miércoles, 30 de enero de 2008

Keytar Night

My friend C.A. has recently gone into a keytar buying spree. Within a month or so, he managed to score 2 keytars from eBay. The first one he got was a non working russian synth, the Junost 21, pictured bellow, and the second one he got was a Lync LN 1000, also pictured bellow. The lync is actually a Midi controller, rather than a synth as the Junost is. So, since he had not seen/heard my avr synth and I had not seen/heard his keytars, we decided to meet yesterday for a "show me yours and I will show you mine" night.

So we tried the Lync conected to my avr synth. Here we have C.A. with the Lync:

Is that cool or what???? And now myself with the Lync (and the avr synth) in my "keytar pose" (not bad for a guitarist :-P ):

I was quite impressed with the lync, it was realy confortable to use and extremely cool. My friend is considering covering those pink/yellow/green button legends and logo, but I certainly consider he should not or he will remove its soul, its mojo...

And now the Junost 21... As I mentioned before, it is not working, so another reason for my visit at my friends place was to take the Junost home for service. Checked out the schematics from here but I am not sure if I will understand the comments in russian. Hopefully the problem will be something simple, otherwise it will probably go back to my friends place as it came (any help will be greatly appreciated). A picture of the Junost here (more to come soon, stay alert!!):

My conclussions from the keytar night were:
1) We need more keytars!!! if a midi controller manufacturer is reading this, please, buid a new keytar... and do not try to trick us as behringer did, adding a strap button to a regular midi controller (here and here), we want a proper keytar!!!!
2) I need to learn some russian.

UPDATE: my friend is selling the Lync. More info here.

lunes, 28 de enero de 2008


A Kazooka is an electric Kazoo (AKA trompetilla eléctrica, for those from spain). I found out about it from this post in MusicThing. I listened to the samples in here, checked the price ($20) and told myself... got to have one... 3 weeks later a parcel from Texas came home with my kazooka. I recorded the following samples, using some of my diy guitar pedals (wah-SansAmp-Small Stone-Pulsar Tremolo, IIRC):


Here is a picture from the electrickazoo webpage:

jueves, 24 de enero de 2008

Freescale new DSP development platforms

Freescale has announced a couple of DSP development platforms which sound pretty interesting for the DIY Musician. The first one was made with the help of Line6 and aims mostly to the stompbox people:


I assume it will be cased like the other tonecore pedals from line6 but they will add a USB port to allow re-programmability.

The other development platform is this one:


Which has a more general purpose (synths, effects, whatever...).

I have worked in the past with Freescale development platforms for their starcore chips and I did not like them at all, they were full of switches, jumpers and trimmers, but this board seems to be quite nicely done.

domingo, 13 de enero de 2008

AVR Synth update

I have just uploaded a sample of how the AVR synth sounds like here:

The Drum sound comes from a PC sequencer, which is also generating the arpeggio that repeats again and again (and again and again and again...) while I change the AVR Synth settings. Not very musical sample, but a good way to show what the AVR Synth can do.

sábado, 12 de enero de 2008

New case for my AVR Synth

I had some trouble painting my Big Muff Pi clones so, while waiting for the paint to dry, I decided to finish recasing my AVR synth. Since I bought the PCB from Elby Designs, it had been living in many different temporal cases (all of them made of cardboard), so it was about time to get it a new stable home. Enough writting, check out the pictures (click the images for a bigger view):

A closer look:

And now the guts:

For those of you who have not heard about the AVR Synth before, it is a monophonic virtual analog MIDI synth based on an AVR Atmega16 Microprocessor, check the link above for more info. I did not put any labels on knobs or switches, because I plan to use the AVR Synth as an open platform in which to test my AVR assembler programming skills.

Check this post for a sound sample.

jueves, 3 de enero de 2008

What am I up to these days?

Yes... I am making a Big Muff Pi, actually I am making two of them. More pictures soon.