Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays

The year has nearly flown past, so it seems. I'm now finding my blog around 8000 visitors, Synthesis Technology is due to ship it the 8000st module, we're heading into '08, and I'm due to be back home from my travels on the 8th. I'm not superstitious, but somehow the number 8 appears a lot at present.. Hope it's a good thing, if anyone knows about the meaning of the 8 in numerology, ancient chinese philosophy etc, let me know :-)

Happy holidays everyone, and I hope that 2008 will bring all that you wish for!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oakley Synths are back!

Many may remember the great modules designed by Tony Allgood, under the brand Oakley. These were mostly made in MOTM format.
Now these great designs will soon be available again.

Here are the details:

Hi to everyone.
This is to inform you all that I will be taking orders for fully built Oakley Sound modules
The aim of Krisp1 is to supply Oakley modular built to the high specifications that Tony intended when designing these modules we are based in the UK and will ship worldwide all modules will be built to the RoHS

I have spent the last 2 months stocking parts to try and keep lead times to a minimum for more information go to

this website

seasons greetings I hope you all have happy holidays
Paul Darlow


merry Christmas from the Robot makers

Roger Pellegrini of Robotmaker fame, writes :

Being an ELP fan from way back, I got a couple of the MOTM GX-1 filters, patched up something like the weird VCO structure (with saw routed thru fixed bandpass and the sine added in) and created a few banks of representative samples in Kontakt. Instant GX-1!

I layered a few and used them in the chorus (it's the polyphonic bit played on the Novation Remote SL controller) of this one-take video, which is entirely analog modular synth (plus a Minimoog) played live with a few previously recorded backing tracks:

Watch this clip.

Happy Holidays from Robotmakers!

PS: The E-mu Emax keyboard is being used as a MIDI controller ->
Encore Expressionist -> Blacet Miniwaves with wave banks modulated by dotcom Q960 -> Moog904a -> Eventide Instant Phaser

Monday, December 17, 2007

MOTM specs of the pre MOTM days

The above title may sound confusing, so let me explain. Fellow MOTM'er Jeff Laity send me the below messaGE, that comes from the archives of the Analog Heavens website. In this message Paul Schreiber, the founder and owner of Synthesis Technology, and the driving force behind the MOTM format/spec synthesizer, is brainstorming about his future plans of releasing kits and modules to build a synthesizer. This message dates from 1997, so these are the PRE-MOTM days.
Reading this, and comparing this to the current state of affairs is quite 'funny' and interesting. Thank you Jeff for sharing this.

Subject: My evil modular plans
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 11:50:43 -0000

Here are my plans (well, to date at least) for my modular projects

1) The $35/module synth

This will presented 1 module at a time on the website. All documents will be in PDF format. I plan to author in Visio Technical for the schematics (or maybe OrCAD 4.3 DOS using Postscript output). The verbage will be MS Word 7.
(People who want these 'native' files can get them as well).

The modules are presented as a schematic, theory, parts list. No pcb. No front panel. All parts are either from Digikey/Mouser here in the States, or CEM chips (from me!).
I will avoid CEM when possible (saving them for item #2).

The schematics will be a merge of Electronotes, Moog, ARP, and stuff I plain make up. These are presented "as is": hey, they're only $35 in parts!! Some modules will have SPICE analysis charts as well.

This is to encourage a "jumping off" point for DIYers. I suggest a contest for:

a) nicest looking unit
b) best audio use . Make a big .WAV or something, let's all vote!

2) Re-Issue Digisound

These are updates/redesigns of the Digisound modules. Same "footprint". People with existing racks can shove these right in. Presented (from me, at least) as "semi-kit": all CEM chips + pcb + front panel. All other parts Mouser/Digikey again.

Guessing these will average about $85 each (from me) plus the R's & C's (not much!) I may go off and buy 1000 good pots and throw those in as well. Note that in my modules, ALL pots/jacks are SOLDERED to the pcb. NO WIRES!!

Since everybody likes sequencers, I'll do that one first!

3) Titan Modular

Makes the Serge and Moog stuff look like a SH101. The no-holds-barred design (for me. And anybody else who tags along!). This is a CD quality, (but FAAAAATTTTTTT) modular using DSPs, Xilinx gate arrays, $25 optical
shaft encoders, etc etc. Fully MIDI. patchable, and reload-able using any old computer with RS232. And the best part is, I expect a Moog 55 equivalent to fit in the size of a Moog 15 cabinet and cost around $4000. Last time I checked, Moog 55s were around $15,000.

As a teaser, the "low end" VCO has 16 independent outputs!

4) Moog 35 on a ISA card

I am pondering doing a full EXACT copy (part for part, slop and all) all on an IBM ISA card. Plugs into your PC. Can patch it, CakeWalk it, etc. Guessing this will run about $750. Any response? Have I lost all sense on this one???

Your kind comments and feedback welcome!

Paul Schreiber
Synthesis Technology


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I happened to stumble across this news on Matrix synth, and thought I should repost it here, this being an all MOTM blog after all. :-)

Artist David Scott Stone has recorded a complete album using only his MOTM modular synth, with guest appearances from MOTM format modules from Cyndustries and others, but no digital tricks etc were done, it's just the synth. He has a few locations on the web where you can find more information, and here are two of them.

myspace site


Monday, December 10, 2007

Another update already :-)

a) I had to travel much of last week, but was able to build up all of the 850 and 890 kits that are on order.

b) I am still working on order #300 and below to ship as much of that backlog as possible (with 'leftover' kits shipping out for all order numbers). I have to finish building 12 assembled modules, and make up some 910 mults (back to hand wiring, the pcbs won't be here on time). There are 61 modules total in this set of orders left to ship. Just looking over the remaining module types, I'll ship ~40 of the 61 in the backlog.

c) Independent of that set of 61, I am making up some MOTM-300 kits as well.

d) I am due MOTM-19A mounting rails by this coming Friday.

e) Here is a quick photo of the breadboard of the MOTM-521 Cloud Generator Expansion showing the LCD 'talking to' the ARM CPU and encoders. Up next:
USB-to-serial interface.

Paul S.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Update from Synthtech

I'm hoping that I'll be receiving some of my orders soon, still have a MOTM 300, a 510 wavewarper, and a multiple on order...



37 Happy Emails were sent out this week. At least it's a start :)

I am focusing on shipping all the modules (both kit & assembled) up to order #300. There will be higher # orders that will see shipments (or partial shipments) because I tend to make up batches of modules, not individual ones. As of today, there are 63 modules that need to be ship to 100% clear out up to Order #300. This is, in all likelyhood, all of the available time I will have before Christmas break. I'm going to try my best to ship another batch of MOTM-300 kits before Dec 20th. around 15-18 kits. These will be in the range of Order #400-490, possibly the low 500s.
The next batch are all of the MOTM-850 Pedal Interface kits (I think there are 7 of them).

Just to note, the vast majority (over 75%) of module backlog is for Order #600 and below. The majority of orders above #600 were MOTM 2.0 orders (pcbs, CEM ICs, etc) and all but 4 of those have shipped.
28 of the 63 modules below #300 are assembled. I have made up all of the pc boards, I am in the process of "finishing out".

I had planned on having more ready to ship, but the available time vaporized.

Paul S.