Tag: distortion

Neutral Labs MEG – DIY Build

Neutral Labs MEG - DIY Build

As many of  you know, we have a thing for unusual musical equipment or modular gear. There are a few manufacturers out there that really turn our heads and open our wallets. It easily goes without a doubt that Neutral Labs is one of these manufacturers. As you may recall, Neutral Labs created the Elmyra, a small desktop synth inspired by the Lyra-8. They also created the NERMAL eurorack module which quite literally mangled anything we threw at it.

Their latest module, the MEG is a waveshaper like no other that we have in our racks. It was a definite must have kit to get as soon as it was announced. 

What is the MEG?

The MEG is a waveshaper plain and simple, but it is very unique. Unlike normal waveshapers, that fold the wave back in on itself, the MEG shifts parts of the wave up or down. This shift is also adjustable and pulse-width modulation (and more) is also inherently added. Now, this sounds really confusing and trust us… it was when we heard it too. Thankfully Neutral Labs sent over this diagram to show how this folding occurs. (see below). 


FRUKU B0B – DIY Build

FRUKU B0B - DIY Build

While there are many 808 Kick modules on the market, none are quite like the B0B from FRUKU, a designer out of the Netherlands. The B0B is FRUKU’s first solo module and all we can say is that it packs one hell of a punch.

Now, you might be asking yourself, where have you heard the name FRUKU before? A few months back, we built and featured the Veratrum, a new module by Reverse Landfill and guess who… FRUKU! 

The B0B is unique in that even though it is an 808 kick drum, it has a clipping parameter that accepts CV to control the amount of grit you want to add. The module features a decay, tone and volume pot as well. It’s black panel mimics that of the Veratrum and a lot of the modules produced by our friends at Reverse Landfill. 

Links and more links…

Below are a series of links that have been provided by FRUKU to help assist with the use, building and buying of the B0B.

Of course, we are here for you as well if you have any questions while building the module. Just hit us up on our Contact Page.

Let’s get on with the build…


Neutral Labs Elmyra – DIY Build

Neutral Labs ELMYRA - DIY Build

As we bring in the new year, we took a look back to see what we were missing in our studio. We were looking for something unique, something with guts, something to kick a little more ass in the upcoming year.

The neutral labs Elmyra was our answer. This synth was going to be a new type of build for us since this synth was a standalone and not a modular one. We were up for the challenge. In case you were looking for our previous build of the NL NERMAL, it can be found here.

We picked up our white paneled Elmyra kit from our friends over at Synthcube, who also offer the black paneled version as well. It runs on USB power which gives the synth a lot of flexibility. Beginners can rejoice too, its a fairly simple build that took a little over an hour to complete. With that being said, let’s jump into the build. 

What is the Elmyra?

With our love for the SOMA Lyra-8, think of the Elmyra as a “smaller” version of it. According to the neutral labs website, the Elmyra is “a digital/analog hybrid drone synthesizer and platform for sonic exploration inspired by the widely beloved Lyra-8”. It is played in the similar fashion as the Lyra-8 as well with its 6 metal finger pads. With a 10-bit audio resolution, its oscillators gives it a gnarly gritty soundscape…. just right for our tastes. 

As with our previous neutral lab build (the NERMAL), the documentation is clear and concise. It is available via the neutral labs website, along with a user manual and schematics. Another cool thing about the way the kit is packaged is that all of the components are grouped into bags so that all of them can be identified without having to look up resistor codes. Talk about a considerate thing to do for the builder! 


Music Thing Modular Mini Drive – DIY Build

Music Thing Modular Mini Drive - DIY Build

Music Thing Modular (or MTM as we shall call it), is a range of eurorack modules designed in Herne Hill, London by Tom Whitwell. The MTM Mini Drive is the latest module of Tom’s and it is beginning to make some waves in the modular community. Like all of Tom’s other modules, the Mini Drive is open source module that is a Drive/Distortion module inspired by the classic Minimoog input gain.

Needless to say, this thing packs a lot of punch in a tiny 4HP size. As Tom puts it “Using this module is a great way to make a polite sound source into something less polite, but always experiment with the levels!”. After seeing the debut of the module, we knew we had to pick one up and get it on the build table. 

Onward....

We ordered our kit from THONK in the UK. As many DIYers know, this is THE place to find all of the MTM kits. The Mini Drive is the first of the MTM series that only comes in a black panel and it has a bulb to show signal intensity. These two things really set the Mini Drive apart from its brethren modules.

Another thing to be aware of is that the Mini Drive kit comes with all surface mount parts come pre-soldered, making this a perfect kit for beginners.