I was hoping I could read the markings on those ICs to get an idea about the circuits they are using but the pictures are too blured…
How did everyone’s builds go? Got mine done eventually. Was a pain, but I’ve had fun with it. Luckily I had another T-8 screwdriver or else screwing into the standoffs would have been impossible since the threads are very tight. Had to go at them from both sides.
I noticed a couple oddities and irritations:
A few of the pots on the sequencer are slightly out of line, making a couple knobs very hard to turn.
The volume knob is inexplicably upside-down. Left = louder. Is that just me or a general manufacturing defect? (Or feature?)
Can’t seem to get both left+right out of the speaker at the same time, which might be by design since it’s a single speaker (but I’ve gotten both sounds from it when one of the plugs is only partially in). Anyone else notice that?
Also seems like when plugged into external out, the volume knob acts as a L/R fader. Neat.
General noob CV question - I’ve got an Arturia Keystep to control this thing, but it only has one CV Pitch out. Would I need to get a multiple module to send pitch to multiple oscillators? The 16 seems to have multiple pitch outs, but who knows when that’ll be available.
I was looking for that also. I could see some LM13700’s and TL072’s. Couldn’t make out everything on the Oscillators, but they look essentially the same. I’m guessing they pull just the Square, Since etc. for the respective module. I wonder why they didn’t make it switchable/all.
Definitely recommend some needle nose pliers and another torx driver to make the build easier.
Mine seems to have developed a fault with the power supply where it no longer works properly with batteries. I tried a new set but it doesn’t make a difference, going to contact TE support. In the meantime I cobbled together a power supply, so it works like that for now.
I’ve got mine and built it night before last. My kids are very excited about it – the 18mo old wouldn’t go to put on his pajamas unless I brought it along.
This is my first modular synth and I really appreciate that it’s “the basics”. I’m enjoying seeing how you can bend and abuse various signals and feed signals around but have definitely noticed a few of the same defects other posters have mentioned. I also have a few “tight” sequence knobs, my volume is also backwards, and I have some hunches about other pots being “weird” but as this is my first modular getup I’m not sure how much of that is normal.
For example – the LFO gets into sonic territory really quickly on the knob and I can’t run the sequencer slow enough to make weird ambient things … at least not that I’ve found.
Anyway, I’m definitely enjoying it so far.
Anyone found any interesting ways of using the D1/2/4 ports on the sequencer yet? I’m wondering if I can use the random module to generate more interesting sequences somehow – perhaps if I feed some random signal back into the reset or <–> port?
Got mine tonight - built in just under 2 hours. Don’t know what DivKid is smoking - but I’ll have some!. Apparently he took just under 4 hours or so?!?! I assume he wasn’t factoring in the time for setting up camera shots etc.
Everything is sounding good. Way smaller than expected, even after scouring over the spec sheets before it arrived.
I can confirm - some modules with this style of pot/trim pots are sometimes quite stiff.
You can try clocking the sequencer via the LFO square wave or Oscillator square wave output to get slower/different clocks, whilst simultaneously striking an envelope for a cool effect, as it stays in time with the sequence when timed correctly.
I tried patching the LFO square into the reset of the sequencer, whilst using the square wave oscillator at super low rate to give another “clock” source, and that ends up in neat alternate timing territory when you time the sequence/reset right. You can also patch one of these clocks to the D1-4 inputs to see how it messes up the sequence step order.
The stiff pots can be sorted, mine had a couple, managed to move them slightly with needlenose pliers to line up correctly.
I almost shorted out the PSU by placing the battery pack the wrong way - noticed the exposed terminals touching the case just before turning it on
For anyone who has received their 400, does it come with mono- or stereo- patch cables? From what I’ve seen I’m going to want to pick up some additional patch cables beyond the 15x it comes with…
Also, has anyone tried the OP-Z + oplab module with the 400 yet? That’s the main reason I bought the oplab module so I’m excited to see what it enables.
First issue encountered - I believe it is the sequencer module pulling too much current, or doing something strange to the power bus. Everything is fine w/o using it, but touch a control and you can physically hear the battery pack “whir” and “whine”. Will take it apart tonight to investigate.
edit: Definitely the PSU. Left it running w/ nothing plugged in and it failed after a few minutes. Unable to confirm if it runs off Ext PSU, as I don’t have any that fit the plug.
That is pretty much what my psu does, even with fresh batteries now, I sent an email to Tobias @ TE, waiting to hear back.
Re the volume knob being backwards - it is actually a balance control when you have left and right connected and not using the internal speaker, but since the internal speaker is mono fully CCW is full volume whether using the left or right input.
it comes with TRS cables - however, I was using standard mono TS 3.5mm cables from my modular with no problems.
Got the CV module for the Z and some stereo breakout cables. A little disappointed that CV2 & 3 don’t seem to output pitch information, but it is cool to have the encoders be able to control parameters. Would love to drive more than one OSC at a time from external control, will have to look into that more.
Has anyone found a decent power supply for the unit? I’m not finding a 12v 1.7mm center-neg PSUs…
Same here, they don’t seem to be common, I had an old laptop style PSU which was the correct voltage and amperage but had to replace the power connector by cutting the right size one from another PSU and soldering it on. The Volca range use the same power connector but are only 9v and reversed polarity (centre +, outer -)
Probably best bet is to get one of those multi voltage, multi replaceable tip universal power supplies.
Was able to find a wall adapter on Amazon that should fit which I originally missed.
Looks like my PSU is broken in the meantime - one of the chips seems to have cracked/broken. The voltage seems to be out of wack now, as the oscillators all drift in and out of tune without any LFO. I’m getting the high pitched squeal when turning it on now, too. Goes away after a few seconds.
Bummer. Hoping it’s just voltage regulation for the batteries, and the wall PSU might bypass it? I emailed TE to see about a replacement. Chips on the PSU get very hot when powered on so I might not push my luck in the meantime.
Power Module Broken
I think the PSU is not up to the job TBH, I am still waiting to hear back, I really want to use batteries most of the time but it isn’t possible
Both of the leftmost chips look cracked/failed. It could be caused by overheating or mechanical damage; it’s tough to tell without physically seeing them. I’ll check mine when I receive it next week.
If the external PSU plugs into the battery pack it may not bypass those components - it likely still needs some signal smoothing prior to sending through the modules, but again I haven’t received mine so I can’t check…
Hopefully TE can provide some details on the setup.
Awesome to hear, thanks!