Tag: Dual function

Synthrotek DLY (Delay) – DIY Build

Synthrotek DLY (Delay) - DIY Build

Synthrotek DLY Kit

Delay, echo, reverb and distortion are all common effects for synthesis and in the world of modular synthesis, they make all the difference in the world. Synthrotek have had a long history of effects modules in their lineup and the DLY module is one of their finest.

The DLY is a PT2399 based delay module that can be dialed in to fit the users preferred range of delay due to the independent rate control. 

Another rad feature of the module is that unlike the ECHO module by Synthrotek, the DLY has a true wet/dry mix knob, giving the module its unique character and allowing it to be chained within the effects loop. Since fall was upon us, we decided to take on a couple of the companies legendary effects modules for our latest builds.

The PT2399...

Before we jump into the build video and all that jazz, let’s revisit an old friend of ours.. the PT2399 IC. You might recall a previous build of the Waveform Magazine PT2399 Delay module, where a karaoke module was converted into a delay module.

The Synthrotek DLY utilizes the same chipset. Aforementioned in the Waveform build, the PT2399 is a CMOS echo/delay processor developed by Princeton Technology Corp. It includes an ADC (Analog to Digital converter), 44Kb of RAM to store the samples and a DAC (Digital to Analog converter).

This chip was created as a simple solution to add delay/reverb/echo to karaokes and set-up entertainment systems. What does this all mean? This means that the chip is a perfect candidate for a delay module and the gang at Synthrotek decided to base a module around it.

Onward with the build ...

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Passive Multiples – DIY Quick Builds

Passive Multiples - DIY Quick Builds

Completed Passive Multiples

In the world of modular synthesizers, multiples are a staple in any system. While there are many different manufacturers of multiples, their primary function remains about the same. They are used to duplicate a signal to send it somewhere else in your system. The most common type of multiple is known as the passive multiple, or quick multiple being that it does not require power to function. They are basically a bunch of jacks wired together with no circuitry between them. You plug in your input in one jack and it sends to a series of outputs. It is that simple. 

Passive multiples not only come in a modular form (1U, 3U, 5U etc) but they come in other shapes and sizes. Jumper cables (or stacking cables), passive stars or trees are also other types of multiples. One of our featured previous builds was the Catwalk Series from Waveform Magazine. This was a very unique take on the passive mult being that it did not take up any space in our rack. It simply mounted on top of any other module to act as a  quick bridging module. It is definitely one of our favorite passives to utilize.  Basically, a passive multiple can be anything that can output to more than 1 output jack that takes no power.

~ Pure simplicity at its finest ~

Now, with all this talk of passive mults, there are some downsides to using them. Since they are not powered, unwarranted results could occur with internal circuitry or with throughput to other modules. Some modules have circuitry that is internally buffered and if you patch to one or more outputs, the output voltage could ultimately change causing a drop in signal or wave shape…. but we aren’t going to get too much into that.


Synthrotek Sequence 8 – DIY Build

Synthrotek Sequence 8 - DIY Build

Seq 8 - BW Snazzy

For our first DIY build of August we are taking on the Synthrotek Sequence 8, a classic sequencer with an easy to use interface. If you are like us, you know that the heart of any modular system consists of two key things; clocks and sequencers.

Clocks are important because they tell the sequencer or modules at what pace to send a trigger or gate. A clocks counterpart, the sequencer controls at what point the gate or trigger is sent to the corresponding module (ie. drums, percussion, oscillator, LFO, etc). 

These give modular music their rhythm and flow. Without clocks or sequencers, your modular performance would just randomly trigger sounds and it would sound like a train wreck.

We needed to add another sequencer to one of our racks, and after doing research the classic interface of the Synthrotek Sequence 8 just made sense. The Sequence 8 is described as an “analog 8-step sequencer that is a traditional 8-step sequencer with some extremely handy features.”  We knew it was what we were looking for and therefore, we ordered up a kit and we were well on our way. 

On with the build…

The Sequence 8 DIY kit consists of x2 PCBs and x1 Panel. There are a lot of knobs, pots and jacks to go along with the kit, so don’t get overwhelmed by that. Along with all of the aforementioned are LEDs, resistors, capacitors, headers, ICs and all the other components needed to assemble the module. 

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Synthrotek OBEY – DIY Build

Synthrotek OBEY - DIY Build

OBEY - Completed Front

Coming in hot this month is our build of the Synthrotek OBEY eurorack module. This dual-function module is one half envelope follower and one half attenuverter or offset generator.

On one side of the module, the OBEY can take inputs from piezos, guitars, drum machines and even microphones to trigger an envelope or gate into your eurorack system. The other side of the Synthrotek OBEY can attenuvert voltage sources in both positive or negative values (up to 2x times), giving this tiny module some hell of an impact on your performance/recordings.

Born from the Synthrotek nano series of modules, the OBEYs footprint is only 4HP wide. It has 4x LED sliders that control the various two sides of the module. Now, judging by our description, it seems overwhelming and complicated to use. It is not. Synthrotek has provided a lot of documentation and there are several YouTube videos out and about that show the OBEY being utilized.

NOTE: You can access the build docs and the manuals below in our “Quick Links” section below. 

Let’s get on with the build shall we?

Upon unpacking the module, you will notice that it comes with 2x PCBs and 1x panel. Set the smaller of the PCBs aside (it’s the control board that you mount jacks, sliders, etc to) and pick up the logic board. This is where we will start the build process.

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