Welcome

I've always been interested in electronics and music.  I played in a band in the '60's with a Farfisa organ and a Vox Essex Bass amp (I still have both).  My introduction to electronic synthesizers was an ARP 2600 at Evergreen State College and later on an ARP Odyssey.  My first synthesizer was an Ensoniq EPS-16+ but I longed for analog.  I starting with a PAiA Fatman and then progressed to a Matrix-1000, Sequential Circuits Six-Trak, Arp Odyssey, Arp Avatar / Sequencer, and finally began to build my modular in 2001.  My electronics experience started in middle school and by high school I had a part time repair business which helped fund my electronics college education.  Here is a photo of my high school repair bench.

The Synth

This synthesizer has now grown to over 100 modules and I never imagined it would have gotten this large.  Originally I wanted to keep my synthesizer all analog but a small portion of my modules are now digital.  I have a few out-board digital effects units but I still prefer my reel-reel tape for echoes and delays.  Hopefully you'll find some useful information here. I've documented my modular designs, many of my module modifications, and my synthesizer projects with reference information and photos.

This Site

I make nearly everything I do public domain.  I've learned from others and this site is help others learn from what I have done.  I'm delighted by the number of emails and feedback I receive from people using this site and the number of hits which is ranked by Xmarks and Top20Sites.  Send me an email if you have a question.

 

My Help

I've done electronics repair and restoration for decades.  I used to operate my own electronics repair business and I restore vintage radios as a hobby.  I repair a lot of tube radio, audio, and music equipment and I've done microprocessor and digital system design for Tektronix so I enjoy working on vintage synthesizer restoration.  Most of my synthesizer, organ, and amplifier collection were purchased broken for parts but I usually then end up restoring them - I just hate to part out vintage equipment.  I have the time and interest to be able to help and assist fellow Synth-DIY'ers with their projects and formed Modular Synthesis, LLC to help. I've even helped successfully diagnose and repair modules by email.  Contact me if I can be of help or assistance with your project, design, repair, or restoration.

 

Contact me if I can be of help or assistance with your project, repair, design, or restoration.

Repairs, custom projects and customer testimonials

Items that I have currently for sale

I spent 34 years at Tektronix working with some of the best people in all parts of the company: Computer Graphics, Video & Networking, and Test & Measurement.  I've since retired to enjoy my hobbies and now have time to devote to my music and electronic projects as well as volunteer at the vintageTEK museum.

My professional information on LinkedIn

My Tektronix memorabilia

My designs are indicated with a superscript¹

Modifications of existing designs are indicated with a superscript²

Quick Links

Latest Projects

ComputerVoltageSource Module
Moon Modular M569 companion CVS eight channel module¹
Thomas Henry mega percussive synthesizer CVS 2x16 LCD display¹
5U E560 deflector shield CVS four channel module (PSIM software compatible)¹
Barton dual quantizer² CVS Kurzweil ribbon controller¹
OMS-820 lag companion Synthmodules.com PSIM and SpeakJet²
DJB-021 pan-crossfade² CVS and PSIM I/O expansion module¹
5U Buchla 266 source of uncertainty² CVS and PSIM Programs¹
Flight Of Harmony plague bearer Arduino-based ComputerVoltageSource¹
Polivoks VCF²
5U E580 sampling mini-delay Synthesizer Restoration and Builds
Ian Fritz 'threeler' 3rd order VCF² Aries modules
DJB-020 tap tempo LFO¹ Buchla modules  Updated
Synthesizer XY laser² Loft 450 Delay Line/Flanger
Buchla pulser-crossfader-timbre generator² Milton Sequencer  New
5U E340 cloud generator² Moog modules  Photos  Updated
5U E350 morphing terrarium² Moog Sonic Six synthesizer
Magic Smoke TH-301 VC-LFO² PAiA 2720 Synthesizer
Bridechamber wogglebug² Papareil Labs Quantix-8²
LCD oscilloscope module² Roland System 100 - 140 module  New
Jürgen Haible polymoog® resonator² SCI Model 700 Programmer
Jürgen Haible living VCO² SCI Model 800 Sequencers
Neil Johnson voltage controlled LFO²
YUSynth fixed filter bank² Related Musical Projects
Blacet time machine Circle machine sequencer¹
   MIDI 88 note keyboard²
Modular Synthesizer Information MIDI bass pedals¹
Module listing by cabinet MIDI processor¹
Custom modules design files and photos¹ SpeakJet  speech synthesizer²
Purchased modules and modifications² Yamaha Tenori-On
Dotcom modules
Main cabinets & power distribution¹ Organs and more
Side cabinets & power distribution¹ Hammond B-3 and Leslie 142
Hammond M-3 tonewheel generator  Photos
Reference Information Hammond vibrato scanner module²
Modular synth tips Hammond zinc whiskers Photos
Parts and DIY information Organs, keyboards and amplifiers
Making PCB brackets   
440 Hz sine wave reference oscillator¹  Part for sale Electronics Projects and Repairs
Power supply sequencing¹ Electronic project information
PT2395 delay module² Electronic repairs and tips information
   Fender Tremolux Restoration
Sony TA-E88 Restoration
  

Photos, Videos, and Sound Samples

Photo album Hammond M-3 tonewheel generator
Video and Sound samples Hammond zinc whiskers
     

Synthesizer Projects

Modular Synthesizer

My modular synthesizer now consists of 114 modules including Analog Metropolis, Blacet, Bridechamber, Catgirl Synth, Encore, Roman Fillipov, Flight Of Harmony, Ian Fritz, Jürgen Haible, Larry Hendry, Magic Smoke Electronics, Moon Modular, MOTM, Natural Rhythm Music, Neil Johnson, Oakley Sound Systems, Synthcube, Synthesizers.comSynthmodules.com, and about two dozen of my own designs.

 

Synthesizer modules and external equipment index

Reference
Design files and photos for my custom modules¹

Design
Information, mods, and photos for purchased modules²

Design
Parts and construction information

Reference
MP3 samples of some of my favorite patches

Sounds

 

Modular CV Keyboard

I rebuilt an ARP-3604 keyboard with a wood cabinet and updated electronics.

Information & photos for my ARP CV keyboard²

Reference

 

Modular Cabinets and Power Distribution

I built a 19" rack cabinet (30 modules and 2U standard rack) and a four stack of wood cabinet (96U).  I later replaced the 19" rack cabinet with a four stack wood side cabinet (36U+10MU).

Info & photos of my initial 19 inch rack cabinet¹

Reference

Info & photos for my wood cabinets & power distribution¹

Reference

Info & photos for my side cabinets & power distribution¹

Reference

Info & photos for my power-on delay¹

Design
Info & photos for my rear AC mains module¹

Design

 

ComputerVoltageSource Module

      

I designed the ComputerVoltageSource module using an AtomPro28.  Features include:
     8 analog inputs (0 to 10 volt with 0 to -5 volt offset at 10 bit resolution)
     8 analog outputs (0 to 10 volt at 12 bit resolution)
     3 digital inputs
     MIDI in / out
     I2C expansion (for additional inputs and outputs)
     2x16 LCD display.

Info and photos for the ComputerVoltageSource module¹

Design

Info and photos for the ComputerVoltageSource display¹

Design
Information and photos for a four channel version¹

Design
Information and photos for a dedicated ribbon controller¹

Design
Arduino-based ComputerVoltageSource¹  New

Reference

 

Synth Display Modules

I built an external display using a 2x20 LCD module with MIDI or serial input and three display modes.

Information and photos for my external display module¹

Design

I built two dedicated displays for my programmable PSIM (2x8 LCD) and ComputerVoltageSource (2x16 LCD) modules.

Information and photos for my PSIM 2x8 display¹

Reference

Info and photos for the ComputerVoltageSource display¹

Reference

 

MIDI Bass Pedals

I built a set of MIDI bass pedals using Hammond organ pedals and an AtomPro24 controller.  Features include:
       Normal, Mono, and 'Sticky" modes (sticky=note held until next note played)
       Normal, One-Shot, and 'Sticky" arpeggiator modes
       5 built-in arpeggiator sequences and a user-recordable 100 note sequence
       Normal, -1 and +1 octave select
       MIDI in merge
       Internal or MIDI clock
       External LCD note display

Information and photos for my MIDI bass pedals¹

Design

 

88 Key MIDI Keyboard

I built an 88 key MIDI keyboard from a salvaged Kurzweil Ensemble Grand Mark III digital piano.  I used the original keyboard controller and built a custom wood cabinet.

Information and photos for my 88 note keyboard²

Reference

 

MIDI Processor

I built a MIDI processor which is self-powered and provides multiple transformations.  Features include:
     Key transpose
     Channel transpose
     Keyboard split
     Keyboard reverse
     Specific continuous controller transforms

Information and photos for my MIDI processor¹

Design

 

A440 Reference Oscillator

I designed a 440 Hz sine wave reference oscillator using only two 8 pin DIP components.

Information and photos for my A440 oscillator¹

Parts

 

Hammond Vibrato Scanner Module

I built an external electro-mechanical vibrato and chorus using a Hammond Organ scanner and delay line.  A small DC motor and speed controller varies the vibrato frequency.

Information and photos for my Hammond vibrato scanner

Design

 

AVR Synth

I built the AVR Synth PCB to have a small format synthesizer but never completed this project.

Information and photos for my AVR Synth

Reference

 

Synth Controlled Laser Light Module

My first laser was a modified Ramsey Electronics laser light (LLS1) with CV control of the motor speed.  I built an AVR plug-in that replaces the 555 timers to interface to my synth 5 volt CV levels.  Later I built a full X-Y laser for synthesizer CV control.

Ramsey LLS1 modification document²

Design

Synthesizer Laser²

Design

 

PAiA Fatman Mods

My son has a PAiA Fatman and we enhanced it with a number of modifications.  Some of the modifications were from various sites on the internet and some I designed.  I consolidated all the modifications into a single document.  Modifications include hard sync, lower frequency range, separate VCO attenuators, sub-octave generators and attenuators, ring modulator and attenuator, LFO filter modulator, and separate VCO tuner output.

PAiA Fatman modification documentation²

Reference

 

Organs, Keyboards, and Amplifiers

 I have information and photos of my various keyboards, amplifiers, Hammond organs, and Leslie speakers.

Info and photos for my organs, keyboards and amplifiers

Reference

Keyboard and organ studio layout

Reference

 

Electronic Projects and Restorations

This is my  non-synthesizer electronic projects page.   I have information and photos of two 70's stereos, projects such as an FM transmitter and scrolling display, and various repair and restoration information for amplifiers, speakers, and turntables.

Info and photos for my electronic projects

Reference

Info and photos for my electronic restorations and repairs

Reference

 

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