Anyone here build their own gear?

As the title states, I’m curious how many here are into DIY projects.

To get the ball rolling, here’s a few projects I have planned.

BIG fully custom analog step sequencer for Tangerine Dream Berlin School 70s style improvisations.

Modular system to turn my analog poly and mono synths into one giant polyphonic modular system. I’m planning extensive modifications to some of my synths to provide i/o for each oscillator, VCA, filter, EG in each synth to go to a big central control and patching unit. This is a very big project I’ve had in mind for quite some time.

Ambisonic 3D custom Leslie style speaker with two bass rotors and four horn rotors.
I recently acquired some EV cinema speakers from a Village Roadshow cinema which have four DL15W bass drivers in two cabinets and four DH1A compression drivers with two horns. I also have two Hammond 9922K organs with built in single rotor Leslie cabinets. These are certainly no B3/122 combos but the Leslies do sound nice and the organs have a pretty nice synth section with VCFs and basic EGs.
I’m using the EV bass cabinets as subs for my studio monitors (eight Auratone 5c cubes in a 3D Ambisonic cube array) but I’m not using the compression drivers. So, as I looked at them sitting in my studio, I first got the idea to make a talkbox out of them but that was HUGE amounts of overkill!! Then I got the idea to pull the Leslies out of the organs and combine them into a system with the four compression drivers and set the whole thing up with an internal Ambisonic mic array for a full 3D rotary recording cabinet.
I’m not necessarily after an authentic 122 or 147 recreation either so I’m going to experiment with my own rotating horn designs to come up with something unique.

So, if anyone else here is into DIY musical gear, fire away…


I used to be quite the soldering iron jockey, building all sorts of projects. The Ambisonics project sounds really cool! Please keep us informed what you are doing - or erect a website/blog and I’ll follow it! :slight_smile:



I’d love to hear about some of your projects Terry. :sunglasses:

I do have a website set up which contains a blog with some of my projects and repairs and I will be adding more stuff soon. I actually have a couple of domains pointing to it at the moment.
The main site is
The newest addition is
The Ambisonic section is a little disorganized at present though (the information is on one page and not that well laid out) but it is early days and I plan to do much more with it.
I have added my newest Ambisonic mix from my last album there for free download though.

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I do not have my speakers set up for Ambisonic playback (though somewhere I have the player), where they are right next to each other in front of you. But I’m currently enjoying the stereo mixes from the players at your site! Thanks!


Colin Best (Bass Player - Noel Crows Jazzmen) and I built our own amps, mixers and bins in the '80s.
Soldering irons, drills, nibblers, Jigsaws and minor injuries! Besty was a klutz with even a screwdriver.
Made all our own leads - everything.
Played around with op-amp oscillator and filter designs but it was too hard to get cheap keyboards to build our own synths. We did build some percussion toys (bongos - tom toms etc) you could play with your fingers.

I remember dropping a couple of Duramine and spending 16 hours straight studying and marvelling over the schematics for the Juno-6!


Great to hear you’re enjoying the music Terry. :slight_smile:
You can download the tracks to your hard drive too if you want. Just click the ‘downkoad songs’ link under each album title.

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Jigsaws, soldering irons, drills, nibblers and wayward screwdrivers!!! All stuff I can totally relate to. Great post!!
LOL about the Juno 6 schematic too! I have full service manuals for all my synths including the Juno 6 and have spent many hours studying them myself. 16 hours straight is a fair marathon though!!!
I hope none of those wayward screwdriver events ended up putting holes in speaker cones!

Got the downloads already! :smile:

Now setting up multi-channel output to my MOTU.


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You’d think I could do some DIY stuff… I seem to vaguely remember getting a degree in basic electronics once upon a time! lol But now if you asked me what Ohm’s Law is I don’t think I could properly tell you. I’m not hopeless with a soldering iron but I just don’t have the time!

I did successfully re-attach the heat sink on the GPU chip in my Playstation 3 a couple years back and saved the unit. That was a big day in our house :smiley: :smiley:



I did some work to get your Ambisonic download to work, and finally did – though it took some doing!

I went and got the free decoder from the link on your website, and downloaded Reaper and set it up for my MOTU 828 mk3 hybrid box, which runs into my amp to surround speakers via multi-channel mode on the amp. I then set up the master to have the FX slot contain the 5.1 Ambisonic decoder, and then set that up for 16 in to 6 out, which I imagine was the correct setup.

Well, it sounded fantastic and came out all of the speakers! What reverb does in this mode is astonishing! The music fills a VAST space! :smile:

I enjoyed playing the ac3 files you offered via VLC with Windows set up as 5.1 (via Voicemeeter as the interface to the MOTU box). That worked flawlessly as well. You just configure Voicemeeter as 5.1 as per the instructions on your site, and it worked perfectly!

Let me know if you see anything I might have done wrong with my Ambisonic setup – it did seem to work correctly, though.


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Yes that did happen. One of the guys “Sparrow” put a Philips head through one of the 15" Etones and Besty did the same thing with the palm of his hand. I wouldn’t let them near the JBL stuff. :slight_smile:
Still, we had some fun.

Ohms law as applied to musos …
Where V = volume or variation of the music, I = intoxication level and R = rate of consumption.


I have to chime in here also.

You must not have had the teacher I had. (Never will forget Mr. Vogt!)

Where amperage is represented by I (“imps”), and voltage by E (Electromotive force) with resistance by R

The Indian watches the Eagle flying over the River.

I = E/R

Burned into my brain since 9th grade!


P.S. Likewise, to the River, the Eagle is over the Indian (R=E/I) and to the Eagle, the Indian and the River are on the same plane (E=IR)


Wow- no, I honestly never heard that one. That’s really good :slight_smile:

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Hi David , hi all, I hope to be useful on this topic with this.
I made a little hardware synth called Torturator. I have the schematics, I can give them for free. The texts are in Spanish, but the schemes are easy to understand with a minimum of technical knowledge. If anyone want them,email to including:

Here are two videos of Torturator:

Also you can visit my blog:

Best regards,
Gustavo Valletto


Yeah! Nowadays I build my whole equipment by myself. Check out my webpage:

It’s only in German but this is subject to change in the future. On my facebook-page you can see the most recent keyboards. I also did a posting about it here…

Hi Terry.
Great to hear your experiences getting the Ambisonic mixes working and glad you’re enjoying the music.
Apologies for the delay replying but I haven’t been online much over the last few days.

The only thing I can think of regarding your Ambisonic decoding is to make sure you include a “O3A Injector - FuMa” plugin just before the decoder. That plugin is included in the O3A core suite which you already have.
The reason for this is because the mix I did was just prior to Blue Ripple releasing the SN3D versions (O3A) of their plugins. The old format was called FuMa and was pretty much the standard for Ambisonics for years until YouTube and Facebook adopted the newer SN3D version.
The file will still play back through all speakers but without using the “O3A Injector - FuMa” plugin, the planning and level cues will be wrong.

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I’ve only ever done the screwdriver through the cone trick once and that was decades ago. Once was enough for me. These days, I am extra cautious when it comes to screwdrivers and speakers. I generally place my left hand right next to the edge of the speaker gasket so if the screwdriver does slip, it goes into my hand rather than the suspension or the cone.
Hands heal. Cones don’t!!

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I have to say I haven’t heard that one before either. No doubt because I am in Australia and the native Indian reference isn’t native to us!!

I do like that though and it is now embedded in my mind too. :slight_smile:

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That’s some very cool stuff Gustavo!
I don’t speak a word of Spanish but schematics are no problem so I’ll take you up on the email offer. :sunglasses: