Bill and Will's MOTM Analog Synthesizer

We decided to build our Synth in late 2005 and contemplated its layout and began collecting materials for it.  When we actually began construction a bit more than a year later, in aught seven, Will and I started this site as a diary of our progress — really for our own reference — and at first, just for fun.  So then we listed the modules we built in chronological order - like a diary.  Recently, though, we've re-arranged this page so it's better for reference — by module name first.

The route we took has been, in a way, less practical than it might otherwise have been.  It would have been practical to focus on building modules needed to make sound soon.  To do that, we might have built a white noise generator, LFO, oscillator, A filter or two, and an envelope generator and VCA.

But, for a variety of reasons, we couldn't and therefore didn't follow that sort of course.  Instead, as we got the kits we'd ordered from Paul Schreiber, we built them.  And while we were waiting for shipments of kits, which came over a period of years, we built modules from other engineers too.  As we built them we did alive/dead testing but no more.  We put the modules away until we could get back to them later.

By the time we at last had the opportunity to build our synth cases starting in March 2010 we had built a lot of the modules.  Building the cases meant finally having power supplies readily available — and a enough critical modules — to begin real testing and calibration.  We built a stand for the keyboard controller.  We thought we were ready....

But life intervened.  It wasn't until June of 2011 that we began plugging the modules in and really testing them.  We started with the LFOs and they all worked fine.  We tried very simply plugging the keyboard into the MIDI converter and made some sound with one of the VCOs — a 310.  At least it made sound.  And so, for fun, we hooked up the EGs and ran into trouble.

We knew that some of the modules wouldn't work — I mean — it's completely predictable that we would make mistakes.

But life intervened again and so we didn't have time to resume testing by trouble-shooting the EGs until April of 2012.  And so as of now - April 2012 we are resuming work testing and trouble-shooting and calibrating.  We made a separate page documenting the process of making our way through testing the modules (here), but we wrote down our module-specific work on their respective construction pages.

The diagram above shows our cabinets with the modules we've already completed in white, the modules soon to be completed greyed-out, and the reach of the 20in MOTM standard power cables are the red arcs.  It also shows the power indicator LEDs per our power distribution plan.

We want to acknowledge the generous contribution of the Synth community in general in helping us in our endeavors - but we also want to thank some people in particular. (a list will go here)

The page has gotten so long that we made a table of contents:

Table of Contents

Construction notes and images in module name order

Construction (and snack) notes and images in chronological order

Helpful Information

Links to Others' Sites

Parts Suppliers

Snacks

Face-plate Drawings (now on their own page)

Construction notes and images in module name order
(MOTM stuff first):

MOTM 101 Noise / Sample & Hold

April 2007 -

MOTM 120 Sub Octave Multiplexer (with Tellun 120DB)

April 2007 -

MOTM 190 Micro Voltage Controlled Amplifier

April 2007 -

MOTM 300 Ultra Voltage Controlled Oscillator

November 2008 -

MOTM 310 Micro Voltage Controlled Oscillator

January 2009 -

MOTM 320 Voltage Controlled Low Frequency Oscillator (with Tellun 320DB)

June 2007 -

MOTM 390 Micro Low Frequency Oscillator

April 2007 -

MOTM 410 "Triple Resonant Filter with Dual VCLFO"

February 2009 -

MOTM 420 "Voltage-Controlled Filter"

February 2009 -

MOTM 420 "Voltage-Controlled Filter  - a Two Dot Oh project

October 2009 -

MOTM 440 "Discrete OTA Voltage-Controlled Lowpass Filter with VC Resonance"

September 2008 -

MOTM 480 "CS-80 Resonant Filter - with Richard Brewster's modifications (and a little of our own!)"

February 2010 -

MOTM 485 "GX-1 VCF"

February 2009 -

MOTM 485 "GX-1 VCF"  - a Two Dot Oh project

October 2009 -

MOTM 700 Dual 2:1 Voltage-Controller Router - a Two Dot Oh project

August 2009 -

MOTM 800 Envelope Generator (with Tellun 800DB)

March / April 2007 -

MOTM 800 Envelope Generator  - a Two Dot Oh project (with Tellun 800DB)

August 2009 -

MOTM 820 Lag Processor

February 2009 -

MOTM 830 Multi Mixer

Feb / May 2007 -

MOTM 830 Multi Mixer  - a Two Dot Oh project

November 2009 -

MOTM Power Modules 900 & 950

Feb / May 2007 to Dec 2008?

MOTM 910 Cascading Multiple

November 2009

Buchla Resonant Lopass Gate

July 2009 -

CGS 26 & 34 / Pugix Multiple Construction

January 2008 -

CGS63 "Power Delay"

September 2009 -

CGS65 "Tube VCA / Timbral Gate"

November 2008 -

CGS67 Active Real Ring Modulator

January 2011 -

DFA 875 Gabotronics Oscilloscope Module Construction

February 2010 -

DFA 930 Inverter / Multiple Construction

January 2008 -

Gino / DFA - SSM2044 VCF

June 2012 -

Ian Fritz - "Teezer" Through Zero VCO

January 2010 -

Jürgen Haible - Frequency Shifter

May 2008 -

Jürgen Haible - Interpolating Scanner and Chorus/Vibrato

April 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - "Krautrock" Phaser

December 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - "Living VCOs"

April 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - Subtle Chorus

August 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - Tau "Pipe" phaser

June 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - Trapeziod VCA

December 2010 -

Jürgen Haible - Triple Chorus

December 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - Wasp VCF

December 2010 -

Larry Hendry - JLH-822 - Octave / Semitone Voltage Switch

December 2010 -

Larry Hendry - JLH-831 - Interval Voltage Switch

December 2010 -

Magic Smoke Electronics / Thomas Henry TH-201 "Mankato Voltage-Controlled Filter / Oscillator / Slew Limiter"

February 2009 -

Music from Outer Space - Voltage Controlled Stereo Panner

September 2009 -

MOOG Transistor Matching Tester

December 2009 -

Oakley Sound Systems Envelope Follower / Gate Extractor

August 2009 -

Oakley Sound Systems Analogue Overdrive and Distortion Module

January 2011 -

Oakley Sound Systems Triple VCA

June 2010 -

Papareil Polivoks Filter

May 2010 -

Power To the People (Right On)
- Power Distribution

January 2010 -

Synth Case Design and Construction

March 2010

Synth Keyboard Stand Design and Construction

December 2011

Tellun 156 - "Neural Agonizer"  voltage controlled spring reverb processor

December 2009 -

Tellun 712 - "Doomsday Machine"  voltage controlled waveform animator

June 2007 -

Tellun 861 - "Dunsel"

August 2009 -

Tellun 867 - "Tellun 867 Tuner & Headphone Monitor"

November 2008 -

Tellun 904 - "Veeblefetzer" signal level meter

June 2008 -

YUsynth "EMS" Diode Ladder Filter

April 2009 -

YUsynth Fixed Filter Bank

September 2009 -

YUsynth Saw Animator

September 2008 -

   

Construction (and snack) notes and images in chronological order:

Feb / May 2007 to Dec 2008?

MOTM Power Modules 900 & 950

Feb / May 2007 -

MOTM 830 Multi Mixer

March / April 2007 -

MOTM 800 Envelope Generator (with Tellun 800DB)

April 2007 -

MOTM 101 Noise / Sample & Hold

April 2007 -

MOTM 120 Sub Octave Multiplexer (with Tellun 120DB)

April 2007 -

MOTM 190 Micro Voltage Controlled Amplifier

April 2007 -

MOTM 390 Micro Low Frequency Oscillator

June 2007 -

MOTM 320 Voltage Controlled Low Frequency Oscillator (with Tellun 320DB)

June 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - Tau "Pipe" phaser

June 2007 -

Tellun 712 - "Doomsday Machine"  voltage controlled waveform animator

December 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - Triple Chorus

December 2007 -

Jürgen Haible - "Krautrock" Phaser

January 2008 -

CGS 26&34 / Pugix Multiple Construction

January 2008 -

DFA 930 Inverter / Multiple Construction

May 2008 -

Jürgen Haible - Frequency Shifter

June 2008 -

Tellun 904 - "Veeblefetzer" Signal Level Meter

September 2008 -

YUsynth Saw Animator

September 2008 -

MOTM 440 "Discrete OTA Voltage-Controlled Lowpass Filter with VC Resonance"

November 2008 -

CGS65 "Tube VCA / Timbral Gate"

November 2008 -

MOTM 300 - "Ultra Voltage Controlled Oscillator"

November 2008 -

Tellun 867 - Tuner & Headphone Monitor"

January 2009 -

MOTM 310 - "Micro Voltage Controlled Oscillator"

February 2009 -

MOTM 820 - "Lag Processor"

February 2009 -

MOTM 410 - "Triple Resonant Filter with Dual VCLFO"

February 2009 -

MOTM 420 - "Voltage-Controlled Filter"

February 2009 -

MOTM 485 - "GX-1 VCF"

February 2009 -

Magic Smoke Electronics / Thomas Henry TH-201 "Mankato Voltage-Controlled Filter / Oscillator / Slew Limiter"

April 2009 -

YUsynth "EMS" Diode Ladder Filter

April 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - "Living VCOs"

April 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - Interpolating Scanner and Chorus/Vibrato

July 2009 -

Buchla Resonant Lopass Gate

August 2009 -

Jürgen Haible - Subtle Chorus

August 2009 -

MOTM 700 Dual 2:1 Voltage-Controller Router - a Two Dot Oh project

August 2009 -

Oakley Sound Systems Envelope Follower / Gate Extractor

August 2009 -

MOTM 800 Envelope Generator - a Two Dot Oh project (with Tellun 800DB)

September 2009 -

YUsynth Fixed Filter Bank

September 2009 -

Tellun 861 - "Dunsel"

September 2009 -

Music from Outer Space - Voltage Controlled Stereo Panner

September 2009 -

CGS63 "Power Delay"

October 2009 -

MOTM 420 Voltage Controlled Filter - a Two Dot Oh project

October 2009 -

MOTM 485 - "GX-1 VCF" - a Two Dot Oh project

November 2009 -

MOTM 830 Multi Mixer - a Two Dot Oh project

November 2009

MOTM 910 - "Cascading Multiple"

December 2009 -

Tellun 156 - "Neural Agonizer"  voltage controlled spring reverb processor

December 2009 -

MOOG Transistor Matching Tester

January 2010 -

Power To the People (Right On)
- Power Distribution

January 2010 -

Ian Fritz - "Teezer" Through Zero VCO

February 2010 -

DFA 875 Gabotronics Oscilloscope Module Construction

February 2010 -

MOTM 480 CS-80 Resonant Filter - with Richard Brewster's modifications (and a little of our own!)

March 2010 -

Synth Case Design and Construction

May 2010 -

Papareil Polivoks Filter

June 2010 -

Oakley Music Systems - "Triple VCA"

December 2010 -

Jürgen Haible - Trapezoid VCA

December 2010 -

Jürgen Haible - Wasp VCF

December 2010 -

Larry Hendry - JLH-822 - Octave / Semitone Voltage Switch

December 2010 -

Larry Hendry - JLH-831 - Interval Voltage Switch

January 2011 -

Cat Girl Synth - CGS67 Active Real Ring Modulator

January 2011 -

Oakley Sound Systems Analogue Overdrive and Distortion Module

December 2011 -

Synth Keyboard Controller Design and Construction

June 2012 -

Gino / DFA - SSM2044 VCF

   

Helpful Information

Tools List
Parts Lists / Bill of Materials for Synth Modules
Resitor Value Markings
Capacitor Value Conversions (μ, n, p)
Switchcraft jack configurations
Drawings of the Tellun MUUB2 Daughterboard.
Drawings of the Tellun MUUB3 Daughterboard.
Drawings of the Tellun MUUB4 Daughterboard.
Drawings of the Ken Stone / Bridechamber Buffer / Inverter PCB
John Loffink's "Chicklet" PCB
mrmike's Very Cool Module Library ppt File (for synth layout and design)
Keyboard Frequencies / Names of Notes
Technique for sorting resistors
Technique for soldering ICs into PCB
Technique for soldering Pots into PCBs
Technique for soldering Tempco Resistor into PCBs
Technique for stripping and tinning coax
Technique for attaching MTA Plug (Jill) to wires
Technique for matching transistors a lá MOOG
Technique for matching diodes
Panel Design á la Bill and Will

Links to Others' Sites

Synthesis Technology (Paul Schrieber)

Bridechamber (Scott Deyo)
Dave Brown
Hot Rod MOTM Shop (Dave Bradley)
Jürgen Haible
Music from Outer Space
Richard Brewster's Synthesizer
Tangentsoft - has some great info in the Audiologica and Electronics sections
Tellun Industries (Scott Juskiw)
YUSynth (Yves Usson)

http://www.modularsynth.net

Parts Suppliers

Bridechamber (Scott Deyo)
Digikey
Mouser Electronics
Newark Electronic Supplier
Vintage Planet

Snacks

Baked Salmon - pesto - MOTM 310
Bill's Burgers - Yusynth Saw Animator
Bill's Famous Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Dandelion Greens - MOTM 800
Fried Italian sausage with hot peppers and potatoes - MOTM 830
Corned Beef Hash Breakfast for Supper - JH Krautrock Phaser
Frutti Del Mare w/ broccoli - JH Tau Pipe
Lamb Leg Roast - MOTM 420
Lamb Shanks - MOTM 480
Lamb Rack - YUSynth EMS Diode Ladder Filter
Mike F's Incredible Chili - MOTM 320
Grandma's Meatloaf - MOTM 440
Grandma's Bison Stew - MOTM 120
Paella - Tellun 156 Neural Agonizer
Pot Roast - JH Triple Chorus
Reubin Sandwitch - MOTM 700
Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables - CGS65 Tube VCA
Scalloped Potatoes - MSE Mankato Filter
Steak Grilled on a Snowy Day - Yusynth Fixed Filter Bank
Slow Bread - CGS/Pugix

Face-plate Drawings

For a long time we had the face plate drawing here on this page, but the page got so long, That we moved them to their own page here.

 

Bill and Will's Synth Main Page
Send eMail to Dragonfly Alley

The fine Print:
Use this site at your own risk.
We are self-proclaimed idiots and any use of this site and any materials presented herein should be taken with a grain of Kosher salt. If the info is useful - more's the better.  Bill and Will

© 2005-2011 all frilling rights reserved