A Few New Synth Projects

Here are photos of a few new synth projects I'm working on at my "micro-cottage" in Escondido.

The first of these is a repair / refurbish job on the Novation Nova I had as a kid. This digital polysynth is magnificently dirty sounding, and it has graced many of my early synthesis efforts (including the juvenile recordings in the previous post). Unfortunately, the knobs are cheap and prone to breaking. I replaced both rotary encoders, and easy fix. While I was in there, however, I gave it a complimentary sex change:

Before (okay, more like "during"...):


The synth works much better now that its outsides match its insides. On the next revision this thing will get a second coat and wood panels, possibly with a small vertical-facing rack with some analog modular accoutrements.

Another project is the nearly finished Mankato which I found nearly completed in a stash of nearly completed electronics projects from years gone by. I've ordered the remaining components and plan to finish the build this month. Here it is, it's the blue circuit board next to the Nova guts:

Wow, that's upside down. Oh well...

Finally, a longer-term synth DIY project emerged when I rediscovered a control panel donated to me by a behavioral neuroscience lab. The panel will both serve as a rack for my Mankato (and some friends):

The rack has a few of these modular switching cartridges, which appear to be a way to store patch topologies. I'll be connecting these to my existing modular system as well as to the new stuff on the panel (aiming for interoperability here):

Sorry for the rotated pictures... No time to fix.

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