Tag: gallery

Synthrotek Power Pak, Adapt and S. Mult – DIY Builds

Synthrotek Power Pak, Adapt 1/4 and Stereo Buffered Mult - DIY Builds

In the vast world of modular synthesis, one has to have many tools at their disposal to get the sounds they desire. Synthrotek has recently released a set of modular tools (modules) that have small footprint in ones case, but provide a big impact to some common simple issues. 

We picked up the Stereo Buffered Mult, the Power Pak as well as the Adapt 1/4 (Quarter); an adapter module that allows you to mix and match cable types/sizes. If you would like to jump to a particular build, use the quick links to the right.

For the most part, these builds are quick and any novice builder could tackle these as their first DIY projects. The panels are the standard black with a green PCB and of course the gang over at Synthrotek provide a printed BOM with each kit. Relatively inexpensive, you can purchase them below or directly from Synthrotek. 

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Synthrotek Quadrangle – DIY Build

Synthrotek Quadrangle - DIY Build

The Synthrotek Quadrangle is a quad cascading triggered envelope generator with bipolar output attenuversion and is 20HP module with a lot of versatility. With 4 cascading envelope generators and user voltage control over attacks and decay/release, this module is in a class all to itself. 

As the fall season slowly began creeping in, we decided to go back and see what kits we had left to build for the year. To our surprise, we totally forgot that we had the mysterious Quadrangle from Synthrotek up on our build wall. This was partially due to the studio remodel and the continuous go go go of daily life. 

The Kit...

When we opened up the kit, the first thing we noticed was the size of the boards. This was a BIG module. 20HP to be exact. It consisted of 2 PCBs and one panel. We ordered the kit with the black panel but Synthrotek also offers a silver panel. As this kit was a big one, we knew we where in good hands with the amount of build data there would be available.

Included in the kit was a printed BOM as well as all the components you need to complete the kit.

Intermediate to advanced builders will not have an issue with this build, whereas novice builders could struggle due to tight soldering pads. 


Erica Synths SWAMP – DIY Build

Erica Synths SWAMP - DIY Build

The Erica Synths SWAMP is a random CV and audio generator inspired by the famous Wiard Wogglebug module; it’s often the heart of self-generating patches and brings controllable randomness to any modular system.

Synthrotek did the world of DIY builders a solid by putting together these hard to find discontinued kits, and we have been wanting to get our hands on the SWAMP for a long time…and now you can too!

Purchase Quick Links: 

Erica Synths SWAMP – DIY KIT

Erica Synths SWAMP – Fully Assembled

Erica Synths SWAMP – Panel/PCB/IC

Before hoping straight into the build, let’s take a step back and highlight what separates this module from the original Wobblebug. 

The Erica Synths SWAMP module introduced numerous modifications and improvements to extend the potentiometer range. It added an audio input, which, when connected, replaced the internal Tone oscillator, and the expensive dual vactrol.

The S&H (sample and hold) circuit was build around the Riga S&H IC (AS1100CK2) and ES added audio waveform selection switches, CV output configuration jumpers and much more. All of these are reasons to have just one in your rack!

To sum everything up, the Erica Synths SWAMP is an advanced multi-level kit that can pose a few challenges for even the experienced builder. Packed and distributed by Synthrotek, the entire DIY line of modules is now available for you to take on! (so we had to)


Erica Synths Dual VCA II – DIY Build

Erica Synths Dual VCA II - DIY Build

Completed Rear - Dual VCA II

On with the build....

Fresh off the build table comes Erica Synths Dual VCA II. The module itself is apart of the open source DIY kits that are available via the Erica Synths Github.

Our friends over at Synthrotek have painstakingly taken it upon themselves to part out these kits and package them up to make them accessible by all DIY enthusiasts. VCA’s or voltage controlled amplifiers are modules that every rack contains.

This module is a Polivoks-inspired VCA that is 35mm deep, skiff friendly, has solid mechanical construction and doesn’t require wiring.  Who could pass this one up? We couldn’t! 

In the end, the Erica Synths Dual VCA II is like all other kits in that the BOM is comprised of the basics … resistors, diodes, capacitors, pots and jacks. There might be a few other surprise components in there, but all in all, these are what make up the kit.

Start by laying out all of the components and the x3 boards. This kit contains a control board and a logic board so you will be going back and forth between the two boards when placing components. Resistors, diodes and ferrite beads are first up.

Diodes have polarity so prior to tacking these down, you have to make sure they are placed in the correct orientation. We used top down soldering to make quick work of these.