Lead time is the time between your order payment and us shipping your product. This time varies from 1 day to 6 weeks depending on our backlog and other business factors. We provide an estimate when you request a quote.
99% of the time we meet or beat our quoted lead time.
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Harmonized codes for all synthesizer products are 920710-0020.
Regulations vary country-to-country and change regularly. This may prohibit us from shipping certain products to certain countries.
There are several aspects of Synthesizers.com systems that are enhancements over the original Moog systems. Some of these things are possible due to better electronics, some are because of design philosophy and OCD, and many are just simple improvements due to hindsight. Here are a few of those things:Consistent Panel Graphics:
Synthesizers.com follows the Moog look, feel and sound because we think it's great. Moog has set the standard and we all appreciate Bob for that.
We have no plans to offer kits for 5 important reasons -
#1: You'll find that our assembled and tested modules are cheaper than most kits because we make them in volume. We also use several automated processes such as soldering and wire cutting/stripping which reduce the time (and cost).
#2: Some modules require fancy test equipment to calibrate correctly. This is especially true of Oscillators.
#3: The documentation required to describe building a module correctly would be much larger than the documentation to show how to operate it. Documentation is difficult to write, prone to errors, and costly to produce.
#4: Technical support of module builders with varying degrees of skill and experience is costly, time consuming, and frustrating for the customer.
#5: Having products built by the factory helps maintain their value by assuring future buyers of the quality standards.
Please compare an assembled Synthesizers.com product with other company's offerings. With Synthesizers.com modules, you'll be making sounds right out of the box.
Our products are built with commercial grade components using normal commercial grade processes. This is not a garage shop operation, we have full-time assemblers and techs that build electronics for a living. All circuit boards are multi-layered fiberglass with solder masks. All panels are made from .062" aluminium and painted with a professional industrial-quality coating. Studio cabinets are made from real, solid American walnut. No laminates. We use commercial grade jacks which work great. All modules are calibrated, tested, and burned in before shipping.
We use open frame pots because we do not believe that using industrial grade sealed pots justify their incredible cost. Both sealed and unsealed pots can become scratchy. Open frame pots can be cleaned if needed, sealed units can not.
It's very easy to move modules around and most people eventually do so to match their patching style. Synthesizers.com systems are hyper-modular and most modules can be moved to any location in the cabinet.
Disconnect the AC Power cord, unscrew the module, pull it out, and disconnect the small DC power connector. Power connectors are Keyed to help eliminate incorrect connection.
Some modules have Aid modules next to them with cables that connect the two behind the panel. These modules and their Aid modules will need to be moved together.
The Q115 Reverb module is connected to the reverb tank with 2 cables behind the panel so make sure these cables will reach the new module location.
The Q107 Filter is sensitive to power supply noise so resist moving it directly in front of the supply.
The answer is - with wood screws, and it works well.
Initially I tried brass threaded inserts and machine screws to attach modules to the wooden cabinets. The insert didn't allow enough material thickness without making a larger flange on the modules, and that changed the look from the front. Another option was to use a machined metal bar but the price of this piece (and you need 2 or 4 for each cabinet) was way too much. After much debate with myself, I did many experiments with pre-drilled holes and wood screws with very good results. There was no wood splitting and you could move modules many times without problems. I custom ordered a nice black wood screw for the job. You have to be careful not to strip the wood by using an electric screwdriver but even that is rare with walnut. On the portable cabinets, the mounting rails are a hardwood too. If I thought customers would need to replace modules once a week (or even once a month) I would opt for the expensive metal bars and try to endure the complaints about price, but this isn't the case and it's turned out to be a good decision backed by many customers and years of evidence.
Terje Winther wrote:
"I am utterly amazed at the fact that even after multiple use of the predrilled holes, the screws still have a very firm grip on the wood, without any signs of wearing out the wood nor losing the firm grip."
LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) are separate from waveform oscillators in some modular systems. They are used to supply low frequency control signals to filters, amplifiers and other modules. Typical LFOs have a limited number of waveforms and lack other features to save costs. Since many people want a full-featured LFO with accurate tracking, PWM, FM, and Sync, there ends up being no difference between a good LFO and a good VCO. Instead of creating a separate LFO module, I decided to make the voltage levels in our system standardized so an oscillator would work as an LFO also. This is the same philosophy as the Moog modulars and gives you maximum flexibility and it certainly gives you more features than using a traditional LFO. Check out the price/performance/feature ratio of our full-featured Q106 VCO/LFO compared to other companies LFO and you'll see this is the best solution. Like most issues concerning synthesizers, and music in general, there are differing opinions.
I absolutely love the fact that the oscillators double as VC LFO's.
The idea of wasting your Oscillator on simple modulation doesn't make sense.
Modular analog synthesizers (and many normalized synths) are inherently monophonic meaning that only one note can be played at a time. Pressing more than one key will result in only one of the key's notes being played. Making a monophonic synthesizer act polyphonic is not an easy task since you would need multiple identical patches running in parallel. This would require many more modules than a normal monophonic patch. All of the settings would have to be the same which would be difficult and would not lend itself to real-time control.
In summary, don't expect a big polyphonic experience from a modular analog synthesizer. The sound of a modular synthesizer is very large in its monophonic form and it's best used that way.
To build a minimal synthesizer system you'll need some basic modules to create and modify waveforms. We suggest you take a look at our preconfigured systems - you're likely to find something that meets your needs and budget.
A typical minimal system would consist of the following items:
If you will be using your system mostly for modifying sounds from a guitar, microphone or other instrument, add a Q118 Instrument Interface in place of one of the Q106 Oscillators.
If you want a VERY MINIMAL system that will simply make some sounds and allow filtering, then use these modules (doesn't include power products):
Normally a keyboard controller will produce 1 volt per octave with each key being 1/12 of a volt change. The oscillator is designed to respond to this exponentially so that a 1 volt change will result in a doubling of the frequency (pitch). There are many people interested in other tuning systems besides the western standard 12 semitones per octave. By changing the control voltage from the keyboard controller you can achieve different tunings. The oscillator has a variable exponential input which allows you to attenuate the control signal - usually from a keyboard. The result of attenuation would be that it would take more keys to produce one octave of change. While this would allow greater than 12 keys per octave, it would not allow less than 12. This can also be done using the Q125 Signal Processor which simply allows you to amplify or attenuate a signal - in this case a control voltage from a keyboard controller. Take the control voltage from the keyboard and patch it to the input of the top section of the Q125 Signal Processor, then patch the output into the exponential response connector of an oscillator. By adjusting the gain control you can change the 1 volt per octave signal into something else such as 1 volt per 2 octaves (24 equal tones per octave) and of course anything in between. You can also go the other way where 12 keys will represent a span greater than 1 octave. The control is continuously variable and can be done using a good set of ears or a frequency counter. As you can probably tell, this method only allows equal temperament and you're limited to a standard 12-keys-per-octave keyboard. Once you get over 36 tones per octave you'll start getting less accurate results. This is due to the tracking nature of an analog synthesizer. If you need perfect accuracy for 48 equal temperament, then use a digital synth.
Who says that a keyboard has to have the low notes on the left and the high notes on the right? After all, many written languages read right to left. The Q125 Signal Processor also allows you to invert a signal which would result in the the keys on the left being higher pitch than the keys on the right. Remember, this is a modular analog synthesizer - almost anything can be done - normal or not.
See our link page for pointers to the Microtonal universe.
Moog systems use a unique type of Trigger (or Gate) signal called switch trigger. These are on/off signals that are usually generated from a keyboard controller and are used to start an envelope generator or sequencer. Instead of the signal carrying a voltage that changes, the Moog 'Switch Trigger' is just dry contacts or a mechanical switch to ground. The one advantage to this is that triggers can be patched in parallel to create a logical OR - the disadvantage is that the trigger must go through a conversion module to interface to other voltage level signals. Synthesizers.com systems use voltage gate signals instead which allows for easier, more intuitive patching and much more flexibility without conversion.
Voltage to Moog Switch Trigger Cable
This special cable converts voltage gate signals from a Synthesizers.com system to switch trigger signals needed to activate Moog envelope generators. It has a male 1/4" plug on one end and a 2-pin Cinch/Jones plug on the other.
To convert from a Moog Switch Trigger to a voltage gate needed by Synthesizers.com modules, you'll need to run the Moog Switch Trigger signal through the Moog 961 module to create a voltage. You can also use the Q142 Pedal Interface which will convert any mechanical switch to a voltage level. You'll have to construct a special cable. The reason that a simple cable is not available to make this conversion is because a voltage source is needed.
Audio signals can be patched between Synthesizers.com modules and Moog modules but Moog signal levels tend to be lower. Both use 1/4" plugs and jacks.
Synthesizers.com modules have the same panel size and mounting as a Moog modular system. This is called MU (Moog Unit). Physically, Synthesizers.com modules will fit in a Moog modular system, but Moog modules have large metal frames and won't fit in many Synthesizers.com cabinets.
Moog modular power supplies are completely different. They use -6v and +12 volts and a large card edge connector as opposed to the Synthesizers.com power connector which has become the modern standard. See the technical information page for details on the power connections.
Moog modular keyboard connectors are very different from anything else anyone makes and wont interface to anything I'm aware of.
Yes. MOTM Modules are made by Synthesis Technology. We both use standard voltages for audio, control and pitch signals (1V/Oct). So there is no problem patching the two types of modules together. The difference is the power supply connectors and panel width.
MOTM modules are 8.75 high (5U) just like ours but come in width multiples of 1.75". This will leave a gap when placed in a Synthesizers.com cabinet which is expecting module widths in multiples of 2.125 like Moog modules. The gap can be filled with a small metal strip. Complete details about module sizes can be found on the Technical information page.
MOTM modules have the circuit board (PCB) perpendicular to the front panel which consumes
about 4 to 5 inches behind the panel.
Synthesizers.com modules have the PCB parallel to the front panel and consume only about 2.5 inches.
Here is a picture of both modules.
Ultimately this means that MOTM modules have trouble fitting into some locations inside of Synthesizers.com cabinets because the PCB bumps into the cabinet or the power supply.
MOTM Modules use +15 and -15 power, Synthesizers.com modules use that also, but Synthesizers.com also has +5 volts. This helps keep the power supply clean from digital noise. Pinouts of the power connectors can be found on the Technical information page.
Yes, boost the signal level with a Q118 Instrument Interface. Signal levels of a guitar are very low and need to be boosted (amplified) in order to match those of a modular synth.
There is not a module that will extract pitch information from your guitar (Pitch to voltage converter). That is a very difficult task. But the Q118 instrument interface does create a gate signal indicating the start and end of a note. The threshold is adjustable. This gate can be used to trigger the envelope generator, start a sequencer, etc.
Our Box11p is a typical configuration of modules suited for processing external sounds such as those from a guitar. The system includes the Q118 instrument interface, oscillator, filter, envelope generator, voltage controlled amplifier, rack frame, and power supply. This system can be expanded into a full-blown modular synthesizer easily.
SystemsPre-configured system in all sizes and styles - Studio, Portable, Box11, Rack.
ControllersFully modular controllers with wheels, whammy bars, joysticks, ribbons and more.
ModulesOscillators, sequencers, filters, mixers, the works!
Cables & HoldersHigh quality patch cables, MIDI, S-Trig and Holders.
Gifts & GoodiesT-Shirts calenders, phone cases, gift certificates.
CabinetsDurable cabinetry for any application.
PowerPlug-and-play power components.
PartsKnobs, screws, lamps, replacement parts.
Spreadsheet, PricesConfigure your system with a Spreadsheet, or view a PDF of our price list.
SynthInventBuild a custom system configuration with SynthInvent.