This is the first post of my journal. The purpose of this blog is mainly to track the construction of my MOTM modular synthesizer:
If you’re new to synthesizers, this is ancient technology. The first synthesizers that made bleeps and bloops in “A Clockwork Orange” and “Switched On Bach” were modular synthesizers. They use discrete circuits to make pure, synthesized tones, and these circuits can be patched together various ways for interesting (or annoying, depending on your taste) sounds. I building one because a) it’s cool, b) I’m a geek and c) I like to make weird noises with synthesizers. Sure, you can get close with computer software, but digital sounds just don’t have any soul.
When I say I’m building a modular synth, I am actually constructing it with solder and resistors and things. MOTM allows you to order kits and provides a safety net for when things go wrong. My last attempt at a project did not go so smoothly. I tried to build an 1176 compressor starting from nothing but a PDF. I etched my own boards, drilled them, ordered parts, put them together and nothing happened. Of course. You can see the resultant mess here:
MOTM kits look much more friendly. They package up the parts for you, give you the pre-made board, and fix it for $5 if you think it doesn’t work properly. This sounds much more manageable. But we shall see.