MATRIXSYNTH: Synth Diy Guy Featured Builder: Vinicius Brazil!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Synth Diy Guy Featured Builder: Vinicius Brazil!

Published on Sep 2, 2017 Synth Diy Guy

"A visit and a chat with my partner and teacher Vinicius Brazil of VBrazil Modular.

Here´s a translation of our conversation:"

" SYNTH DIY GUY - Featured Builder - Vinicius Brazil
Q - Hi Vinicius! V - Hi
Q - All good? V - All great!
Q - Tell us a little bit about your path, how you got started with electronics and music.
V - I arrived at electronics thanks to music. When I was a kid, 15 years old, I got my first guitar, and in Brazil it was very expensive to acquire guitar pedals. So I started to take some of my friends’ pedals and study their insides, this was in the 60 ́s, and from there I started making my own pedals. Copying at first, then creating muy own solutions. This got me excited and I went on to study Electronics and graduate college as an Electronic Engineer.
Q- Cool, and what kinds of pedals did you make at first?
V - All were guitar pedals. I started of course with fuzz and distortion, then on to more sophisticated things like flangers, phasers and delays. This was during the 70 ́s. In the end of the 70 ́s synthesizers started attracting me. That ́s when I built my first semi modular synth in 1978/79.
Q - Do you still have that synth?
V - No, I lent it to a professional musician and never saw it again.
Q - Never again? And during this time did you continue working with this or did you do other things?
V - Of course during this whole period I was employed by Industry, developing equipment for various industries like telephony, control systems, industrial automation, industrial intercommunication, telecommunications. On the side I continued making products in the audio field and veered towards studio equipment. In this area I made a bunch of things, both analog and digital, such as AD and DA converters, Intercommunication via Midi, via SPDIF, AS/ BU, studio integration and so on, a lot of equipment, both analog and digital.
Q - And when did you return to working with synthesizers again?
V - About 10 years ago I met a self taught musician who already meddled with modulars, and was involved with the noise scene. He found out about a few things I had made in the 70 ́s, including the synth, and asked me: “why don ́t you go back to making some kind of product in the field of modular synths?”. So he convinced me to come back, and my first product in this area was born, the Monster Drone - An 8 oscillator drone generator.
Q - Do you have one here?
V - Yes
Q - Can we see it?
V - This was the first Monsterdrone, which I’ve kept until now. And from this I went on to make other more aesthetic versions.
Q - Is it in Eurorack format?
V - Its is Eurorack format, 84 hp.
Q - You had already decided on the eurorack format...
V - Yes I had
Q - And why did you choose Eurorack format ?
V - This format we call Eurorack is actually widely used in the field of industrial control. The 3U height standard is commonly used in industrial control and automation. And the 84hp is equivalent to the 19” rack size which is a worldwide standard for audio equipment.
Q - So it was a convenient format for you.
V - Yes because it was a format I was already used to working with in the industry.
Q - So then after the Monsterdrone you went on to develop modules ?
V - Yeah, this same friend started bugging me to start developing modules.
Q - Do you have any of those early modules here ?
V - Yes
Q - Show us!
V - This was the first version of the Aether Oscillator, my first oscillator, already very sophisticated for it ́s time.
Q - It’s a digital oscillator right?
V - It’s a hybrid oscillator. The time base, in this case, the first version, is 1Mhz. This timebase generates the timing so I can generate the other wave forms analogically.
Q - So which one is the digital wave?
V - The digital wave is not on the panel. The timebase is a sawtooth that I use to generate an analog sawtooth, from which I generate a Triangle and then the sine from the triangle. From the triangular I generate a square, a square one octave lower and another two octaves lower.
Q - Wonderful! Now tell us a bit about this system here. What is it?
V - This system actually precedes the Aether Oscillator, it’s a semi modular.
Q - It’s not Eurorack right? or is it 6U?
V - 6U, twice Eurorack.
Q - And are those banana jacks?
V - banana
Q - Maestro, do you prefer mini plugs or banana jacks?
V - Mini plugs are already a standard for Eurorack. But Bananas are known to be the most durable connector ever. That ́s why it ́s used in Telephony, Laboratory, Industry, because it never breaks.
Q - This system is banana too?
V - Banana
Q - But Eurorack banana? So it’s almost more like Frac Rack actually
V -...
Q - Was this one of your first?
V - Yeah, one of the first.
Q - Cool. Now let ́s see some of the more recent modules. Vinicius gave me these two modules so I can make promo videos of them. Tell us a little about them maestro, the Lizard 2 and the Multi LFO.
V - These two are the latest versions. The third version of the Lizard, and This is the second revision of this version of the Multi LFO. They are hybrid modules with a lot of processing power. The sample rates are all higher than 1 MHz. There are configurations where the SR is 2 MHz. The upcoming revision of the Aether oscillator will be 4 MHz.
Q - Awesome. These modules are incredible, I’m already going nuts playing with them. I ́m making demo videos for these soon. And there are many more in the VBrazil System, right? This little system here, what ́s the story?
V - These are different modules, in the near future this system will be available out of the United States.
Q - And why do I see some modules are labeled Vinicius Electric and others say VBrazil Modular?
V - Vinicius Electric is the brand that will be made and sold out of the US.
Q - And VBrazil is more the DIY side...
V - DIY and the Brazilian modules, exactly.
Q - And what does SDIY mean to you?
V - It ́s an opening in the market for anyone who wants to get into this area, especially electronic music. It makes access easier for people who normally wouldn ́t be able to own modulars, more expensive modules... With this there has been a democratization of electronic music on many levels.
V - After all, originally I ́m a guitarist.
Q - And what kind of music do you like to play? V - Progressive Rock
Q - You ́re in a band right?
V - Yeah, Aether!
Q - Same name as your Oscillator!
V - Yup, exactly.
Q - Cool. Where can we find your music?
V - Normally in progressive rock stores, but also in the internet, on youtube.
Q - Aether right? How long have you had this guitar?
V - This guitar ? About 20 to 30 years, I made it myself.
Q - Does it have any cool electronic tricks?
V - It’s active, with a unique EQ system and built in distortion. My own design too. Q - Awesome!

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