Wednesday, August 30, 2006

MOTM update

Latest update from Paul Schreiber (Synth Tech) for this week.

This is the last week of initial kitting before shipping begins on Sept 5th. I
did get news that the Tempco resistors will arrive tomorrow or Tuesday, I
ordered 200 of them so that should take care of all kits needing tempcos. The
pacing item is now the 149 pots for VCOs (both kits and assembled). I have maybe
100 of them now, so what I will do is get out assembled VCOs first, then kits.
There are over 30 kits on order (180 pots needed). I will be that the pots ship
the last week of September, because that is the end of the quarter and companies
*hate* to carry orders past a quarter.

Tomorrow I'm ordering the AudioEngine parts, we have done preliminary coding on
the Cloud Generator portion and it seems to all fit with some room to spare. The
parts will not arrive for 6-8 weeks, there is still a lot of work to be done.
But so far, it does look like a really interesting module. The output quality
is 48khz @ 18 bits (same as DVD). Hopefully in a month or so, we will be able to
hack up the Xilinx dev board and get some audio samples. They won't be a 'clean'
as the real thing because of lack of additional lowpass filtering (both analog
and digital) on the real hardware.

This week was a "slow" week, dealing with getting the parts in (also referring
as 'vendor bashing') sooner. I get to bash the front panel vendor this week.

Paul S.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bob Moog

Let's not forget the man who started it all: Bob Moog, today August 21st is exactly 1 year since he died, let's keep his spirit alive by remembering him, and keep on playing our synths!
Also see: The Moog Foundation

Gear lust and more.

I wondered the other day what it is that makes me suffer from gear-lust, or is it even that? I remember clearly the times that I saw pictures of big walls full of knobs and buttons and cables, behind the likes of Tangerine Dream, Keith Emerson, Jean Michel Jarre and others. These things intrigued me, impressive looking synthesizers, and that sound, the sounds, the music. That was really what was catching my attention, not just the machine, it was what it did, not in a technical way, but a musical, emotional way.
How it does things is interesting in it's own right, and I guess that's why I like building them, but tech specs only mean so much. In my head; reading that a synth has 24 pole low pass filters with resonance, translates to "being capable of some mean sounding bass sounds" for example. I read the specs into something musical. This of course is not something that comes overnight. It takes years of reading, listening and hands on experience to know that a certain feature will mean a certain sound can be made.
This is where we translate technology into sound, and sound into music.Both these processes involve human interaction, especially with an analog modular synth. This is why synthesizer music is just as 'musical' , than any other acoustic instrument. It's because a human, a musician has to learn to play the thing and interact with it, and is able to add all the nuances to evoke a certain feeling or emotion, live, in the flesh, sweating and all.
So gear lust is one thing, but it means nothing without the end product, without understanding what the thing is capable of , and how much pleasure can be had of it, playing it, making music.
Long live the synth, long live the MOTM modular. :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

MOTM update

Hi there! Curious as I was to see if my outstanding orders would ship soon ( 390 lfo, and a 101 S/H noise module), I received the answer that Synthesis Technology is currently 2-3 weeks away before any more shipments are shipped.
The backlog currently is over 500 modules, and 77.000 parts to be kitted.
I think this is very positive, as strange as it may sound. This kind of volume looks to me that MOTM is very succesful, and the sale generated plenty of orders. Great stuff, once this is dealt with, and MOTM is assembled only modules, these lead times will come down, and we can all construct walls full of wonderful synths.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

In Concert

Okay, a little of topic, but still. Last Friday August 11th, I performed a little 45 minute mini concert on board Holland America's MS Maasdam. (This is where I work as an electrical engineer). The concert was for the crew, and gave me a chance to test out my music on a crowd. They loved it, and I had fun too, next time though, there should be an MOTM next to me to do some realtime patching and knob twisting etc :-) Now all I had available were two Korg Triton LE's that I midi'ed to my Powerbook running Logic Pro. Still it was fun, and that's the important bit.
MOTM cabinet designs are being finalised here, so pretty soon I'll start buying and cutting wood for it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Larry Hendry's Synth

For those of you who do not know who Larry Hendry is, he was an MOTM enhusiast and DYI'er and a driving force in the MOTM community. Sadly he tragically died in a motorcycle accident last year.
His memory lives on in our community though, and his spirit is very clearly present in his synthesizer.
This synth is now for sale, and only as a complete unit. It is absolutely beautiful, and I urge you to at least take a look at the quality of his work.
The following link was set up by his son, and showcases the synth, along with it's purchase details. Give this baby a home it deserves!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The 650 has arrived!

Introducing, the MOTM-650
I've waited a long time, the order was placed in March, but here it is, the MOTM -650 Midi/CV converter!
As you can see from the pictures, it is a true quality product, and the assembly is performed near flawless. If I have one criticism then it is that I would have liked to see nylon spacers between the 5 pcbs on which the jacks are mounted, just to give it that little extra rigidity.
But, considering these modules are products of someone's hobby going tilt (in a good way) then I have to give nothing but praise.I can't wait to patch it up.
Enjoy the piccies. :-)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August: A good month

Wow, this year seems to fly by, it's August already.
August is a good month for me, I've received confirmation that my MOTM 650 is finally shipping. I will likely receive it on August 5th. When here, I will make piccies and show the module off :-)
Also, august is the month of my birthday, so I guess I could ask for another module as a present :-) Which one to ask for though.....hmmmm
As said, my 650 is shipping, so is the 650 of several other people who ordered one, and some 310's are shipping. Next modnay, even more 650's will ship, another 10. This long awaited module will certainly make a lot of people happy, and midify their MOTM synths, or change their intefaces for one that matches the rest of their modulars.

Watch this space.