $13.00
- The Noise Generator Cookbook - $13.00
Synthesizer design books by Thomas Henry – Magic Smoke Electronics.
I’m warming up to these hand made, custom order ‘stereos’ dubbed “Boom Cases”. Get it? Suitcase + Bass = ‘Boom Case’. I’ve posted a couple of my favorites along with a couple of the more preposterous vanity shots. Seriously though I can’t figure out if I love these or hate them. As long as I never see these in the hands of roaming gangs of suburban youth in malls across america I think I love them. From the website:
The BoomCase is a Self Powered, Portable Suitcase Stereo system that works with your iPod/iPhone or any device with a headphone jack. The BoomCase will last 10+ hours on a single charge (Charger Included). In addition to running on batteries, The BoomCase can also be plugged in when the party goes inside. To save on weight, you can opt for a plug-in only version.
In the WTF category…
On my “can-I-do-that-scale”, these valve amplifies by the Serbian company NAT Audio are off the meter. literally. I don’t even know someone who knows someone who could come close to this degree of craftsmanship and beauty. These guys win. It’s too bad these images are hidden deep within their site on static pages…
The “Xenon”. That blue stuff you see in the tubes… yeah, that’s plasma.
An excellent post (and useful comments) on the reverse engineering of the Korg Monotribe firmware update which apparently is provided as an audio file. I’ll definitely be checking back on this regularly to watch Gravitronic’s progress.
GRAVITRONIC: Decoding the Korg Monotribe Firmware Upgrade.
Vinnui has a concise site detailing the build of his modular. He has put together some sharp looking modules and although he comments his wiring is a mess I think it looks exactly the way it should… made by hand, at home, with a soldering iron and a lot of patience.
It looks like it mostly consists of YuSynth modules though he also has a pretty cool idea for his own variation on the Moog Voyager’s modulation bus. His expansion on the idea of a modulation bus is comprehensive and has about as many patching options as you could fit before it gets confusing or inconvenient compared to more traditional patch cables. I could see something like this being very useful when you need to quickly dial something up without a handful of patch cables.
The layout consists of two buses, each sporting 12 possible sources, 12 destinations, and 12 shapers. That’s a total of 1,728 patching combinations, per bus, with only the quick turn of three dials. Purists may not like the rotary switch patching of modulators but I think its a brilliantly simple way to manage a large number of patching capabilities in an easy to remember/recall format.
I love the simplicity and classic styling of this DIY vacuum-tube, RIAA EQ curve, phono pre-amp. Bruce Heran via the DIY Audio Projects forums offers up exceptional build notes, pictures, and schematics of the build here. Admittedly I don’t know a thing about valve pre-amps and amps so I can only really comment on how much I like how it looks.
DIY Audio Projects – Hi-Fi Blog for DIY Audiophiles: Groovewatt Tube RIAA Phono Preamp.
An excellent thread detailing a build of the ‘Workshop Oscillator Machine’ (WOM) via Bugbrand. The WOM is a tone generator/oscillator designed around an NXP Hex Inverter and an NXP Hex Schmitt Trigger. What i particularly like about this kit is that it’s designed with the intent of usage in workshop and educational events and includes all required parts. Although i have not personally built this kit, I suspect by looking at it that it’s a nice balance between ease of build and functionality. And if you were so inclined Bugbrand includes the schematic on their site so you could always wire one up on your own, sans pcb, and see what happens.