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The summer of 2015 has seen a number of DIY module releases from Bastl, Music Thing, Synthrotek and more. On Friday, Synthrotek announced the release of their new DIY module, the MST VCO, completing a full synth voice in their line of DIY modules. Designed for Synthrotek by George Mattson (inventor of the original keytar, the Syntar) the MST VCO features 5 oscillator outputs: sine, triangle, square and sawtooth waves, as well as an additional sawtooth wave pitched one octave higher. Full pulse width and frequency modulation and an octave switch that flips between 3 octaves make this VCO seem like a bargain as a DIY kit, however it does not seem like an easy build, so you might want to start with something simpler.
We recently wrote about the Music Thing Mikrophonie (which might be a better option for DIY beginners) and its use in the Halo 5 soundtrack. Music Thing recently released the Simple EQ, a module as simple as it’s name, featuring stereo ins and outs as well as Treble and Bass controls and a Tilt knob, seemingly to shift the Treble and Bass frequencies. This module might also be a tougher build for beginners, as it requires some skill at soldering. With SMT (surface mount-technology) components included in the kit, this build might be a true test of your hand-eye coordination.
Bastl has also released their series of DIY modules, as mentioned today by our colleagues over at prolific music technology blog Create Digital Music. The endearing Czech manufacturers caught the music worlds attention with their incredible Musikmesse booth, driving hand crafted musical instruments via their modular synth inventions. Bastl has released 5 DIY modules: their Tea Kick drum module, a dual VCA, a noise generator, a tiny 6 channel mixer and the GrandPA granular sampler. All of these beautiful devices include wood panels and knobs and all necessary components.
DIY modules may seem daunting, but there is an exciting and personal attachment to the instrument when you build it yourself.
Would you like to see a How to build your own DIY modules course at Voltage Control Lab? Let us know in the comments or tweet us on Twitter!