‘Sequence 8′ Eurorack & 9V Battery Powered 8 Step Analog Sequencer ANNOUNCED!

April 17th, 2014 No comments
Sequence 8 Step Analog Step Sequencer

‘Sequence 8′ Analog Step Sequencer


Hey Folks!  This is the ‘official’ announcement to let you know that we will be releasing our new ‘Sequence 8′ 8 Step Analog Step Sequencer next week.  Retailers worldwide will also have these in their stores.   Buy Local FIRST!


Kits will also be available in a month or so.  Completed EURORACK ONLY units will launch first.

This sequencer is pretty exciting in that it takes Euroack / FRAC / 9V Battery & Wall Wart Power.  We will have a small 20HP ‘cheeks’ case available pretty soon as well, so it can be used as a stand-alone device if you are not into the modular thing, or if you have another modular format.

Check out these specs:

- Eurorack or 9V battery or wall plug
- 8 Steps with high-gate output per step
- 3 CV Outs, each with their own attenuator, 0-5 volt output.
- Clock Input and Output
- Coarse & fine clock adjustment
- Switchable linear ‘random’ function with speed adjustment
- Momentary & Hard Hold Function
- Manual Step Button
- Internal/External Clock Switch
- Reset Input Jack
- 20HP
- Current draw is 20mA

Retail: $200

Check out our basic demo video:

Digging Deeper into the cool ‘quirks’ on the EKO

February 12th, 2014 No comments

Due to many questions on how to properly use the EKO, we decided to make a video and a better explanation. Here is:

- EKO Rate CV accepts -5 / +5 voltages (although the negative range is almost -7)

- EKO Rate knob is setup to push the chip into extreme territory and will extend past the “useable” range of the PT2399 IC, meaning that once you turn the knob past 3 o’clock or so, the chip will stop operating and you’ll only hear your dry signal.

- Attenuation, attenuversion, or using an offset will greatly help when running voltages into the Rate CV input. This way, you can tailor the modulation as you see fit. You will absolutely get the most out of your EKO by using modules that attenuate, invert or offset your signal.


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555 Timer : Frequency Investigation

January 15th, 2014 No comments

555 Timer : Frequency Investigation, Increasing Rate for Higher Frequency

555 Timer Kit – In Our Store

A customer recently contacted us about wanting to make an active ring mod using our passive ring mod and 555 timer kits. He was wanting to know how he could get the 555 to go into higher frequencies.

It turns out that we had a passive ring mod + 555 timer combo laying around the shop and decided to test it out and see if we could get the 555 to go up higher in frequency. Here’s what I found out:

To increase the rate of the 555, put in a lower rated resistor in R2 on the 555 PCB. For example, instead of using a 1K in R2, use a 560ohm (which I found I liked the best, personal taste). Essentially you can put anything from a 1ohm resistor up to a 1K.

To decrease the rate of the 555, put in a larger rated resistor in R2. For example, using a 1Mohm I got some nice slower clock speeds.

If you’re handy with soldering, you could solder in 2 long resistor legs into R2 and hold up different values to the legs and see what works best for you. That’s what we did for our testing.

So basically we found that a lower amount of resistance = higher clock and a higher amount of resistance = slower clock for R2.

Now that you know how to alter the frequency range, experiment with different values to see what works best for your 555 timer kit.

by Scott Worley

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DIY Patch / Audio Cable Making – by Cliff White

December 24th, 2013 No comments

Fun DYI – Making cables

by Cliff White

You can never have enough VCAs. And, you can never have enough patch cables.
Making your own cables is a good intro to DYI, can save you a little money, and provide some fun! In this post, I’ll show you some cables I’ve made and talk a little about the materials you need.

I spent years of my life waiting for cheap soldering irons to heat up. Buy a decent soldering station. Mine came from SparkFun, they sell some decent cheap ones.

You will want something to test your patch cables with. A voltmeter with a continuity tester, sometimes called a diode tester is very handy.



I’ve had this old Fluke for years. Notice the little diode symbol. The meter beeps where there is continuity. You can also buy dedicated cable testers. This unit travels in my gig bag. The modern version is available for $29 and well worth it.

Cable Tester

Cable Tester





Connectors are easy to find, but if you want them cheap, get them online. I use REAN/Neutrik parts, purchased from Mouser. Here’s the URL:

http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=NYS226virtualkey56810000virtualkey568- NYS226

Notice the price comes down when you buy in quantity. Get all your friends together and make a bulk purchase, you might as well have lot’s!

Finding cable can be a headache. Your local Radio Shack probably has only speaker cable, and that’s just too big. When I started making cables, I started by scrounging around the old basement. If you have for example an old computer, there’s quite a bit of wire in there. Here’s a few things I’ve re- purposed into patch cables.

- Old computer switch wires. Many computer will have bundles of nice twisted pair wires for the power switches, case LED’s, etc. I started using these with Arduino projects, because they already had female pin connectors attached to them.



- Old RCA Cables from old stereo gear. Older ones have nice flexible wire, split them in half, chop the ends off and away your go.
RCA Before

RCA Before

RCA After

RCA After

Having multiple patch cables tied together can be handy for some modules. Old VGA Cables for example have 8 wires and make a nice 4-pair cable.

VGA DIY Patch Cables

VGA DIY Patch Cables



Another style of cable I’ve experimented with is flat ribbon cable, which is normally used for disk drives. The grey flat cable is a bit flimsy for external use, but works great for wiring inside boxes. I found some heavier-gauge stuff online, reminded me of the cables I used with huge SMD drives.

DIY Ribbon Patch Cable

DIY Ribbon Patch Cable

Finally, you can just buy some wire. I use 50 ohm coax, which is nice and thin. This came from Jameco:
Coaxial Cable

Coaxial Cable

And I use it to make these nice neat patch cables.



I put a bit of colored heat-shrink on the ends. Helps me identify things.
So, dive in! Make your rig a bit more personal, and perhaps a bit more colorful.

Holiday 2013 Synthrotek Mega Deals

November 28th, 2013 3 comments


Check out this year’s EXTREME Holiday Deals for the next 5 days of holiday shopping madness!  Deals will post at store.synthrotek.com

NOVEMBER 28th – AFter 3:30 PM PST

Holiday Deal #1: 40% off Atari punk kits. In case you haven’t had enough gravy.


Holiday Deal #2: DS-8 kits 40% off


Holiday deal #3: BIG Atari Junk Sale


Holiday Deal #4: Tube Screamer 40% off!


Holiday Deal #5: 50% off fuzz face kits PLUS free Synthrotek logo tee with a $15 purchase!


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