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How Many Slutz Here Been Bit by the DIY Bug?
Old 24th April 2015
  #1
How Many Slutz Here Been Bit by the DIY Bug?

This bug is ravenous at times. It will bite you when you see broken gear for sale or being given away. It will bite you when you see cool kits like Shruthi and similar offerings. It has a biting frenzy whenever you see pictures of modular gear or gear that could be (should be) restored. And when it bites you gotta scratch that itch!

I am totally infested. Have been for a long time. I have a list of DIY projects so long I am set for the next 10 years and have stocked up on 10 years of soldering iron tips accordingly.

How many of you folks are also covered in itchy DIY Bug bites?
What do you do about it?
What sorts of DIY projects do you work on or think you might want to work on?
What are some good resources for DIYers that you find helpful?

So we get bit. We itch. Then we scratch. Lets discuss the scratching...
Old 24th April 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Coorec's Avatar
I finished an Ambika a month ago.

Currently i am considering to build a proper knobby interface with a keyboard for it.

I plan a TTSH for Autumn and Winter. Unless i find a kit for something mono-moogy like the Leipzig-S.

Old 24th April 2015
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
I finished an Ambika a month ago.

Currently i am considering to build a proper knobby interface with a keyboard for it.

I plan a TTSH for Autumn and Winter. Unless i find a kit for something mono-moogy like the Leipzig-S.

I would love to build one of those too. Mutable has alot of helpful resources for their kits available on their site. I find that very reassuring. How was your experience with putting it together? Any stumbling blocks along the way or did it go smoothly?
Old 24th April 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

A few years a go I built some MIDI switchers, cables and attempted some repairs, with a pretty much 50/50 success rate.
I gave up completely as I was costing myself almost as much as I was saving and have been relying on others to build and repair stuff for me ever since.

I'm far better at breaking things than fixing them.
I'd find that quite often, while working on one part of something I'd inadvertently break a different part of it and still have to get it repaired by someone else.
I can get my head around the theory but I'm crap at the practical side.

How ever, I've decided to try again. I've bought some Blacet kits to expand my modular, and new soldering stuff + multimeter.
Can't say I'm particularly looking forward to breaking more thing's. but hopefully my success rate will be a bit higher this time.
My plan is to finish my modular from Blacet kits and a few Oakley PCB's before moving on to effects, TM3030 and 808 clone.

I've been getting help and advice from guys over at Muffs and friends offline.
Old 24th April 2015
  #5
Back when I had a modular I had 2 or 3 Blacet modules and found them really well documented and the instructions well illustrated. One time I had a bad part and they sent a replacement within days.
Blacet and PAIA are both great kit sources. Oakley is outstanding for support IMO as I have worked on some projects of theirs too.
I have my eyeball on some items from MFOS
Music From Outer Space - Your Synth-DIY Headquarters
Anybody have experiences with their kits?

Another good friendly resource for help with DIY stuff is electro-music
electro-music.com :: View Forum - DIY Hardware and Software
Old 24th April 2015
  #6
I do all my own builds on everything. Cars, PC, dirtbike, furniture.
Old 24th April 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Most of my other hobbies involved mechanics etc. I'm a good welder, can operate/fabricate with most old school machine shop tools., gave done ground up/frame-off restos on vehicles and motorcycles.. But my head simply isn't 'wired' to deal with electronics beyond the basics. Something refuses to click.

But I wish it would.
Old 24th April 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I bought a Juno 106, KIWI modded it, changed all the LEDs to green (to go with the whole KIWI vibe), changed all the tact switches for the buttons to new ones that are suppposed to last for 5 million presses, put a graphic overlay from Synthgraphics. Basically made it a sick analog keyboard with modern functionality. I sold it for a pretty nice profit. Lets say I made more than a grand on it.
Old 24th April 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
shponglefan's Avatar
I put together a Shruthi XT a little while ago and really enjoyed it. Something extra rewarding about using a synth you had a part in assembling.

Prior to them discontinuing, I stocked up on the other Mutable Instrument boards and cases. I have yet to put them together, but will hopefully sometime this year.

Also been thinking about designing/building my own sample-based drum machine. One day...

Last edited by shponglefan; 24th April 2015 at 05:56 PM..
Old 24th April 2015
  #10
Gear Nut
 
wildfrontiers's Avatar
Oh man, I've definitely been bit. I learned how to solder in high school a few years ago, and had fixed broken guitar jacks for friends. Fixed a broken Ebow too.

Only found out about this stuff in February, but I've since built an Audiothingies P6, Digital Warrior Sequencer, Sonic Potions LXR and just finished a Groovesizer TB2 the other night. During this time, I've also made a 3.5mm jack to MIDI cable and a MIDI-THRU box. The P6 is amazing for the price. I'm thinking of doing another one and poly-chaining them. The DW sequencer is fun. I've been working on a custom case for it, but I haven't decided if I'm going to the expansion board. I have another DW PCB, so I might make another. The LXR is great. I'm currently waiting for the new cases to go on sale. The TB2 is awesome. User waveshapes for the win.

I'm wondering what to do next. There's the Shruthi. Also might do a MIDIpal clone. Any thoughts?
Old 24th April 2015
  #11
everything I DIY fails...house, motorbike, furniture, instruments....my last attempt at something was the snare mod on a volca beats...the snare remains the same, the kick has gone...lol
Old 24th April 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
I'm very DIY when it comes to mechanical things. I've dabbled in DIY electronics repair and troubleshooting, but it's not my forte so I find it frustrating.
Old 24th April 2015
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
How many of you folks are also covered in itchy DIY Bug bites?
What do you do about it?
What sorts of DIY projects do you work on or think you might want to work on?
What are some good resources for DIYers that you find helpful?
Me!

I'm designing and building my own groovebox. I've been working on it for some time now. Lots to learn and a lot to do. Fun!

I use the whole internet as my resource. No specific websites/forums. I just google what I might need and start reading and experimenting.
Old 24th April 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
I would love to build one of those too. Mutable has alot of helpful resources for their kits available on their site. I find that very reassuring. How was your experience with putting it together? Any stumbling blocks along the way or did it go smoothly?
It was a very pleasent experience. Very well explained step by step.

If you take your time and dont do hasty things, its a very very good project.

I can recommend it.
Old 24th April 2015
  #15
Here is my biggest long-term DIY project - the Wave Engine...
(Green = completed, Yellow = in progress, blue = planned)

How Many Slutz Here Been Bit by the DIY Bug?-wave-engine.jpg

I haven't documented the modulation yet because it is still up in the air but I have constructed and tested an LFO and a 4 output scanner/morphing controller. I also have all of the schematics for my old modular system's DIY modules that were good designs I can draw from.

Overall the design is something of a normalled patchable architecture like an MS-20 or 2600. Without any patching it will work as a regular two voice synth but the patch panel will permit many other configurations such a 6 OSC Mono, 2 OSC/3 voice paraphonic etc.
The mixer will permit alot of flexibility for the audio paths. I'm loosely basing it on the mixers within the Alesis Ion.

The VCOs are original Living VCO PCBs I ordered a couple years ago before JH passed away.
The wavetables will be Blacet Miniwave modules which I have used before in my old system.

I should say that this is the newest long-term DIy project. My other one (Toa RX-7 console) is coming to a close after 7 years, over 1000 resistors, over 500 capacitors, 4 faders, 8 DOAs, 2 power supplies, 16 light bulbs, dozens of fuses, connectors, LEDs etc. etc. etc.
By the end of this year it will be better than new, even better than its engineers planned it to be. I'm looking forward to this. It's been a great project but I'll be happy to not be digging in its guts anymore...
Attached Thumbnails
How Many Slutz Here Been Bit by the DIY Bug?-wave-engine.jpg  

Last edited by Hollowman9; 24th April 2015 at 07:43 PM.. Reason: Mixer
Old 24th April 2015
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
Me!

I'm designing and building my own groovebox. I've been working on it for some time now. Lots to learn and a lot to do. Fun!

I use the whole internet as my resource. No specific websites/forums. I just google what I might need and start reading and experimenting.
Now that is truly awesome!
Perhaps you and shponglefan should throw ideas at each other...

Last edited by Hollowman9; 24th April 2015 at 06:34 PM..
Old 24th April 2015
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
It was a very pleasent experience. Very well explained step by step.

If you take your time and dont do hasty things, its a very very good project.

I can recommend it.
Yes, haste makes waste
Glad to hear you had a good experience with it. Such a shame Mutable isn't making these kits anymore...
Old 24th April 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Yes, haste makes waste
Glad to hear you had a good experience with it. Such a shame Mutable isn't making these kits anymore...
You can still have the DIY kit. From other guys and by other names. Shoot me a PM and i'll send you info where Olivier sent me ordering my kit.

Old 24th April 2015
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
You can still have the DIY kit. From other guys and by other names. Shoot me a PM and i'll send you info where Olivier sent me ordering my kit.

Sent. Have you seen the Werkstatt? This might be up your alley...
Werkstatt-01 Moogfest 2014 Kit | Moog Music Inc

Not sure where in the world you are but somebody is selling two of these in my city.
http://philadelphia.***************/msg/4970419546.html
Though it seems like they are assembled already. Well nevermind the CL link then...
Old 24th April 2015
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
How many of you folks are also covered in itchy DIY Bug bites?
What do you do about it?
What sorts of DIY projects do you work on or think you might want to work on?
What are some good resources for DIYers that you find helpful?

So we get bit. We itch. Then we scratch. Lets discuss the scratching...
Yes! Towards the end of last year I spent a few weeks working on a little granulation algorithm for processing wav files, and eventually took the opportunity to use it as my final project for a embedded design class. I assembled a little granular sampler with real-time control of grain length, repeat, re-ordering, forward/reverse, playing forward but reversing every grain in place, a rudimentary timestretch (100% down to 0%!), an envelope for every grain with controllable attack/decay, and a looping feature with controllable length and loop count.

If anyone's interested I think I can find a demo video on youtube, the hardware implementation ran into some issues that I didn't encounter with the software alone, and got unstable with smaller grain sizes or with too drastic of timestretch. Either way, it was a fun project.
Old 24th April 2015
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by trillyourself View Post
Yes! Towards the end of last year I spent a few weeks working on a little granulation algorithm for processing wav files, and eventually took the opportunity to use it as my final project for a embedded design class. I assembled a little granular sampler with real-time control of grain length, repeat, re-ordering, forward/reverse, playing forward but reversing every grain in place, a rudimentary timestretch (100% down to 0%!), an envelope for every grain with controllable attack/decay, and a looping feature with controllable length and loop count.

If anyone's interested I think I can find a demo video on youtube, the hardware implementation ran into some issues that I didn't encounter with the software alone, and got unstable with smaller grain sizes or with too drastic of timestretch. Either way, it was a fun project.
Not just a fun project but a really involved and interesting project too. My hats off to you sir.
I'm sure that demo clip will be of interest if you are able to find it. If you are willing to share some technical details too it would great to learn about how granular synthesis works.
Old 24th April 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 
nowaysj's Avatar
 

I've been bitten by the bug, have just fixed some things, though. Love it. Have been wanting for many long time to put together some type of sound generation device.

Anybody have a suggestion for a really basic sound creator with a total parts list around $50? I'm good with noise, glitch, nontuned tones. I could also do a sound mangler, something to run sound through.

Open to suggestions. THX1138
Old 24th April 2015
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowaysj View Post
I've been bitten by the bug, have just fixed some things, though. Love it. Have been wanting for many long time to put together some type of sound generation device.

Anybody have a suggestion for a really basic sound creator with a total parts list around $50? I'm good with noise, glitch, nontuned tones. I could also do a sound mangler, something to run sound through.

Open to suggestions. THX1138
Thrifty thinkers are always under budget. Not a sound source but for the sheer mileage of new sounds that can be derived from it I recommend the Analog Devices AD633 ring modulator.
Music Thing Modular » Building an AD633 Ring Modulator module
Parts count is small ignoring a power supply for it. Just get a premade one to be on the safe side.
Don't omit the AC/DC coupling switches - very significant difference in sound between those two options.
One example of it is the really icy sound at 2:30


For the cost and effort though it's a sweet project with a ton of potential for new weird and wonderful sounds.
Old 24th April 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 
nowaysj's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Thrifty thinkers are always under budget. Not a sound source but for the sheer mileage of new sounds that can be derived from it I recommend the Analog Devices AD633 ring modulator.
Music Thing Modular » Building an AD633 Ring Modulator module
Parts count is small ignoring a power supply for it. Just get a premade one to be on the safe side.
Don't omit the AC/DC coupling switches - very significant difference in sound between those two options.
One example of it is the really icy sound at 2:30


For the cost and effort though it's a sweet project with a ton of potential for new weird and wonderful sounds.
Awesome. Am loop monging right now, and sound card is tied up. Will defo check out. Much appreciated.
Old 24th April 2015
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowaysj View Post
Awesome. Am loop monging right now, and sound card is tied up. Will defo check out. Much appreciated.
No problem.
This looks somewhat appealing in the sick fascination way - Alien Screamer Noise Box
Music From Outer Space - Your Synth-DIY Headquarters
Old 24th April 2015
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Quantum7's Avatar
I did a music studio build which took me a couple months. Before that I had never built anything except a napkin hold in Junior High school. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/phot...se+home+studio
Old 24th April 2015
  #27
Gear Maniac
I was bit big time. I built maybe 3 shruthis including the old XT, an Anushri, Ambika, PreenFM, many MidiSizer projects, the awesome XLR drum synth, the WTPA 2, and 4 racks or modular gear...including the racks and power supplies. I also work on my guitars a lot. I sorta fixed up a Poly61 and have a Polaris to bring back to life. I love DIY.
Old 24th April 2015
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Fresh Pants's Avatar
 

I was too, built a number of Mutable Instruments synths, LXR, WTPA2, a bunch of effects pedals, cables, furniture, tools, etc... It was sometimes more fun to actually do the builds than using the gear, but now its fun to use the gear. But most of it stopped (temporarily) when my wife and I DIY'd some children.

Last edited by Fresh Pants; 24th April 2015 at 11:25 PM.. Reason: Lols
Old 24th April 2015
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh Pants View Post
I was too, built a number of Mutable Instruments synths, LXR, WTPA2, a bunch of effects pedals, cables, furniture, tools, etc... It was sometimes more fun to actually do the builds than using the gear, but now its fun to use the gear. But most of it stopped (temporarily) when my wife and I DIY'd some children.
Congrats! I did that project twice. Getting the raw materials was the easy part and fun too. The next several years were a bit tougher though. Maybe not the most original DIY project but a damn good one. And only requires one tool!
Now wait until those projects start their own DIY projects
Old 25th April 2015
  #30
Lives for gear
 
BenDayho's Avatar
Lately diy audio has pretty much taken over my life. HAH!

I too have what feels like a 10 year long build queue and have completed many of the same projects that the rest of you have. There so much good stuff out there.

I really want to build a ttsh, but need to save money.

I'm almost done with the graphics for a mega-mutableinstruments keyboard that I hacked together, took forever.

I currently have three in process projects:

1. Project 9090

2. Sequencer Controller for ableton live (basically my own push based around a 16 step grid instead of 8, python remote scripting is awesome, m4l too.)

3. Electronic drum kit.

Eventually will design my own drum machine based on the ldb-2, but with more controls. Really excited to do a 1176 and gssl comps, as well as some mics and a plate reverb.
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