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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Jürgen Haible designs
Living VCOs
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Would you prefer one PCB with 3 VCOs a la JH-5A, or 1 VCO per PCB with more features
One PCB with Oscillator Driver and 3 VCO cores (like JH-5A - cheap!)
60%
 60%  [ 62 ]
1 PCB = 1 VCO (with many waveforms and inputs)
39%
 39%  [ 40 ]
Total Votes : 102

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kjackman



Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Utah, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

All those options make mass-produced Living VCO panels near impossible. There literally is no "stock" unit; for something that expensive, everyone wants custom.
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nerdware



Joined: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 91
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MR-808 wrote:
Has anyone found that they actually need the trim pots on the front panel?

Let's ignore the fact that the original panel for these VCOs had trimpots on the front. We don't have to do everything exactly like the JH-5, and the LVCO docs give examples of alternative ways to do the panel wiring. I can find no references to panel-mounted trimpots.

Many others have designed LVCO panels, some with and some without trimpots. I've yet to read any discussion of the pros and cons of panel-mouted trimpots. Perhaps this is a good time and place? I'll start with a few small points. I hope people with more knowledge and experience can comment on and add to them.

I find I need to frequently recalibrate my VCOs. It would be a lot easier if I could do that without taking them out of the case. Also, there are thermal considerations. An open case has much more ventilation than a closed case. The VCOs are more stable inside the case, so that's two reasons why the ideal place to calibrate them is inside, with the case closed...but how can you do that without trimpots on the panel(s)?

YMMV of course. Perhaps my synth and studio are unusual. All I know is: analogue gear has a reputation for being sensitive to thermal variations. (Power variations too, but that's another issue, and largely solved by modern PSUs?)

EDIT: I should add that I don't have any LVCOs yet, as I'm still looking for the right panel. However, given my experiences with VCOs, I often look way beyond the panel issues, and think about using a dedicated metal case with its own PSU! So my concerns might not apply to an MOTM panel - or maybe I just need the 10-turn tuning pots. Laughing

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kjackman



Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Utah, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm interested in a MU (Moog) format panel myself. Like nerdware, I'd like the trimpots accessible from the front. In fact, I'd rather just use regular pots with knobs for these, since it's something I'm likely to adjust a lot anyway. I'm not holding my breath for someone to whip up a MU-style panel like this, but it would be cool and save me a ton of time. And probably quite expensive Sad

What I'll probably end up doing:

1. Build and calibrate the LVCO
2. Rest on the seventh day and call it good
3. Create a cheap prototype panel, wire it up, and use the module for a while.
4. Decide what I do and don't like about my choice of layout, knobs, etc.
5. Tweak things a bit - adjust layout, knob size and type, etc., and continue using it and tweaking.
6. When I've settled on whatever works best for my style of music and performance, immortalize the layout in a real Moog-style panel.
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nerdware



Joined: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 91
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, yeah! I'd love an MU panel...Mmmmmmm. Oh well. I can dream, can't I?
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bigbluewave



Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Posts: 14
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,
(Popping out of lurk mode)I have a couple of populated PCBs I'm about to test and am thinking of making some etched or screened MU panels for them once I've decided what to include!
I'd be happy to make some for other folk if you wanted the same layout!
I have made a few panels for other modular users in the past and have offered to do custom ones too. It's not a business (well not yet anyhow!) as I'm mainly making them for my own system.
I've put some info on one of my pages:
http://www.bigbluewave.co.uk/custom_modular_panels.htm or google "custom moog format panels" and I think it pops up!
There are a lot of variables with this build panel wise though. I'm planning on using the 46mm Vishay 21PA11B10 dials as they seem pretty cheap from Digi-key even to the UK...

All the best,
Ben
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whomper



Joined: Dec 15, 2007
Posts: 200
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Have built the waveshaper according to the published breadboard and have encountered two issues:

1. The result waveform looks very "noisy". it is not the clean one can expect.
2. I can not get a perfect TRI or SINE. The right part, where it should be either a strait downwards line in case of TRI or the more rounded SINE is just vertical as in the case of a saw. What I am getting is a relatively good left half cycle and the right part resembles the input saw.

Playing with the trimmers brings me to the above state and not better.

Have checked components value and all seems ok.

Any hints as to where would the problem be?

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The Bad Producer



Joined: Mar 08, 2009
Posts: 255
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Maybe I forgot something on the breadboard drawing? If so sorry! I'll double check it against the working module at some point, otherwise I don't know sorry...
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The Peasant



Joined: Nov 13, 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

whomper wrote:
Hi,

Have built the waveshaper according to the published breadboard and have encountered two issues:

1. The result waveform looks very "noisy". it is not the clean one can expect.
2. I can not get a perfect TRI or SINE. The right part, where it should be either a strait downwards line in case of TRI or the more rounded SINE is just vertical as in the case of a saw. What I am getting is a relatively good left half cycle and the right part resembles the input saw.

Playing with the trimmers brings me to the above state and not better.

Have checked components value and all seems ok.

Any hints as to where would the problem be?


Do you have three waveshapers all acting the same way? Does the saw waveform look normal and how many volts does it measure peak to peak? If the sawtooth is very small and noisy then it sounds like you either are not getting enough signal through or there is something wrong with the final saw inverting stage. The tri and sine output problems seem to indicate that one of the two signals coming throught the diodes to the tri mixing stage from the previous stages is missing, check for good sawtooth waves with every second one "missing" on the anode of each 1N4148.

Take care,
Doug

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The Peasant



Joined: Nov 13, 2009
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Location: Sunny Alberta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Bad Producer wrote:
Maybe I forgot something on the breadboard drawing? If so sorry! I'll double check it against the working module at some point, otherwise I don't know sorry...


I had a quick look at your stripboard layout, and the only problem that I could find was that the 10pF capacitor on the sine shaper is incorrectly labelled 100pF. However, that would not affect the triangle wave output, so I don't think that it's the problem in this case.

Take care,
Doug

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whomper



Joined: Dec 15, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Peasant, gone through your recommendation and have attached some screen captures of the various sections.

One can see that the sine and tri are not looking as they should.


Waveshaper.jpg
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Waveshaper.jpg



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Erez Yaary

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The Peasant



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

whomper wrote:
Thanks Peasant, gone through your recommendation and have attached some screen captures of the various sections.

One can see that the sine and tri are not looking as they should.


Actually, none of those waveforms are looking correct. The problem appears to be in the Living VCO circuitry, the saw wave should be much greater amplitude and not be curved with the noise at the tips. Are all three oscillators doing the same thing? If so, I would suspect an incorrect component value somewhere in the VCOs.

Take care,
Doug

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kjackman



Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Utah, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:48 pm    Post subject:  Another two LVCOs about to be born! (pic)
Subject description: I just received something in the post...
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Something cool arrived in the post today...

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Can't wait to get started on these. But it will be a few months. I'm still new at this, and I need to get a few simpler modules* under my belt first, before I start on these babies.

But soon...

*MFOS VCO, new Analogue Realities / Steiner Synthasystem VCO and VCF, Yusynth transistor ladder VCF
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rutgerv



Joined: Nov 22, 2010
Posts: 18
Location: Nijmegen, Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi!

If I may bring up a slightly older message again:
2thick4uni wrote:
How can I get hard and soft sync on my Living VCO's


I am also curious if someone has managed to do so? I would be very interested in this modification (or at least a hard sync).

Best,

Rutger
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jhaible



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 2014
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Audio files: 24

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Living VCO PCBs are currently sold out.
Will be back in stock by January (ordered from the factory already).


Let me take the opportunity to thank you all for buying these. I won't disclose the number how many of these have been sold, but considering there are 3 VCOs on each board, the total number of my VCOs that are meanwhile "living" out there is simply breathtaking, and has exceeded my wildest expectations. - Thank you all for supporting a small, part-time business that still handles its orders with clumsy email forms. Smile

JH.

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emdot_ambient



Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

JH, dude, you rock!

And once I work through my backlog and actually get around to building the PCBs I've received from you...I'm sure I'll say that even more emphatically!

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JoeMorris



Joined: Apr 26, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

all i can say is that these vcos are incredible. So im not surprised.
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The Bad Producer



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Agreed, my favourite osc... I'd be interested to know how many there are out there!
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jhaible



Joined: May 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Bad Producer wrote:
Agreed, my favourite osc... I'd be interested to know how many there are out there!


Ok. 900. (VCOs, not boards.)

JH.

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"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mk 11,23f)
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kjackman



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Ok. 900. (VCOs, not boards.)


Awww, man. I coulda bought VCO no. 901! Very Happy I guess I still could, except there's probably a waiting list. And I already have two PCBs.
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jhaible



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Living VCOs PCBs are back in stock!

JH.

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"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mk 11,23f)
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reve



Joined: Feb 23, 2008
Posts: 147
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey guys! So I recently put together a living vcos board - I'm just waiting for some transistors to arrive.  I had a couple quick questions about outputs.
 
First, are there any issues using both saw and pulse outputs simultaneously?  Looked like I could just skip the switch and wire up two jacks, but I wanted to make sure there wasnt... I dunno, some sort of impedance loading issue or some other thing I don't fully understand.
 
Second, I plan on piping the outputs to multiple filters in parallel... but I didn't see a run of the mill buffer on the outputs.  I assume this is just because i'm dense - am I okay piping these guys into passive mults or do I need to stick a buffer on the outputs?

Thanks!
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2thick4uni



Joined: Feb 20, 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

reve wrote:
Hey guys! So I recently put together a living vcos board - I'm just waiting for some transistors to arrive.  I had a couple quick questions about outputs.
 
First, are there any issues using both saw and pulse outputs simultaneously?  Looked like I could just skip the switch and wire up two jacks, but I wanted to make sure there wasnt... I dunno, some sort of impedance loading issue or some other thing I don't fully understand.
 
Second, I plan on piping the outputs to multiple filters in parallel... but I didn't see a run of the mill buffer on the outputs.  I assume this is just because i'm dense - am I okay piping these guys into passive mults or do I need to stick a buffer on the outputs?

Thanks!


I'm assuming you're using this with a modular that requires +/- 5v to peak waveforms? The normal output from Living vco's is (from memory) about +/- 1.2v and there is a separate amplifier / buffer board for each vco that takes it up to +/- 5v (this has a two pin socket marked AMP, one pin is input and other is output)

You normally switch between saw and square on the input to this amp, if you want saw and square simultaniously at +/- 5v you'd need to replicate another three of these amp/buffer circuits on matrix board.

There are no impedance / loading problems using both outputs simultaniously. Output impedance of amp/ buffers is 1k and this should drive a good few outputs without loading up.

Hope this helps............
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reve



Joined: Feb 23, 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

2thick4uni wrote:

Hope this helps............


Immensely. I forgot about the separate buffer when looking at the scheme, even though I like, soldered a pin header in there.... Razz

I think I know what I'm doing now....
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jhaible



Joined: May 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Selling my prototype on Ebay - Starting bid 1 Euro - Multiturn pots included

http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160541750020

Your chance for "easy-DIY" instead of soldering it all. Smile

JH.

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Somnium7



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Hard Sync?
Subject description: Modifications
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Has anybody attempted adding hard sync to these VCOs?
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