DIY

evolving pots

still makes me anxious

modifying fancy synth

to improve the thing

To do the potentiometer upgrade to the DSI Evolver, you need to remove a few surface mount components from the voice board and bridge these contacts with a piece of wire. After doing the work and installing the pot board, I fired up the synth and the display went bonkers. The thing was totally broken.

To do the potentiometer upgrade to the DSI Evolver, you need to remove a few surface mount components from the voice board and bridge these contacts with a piece of wire. After doing the work and installing the pot board, I fired up the synth and the display went bonkers. The thing was totally broken.

Of course, I assumed it was my fault. After sending a few pictures and videos back and forth to the excellent support team at DSI, they sent me a new pot board. Still broken. So I sent them the voice board. They were flummoxed. They kept it for a month. Turns out my soldering was fine, the problem was a software bug they hadn't seen before.

Of course, I assumed it was my fault. After sending a few pictures and videos back and forth to the excellent support team at DSI, they sent me a new pot board. Still broken. So I sent them the voice board. They were flummoxed. They kept it for a month. Turns out my soldering was fine, the problem was a software bug they hadn't seen before.

Finally they got it working. When I got the board back, reassembled and powered up, I checked the firmware. It's now at 2.3, which is odd because the most up-to-date version on  their website  is 2.2. I called to ask what happened. Turns out they had one of their wizards actually write an OS update  just for my synth , to fix the issue with the pot board. How f'n cool is that? What hardware company would go this far out of their way to support a 10 year old synth that's no longer in production? I want to send these guys a fruit basket.

Finally they got it working. When I got the board back, reassembled and powered up, I checked the firmware. It's now at 2.3, which is odd because the most up-to-date version on their website is 2.2. I called to ask what happened. Turns out they had one of their wizards actually write an OS update just for my synth, to fix the issue with the pot board. How f'n cool is that? What hardware company would go this far out of their way to support a 10 year old synth that's no longer in production? I want to send these guys a fruit basket.

A little easter egg on the PCB!

A little easter egg on the PCB!



minibrute module

hey synthesizer

i do not like your keyboard

let me remove it

This synth lives on a rack shelf. The springy, superlight 2 octave keyboard was always more of a nuisance than an asset, so I got rid of it.

This synth lives on a rack shelf. The springy, superlight 2 octave keyboard was always more of a nuisance than an asset, so I got rid of it.

3/8" Baltic birch plywood, worked by hand til the fit was right.

3/8" Baltic birch plywood, worked by hand til the fit was right.

Nice box, dude. Now for some glue, screws and stain!

Nice box, dude. Now for some glue, screws and stain!

Got me a minibrute module! It's nice to still have the pitch and mod wheels intact.

Got me a minibrute module! It's nice to still have the pitch and mod wheels intact.


Blofeld

waldorf encoders

not so good from factory

capacitor fix

I thought the encoders on this little gem had gone bad. Jumpy, erratic performance and impossible to get smooth sweeps. I bought it used, but I got the impression that the previous owner hadn't used it much. So what gives? A little research revealed that this is actually a common issue from the factory--the software that reads the encoders doesn't do a great job of separating control data from noise (my understanding of this is pretty weak, but the way to modify the board to fix it is reasonably well documented.) Ta-da! Less than a dollar's worth of capacitors and a little solder and this thing works like a charm.

I thought the encoders on this little gem had gone bad. Jumpy, erratic performance and impossible to get smooth sweeps. I bought it used, but I got the impression that the previous owner hadn't used it much. So what gives? A little research revealed that this is actually a common issue from the factory--the software that reads the encoders doesn't do a great job of separating control data from noise (my understanding of this is pretty weak, but the way to modify the board to fix it is reasonably well documented.) Ta-da! Less than a dollar's worth of capacitors and a little solder and this thing works like a charm.