Wednesday 25 March 2020

DIY Trigger to DIN-Sync Box

Building a small passive adapter to control DIN Sync devices with triggers from your modular or other voltage sources, like Expert Sleepers’ Silent Way.

I’m years late to the game, but in case you haven’t already got something like this, here’s some encouragement to build your own trigger to DIN-Sync adapter. It’s as simple or as fiddly as you want to make it and the results are worth it: using Silent Way’s Sync Plugin has allowed me to teach my old Roland dogs a new trick: swing.

DIN-Sync devices need a minimum of two command voltages (+ a ground reference) to work: a clock and a run command. See the Wikipedia entry on DIN-Sync for a picture of the relevant pins. How you connect these will depend on what you chose to build. You could use sockets, as I did, or, for example, cut the end off a DIN-Sync cable and solder jacks to the wires in question. Don’t forget to connect the ground between the two. Here are some close-ups from the adapter os from ES made.

The box I built has three outputs. These are just passive multiples. I use an old Expert Sleepers ES-3 which has no problems driving two instruments; I doubt a third will be a problem. As DIN-Sync expects 5V triggers, i.e., the sort of voltages our modulars generate, you could also run your 808 directly from an analogue source. Just bear in mind that your clock needs to be running considerably faster for things to work as expected, e.g., 24 pulses per quarter note.

Friday 20 March 2020

Wolfgang Seidel’s Freeartslab

Basic Electricity stalwart Wolfgang Seidel sent me these new additions to his freeartslab Youtube channel.

The first two videos feature music from his collaboration with the wonderful duo Lan Cao and Gregor Siedl, aka Zicla. The synthheads among us might enjoy the conversation between Wolfgang's Buchla Music Easel and his old friend Conrad Schnitzler's EMS Synthi A.

If you like the music, you can get a copy of the trio's CD 'Optimistic Modernism' from Moloko Plus Records.