My Mini Moog Voyager. Click to go to my web site...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Project update

Project update:

First, some rather poor photos of my current setup.

Left Cabinet, left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Voltage Processor/Mixer, Dual Sample & Hold, Peak Selector, Sequencer
  2. 3 VCO Type A, 4 waveform outputs each
  3. 3 sets of: VCO Type B - Saw/Square, VCF
  4. Oscilloscope ( XMega Xminilab)*, Ribbon Controller
  5. MIDI controlled DuoPhonic keyboard, Trigger Converter, Resistor Ladder controlled DuoPhonic keyboard connected to ribbon controller.

Right Cabinet, left to right, top to bottom:

  1.   Sequencer, Frequency Divider
  2. Dual Voltage Follower (Slew), VCO Type B - Triangle/Sine, Selective Inverter, VCO Type B - Triangle/Sine, ENV VD**, VCA/Mixer, Input Amplifier
  3. Voltage Processor/Mixer, VCA/Mizer, Triple EG, VC Trigger Generator, VCA/Mixer
  4. Multiple, Dual Voltage Follower (Slew), VCA/Mixer, Triple EG, VC Trigger Generator, Panel Power Output
  5. Noise, Phase Shifter, Ring Modulator, SynthTech Moog 904A Clone***, Dual Voltage Follower (Slew), YUSynth Moog 914 Fixed Filter Bank Clone****, Tuner/Monitor, Stereo Monitor*****
 The controller is an Arturia "Analog Experience THE LABORATORY 61" keyboard, I liked the wooden end caps and it's a great controller for my Arturia modeled analog synthesizers. As a side note, the Arturia Mini Brute Page, Mini Brute Details, about half way down has a photo of Nyle in front of a modular system you might recognize :)


* Gabriel at has some really fun oscilloscopes and the Xminilab just begged to be put behind a panel.


 The ENV VD is a Steiner design which I don't think was ever released. At least Nyle can't remember ever selling one. He explained it was a more "traditional" design to compete with the other guys. When the "DAMP" switch is in the up position, the DAMP knob controls the final decay, otherwise the DECAY knob controls the first decay to the DURATION LEVEL, and the final decay. The DEL/ATT switch changes the function of the ATTACK control to a delay to the start of the envelope and then has an immediate attack, like the ENVDT design.

*** and **** MOOG Module Clones:

The next two modules with asterisks are not Steiner designs of modifications of a Steiner design and technically, they are modern clones of the original MOOG designs.I'm including them because I know that back in the mid 70's when I started this project, I would probably have tried hard to get a MOOG filter, and maybe some other modules. My goal was to have the equivalent of a MOOG 55 system. Even though Nyle had his voltage controlled filter, I probably would have eventually tried to get my hands on a MOOG filter and the FFB because the 55 came with a FFB. It also came with a Dual Trigger Delay (see below). So, I added these two wonderfully designed modules to the system. At some point, I may actually try to do my own clone of the 904A, B, and C as well as the 914 using the original parts, but that is down the road. I may just buy them from COTK or MOS Labs and try to jam them into the Euro format I've chosen. Not too sure about that however...

I also have another Jurgen Haible Frequency Shifter which is based on the MOOG/Bode frequency shifter design if I understand it right. I might want to add that as well. We'll see.

*** MOOG 904A Clone:

I thought it appropriate to add a MOOG filter clone and Paul Schreiber's designs are wonderful. Give SynthTech a look,

**** MOOG 914 Fixed Filter Bank (FFB) Clone:

OK, so I also wanted a fixed filter. Yves Usson's Fixed Filter clone is really excellent. I love that he split the cells. It gives a very cool left/right effect.

***** Stereo Monitor:

This last module with an asterisk is based on a Steiner design. I took the Tuner/Monitor Nyle designed, got rid of the "Tuner" and doubled the "Monitor". It makes for a great output interface to my DAW and keeps true to the Steiner designs.


Trigger Delay:

There were a couple of modules Nyle never did design and were ones I would probably have purchased or cloned back in the mid 70's when I started this whole deal. My first project one is a MOOG 911 Dual Trigger Delay which was included in the MOOG 55 system. Not too exciting, and Nyle has a delay built into the ENV DT and ENV VD, but it's a pretty straight forward design and fits nicely into a 1 unit wide module.

Pratt-Read Keybed Clone:

I'm still wanting to make a "real" Steiner keyboard. I found Gino at He is a DIY electronic organ builder and came up with a kit involving a silver plated rod, flexible phosphor bronze contacts, custom PCBs and (unfortunately) a custom built keybed. But, I have hope. I purchased a "contact kit" and when it comes, I'll have a good look at whether or not I can modify a modern, easy to find keybed with his parts, or something similar. Then, I can build the DuoPhonic electronics into a custom keyboard controller and fore go the MIDI conversion. I'll still keep the MIDI to Steiner module because it is just useful to interface to the modern world.


Chris at is going to be selling Microcon kits. He really does a nice job with them and I highly recommend you look at his site. You'll see he is also carrying the SynthTech MOTM modules and DIY parts.

I'm still selling the bare PCBs, but Chris makes it very easy with a complete kit.


There you go. I've actually had a break from building and have been tweaking knobs, great fun. I can't call it music, but it is the icing on the cake for me. 40 years after  I first heard a squawk out of a breadboarded VCO and keyboard, I've pretty much finished it.

Stay tuned. I will post some updates from time to time and hopefully audio/video of what I'm doing. I also an trying to learn Adobe Dream Weaver so I can get the website updated and cleaned up.

Thanks for the interest.

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