Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tidy cables

I started using combs clipped to shelves, then made my own wooden slotted version attached to a recycled broom handle.
Popular at Brighton was the  Pomona 1508 which I have seen before, but only found available in large quantities. I was told that Amazon have them, but they were out of stock when I looked. I found them on ebay, but selling for £16+. A correspondent from the Brighton meet wrote to say that there is a cheaper alternative, the Voltcraft ML-1 which sells for £7, looks pretty similar and is well worth buying, even with overseas postage. I have installed one on the desk and will try to rig up a second for travelling.

[Aug 2015] I return to the subject a few years later.

Trautonium 26Feb13

A104 Trautonium Filter
A113 Subharmonic Generator
Andy at EMIS is out of stock of the A104 filter and the A113 sub-harmonic generator, the two essential elements, so I'll have to shop around.

I have to decide whether to use simple wood racks, as for the first three Cases or aluminium rails, as in Case 4. The Trautonium is likely to be a more-or-less permanent setup, so wood will do, but if I'm buying from Schneider, then so more aluminium rails can easily be included.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

AMSynths modulation source

This looks like a thoroughly well-conceived, nicely-designed, useful and sensibly-priced module.

Straight in when it becomes available.


Trautoniks Trautorium
Trautoniks Trautorium
The March Sound on Sound reviews the Trautoniks wondrous recreation of the Trautonium.
Regrettably, it sells for €5,000, which puts it beyond my budget.

But there is Doepfer's implementation of the Mixtur-Trautonium which is affordable.

I already have the ribbon controller, so I just need the A104 trautonium filter and the A113 sub-harmonic generator.

Doepfer Trautonium patch
The patch suggested by Doepfer (towards the bottom of the page on the link above, or see right) requires, in addition:

  • 2 A110 oscillators - tick
  • A118 noise generator - I think I have one of those
  • mixer A138a or b - tick
  • two VCAs A130 or A131 - tick (the second is to use with an A177 and a foot controller) 
  • A140 ADSR - I do need more
  • A145 LFO - tick
So most are already in stock. I have been saying for a while that I'll do one more case in an old leather suitcase and what could be a finer subject for such a case than a Trautonium. The plan is
  1. get the modules
  2. set up a Trautonium in Case 1, to settle the requirements in terms of modules, accessories and space required
  3. source a suitable suitcase and transfer the bits to the new home (power supply the Xeus and also the Outs  from Case 1) [I guess the Outs isn't really necessary and the 2nd VCA can go straight to the speaker.]
  4. recycle Case 1 as a carrier for cables, wall warts, speakers(?) and other necessary bits for two other cases when travelling.
A note on sizes:
  • A198 ribbon 8HP 40mm deep 40mA
  • A104 filter 20HP 45mm deep 30mA
  • A113 sub 26HP 90mm 30mA
  • A110 vco 10 - 55 -70
  • A118 noise 8 - 40 -20
  • A138 mix 8 - 35 10
  • A130 VCA 8 - 45 - 20
  • A177 foot  4 - 30 - 10
  • A140 ADSR 8 - 50 - 20
  • A145 LFO 8 - 55 - 30 
It should fit, with room for a few extras: I'd like to add a random CV generator (perhaps the Heisenberg to break the Doepfer monopoly) and a VCLFO for rhythm and also allow space for the wall wart, patch cables and a mini-speaker (maybe even a pedal, if I bother with one), so I'll come up with a requirement for the case size.

  • Case 1 internally is 260x345 
  • the depth must be 90 for the A113 - the depth requirement applies to the main portion of the case, not including the lid
  • An Altec Lansing speaker is 90x55
  • the wart is 70x70x160 + cable
  • plus a space for patch cables
  • that doesn't include the foot controller
So, extending the width from 345 to 450 should provide storage for the speaker and wart and the patch cords might be left in situ (if the lid allows) or in a bag (if not).

Initial conclusion, 260x450x90(main) or imperial 11x18x4(main) inches (rounding up). That (see right) might do - ending on eBay tonight. Bought for £33. I'm hoping that the ribbon controller (about 600) will fit in the lid diagonally (I'll wait and see rather than invoke Pythagoras), otherwise I'll play with some sort of scabbard arrangement using a snooker cue case or similar. More news when received.

Regarding the diagonal, a quick approximation with the measuring tape suggests it will not fit. That is deemed acceptable, because a case large enough for it to fit would be too large for all the other kit. Everything is a compromise.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

WTB Feb13

Having obtained a MATHS at the Brighton meet, the wish list is currently (not necessarily in any order of significance):
If the most popular module I don't have at the last Brighton meet was the MATHS (now acquired) then this time it's Pamela (in the pipeline) followed by the Dave Jones O'Tool. The Jones oscilloscope is certainly a useful nice-to-have, but it will be a shame to spend that much on a module that does not make a sound.

I also need some amplification to get decent levels of sound for the speech conversion piece. There are several options here, all expensive except for the Doepfer A-183.3.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Brighton meet

I wandered around the campus for an hour before finding the location (who would have thought there would be two Attenborough Centres, one derelict?), but eventually, thanks to a lift from a resident workperson repairing the paving, found the venue. The fault was all mine: it was clearly signposted once you got there.
A terrific show: I bought a 2nd hand Maths from thonk; enjoyed some compliments on Case #4; had help in exploring the nature of the Trog676 (thanks, David aka a100); and met a bunch of helpful, friendly  and handy folk, including those behind FSS and Postmodular.

I had intended to experiment with verbal radio into an envelope follower, thereby developing tunes through an ASR, but instead just played the Trog and  Strakal Brulu.

And here's a sweet post on wurbling with few modules: modular haiku.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Peter Speer

Found this chap's posts in Vimeo today.
Terrific results from a limited number of key modules. Something Churchillian here - rarely have such good noises been made by one person with so few modules.