seqSQUARED is a do it yourself (“DIY”) kit and eurorack assembled module for analog modular synthesis. It will be available shortly in multiple package options:
- Fully assembled and tested Eurorack module
- Eurorack kit (for DIY)
- Universal kit (for DIY)
- Bare PCB + Microcontroller (for DIY)
It takes up to four sequencers’ CV and Gate as input and allows you to arrange them into larger patterns up to 32 steps in length. It generates patterns much the same way you would in Fruity Loops or other software, except with analog hardware.
It is a perfect companion to an array of hexinverter.net sympleSEQs!
It works very similarly to the many sequential switches available on the market today, like the Doepfer A-151 or Fonitronik switch, except that it is programmable. Meaning, you can program arbitrary patterns of sequences to make musical arrangements, not just go A, B, C, D, repeat, like with most sequential switches.
This module is meant to FEEL analog. It uses potentiometers and 5mm LEDs, NOT LCDs or menu-driven editing. Because of this analog user interface, it is quite fast and painless to program once you have used it for a few minutes.
Once everything has settled down after pre-orders are shipped, kits and modules will be available in hexinverter.net’s online shop as well, at:
Here’s a new treat for 8bit synth fans, check out the SJS-ONE.
SJS-ONE is a software defined 8-bit mono synthesizer with a dual (series) MAX261, switch-cap filter, which we are, as far as we know, the only ones to use at this point in a DIY-synthesizer.
The synthesizer has some interesting history that has certainly colored its development and ultimately it’s sound. The initial version was developed as an instructional workshop for a synth-event called SyltJam in 2011. The workshop idea was to show people how quickly you can design the basic hardware and software required to produce a platform for versatile audio and music generation.
As it turned out, people liked it’s sound so much that we decided to refine the design – which more or less involved adding peripheral components to increase configurability and improve on stability and ESD, ground-mismatch and noise sensitivity while keeping the actual design minimal and simplistic.
It’s beginnings are as humble as it’s production – less than 50 of these have been made available and all parts are hand assembled and hand soldered, while the manual is hand drawn and cases hand painted.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this synth is the choice of digital platform – the Arduino. We did not want to build something static and opted to keep the Arduino instead of adding an on-board microcontroller. Because this will make it so much easier to modify the functionality of the synth firmware provided by us, or to write your own software with a completely unique sound using the vast community support that is available for the Arduino platform.
All aspects of the synth can be fully controlled by designing your own custom firmware and we sincerely hope that people will share their firmware in the spirit of the open source and hardware that inspired us to drive this project from idea to final product.
The MFOS Alien Screamer Noise Box is a great introduction to synth-diy electronics. This simple circuit can really make a lot of cool sounds and it has a speaker and amp built in. It runs off of one nine volt battery and draws very little current. PC boards are available and kits will be soon also. You can find the entire project here: http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/index.php?MAINTAB=SYNTHDIY&PROJARG=ALI…
Here is the first demonstration video of the MacBeth micromac -r 3U Eurorack module. This short video will give you some idea of the smooth sound of this synthesizer! There is some interesting lead and bass going on here…I’m using a Korg Prophecy as a keyboard controller and a Kenton Pro4 to drive the micromac!
The SMR-4 board comprises a 4-pole VCF (a jumper can be moved to provide a 2-pole output) with voltage-controlled resonance, a linear VCA, and a +/- 5V regulated power supply powering all those (and the digital section upstairs).
00:00 start ov transmisison, 1 osc, wav forms
03:20 2 osc
04:20 duophonic mode
07:00 arpgiator, sequencer, sound
23:23 starting a new sequence
27:34 drone, modulations explorations
42:00 end ov transmission
shruthi sound + reverb & sometimes delay
Mutable Instruments has announced the Ambika – a new DIY polyphonic synthesizer.
Translucent, polyphonic, DIY and even a bit sexy – the Ambika will allow for six voices. It can be configured so that all of the voices have the same synth design or with unique synth designs on a per-channel basis.
“It’s huge,” they note, “And it draws a lot of power!”
Mutable Instruments Ambika Features:
- Up to 6 voices, each with an individual output — in addition to a global mix output.
- MIDI channels/patches/voices are distinct entities, allowing many different flexible configurations, from 6 independent monophonic parts each on a different MIDI channel, to 1 polysynth, with everything in-between (unison, keyboard split, layering, voice doubling).
- Connectors for up to 6 voicecards. In true Mutable Instruments spirit, you can mix and match voicecards with different filters, and in the future with different synthesis engines.
- Easy to use sound programming interface with a large 2×40 LCD display, 8 knobs, 8 switches and 15 bicolor LEDs. Each module of the synthesis engine has a page, each page has a direct access button.
- Massive patch memory, easy backup/data exchange, fast firmware upgrades with the integrated SD card reader. And there might be other things you’ll load from the SD card in the future…
- Patch versioning and undo/compare/redo of editing operations.
- Sequencer, arpeggiator and rhythmic chord generator available for each part. 2 step-sequences per part. Each part can be clocked at a different multiple of the MIDI clock.
- And of course: DIY friendly, through-hole assembly.
I’m experimenting with different sequencer approaches on the Launchpad. The code is running on a DIY microcontroller board, turning the Launchpad into a standalone MIDI hardware sequencer.
In this clip the top 6 rows of the Launchpad grid are mapped to MIDI notes (counting along and upwards from note C3). When the step counter in the lower 2 rows hits a green square it plays the next green note selected in the grid, same goes for red notes.
A yellow square in the step counter plays next red and green notes together. A yellow note in the grid behaves like both a red and green. The result is two cycling note lines that fall in and out of synch with each other depending on how many notes are selected of each colour. It comes out kind of hypnotic and spooky – not really what I was originally going for, but I ran with it anyway.
The hardware is an FTDI VNC2 chip on a DIY board. I am fighting with the buggy IDE and compiler to try to get a useful standalone hard sequencer/control surface from the Launchpad.
seqSQUARED is a programmable voltage controlled switch used to generate complex patterns with multiple analog step sequencers. It is designed to be used in a modular synthesizer and will be available in Eurorack kit and assembled form, as well as many other DIY formats.
For more information, and to preorder, check out the project funding page at Indiegogo:
This is a demonstration of the features of the new Vari-Clock Quantizer for the MFOS 16 Step Sequencer.
“You can make one yourself but it’s a very challenging project and I don’t recommend it for people just getting started. Seasoned synth-diyers will have no problem with this project. PC boards will be available in a few weeks if you’re interested (sometime in June 2012).”
Here is a link to the project:
- Each step’s duration can be set independently.
- Each step’s duration is settable from 1 to 16 clock cycles.
- Main clock adjustment affects all steps equally.
- Clock selection: Quantized or Normal
- Two gate/trigger modes: Single per step and Multi per step.
- External clock supported.
- Clock out supported.
DIY shift register sequencer module for Eurorack modular synth. Full details: musicthing.co.uk/modular/?page_id=21
Music Thing Random Sequencer:
The Random Sequencer is a circuit that produces clocked randomly changing control voltages. These can also be locked into loops that repeat every 8, 16 or 32 steps.
This is an open hardware project – all the project files (Eagle CAD projects, Gerbers PCB files, a Mouser BOM and Illustrator/PDF front panel designs) are available on this page, covered by a Creative Commons Attribution Share-a-like license, which allows for commercial use.
This is a relatively advanced DIY project, and I’m not able to provide support. I am not selling PCBs, kits or finished modules, but hopefully all the information you’d need to get your own is here.