Post by thetechnobear on Aug 14, 2018 12:46:35 GMT
What is OMSynth
OMSynth is an electronics kit focused on music making, developed by Peter Edwards of Casper Electronics, who now works closely with Bastl, and is behind the more well-known products like BitRanger, Softpop,
it can be used to create circuits that are 5v, and so are compatible with AE Modular.
OMSynth was created for an education program, so also has a video series to help you get started, and teach you about how the electronics actually work (rather than just how to build the circuit), see post below
so at its heart the OMSynth theres two things
a) a board that provides a 'lab environment', so power (from wall wart, or 9v battery) , speaker, audio outputs, leds, buttons and potentiometers
b) a few electronic kits (synth, sequencer, sampler) , that can be build on a breadboard.
the two are independent, in that you could use the kits on any breadboard, and you can use the 'omsynth lab' for any circuit experiments you want too.
(you can also choose on the bastl site which bits you want, and even a diy kit for the lab board)
what do I like about OMSynth? Why use it?
of course, you do not need OMSynth, if you watch the videos you can find all the parts you need, and you can build this on a simple breadboard - and power either via a battery or even from AEM.
(the OMSynth is also open source, so you can even build one if you prefer)
however, the OMSynth gives you really useful things already mounted and available, and has various protection built-in to save you if your components if you get things wrong.
so I like it, as i can just pick it up, and immediately start 'patching it'
the kits (and accompanying video), I think are great, they are really easy to build, esp the synth, and the videos explain enough so that you can instantly start tweaking, and you really can just start plugging in wires, resistors and capacitors to see what happens... for example, after building the first kit, i replicated the design, and started to see how two could be used to interact with each other.
and the kits are not the end...if you look at the design, you'll soon find these are the basic of the 'lunetta' synth, so its then quite easy to start looking at other lunetta designs for things like filters. a great starting point for this is Lunetta on Electro Music forum
How can we use this with AE Modular?
well the way I like to it is is pretty simple,
initially I can build a circuit on the OMSynth (with it set to 5v), and use the pots on the OMSynth and speaker (or line out) to experiment, to come up with something fun (or useful).
once I know its working I can then plug in 'CV' directly from AE modular, e.g. for pitch control (see video below), so I can see how it interacts with the modular.
then the final step, so you now have a working prototype of something you like...
this leads gently to the next step, making it a module for AE Modular
first step is to 'transfer the design' to either strip or proto board, work out a layout that will give you the size you want the module to be.
you can use an AE modular blank plate to determine correct size, and bear in mind you need to leave some space for the 'standoffs' inside AE modular, also make sure the depth of the circuit is going to work.
once you have worked out the physical layout, then you can solder the components onto the protoboard.
then mark a spare AE blank module plate and drill some holes for pots/switches/leds ... (remember you planned this in the first step )
ideally then you need to find some standoffs of the correct size, so that your new face plate and protoboard sit correctly in the AE modular case.
of course, this mounting in the AEM is optional, and I'll admit I struggled to get it looking right with BelaMidi... mainly as i dont have the correct standoff sizes, nor patience to do it properly
possibly another option for the future, Robert has mentioned a DIY module for AEM, so again you could use OMSynth to prototype ideas, then transfer them to the DIY Module, which Im sure will look better than my hack job.
I think OMSynth is a great way into playing with electronics that can connect with AEM , and I think Peter's video are inspirational (watch them even if you dont want an OMSynth, still relevant)
which nicely brings us full circle, you have probably read the recent Q&A with Robert where he explains that the first influence on AE Modular was ... the lunetta synths
It would be great to see other AEM users diving into this area, AEM is great for DIY, and it would be fun to share Lunetta circuits designed to be AE modules, we could learn together.
OMSynth in AE Modular
heres is the part in an early video where I used the OMSynth, and basically the sequencer kit to build a sequencer and lfo for the AE Modular... this was really easy to do
OMSynth is available via Bastl, and more info here : www.bastl-instruments.com/instruments/omsynth/