I’ve opened up the Ivory Bunker Samplepacks page a couple of months ago with the idea of sharing some of the sounds I’ve recorded or created over the last couple of years. I may have used some of those already and/or might in the future, but a lot of them are probably doomed to gather binary dust.
Trusting that there are plenty creative people out there who can make good use of some sounds that go beyond the scope of most commercially (including the freebies coming with magazines) packs and libraries, I decided to start out with a focus on my collection of recordings of my DIY- and Circuit Bent Instruments and the like, as well as the occasional field recordings.
New packs at Ivory Bunker
Samplepack 2: Waves Mallorca 24bit/44.100 (38MB) — rec wavs16 selections from field recordings of waves captured on Mallorca March 2013. Recorded with the built-in mics on a zoom h4n. Post processed for ideal results. 24/44.100.
Samplepack 3: Atari Punk Console 16bit/44.100 (24MB) — APCC142 (fortytwo) 16bit/44.1kHz/mono wav files* all recorded from either my “Atari Punk Cassette Console” or an Atari Punk Console Circuit built with two 555 chips on a breadboard.
Samplepack 4 Kid’s Electronic Lab: 24bit/44.100 (38MB) — ElectronicLab 30inONE18 24bit/44.1kHz/mono wav files* of recordings of circuits with the 30 in ONE Electronic Lab. All from Audio-related Experiments – simple oscillators, siren, etc on a Maxitronic 30 in ONE kit.
Samplepack 5 The Poor Man’s Synthesizer: 24bit/44.100 (54MB) — This sample pack contains 113 24bit/44.1kHz/mono wav files* sorted into four categories – Bass n Synth, Drones n FX, Loops and Percussive. These have to be read with a grain of salt, as those are probably not your classical construction kit variety sounds. The Poor Man’s Synthesizer (or Chocolate Box Synth) based on a design by Andrew Bentley. You can find the schematics, BOM and layout at John Richard’s Dirty Electronics website, should you be interested in building one of those for yourselves.
Korg has announced the MS-20 Kit, a limited edition DIY monophonic analog synthesizer kit.
Build a real MS-20 with your own hands.
Creating an instrument your own hands is the part of the true enjoyment of an analog synthesizer. The MS-20 Kit lets you obtain a real, full-sized MS-20 by assembling it yourself. It goes without saying that, just like the MS-20 mini released in January 2013, the engineers who developed the original MS-20 have overseen this project – ensuring that its historic sound is reproduced with complete fidelity. In addition, the MS-20 Kit provides the filters from both the early and late versions of this classic instrument and it even allows you to switch between them.
Today, 36 years after this historic instrument was first unveiled in 1978, the MS-20 returns to its true origin.
MS-20 Kit features
A full-size MS-20 that you can assemble yourself.
Both the early and late versions of the filter are provided.
Overseen by the engineers of the original MS-20;.
a complete replication of the original analog circuitry:
2VCO / 2VCA / 2VCF / 2EG / 1LFO structure.
External signal processor (ESP).
Extremely flexible patching system.
MIDI IN and USB connector.
Powered by an AC adapter.
Replicates every detail of the original, down to the package binding and the included manual.
The Korg MS-20 Kit will be available in March 2014, priced at $1399.99 USD. Only 1,000 units will be available worldwide.
de la Mancha has announced that its Dirty Harry lo-fi synthesizer plugin for Windows is now available as freeware.
dirty harry is an unashamedly DIY lofi synth based on the samples of my two homemade, lofi noisemakers, the Atari Punk Console and the BugBrand WOM
dirty harry offers 20 unique waveforms in all their mono/monophonic glory. For extra grit the oscillators can be sync’d or ring modulated. Fidelity can be lowered further still with reduction in sample quality, distortion and a unique ‘bad contact’ emulation. 2 tempo sync LFOs allow modulation of filter, pitch and contact, with one LFO modulating the depth and frequency of the other.
There are envelopes for volume, pitch and filter, with different contours and pitch options. Throw in an arpeggiator, pitch drift and portamento and you can see that whilst it may be lofi in sound, it doesn’t lack for sound design features.
Dirty Harry is available to download as a VST plugin for Windows.
Andrew McPherson has launched a Kickstarter project for his Touchkeys, a DIY touch sensor kit allowing capacitive multi-touch sensing on a physical keyboard.
The TouchKeys are a new musical instrument transforming the piano-style keyboard into an expressive multi-touch control surface.
The TouchKeys feature native OSC and MIDI support, so they work with nearly every synthesizer or software instrument, with wind and string sounds working particularly well thanks to the ease of playing vibrato and pitch bends. Mappings between touch data and MIDI/OSC are fully customisable in the included open-source software.
A unique aspect of the TouchKeys project is that the sensors install on any existing keyboard, from portable 2-octave controllers to 88-key grands. This means that the TouchKeys retain the familiar keyboard action while adding many new expressive techniques. The Kickstarter project will offer DIY kits for musicians to hack their own keyboards, as well as a limited number of prebuilt instruments. The project seeks to raise £30k to fund the production of TouchKeys sets and get them into the hands of musicians.
About me: Andrew McPherson, creator of the TouchKeys, is a composer and engineer and a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous project, the magnetic resonator piano (electronically-augmented acoustic piano), has been used in dozens of performances worldwide over the past 4 years, most recently by the London Chamber Orchestra and the band These New Puritans.
This project is looking to raise £30,000 GBP by Monday Sep 2, 6:59pm EDT.
Diego Stocco has presented his Custom Built Orchestra, a project in which he created a an orchestra of handcrafted, unique instruments, and performed each part of a composition written by Diego himself.
I always been fascinated by the raw musical power that an orchestra can express, so, after creating a series of videos where I’m performing a multi-track piece with an instrument I designed, I decided to take the concept a step farther and create my own orchestra made of unusually unique instruments.
The project started by handcrafting a diverse selection of instruments, then I wrote a composition where I could fit them all in and finally performed each part. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it!
Iain Sharp’s LushOne synth kit is designed to provide the core functions of a modular synthesizer in a low-cost single board design.
LushOne modular synth kit mounted in base case.
With the LushOne kit you can experience the strange, fun world of modular synthesizers without breaking the bank.
The idea for the LushOne occurred when I was thinking about buying a modular synth but couldn’t bring myself to pay what they cost. I thought “wouldn’t it be good if someone would make an equivalent a Sinclair computer for the modular synth world?”. I tried to design a modular synth that stripped out all the costs while providing an instrument that is cheap and flexible to allow people to get started without a big commitment. The LushOne is the implementation of this vision.
Modules connected by patch leads (3 leads included in kit) to allow many combinations and to allow interconnect of external modules.
Dual digital oscillators with five wave shapes to provide stable tuning and a range of Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) effects.
Analog voltage controlled low pass filter with cut-off and resonance controls to create classic synth sounds.
MIDI DIN input to oscillators to allow LushOne to be played from commonly available keyboards and computer controllers.
Analog control voltage inputs to filter and oscillators to support alternative controllers and crazy external effects.
Single board design including all controls and connectors (except power-in) providing straightforward construction and neat presentation. The LushOne can easily be incorporated in to a “project box” case.
Detailed illustrated and video tutorials that introduce all the key features and show how the different modules work and how to get the full range of sounds.
Open-source access to schematic and software.
The LushOne kit is available to purchase for £69 GBP. The laser-cut clear acrylic base case for the kit costs £35 GBP.