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Analogue Synthesiser

Design Idea

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The ASMx-Genie family are examples of how you can complete your ASM design. The ASM1-Genie uses the original ASM-1 pcb (no longer available but the ASM-2 pcb can be used to the same affect) whilst the ASM2-Genie makes use of some of the additional features on board the ASM-2 pcb.

For these units to be `complete' synthesisers it is necessary to also cover the installation of the boards in to a case and to include a front panel design. The final size, designs, choice of materials and styles for a case are countless and only limited by your imagination, construction skills and budget. As a result I needed to find a suitable case that was readily available to everyone and required the minimum of constructional skills to complete the unit. This aluminium flight-case was finally chosen as it provided a reasonable front panel area (roughly equivalent to a 7U 19" rack), presented a respectable finish and was relatively low-cost. These style of cases appear to be available around the world in one form or another and most builders should be able to acquire a case of similar style and dimensions from any good hobby or camera shop.

Having chosen the case for the unit I could then complete the design for the final configuration of the various modules in the unit. Factors that have to be considered when doing this stage of the design include the size of the front panel components taking in to consideration allowances for clearance around knobs and switches for labelling and twiddling (some of us have bigger thumbs and fingers than others!) and the type of system that you want to build (see Appendix-B for further details). Unless you are fortunate to have unlimited panel space, then there will always be a compromise somewhere along the line as to how many controls and functions you can have. Readers will note in both designs that many of the available module inputs are not used. This is mainly due to the limited space. Readers can, of course, additionally use any or all of these inputs to expand the capabilities of their system. As with the already used inputs it is usually simply a matter of adding an attenuator control (typically a 100K pot) to the input and providing a connection from an output control or signal via a switch, socket or hardwired connection.

The ASM1-Genie is a semi-patched synthesiser offering the user the benefits of a ready-patched normalised synthesiser that is ready-to-run the moment the power is turned on with the benefits of patching options that allow the user to customise the module interconnections for a greater variety of sounds. The ASM1-Genie, in its normalised mode, closely follows the Teisco S-110F although the ASM1-Genie does not include a Ring Modulator or Sample & Hold circuit. Any of the normalised connections may be overriden through the patch connectors and in this mode of operation the ASM1-Genie more resembles a modular synthesiser.

The ASM2-Genie also uses the Teisco S-110F as it's basis but throws in an extra filter (VCF2, a Moog ladder-styled filter) an extra VCA and an extra VCLFO.

ASM1-Genie Block Diagrams

ASM1-Genie Overall





A suitable MIDI-CV module is the PolyDAC (X) 4-Channel MIDI Converter

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