Sequential Circuits Pro One – CPU upgrade and MIDI retrofit

sequential circuits pro one synthesizer
Sequential Circuits Pro One

When we got this Pro One it was acting insane: keyboard playing only one note and/or pitch sliding upwards, loud bursts of noise, weird envelope/triggering behaviors. This synth is unusual for its vintage (early 1980s) in that much of the control voltage for the analog circuitry is generated by a digital CPU, which was hot enough that it burned Darian’s finger when he happened to touch it, badly enough that he still has a blister a week later! So clearly the CPU was bad– and further testing confirmed it. Continue reading “Sequential Circuits Pro One – CPU upgrade and MIDI retrofit”

Korg Electribe ESX-1

“Really, that guy?”: the Korg Electribe ESX-1

UPDATE 8/28: As it turned out, the work described below did not fix the problem with the Electribe. If you are having a problem with jittery knobs and value jumping of your Electribe’s controls, please refer to my later post on the topic for the actual solution!

Just as they say “the cobbler’s children have no shoes,” so also do they say “the synth tech’s gear has 14 jittery knobs and isn’t even screwed together.” I decided to “treat myself” to a couple hours spent working on one of my own instruments yesterday and as a result I probably now have the best-working Korg Electribe ESX-1 in the universe. Continue reading “Korg Electribe ESX-1”

Moog Werkstatt – custom mod project

modified Moog Werkstatt
Modified Moog Werkstatt

I just finished up some intense custom mods on this Moog Werkstatt. I packed in a bunch of cool goodies and the case of this little synth is now totally at capacity. It even bulges a little bit, and it feels noticeably heavier. It sounds amazing if I do say so myself. Continue reading “Moog Werkstatt – custom mod project”

Musitronics “Mu-Tron Phasor II”

Mu-Tron Phasor II
Mu-Tron Phasor II

The Mu-Tron II Phasor is a classic 1970s phaser pedal that is ideal for running your string synth through to make soft, bouncy swirls.  It is definitely more bouncy sounding than some phasers. It is a big, heavy, rather crudely built beast of a pedal, very sturdy… except when it’s not. Continue reading “Musitronics “Mu-Tron Phasor II””

Oberheim OB-8

Oberheim OB-8
Oberheim OB-8

This synth is a beast! It’s almost as deep as my work table. When it arrived at the workshop it was really freaking out.  It would overheat after 10-15 minutes and the CPU would crash, freezing the panel LEDs and making no sound. It was missing maybe half of its notes and apparently one of its voices. Continue reading “Oberheim OB-8”