Thursday, May 22, 2008

Latest update

Paul reports the following on the MOTM front

I will finish up this weekend the parts inventory and having everything on order for the kits and assembled backlog. I will also receive MOTM-910 pc boards so I can finish up that backlog (and have over 25 ready for immediate shipment). I will also send off the wave-soldered MIDI-CV boards to the CEM and get those in process. I am behind with the SMT inventory/ordering because I was waiting for the VC Divider to get done (it's at pcb fab) and also CG/CGX final schematics (digital all done, need to finish up analog).

I am about to run a set of all the Frac modules through SMT and the MOTM-650 CPU cards after that. So, I have A LOT of SMT parts to keep track of. I am taking most of next week off to do this very thing (SMT parts inventory/ordering). I want to have everything in place to have a smooth roll-out for the VC Divider. After I get the parts ordered, I will get the CAD drawings done for the front panel and send that off. It is 85% done already, just have to tweak a few holes and get the Corel artwork generated(that is a pain).


Saturday, May 17, 2008

MOTM in Euro rack format?

Thanks again to Jeff Laity who's been so kind to forward me another great news find: on the the modular synth webblog, he found a forum discussion starting off about the delivery issues that SynthTech has suffered over the past period. Paul acknowledges this and is working to change the business model of his company to prevent these issues in the future. (Due this coming fall).
One of the big surprises to me is that he mentions that not only new designs, but existing designs too will at some point find their way into frac rack format, but also Euro! This is something Paul has not mentioned before, and am curious about those developments. To read the whole story, go to: this page .

Thanks Jeff for the find.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Paul Schreiber on

MOTM user Jeff Laity pointed the below article out to me, that he found on the modular synth website.
Thanks for the tip. Paul talking about the now and the future :-)

The people who are 'dissappointed' with me are usually assembled module customers. And, they have a right to be as I have a *terrible* track record predicting delivery dates for these. But then again, I have shipped about 800 assembled modules over the years, every one personally hand-built by me (and I do *VERY* good work, IMHO) so it's not like no one has ever seen an assembled MOTM module Smile

But this will change later this year, as I flush all the kits out of the backlog and start moving to SMT for new designs. In fact, just today I sent off to the pc board fab the 4-layer CPU board for the MOTM-730 VC Divider (it uses 2 PIC 8-bit uPs, 1 for counting and 1 to drive the LED display). The boards are about 4.25 x 4.25 and are 'generic' in the sense I can put them behind *any* format panel (cough). The boards are actually shot as "4-up", meaning there are 4 of these on 1 large panel (in a 2x2 array). I will get these back June 8th and then send them over for stuffing. I will stuff 1 panel , test the 4 and then if OK stuff the other *196* boards all in *1 DAY*.

The other boards in the set (a jack board, a switch board and a pot board) all plug into ribbon cables to the CPU board. I guess that it will take about 11min to assemble the boards to the panel (no more wires to solder!). When the MOTM-730 shows up in the cart, there will be *75* of them sitting in boxes ready to ship.

This will also be true for the MOTM-650s when they are back in the cart (later this summer) and the Cloud Generator & CG Expander. In the cart means ready to ship.

This fall, I will have ready-to-ship stock of the current MOTM modules as well.

As far as I know, I am the only modular manufacturer that is doing this *part time*. But I'm always tweaking the process and planning for 2-5yrs out. I am about to make a $4,000 CAD SW investment for designing products in *2010* when everything will switch over to BGA and other small packages (MSOP, chip-scale, etc). Yes, I 'ping-pong' all over the map, worring about inventory, then packing orders, to designing the pc boards to paying the bills (I spend about $75,000/yr on parts).

I think that people that have 'given up' on me will be surprised what unfolds over the next 8 months or so.


Monday, May 05, 2008

The sale is on

For those thinking about getting an MOTM module, either in kit or fully build , synthtech is currently holding a 10% off sale!

Check out the 'shopping cart' on the synthtech website for more details.
The sale is on unitl Thursday, and will be your very last chance to order a complete kit. After thursday, only partial kits will be available, and of course the ready build modules too. (as Paul writes: "Thursday AM, I will 'take down' the sale (and remove any unsold kits from the cart)."

I've failed to resist my self, and ordered a MOTM-490 ladder filter, and another MOTM-800 ADSR, can't have enough envelop generators on a modular I reckon. The 490 is obviously so I can recreate that Moog sound as well. I had contemplated to wait with a 490 in the past, as there is so much else out there that I like, but I decided to invest in this bread and butter sound after all, it is one of the greatest sound characters of all time, hence I want one :-)