Modular Synthesiser

[Picture of the modular synthesiser]

Above is my modular analogue synthesiser, as of September 2012, comprising of modules from, STG Soundlabs, MegaOhm Audio, and some stuff I built myself. As you can probably notice, compared to earlier photos, the synth has expanded into a second cabinet. Within the near future, a third cabinet will be begun.

When first choosing a synthesiser to construct from modules, there were quite a few formats to choose from. I was attracted to the ones from as they were affordable, well built, and had excellent reviews. They also had the classic look and form factor of the Moog modules. This is a decision I certainly don't regret.

I began by purchasing the Rack-8 system as it offered a basic lot of modules to get me started with. A few months later I purchased a 22 space portable case and a second lot of modules. Around this time I got in contact with the Suit & Tie Guy of STG Soundlabs and purchased a few from him as well. After some time away from synths, I returned to the interest mid-2012 and my system grew somewhat.

Being a modular system, it has the ability to grow and grow it shall. The above photo will change along with the system, and old photos shall be linked to at the bottom of this page. I planned to stop at one cabinet but it has spilled over into a second and now a third will soon be required. At this point, September 2012, I am awaiting the arrival of a few more modules and have some to build.

A big thanks goes to Roger and Margo Arrick of, and especially to the Suit & Tie Guy of STG Soundlabs for his assistance, encouragement, and entertainingly informative YouTube demos. Additional thanks goes to Ben Marshall at Re:Synthesis for making me some lovely panels, Ray Wilson at Music From Outer Space for great DIY projects and PCBs, Tim Parkhurst at Magic Smoke, Laurie Biddulph at Elby Designs, Ken Stone of CatGirl Synths, and Phil at MegaOhm Audio for the bloody awesome CdS VCF/A module. Yep, thanks all!

As of October 2012, my synthesiser consists of the following modules:

DotCom Q137 Power Control & Interface - AC in; DC out; fuse and power switch.
DotCom Q103 DC Power Interface - DC power input to other modules in a separate cabinet.
DotCom Q106 Oscillator (x3) - sine, tri, saw, ramp & pulse waves; PWM; hard sync; lin & log FM; 1V/oct.
DotCom Q110 Noise Source - white, pink and subsonic.
DotCom Q109 Envelope Generator (x2) - ADSR.
DotCom Q105 Slew Limiter
DotCom Q107 State Variable Filter - LP, HP, BP and notch; 12dB/oct.
DotCom Q150 Transistor Ladder Filter - Moog-style 24dB/oct LP filter, 12dB/oct switch.
DotCom Q108 Voltage Controlled Amplifier - lin and log response.
DotCom Q116 Ring Modulator
DotCom Q112 4-Channel Mixer
DotCom Q117 Sample & Hold - internal and external clock.
DotCom Q118 Instrument Interface - amplifier, envelope follower, trigger and gate generator.
DotCom Q125 Signal Processor - amplifier, inverter, voltage offset.
DotCom Q130 Clipper & Rectifier
DotCom Q115 Reverb - Spring reverb unit.
DotCom Q124 Multiples
STG Sea Devils Filter - 18dB/oct EMS-style diode ladder LP filter.
STG Post-Lawsuit Lowpass Filter - 24dB/oct ARP 4072-style filter.
STG Wave Folder - a marvellous device that adds harmonics.
STG Noise Buffet - white, lowpass, highpass, & "grainy" noise; random trigger; based on the Noise Cornuccopia PCB by Ray Wilson.
STG Signal Amplifiers - two VCAs with log response, one VCA with lin response.
STG Attenuators - clone of the Moog 995 module.
STG Mankato Filter - LP filter with 6, 12, 18, and 24dB/oct outputs; can also be used as a quadrature sine oscillator and VC slew; based on the PCB by Magic Smoke.
STG Pulse Matrix - Sub-oscillator and clock divider with variable threshold.
STG Mixer - Transistor based mixer with positive and negative phase outputs, and variable offset voltages normalled to two of the inputs. Based upon the Moog CP3 Mixer.
STG Multiples
Cyndustries Zeroscillator - Through-zero oscillator made for dynamic linear FM synthesis, and includes additional quadrature outputs with wave morphing. Pretty cool.
MegaOhm CdS VCF/A - based on the Buchla Low Pass Gate but with extra features.
CGS Tube VCA - VCA utilising a Russian subminiature tube which can add significant distortion.
Grant Richter Wogglebug - based on the Buchla Source Of Uncertainty, this thing is a source of signal chaos.
MFOS 16-Step Rotary Sequencer - 16-step sequencer with switchable gates, forward, reverse, portamento, etc etc. Lots of fun!

I also have a few modules that need to be built or completed.

STG Yves Usson Dual Gate Delay
YuSynth J. Haible Tau Pipe Phaser

Here are more photographs:

Humble beginings - January 2009
Three quarters full - April 2009
Almost full - August 2009
Full with unused extras - January 2010