Wednesday, August 27, 2014

'Nother Hotel Sesh (Minibrute SE & Werkstatt Jam)

A positive to traveling for my day job is having uninterupted downtime in a hotel.  I try to bring gear with me when possible.  This time I rolled out with an Arturia Minibrute SE and the modded Moog Werkstatt.  The Minibrute is on the left side and the Werkstatt on the right.  Everything was recorded onto a Tascam DR-40.  The main track was laid down and then overdubbed the more percussive parts.  The Werkstatt is by far one of the most enjoyable synths I've played in a long time (with the added mods of course).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

LSW now on Vimeo

Decided to make the switch to Vimeo.  From now on all of the "Video Series" video's will be posted there.  Be sure to head over and follow.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

LSW 13

Finally took the werkstatt for a proper test drive with the eurorack so I could get a decent demo of it in action utilizing some of the mod's.  It starts the video out.  The LFO is being modulated by Mutable Instruments Tides (slope is being modulated by a Make Noise DPO in LFO mode.  The V/Oct is controlled by a sequence).  The combined modulation of the Werkstatt LFO with it's own rate and Tides creates interesting variations of the rate. The Werkstatt LFO is controlling the PWM.  The sequence is from Make Noise Rene.  The VCF Out on the Werkstatt is going into a passive diode clipper (this is a prototype and part of a small line of devices that I am working on getting manufactured).  Drums are handled by Mutable Instruments Peaks.  The clicky hi-hat-y part is a Mutable Instruments Braids.  The other sequence is a Make Noise STO controlled by a clocked set of Pressure Points..  Some Concertmate MG-1 "Bell Tone" for filler added.  Then just some reverb and delay.

Video Series page updated

Just added a 2nd youtube playlist. This one features videos of people using their LSW built synths in the wild. Good stuff!

Check it

Ambika does TRON!

Here's a fantastic cover of Derezzed by Synthway on an Ambika built by LSW!  We love to see our builds in action, so please let us know if there's vid's or songs out there using LSW builds and we'll put it up!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Moog Werkstatt Mod's Breakdown

I've received several requests detailing the mod's that I added to the werkstatt (which are seen in the video below), so, here's the list.


GATE: This one requires the most work.  There is no direct way to trigger the envelopes without modifying the circuit board.  A trace is cut, then wired to a switched jack, so when nothing is plugged in, the envelope is triggered by the keyboard.  When a jack is insterted, the connection is broke and the external gate will trigger the envelope.  There is a small circuit added (an op-amp and some resistors) to the input to stabilize the voltages going in.  Basically making sure that the voltage used is consistent and doesn't suffer from voltage drop.

VCO EXP: Jack wired directly to the patch point.  This is the 1V/Oct Input.  This input requires calibration of trimmer on the circuit board.

VCO LIN: Jack wired directly to the patch point.  Linear scaling.

LFO: Jack wired directly to the patch point.

VCA:  Jack wired directly to the patch point

CUTOFF FREQ: Jack wired to the VCF IN patch point.

AUDIO:  There is a jumper on the circuit board that's between the VCO Output and the VCF Input.  I removed the jumper and wired a switching jack in it's place so when nothing is plugged in, the VCO is fed into the filter.  When a jack is inserted, the VCO is silenced and the audio from the jack will pass through the filter only.  There are 2 reasons why I did this.

  1. There is no way of silencing the VCO, so whatever audio is sent through the filter will be blended with the VCO
  2. The VCO, to me, is sent to the VCF a little too hot.  This way, with an external attenuator I can regulate the volume of the VCO.  Also, it makes it easier to mix in other audio sources, such as other VCO's.

VCF: Jack wired directly to the patch point

LFO TRI & Square, VCO Saw & Square: Jack wired to the waves directly, regardless of the switches position.


As the panel is custom one-off's which are ordered per job, I can change what jacks are added.  The panel I added to mine made the most sense for what I wanted, but you could have a competely different idea, like putting the keyboard and env CV OUT on jacks to control outboard gear with the werkstatt 1 octave keyboard.  Or, changing a jack to PWM Or, ditch one of the jacks to add a switch to turn the VCO to filter ON/OFF (or a potentiometer for volume control but this would require the space of 2 jacks).  If you have some idea's, send me an email and we'll go over the options.


Panel: $35. These are custom and made to order.  There is a 2 week lead time before they arrive.

Full Mod: $120.  This includes labor and all parts needed for the panel above. Any customizations may alter the price.  

NOTICE:  ANY MODIFICATIONS TO THE MOOG WERKSTATT WILL VOID THE WARRANTY!  Which is kinda funny because I work for a manufacturer and a large part of my job is warranty work.  But, unfortunately I don't work for moog, so the only warranty I can offer is on the work I do.  None of the mod's will damage the synth, so no worries there.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

LSW 11

I recently traded some unused eurorack modules for a Roland MC-202. This be me first x0x. I have never played one so I didn't really know what to expect. I had thought it would be just like an SH-101. Plug in a CV Keyboard and play away. Nope! Found out real quick the CV & GATE in go through the 202 processor and get quantized and snapped to tempo. Thankfully Dinsync has some good "how-to's" on his blog. Once I finish with the mod's I'll put together a proper post with documentation (like adding a switch to get the LFO rate from 30 sec to audio rate).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

LSW 10

For the most part, the Prodigy is extremely simplistic in design. It doesn't have the ability to adjust or modulate pulse-width. The LFO only has 2 shapes and 2 destinations (pitch & cutoff). The envelopes don't have a dedicated release. It doesn't have noise or S&H. Then, to top it off, I have an early model, so it doesn't have any CV IN/OUT. I could mod it, but I'm just not into drilling holes into this thing. But, despite all of it's shortcomings, it is, without a doubt, one of the best mono synth's I have ever owned. The filter is amazing and the VCO's sound incredible. I've had a lot of mono synths come and go, but this one is a mainstay for sure.

The 90's (especially the mid 90's)was a fantastic musical period (personally anyway). I was done with High School and had no ambitions other than going to shows and hanging with friends. I spent a lot of time at Fireside Bowl (those from the chicagoland area should know this venue and how amazingly important it was to the music scene). Just about every show there was memorable. Most of them get lost in the mix of memory, but a couple shine through. Most of the time, the memorable performance was one of the opening acts that I had never heard before. Specifically this show on 7/21/96. I was there to see Anal Cunt and Charles Bronson. But who I was not prepared for were Flying Luttenbachers and Xerobot. Both bands were fucking incredible. To this day I think of the Xerobot performance as a major influence on me. It was one of my first exposures to a band using analog synths in very unconventional ways. And the Flying Luttenbachers, well, they're just legendary.

Since the early 2000's I've fallen out of the "scene". I can only hope that under everything there are still kids in bands doing things nontraditional and playing in some of the worst venues ever. Sometimes it feels like the internet has spoiled that idea, but that could just be me and my old dumb age blaming things on my oldness and out-of-touchness.

Anyway, I started this post with a direction, but now I don't care so...