Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Patching away using Oakley modules,a 'micro review'

Well, I've been playing around with my synth, and been comparing the Oakley modules (particulary the ADSR) with my existing EG modules, as made by Krisp1.
The modules are well made, and every jack goes in with a re-assuring 'click', but that's no surprise as the same Switchcraft sockets are used. The pots feel a bit heavier than the Synth Tech pots, but it's something I personally find quite pleasant. What I did observe is that the PCB's on these modules are not mounted on a bracket, but instead are secured in place via the pots and pot brackets. It feels every bit as sturdy as the Synth Tech modules, but I'm not sure if the absence of the PCB bracket could result in interference in some module arrangements or near power supplies etc.
As mentioned in another post, all resistors are metal film types of 1% tolerances, which makes each module made to very exacting standards.
Carbon resistors are completely absent.
Also absent are coaxial cables to the connectors, instead, a mini PCB is used to with the switchcraft sockets are soldered, and which in turn is connected to the main pcb using a short ribbon cable with connectors. A very clean design indeed.

Using the modules:
The ADSR-VCA is very useful as it's integrated design saves space.
Using this module as a ADSR controlled VCA, the settings of the envelope knobs translate to the onboard VCA circuit and when a signal is patched to the IN of the module the outs are audio signals. Also there is an inverted OUT that acts inverse from the standard out, so if one has 0 output the other is max, and vice versa. When there is nothing inserted to the IN, the outputs are a CV signal that has a peak of -5V or +5V (depending on the output used), and the module becomes a standard ADSR module, very handy indeed!.
The envelopes that can be set can be quite slow, and also very fast, although I made a few comparrisons with a few sounds that had a fast attack and I think that the synth tech envelope generators are a fraction faster/snappier, but the difference is minor and may well be due to small tolerances that are inevitably present in analog designs.
The multimix module that I ordered is also pretty good, although one pot did give a little crackling sound when I operated it, but this went away after a few turns, I like the fact that also these have a negative and positive range from -5 to +5 on the scale, with the center position being neutral.
I am sure I have not yet used them in every possible configuration, but this will surely come at some stage.

Concluding, I can recommend the Oakley 'MOTM' format modules build by KRISP1 without hesitation, they are build well, perform great and have a great feel and finish, and would be a welcome addition to any motm format modular synth, and with the current exchange rate, US and EU customers could very well find them selves buying modules at a very attractive price!

See KRISP1 for more details.

The picture shows me patching away happily on a temporay set up at the dining room table :-)



Blogger K2K Koos said...

This post was updated on Feb 12th, to rectify an error in regards to the description of the ADSR-VCA.

6:56 AM  

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