[Lab] Intro, and question on when is ModLab.

Andrew Plumb clothbot at me.com
Tue Oct 8 06:24:25 EDT 2013

Thanks for the reminder to update the wiki wording and Google Calendar entry.  ModLab gatherings are *every* Wednesday now.



On 2013-10-07, at 4:20 PM, Stann Loo <stannloo at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi all, 
> My name is Chris.
> Heard about ModLab from Luc Lalande (he told me great stuff about you guys!)
> and have been wanting to go since then (early summer).  Just wasn't sure or didn't fit in my schedule...
> But now I'm pretty much ready, I think.  Which leads to my first question:
> ** When is the next ModLab ???
> I read online that it's every second Wednesdays of the month, the calendars says for October that it's on
> the first and thrid Wed. of the month, and then I also read a post here that says it's now every week...
> Secondly, I'm wondering if I'm actually relevant to what people do in this group/in those meetings.
> I don't wanna waste anyone's time or energy...  Here's more info:
> I'm an electronic musician (studio mainly) and have an interest in older analog synthesizers and such,
> from the late 70's, 80's and early 90's.  Things like Korg Polysix and Poly-61, Akai AX-60 and AX-73, 
> Kawai SX-240, Yamaha SK-20, SIEL EX-80, Alesis Quadraverb, Oberheim Matrix-1000, etc...  
> (I list those because that's what I own)
> I'm interested in *modifying* those to make them more fun and more usable live  (adding pots to tweak sounds)
> or changing/improving the sound they make.  Also to maintain or repair them (30 years capacitors... leaking Ni-Cd batteries... ichhh)
> And finally (ultimately) to use them as original and unique artistic tools in my creation process and maybe with other artists on collaborative projects.
> Now, a lot of those electronics is discrete analog stuff, through-hole soldering and early microprocessors.
> I understand it's probably not very trendy (not Arduino-based, not Surface-Mount, no coding involved, not 3D printing) (sorry!) 
> and a lot of those parts and schematics are hard to find.  But that kinda makes it a nice challenge, for me (and it's also simpler to temper with).
> But it might not be interesting for many people... Don't know...  So, my second question is:
> ** Are these kind of projects interesting/relevant to your group ?
> Also, I'm not much experienced in those things.  But I love to learn and have time and a need for it these days.
> I also have a science background (univ. level), which makes it easy to understand complex things and do my research and learning.
> I unfortunately don't have a lot of money to invest in this (well... not anymore!  :-)  )
> I bought myself a used analog oscilloscope (Tektronix 2213, 60  MHz) with new cheap Chinese 1x/10x probes.
> Still trying to learn how to use it...
> I bought a new soldering iron and some accessories.  Have made a few very basic repairs so far.  So, good to go!
> Which leads me to my last question:
> ** Are these meetings a place where I will easily be able to find help and some form of tutoring/mentoring for my projects?
> I'm really just looking for technical cues and hints, pointers, references, techniques, etc...
> But if someone wants to get on board my projects and do them with me, that can also be great!  Team work is fun and motivating.
> So, thanks for your time and maybe see you there on a Wed. sometimes...
> -Chris
> Here is a list of my specific projects, for those who care:
> ======================
> *Korg Poly-61: (I have 4 units, some work, some have to be repaired or maintained) (got service manual and schematics for this synth)
>  - Install MIDI interface;
>  - Find out how to modify this microprocessor-controlled synth to install analog knobs to change cutoff, resonance, etc... in real-time;
>  - Install a Korg Polysix Ensemble-Chorus board into them  (have 3 spare standalone boards);
>    (I have some schematics for that mod, but it's not clear to me and I'm not 100% sure how I can include it in another synth)
> *Akai AX-73  (no service manual or schematics so far...)
>  - Find out how to modify this microprocessor-controlled synth to install analog knobs to change cutoff, resonance, etc... in real-time;
> ======================
> *Kawai SX-240:
>  -Change a blown IC
>  -Fix volume problem, if the new IC doesn't do it.
> *SIEL EX-80 module
>  -Find and properly install or connect, a suitable 16V AC, 500mA, power supply for this unit
> *Alesis Quadraverb
>  -Repair the unit : Put new 16x2 (HD44780) LCD Display and connect it properly; Fix an intermittent power problem (chg switch)
>  -Modify to reduce background noise (change capacitors)
> *Korg Polysix
>  -Reduce background noise
>  -Insert an Arduino processor in it, adding bunch of cool new functions like aftertouch, MIDI, etc. (it's been done by someone before)
> *Yamaha SK-20
>  -Repair the Tremolo function
>  -Try to see if a MIDI interface can be retrofitted
> *Research how I can modify or bend any of those synths to get interesting innovative and artistic results on sound and expression.
>   Or by retrofitting newer technologies into them!
> *Get inspired by these and CREATE!
> _______________________________________________
> Lab mailing list
> 1. subscribe http://artengine.ca/mailman/listinfo/lab
> 2. then email Lab at artengine.ca

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