MATRIXSYNTH: Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

RIP John Blacet

It has come to my attention from Joshua Shroyer that John Blacet passed away on June 22 after a battle with cancer. There is a thread on his passing at Muff's as well. The news comes as a bit of a shock. The last email I received from the Blacet newsletter was dated June 19, with only "Sorry, closed for now.....". I thought this was in reference to the latest sale. The email I had prior to this, dated April 18, was for a Rak-3 sale. There was no hint of his cancer or condition. John was extremely private. He reached out to me back in October of 2017 for a banner on the site. He continued the banner through December of 2018 and then just kind of disappeared. His communication was always brief and non personal. I respected that and I respected his privacy.

The Blacet website is currently down: The first two images in this post are from the Internet Wayback Machine, dated June 22, 2019.

I'm assuming anyone that comes to this site is familiar with Blacet and his Frac rack format modules. The domain name was registered back on June 6, of 1999. He was creating modular synths before the modular scene became popular, before eurorack took off. Back then Frac was king for many. Blacet along with Modcan and Cynthia were it. Eurorack may have taken over, especially now that there is a market to support it, but back then, pioneers like John Blacet provided a small oasis for the world of modular, after years, if not decades, of being forgotten for mainstream synths. John helped keep the modular world alive, when by all circumstances it should have been lost. We have him and the handful of botique manufacturers to thank for what we have now. He will always be appreciated on this site. Not only for his creations, but also for his support. His banner will remain in the banner archives, and his label will live on.

The following is from the front page of his website:

"Be inspired by the sounds, colors and shapes of nature. Find new sounds with some of our electronic music kits. Featuring everything you need to easily achieve kit building success, our kits are complete with beautiful front panels, PCBs and all the parts needed, right down to the power cable. Dedicated to Frac Rak. +/- 15 volt power and power supply protection on each module.

Our complete documentation is second to none and our module quality and feature set is legendary. Decades of experience and craftsmanship means that you can count on Blacet. Complete kits or factory assembled."


Apparently John was also into planes. The following is from a thread on taptalk mentioning his passing on June 22:

"John Blacet passed away June 22 at home in Lakeview after battling cancer for a year.

John was an early Sonoma Wings member who flew with us locally, in Nevada, Idaho, and the Owens Valley.

He made the first Sonoma Wings web sites.

His Atos B was for sale on and his family hopes the Atos and trike will find a good home.

hanger at the Lakeview airport" [pictured below]

Update: a picture of John from his Facebook page.

DAFM DIY Synthesizer - SEGA Genesis FM sound on a tiny board

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Floyd Steinberg

"DAFM DIY Synthesizer, by Kasser Art. Table of contents below! This is a 6 voice, 6 part multitimbral FM Synthesizer based on Yamaha's YM2612 / YM3438 sound chip, as found in the SEGA Genesis 90s video game console. In this video, I'm using a soldering iron for the first time in 30 years, trying to assemble this kit.
The intro & background music was recorded with this synthesizer, utilizing it's multitimbrality (no overdubbing needed).

Table of contents:

00:00 sound demo #1
00:38 introduction
02:04 soldering! / music demo #2
02:48 … everything's going as planned …
03:33 more soldering!
04:35 hardware features
05:42 turning it on for the first time...
06:50 user interface walkthrough / creating a sound
12:58 conclusion"


"Now the DAFM Synth Genesis YM2612/YM3438 has been redesigned as a DIY friendly kit. This is a nice project that comprises soldering of through-hole components. This kit can be found on Tindie: Assembled version with case and knobs can be found here.

What is it?

Sound synthesis through Frequency Modulation (FM) allows to obtain unique sounds that defined a whole musical generation during the 80's and 90's The model Genesis uses the YM2612 (or YM3438) yamaha chip that was used in the SEGA Genesis / Megadrive home console.

Why did you make it?

This synthesizer is the perfect mix for lovers of retro video games, and makers who want to introduce themselves in the musical experimentation.

What makes it special?

The YM2612 has six channels with four operators per channel. The operators can interact according to eight different algorithms. Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release (ADSR) envelopes, frequencies and low frequency oscillators (LFOs) can be modified to obtain the whole range of FM sounds.

The YM2612 chip has a peculiar form of crossover distortion in the output, which has become known as the "ladder effect" among fans. The YM3438 is a modified CMOS version of the YM2612 with a louder sound output and no "ladder effect". The DAFM Synth can be purchased with the YM2612 or the YM3438 chip. Nostalgic retrogamers would choose the YM2612 chip. The YM3438 would be the first choice for the FM-synthesis lovers.

The synthesizer is operated through 2 rotary encoders and has a complete menu that is shown in 4 blue OLED displays. Thanks to the beautiful tactile keyboard of 12 notes you can try the different patches as they are created. There is also the possibility of changing the octave and thus test the full sound spectrum of the Yamaha chip. Once created, the presets can be saved in the RAM memory or in a SD card as DMP files that can be opened with VGM trackers like Deflemask.

The stereo sound output is 3.5 mm audio jack, has a MIDI input to connect a keyboard, sequencer or any MIDI instrument and can be powered with a micro USB cable (5V)."


via this auction

"From an estate sale, was kept in the box in a drawer, so the condition is actually very good. Looks like it was assembled and then hardly ever used. Comes with all original manuals and original box."

deltAdata : Liquid Gold (epic paraphonic patch of thor synthesizer and brewing time lapses of beer)

Published on Jul 12, 2019 deltAdata

"Hello ! i made a paraphonic patch of thor to avoid falling into the void of modular gear aquisition, and i put some footages of my last brewing english pale ale on top of it !

recorded with line 6 vx sonic port, and iphone 6 with audioshare.

Thanks for watching ! ✌"

Novation Summit Synthesizer, It's Two Peaks And More

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Perfect Circuit

"The Novation Summit is coming out soon and we got a chance to record some sounds from an early unit! Read our article about the Summit for more information (

The Summit is a 16 voice bi-timbral synthesizer with digital oscillators and analog filters as well as effects. In addition to being like having two Peaks and a keyboard the Summit adds audio inputs and knobs for easier access to oscillator FM controls.

The digital oscillators can give you traditional analog oscillator waveforms as well as many other sounds including organs and wavetables. The multimode filter has 12 and 24db cutoff options as well as drive both before and after the filter.

Summit available here:"

Supporters of MATRIXSYNTH get %10 off at Perfect Circuit! See the support page for details. Thank you to all who support the site!

Best Ambient Synth Shootout #75: Korg M1R - Song 2

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Christian's Sonic Spaces

"This is the second song with the M1R. It's a 16 voice 8-part multitimbral synthesizer based on PCM waveforms. This time the outcome of the session was a minimal soundscape track.

I used for the recording the following FX:
Pigtronix Echolution 2 Deluxe, GFI System Specular Reverb 2

The signal went through a Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 into the PC via USB for recording. To create the complete song I created and recorded consecutively several stereo tracks. The final song was then mastered with a bit EQ and compression on some tracks and some limiting on the master track."

Song 1 here. More videos by Christian's Sonic Spaces here.

Let's Play with Aphelian

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Tim Webb

New video from the first, and continuing, supporting member of MATRIXSYNTH! THANK YOU TIM! :)

"Aphelian is a new and totally unique way of composing musical sequences. It includes a built-in synthesis engine, but this video focuses primarily on the extraordinary sequencer. Along the way we learn Demonology, and a little bit about ourselves.

Aphelian on the App Store:

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it by becoming a Patreon: If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: Or you can support me on Timmeon if you don't like Patreon: (Patrons of these campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

Be sure to visit for the latest music app news!"

Electro Traveller - Lago di Como 1

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Metunar

"In this jam i used an iPad with the iDensity app.
Drumloops are from the Arturia Drumbrute distorted through a Boss KM-60 mixer.
Bassloop is from a Shruti synth.
For the piano i used a GSI Gemini rack synth.
The solosound is from a wonderful Teisco 100-P analog monosynth."

KlirrFactory Wonky DrumSEQ V1.1.x - The CV Out Section

Published on Jul 12, 2019 TheKlirrfaktor

"Now that Wonky DrumSEQ is V1.1 take that as the 2nd part of the Wonky DrumSEQ Tutorial. The first part you can find [embedded below]

And the first Demo here: [previously posted here]

Wonky DrumSEQ is available @"

KlirrFactory Wonky DrumSEQ - Organic Drum Sequencer for VCV Rack (Overview)

Published on May 28, 2019 TheKlirrfaktor

"Wonky DrumSEQ is a 16 step, 5 track drum sequencer for VCV Rack which let’s you set probabilities for every sequenced step. Every successful sequenced step allows you to set the probability between 2 outputs – so you can use 2 different sounds (i.e. 2 kicks changing randomly). You can choke tracks, change the probability for all sequenced steps (for all tracks), fix steps - so they will be played even if the overall probability is set to 0.
All this combined with the Wonky Clock section let’s you make very organic and unique grooves with a few clicks.

Wonky DrumSEQ is available @"

Repelzen - VCV Rack Live Stream

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Omri Cohen

"In this live stream, we will explore the revived Repelzen collection.

If you like what I do and want to support my work, consider joining my crew on Patreon -

Here is the Beta release of the Repelzen collection -

If you find something interesting during the stream, please feel free to leave a timestamp link in the comments so other people can find it easily :) Thank you!"

Quick beat with cheap but good analog Drum Machine From Arturia:DrumBrute Impact.

Published on Jul 9, 2019 Sound Provider

"Lot of people ask me what I m thinking about the Drumbrute Impact from Arturia so I did a quick and raw video with it to talk about it.
First of all I have to say, I was not a huge fan of the first DrumBrute , not because it is a bad one , but I feel the Kick and Snare was not good enough if it s the only analog DrumMachine in your setup( If you have already other Drum Machine it s a good add).
So when Arturia release the Drum Brute Impact Version I was very curious about it, and I have to say was was not disappointed at all , the Kick/Snare/HiHat/Cymbal are quite basic but they sound good and have enough variation with color or distortion option , I really like the Fm Drum, who can do lot of different sounds, my only concern are about the cow and tom who are not crazy at all.
So for me it s a really nice and solid Drum Machine than I use a lot for Tracks, Sound Banks or Live in from of other way more expensive Analog Drum Synth.
Good Job Arturia!"

Roland Jupiter 6 w/ Blue LED Pitch Bend

via this auction

"Here’s an almost perfect Jp6 rescued from a storage locker in Mississippi...

Here’s a list of everything we done;

Full calibration
New lighted bender
Power supply rebuilt
All sliders rebuilt
All pots deoxidized
All key contacts deoxidized
New 3 prong power receptacle
Polished aluminum sides

By the way, every circuit board has been signed in invisible ink for warrantee work, with signed service tags."


via this auction

"Upgraded Keybed to an arturia keystep.
Literally one of a kind mod."

Curious if the aftertouch works. :)

Access Virus TI2 Dark Star Limited Edition Keyboard

via this auction

PAIA Modular Synth

via this auction

Roland SH-101 Monophonic Synthesizer w/ Mod Grip & Gig Bag

via this auction

Memorymoog Modifications (By Synthpro)

Published on Jul 12, 2019 synthpro

"Hey Guys,

This is a Memorymoog I modified a bit. This was not as much a restoration but a repair and modify.

I added the Kenton MIDI kit as well as individual outs for the voices so they can be panned and mixed independently.

Thanks for watching and appreciate the support!


ORGANELLE-M - Best Portable Synth?

Published on Jul 12, 2019 TheTechnobear

"Is the Organelle-M the best portable synth available in 2019?

In this video, I look and play with the new Critter and Guitari Organelle-M, and answer the following questions...

Who's it for?
What can it do?
What's new?
Is it worth upgrading too?
How's it compare to the OP-1?

#organelle-m #critterandguitari"

04- The ARP Pro DGX- Part 4: Presets 3

Published on Jul 12, 2019 AutomaticGainsay

"Here is part two of a three-part demonstration of the sounds of the various presets found on the ARP Pro DGX synthesizer."

AutomaticGainsay ARP Pro DGX demos

Automatic Gainsay Synth Demonstration Music- 2017-2019

Part 4 added to this post. You can use the drop down in the top right of the player to skip to it.

CATCH VCA modulation

Published on Jul 12, 2019 ReBach

"In this demo one VCO modulates a VCA. A second VCO runs through a VCF and the modulated VCA.
One ADSR controles the VCF and a second ADSR a second VCA."

Sonic LAB: IMPULSE COMMAND Analogue Solutions synth

Published on Jul 12, 2019 sonicstate

"We had the chance to spend a short session with the Analogue Solutions IMPULSE COMMAND - an unusual instrument with analogue oscillators, stereo filter, Sequencizer and DSP effects."

Polyend Medusa, MS-101, Mono Station - Back to the 80's Pt3, Last Ninja 2

Published on Jul 12, 2019 Sounds From The Shed

"So first of all here is my piss take of the youtubers who follow the youtube guide, show your product, gaze in the distance and you'll get clicks! And they all do it, worst one is Andrew Haung, I hate his face popping up on my youtube feed!!!!! Seriously I could punch him 😂

Next is the real stuff about the song!

For this one I made use of my erica modular setup to distort and dirty up the sound. Last Ninja 2 Central Park loading theme. A classic! Did my best to dirty up the sound and detune the lead to give the authentic feel. I sort of looked at it like a school art project where you would stain the paper with teabags and burn the edges to give it an older appearance :)"


Some sexy reveal shots for you via this auction

More toy organ than synth? Might sound interesting through effects, but then anything does. Still a unique item worth capturing for the demo.

Via the listing:

"Keyboard not configured correctly
Some keys make too many sounds when pressed, or do not.'

Likely needs the contacts cleaned, but who know what else might be wrong with it.


Published on Jul 12, 2019 GLvintageSHOP

via this auction

"NOS PIF Soviet Analog Synthesizer. 24 mini-key piano. Internal speaker. 3 octave range. One volume knob, one low-pass filter knob. Produces video game-like sounds. It reminds me of early Nintendo games like Castlevania. A great buy for anyone looking for a rare, russian-made analog synth."

ELEKTRONIKA EM 25 - Vintage Analog String synthesizer USSR Soviet 106

Published on Jul 12, 2019 GLvintageSHOP

via this auction

"EM-25 is an interesting Soviet string-synth that looks and feels like a curious cross between Moog Opus 3, Yamaha SK15 and ARP Solina. Like other Soviet synths, has got a distinct sound of its own and can easily compete with synths that have grown to become classics.

Organ has great vibe - I like its etheral and gentle vibe in upper register. It has one percussive drawbar (again a plus for total tonal variety).
EM-25's organ is quite interesting, potent and woody with full registers, almost acoustic sounding. With a touch of LXP-1 reverb, a single drawbar turns into real Cathedral organ!

Synth section (called brass on EM-25) is VCO fixed preset on both, with full filter section - but only one filter for all voices.

All said, EM-25 is unique and rare and a real stringer."


Patch n Tweak

© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.