Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cloud Generator Expansion module (CGX)

It's raining updates on the progress of the development of both the upcoming MOTM-520 Cloud Generator, as well as it's companion (expander/expansion) module.

Here is a picture of the actual LCD being tested, as well as a full spec list of the CGX.

* Processor is an ARM 32-bit Atmel AT91SAM7S64, running around 48Mhz. 64K Flash, 16K RAM. In comparison, the MOTM-650 uses an 8-bit 8051 type with 32K Flash, 1K RAM and runs at 2Mhz.

* 6 24-detent rotary encoders (ALPS EC12E2420801, available from Mouser)

* 1ea Crystalfontz CFAH2004A-YTI-JP LCD, reverse, 4 lines x 20char

* the knobs are custom Rogan double-shot "soft touch" with white endcaps, ~0.75 diameter. The ALPS encoders have a 'D' shaft.

* 1ea USB 'B' type jack (runs low speed USB 1.1). If the CGX needs a firmware update, there is a jumper setting on the rear pc board, and new code can be flashed in.

* 3ea NKK JF15 series tact switches, ENTER (blue) and PG UP/PG DWN (grey or green, have not decided). These are larger than the MOTM-650 NKK switches.
They are ~ 0.68" square and have a nice 'click' to them.

* 5 Expansion jacks, comprising:

CHAOS CV OUT - user defined DC voltage that is 'mapped' to one particular ChaosEngine element. So it's a wiggley voltage :)
PATCH SEL IN - when a jack is inserted, a negative voltage reduces the current patch # and a positive voltage increases the current patch #. -5V will be mapped to Patch #1, and +5V will be Patch #16 and intermediate voltages mapped accordingly.
AUX CV IN - a user defined CV input that can modulate a CG parameter, ie it has the same effect as 'turning the encoder knob' of that parameter. Mapped to -5V is minimum, +5V maximum, intermediate voltages mapped accordingly.

3U wide module.

Paul S.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10000 visitors!

Thank you everyone for passing by and reading my blog! 10000 is great, let's double that, I'll try and keep the posts coming!


Cloudgenerator, expander, and Midi CV

Here the latest updates on MOTM from Paul Schreiber:

a) I will have all the parts in for the next run of MOTM-650s shortly and will have the pc boards 'run' through stuffing by early May. I will then ship the remaining backlog (about 6 units) and put more into the cart for purchase. This is not a high priority right now.

b) I added a (blurry) shot of the CG panel (and here are the audio demos, too) to: click here

Briefly, the CG is a digital/analog hybrid module that has 16 VCOs. The VCOs share a common 1V/Oct input. You can detune the VCOs relative to each other (the SPREAD) over a NARROW/WIDE range. In addition, the VCOs can be internall/externally modulated. Internally, there is a random modultion source (CHAOS) whish is a group of bandpass filtered noise generators.

As a group, the VCOs can output 4 waveforms (all 16 output the *same* waveform): sine and pulse (on the CG) and saw and triangle (on the CGX). PWM input is provided. This is a 2U wide module.

The CGX is the programmer for the CG (and also allows the 2 additional VCO outputs). The CGX has a 4line x 20char LCD display and 6 rotary encoders. There are ~ 46 CG 'parameters' that can be programmed to adjust the behavour of the CG (how the CHAOS acts, how the VCOs detune, etc). The CGX has 16 presets slots you can over-write (it will ship with 4 examples, the other 12 are copies of the factory default). There is a USB port for allowing patch dumping/saving when that software is available. This is a 3U wide module.

Both modules will REQUIRE the MOTM-950 or equivalent power supply (6pin header, needs +5V).

One CGX can connect to 1 CG via short ribbon, the 2 units need to be adjacent to each other in the cabinet (have not done the work to see which is on the left).

Paul S.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Jean Michel Jarre about YOU playing HIS music

Here is a comment from Jean Michel Jarre, in regards to those that post covers of his work on among others Youtube.
Some Youtube members had their work removed, alledgedly due to a complaint from Jarre's former record company. Here is JMJ's response, I believe this to be an example to be followed by many artists!


Building a module , sorting R

It's been a while that I posted a 'tip' , but here goes. Synth tech kits tend to come pretty well sorted, with various components in seperate bags for easier sorting, however, multiple resistors are in the same bag, which as such is not a big deal, but it takes a little time sorting them. Others keep resistors of the same value together on a piece of sticky tape, but Synthtech ships every resistor loose, mixed in the same bag. Not a big deal if you are very good at reading colour codes, but if you have like me, a solder place that has no natural daylight to speak off, and a rather warm light overhead, it can sometimes get a little tricky. Also if you consider that resistor colour codes are usually not the clearest of colours, on a beige back ground, it is even harder. Add to that the fact that I am (ever so slightly) colour blind (not quite , but I fail some of the tests when I have to go for a medical) and you can guess that soldering the resistors, is taking up most of my time when building a kit.
Having a good multimeter (DVM) is therefore a must, and I tend to go through a little session of sorting the resistors the evening before I start soldering measuring them one by one, and I stick together all resistors of the same value with some cellotape, or similar. Single resistor get a small piece of tape attached too, on which I scribble the value with a small permanent marker (a Sharpie laundry marker works great). This way, I can go through the process of soldering much faster the next day.
I hate this sorting job, but it's worth the effort in the end, and chances of mistakes are even smaller, as measuring the values before soldering confirms the value, even for those with good eyes and light conditions, and a less than perfect printed resistor...


A small change on comments.

Recently, I am starting to get spam comments on my blog, so I had to switch on word verification when you post a comment.
I hate to do this, as I hate having to fill stuff in like that myself, but until there is no-one left sending spam and other junk as comments, I will have to do so, sorry for the inconvenience.
I hope I can leave it like this, as I would hate having to turn on comment moderation as well as an additional spam and junk filter.
Hope you don't mind this too much :-)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

My order arrived :-)

Hooray, my order arrived. Comprising of the MOTM-910 multiple patch panel, professionally build by Paul himself, plus my kits (the last orders I'll ever receive of MOTM 1.0 (complete kits) ) of my second VCO (MOTM-300), and a wavewarper MOTM-510.
This is a historic moment, as this will mean I'll be going to fill up my cabinet completely, and probably have to start thinking of an expansion cabinet, as I'm short one space now... a luxury I'm sure I can live with :-)

I'll keep you posted on the building of these :-)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Choice of display

I have reported in the past about the Cloud generator, and it's co-development expansion module.
The expansion module will sport a display, and after a very brief voting period, the display size and style has been chosen.
See picture, should look great in the dark :-)


Friday, March 07, 2008

MOTM 480

On the MOTM forum, a lively discussion about the MOTM 480 module has been taking place. I've been reading this along, and some even posted sound clips. Here is one of the posts by user " Loop cycle" , including a sound clip.

"I'm still learning the 480, but it definitely changes character depending on the input signal amplitude, just as the 440 does. Because it has two outputs, one of them can easily be patched back into an input for feedback tweakiness.
(Reminder to self: mult the 440 output and feed it back to itself, and compare the character with the 480.) I made a one-pass recording with three voices, the third voice (which comes in somewhere around 2:30) uses the 480--its the voice with the pingpong delay. I fly in feedback during the recording. Maybe this will give you just a little hint of the character of the 480, although its pretty low in the mix.

[I really need to do another pass at this patch, but here it is:]

Click here to go to the Sound clip.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy E-mail

I received my long awaited Happy e-mail from Paul today, stating he's about to ship ALL of my outstanding kits.
I guess there will be lots to report soon hopefully, I should be receiving:
-MOTM-510 Wavewarper
-MOTM-910 cascade multiple (Vintage edition, hardwired, no PCB :-) )