Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Euro rack Synth Tech module "Z-plane morphing"

In a departure from the usual proceedings at Synthesis Technology, there's another module in development that will be released in Euro rack first.
Paul tells us that this is basically to generate additional cashflow, in order to develop the more advanced versions in MOTM format, which have a longer R&D period. Getting the Euro and other formats on the market creates a bit of a buffer, and budget to retool some of the classic MOTM modules in the future too (some of them going to SMT in in time where possible).
Back to the E-350..

Here is strictly a *TEST* showing the E350's Z-Plane morphing function using control voltages. In this test, there are 3 banks of waves (NOT, repeat...NOT what will ship, these are place holders) that are morphed from one to the other using the front panel pot (so, a linear sweep).

Each bank is 64 waveforms. Right now, the interpolation has 64 "in-between' waveforms (it's like a cross-fade between adjacent wavetables). So, you are hearing 64 x 64 = 4096 *distinct* waveforms in the sweep.

The very end of the demo shows the aliasing noise for frequencies over ~3KHZ that occur. As you can hear, lower frequencies are extremely "smooth" and alias-free. The aliasing is due to the 256 byte samples (longer samples would alias at highter audio frequencies).


Sequence of audio is:

* starts out at min frequency, bank 3 minimum wave
* frequency increases somewhat
* upward sweep through all waves in bank 3
* increase frequency some more
* downward sweep through all waves in bank 3
* switch to bank 2
* upward sweep through all waves in bank 2
* switch to bank 1
* downward sweep through all waves in bank 1, ending up at pure saw
* sweep saw down to min
* sweep saw up to max - notice the aliases at top end

There are some fairly harsh waves in this set - some with nasty glitches in them. Not my fault!
We will contiue to work on the DSP code to make it sound as best we can. Also, the MP3 compression muddies up the sounds a bit.


About the future MOTM version, and how it differs from the E-350, Paul writes:
"There will be a 5U version but it will have more wavetables, better interpolation and cost more. No timetable for that, probably Q1 2010.
The rate at which the morph CV inputs (yes, there are different sorts of morph inputs) can be modulated will probably be fairly "low", say 400-600Hz. The 'Pitch' CV input can be modulated much higher, say 5KHz. There is a tradeoff between the update rate and the "smoothness" of the morphing. I am intentionally going for the cleanest, smoothest morphing possible within the constraints of the HW. Which in the E350, is really the SW. The MOTM version will have a large FPGA which is like a math co-processor in that the interpolations can all be done in real-time hardware.

Also, I am trying to keep the price of the module as low as I can (if one can associate me with the term 'low price'), which will be < $400 retail.

The wavetables cannot the field upgraded like a MiniWave. The wavetable data is part of the actual DSP code. Maybe I can make E351/352 versions with different sorts of wavetables. Again, we are spending *much* time and effort hand-tweaking every single data point in every table, so that you will not be able to tell this is a wavetable VCO at all. There are plenty of "glitchy" wavetable options available. This is sort of.....different."


Monday, September 21, 2009

New MOTM track

Hi all,

I've been noodling a bit again recently, and decided to create a cover of one of my favourite all synth tracks, which is Jean Michel Jarre's Arpegiator (Arpegiateur). The original can (only) be found on his 'Concerts In China' album.
I've used my MOTM mainly for the monophonic bass and arpegiated sounds on this track, complimented with some software synths and other poly synths.

As I have no other means of sharing it with you right now, it's currently posted on my myspace page, which is Project Aries. I've called the track the same, in french, Arpegiateur.
And while you are there, hope you enjoy my other works there too, I will update this track list in the next few months and replace some songs with some more recent work. :-)



MOTM user

Hi everyone:

I thought I'd show you an image of another MOTM modular under construction. (picture is copyright by
This one is owned by Michel Van Osenbruggen, a dutch synth musician and collector,whom I sometimes correspond with, and is better known as . It is housed in his massive underground studio. His site can be found by following this link , where you will find info on his music, his albums, and also video's and pictures of his studio and synth collection. Worth a visit, if only if you are a gear junkie :-)


Quick update

Paul reports the following:

I will have limited shipping dates until Oct 1st. I have stuffed pc boards to ship most assembled module orders in the backlog. I need a few more 300/320/480s and Shane will be on those between now and the end of the month. I will continue to work hard on these assembled module orders for the next 4 weeks. The total backlog is now at it's lowest point in *7 years* !

I am shipping tomorrow and then on the following Monday (the 28th).

Paul S.

BTW: This info can be found elsewhere (on the yahoo motm forum for instance) , but for those of you new to my blog, the reason for me reposting this info here, is so that the latest updates are easier to find, as oposed trying to find them on a forum, where you may have to filter through several messages, and to filter out non relevant stuff.
Simply a service from me. :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

MOTM in action

I found this recently on youtube, and thought I'd share it with you, it's has bits of MOTM so it is worth to be put on this blog. :-)


Back log shrinking further.

Paul reports that Synthtech has reached the lowest number of orders in backlog since 2004, in his own words.

Today the number of pending orders in the backlog dropped to 85. This is the *lowest* number of orders I have had since May of 2004.

I know it sounds odd to be happy about not having as many orders as in the past. But I think this is a good thing :)

Paul S.

Indeed Paul, it is a good thing, and proves you and your team have been working very hard to reduce it!
If I am correct, it means also, that we'll could expect shorter lead times on future orders, you have more time to work on new stuff, and see the website updated more regularly. Hope I'm right on this prediction :-) .

Great work, and keep it up!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009


hooray, another 'mile stone'. I've passed 19000 visits. Onwards to 20.000 :-)

Oh and don't forget to visit my 'sponsors' :-)


Monday, September 07, 2009

Update, including Eurorack info!

a) Monday is a national holiday in the US, so no shipping until Tuesday.

b) There will be much MOTM activity the next 2 weeks. Kits will begin to ship on Thursday the 17th. It will probably take me 2 full weeks to ship every last one of them. **IMPORTANT NOTE** I will be modifying the instructions to cover the new BTI pots. Some kits will be as before, but some will have *only* BTI pots in them (no Spectrol, no Bourns). Where the blue Bourns pots once were, will be a BTI pot on a little pc board. You solder the pot on one end, and the 3 wires to the other.

The BTI pots have shafts that are 0.197 shorter, but the knobs will still be above the nuts. The 'feel' of these pots is very smooth, I personally think they are an improvement.

In October, any surplus Spectrol and Bourns pots will be offered up for sale REALLY CHEAP.

c) I am low on MOTM-19A rails, I will order more this week. I've been putting this off due to cash flow, but I can't wait much longer. I'm going to try a new vendor.

d) Info on the Euro modules (E340 and E350) is posted at Check the eurorack forums for the info.

e) I will be able to ship assembled '410s and '300s the next 2 weeks, and most likely MOTM-830s by the 20th. If you have a MOTM-480 on order, those are about 5-6 weeks away.

f) every MOTM 2.0 order in backlog will ship this week. I'm also going to ship all pending repairs this week.

Paul S.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Finally, I'm posting an update again.

Here is the latest news from Synthesis Technology, posted by Paul Schreiber.

I was able to ship some orders last week, but had to spend time on other things. I will ship some orders this Tuesday, and then again the following Tuesday (the 7th). The MOTM-410 cards are here from Shane, he is building 2/3rd of the remaining MOTM-300 pc boards on order. That is a tedious, time-consuming board, I expect to get them next weekend.

The next modules up for assembly are the MOTM-830 Mixers and the MOTM-940 patch panels.

Please note shipping in September from the 14th to the end of the month will be sporadic due to non-MOTM workload filling the pipeline. I also will be getting the E340 ready for shipment to dealers late Sept/early October. But before that happens, I plan to ship ~ 30 assembled modules out and most of the kits.

Thanks to everyone for waiting on me, I'm happy to be busy (the alternative is not so great) and continue to work on MOTM orders every spare chance I get .

Paul S.