Making a Eurorack module


I've spent the last twelve months getting into analog modular synthesizers and building my own Eurorack system. One thing that almost every modular synth needs is a way to reduce the final output signal to a level that headphones or computer audio interfaces accept. That level is called "line level" and it usually should be between -1.5 and + 1.5V, preferably even less to avoid clipping. Audio signals in a Eurorack modular synth however often range from -5 to +5V so they need to be lowered before sending them to any other audio gear. This signal processing is called "attenuation".

In my system, I often need one to three outputs and I've been using my two dual VCAs for that most of the time. The problem with that is those VCAs could be much more useful for other things so I wanted to have a dedicated output attenuator with four channels.

An attenuator is probably the simplest synthesizer module there is so it's probably a good starting point to try building your own modules and Doepfer even have a schematic for it right on their DIY website.

Hand drawn curcuit diagram

So, I went to my trusted local electronics hobby store and picked up the parts and had myself a nice weekend project that I'd like to share.

Electronic parts in a chaotic pile

Continue reading

Show Less. Dump the Rest.


Look, how beautiful

I recently moved my photography work from Flickr to a page on my own website and in the process, selected a much smaller set of images. I used to have about 150 photos on my Flickr account, all of them uploaded at a time when I deemed them good and then never touched again. I never went through that list and sorted out the ones I really no longer liked because I thought it was a good thing to have a lot of work to show.

When I decided to move my collection over to my personal site I first planned to take along the entire thing but then thought "Who will ever actually page through hundreds of mostly mediocre photographs?" – I certainly wouldn't.

Continue reading

What's your favourite movie?


Every time someone asks me this question I want to say: "Ok, have a seat." because the answer will take a moment. I have one movie that immediately comes to mind as the, in my opinion, best movie but calling that one my favourite isn'y really fitting, you'll see why when I get to that.

Instead of one single favourite movie I have several "best of genre or mood" type of selections. Here we go:

Continue reading

"Ignorier' es doch einfach"


Wie sicher alle mitbekommen haben ist gerade wieder Männerfußball-Weltmeisterschaft, was bei mir wie immer auf sehr wenig (gar keine) Begeisterung stößt. Da es nahezu unmöglich ist, sich diesem Theater irgendwie zu entziehen, empfinde ich es schlicht als übergriffig.

Trotzdem gebe ich mir Mühe, meine Anspannung und Gereiztheit für mich zu behalten, was nicht immer gelingt. Von den Fans bekomme ich dann regelmäßig zu hören, ich solle "das doch einfach ignorieren" und "mich nicht so anstellen". Leicht gesagt, besonders von Menschen, die keine Probleme mit diesen Veranstaltungen haben.

Für mich sieht das leider anders aus. Aufgrund meiner psychischen Verfassung stellen laute, aufdringliche Menschen, insbesondere in Gruppen, für mich ein ernsthaftes Problem dar. Zwar kann ich meistens irgendwie genug Distanz waren, um durch den Alltag zu kommen, aber an manchen Tagen funktioniert das nicht. Heute war so ein Tag.