Showing posts with label Extralife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Extralife. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Making Custom Eurorack Front Panels with a Laser Engraver

video upload by Extralife

"I finally got a new, larger eurorack case! But it's shallower than my old one, so I need to re-format some modules to fit. Time to make a custom faceplate with my new laser engraver.

I'm combining 3 of the Hexinverter NeinOhNein drum modules into one so I can stack the PCBs and make a module sandwich. This is a very ad-hoc and manual process, but the front panel can be designed on the computer for a more professional looking result.

I ended up using some satin black Rustoleum spraypaint on top of some matte white Krylon. The laser is absorbed by the black paint, ablating it, and reflected by the white, leaving it intact. You can then remove the paint residue using rubbing alcohol.

The laser settings were very forgiving, I think I ended up using about 20% power and 100mm/minute for most of the marking. I found it was helpful to slightly defocus the laser to cover a wider area during engraving and to not mark the black paint when moving around in 'finding' mode (5.5W at 1% will still etch black surfaces!).

Hexinverter NeinOhNein modules:

NEJE 3 laser engraver:

Lightburn CNC software:"

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

DIY MIDI Patch Storage box for Yamaha Reface CS

video upload by Extralife

"I love the Yamaha Reface CS but its Achilles' heel is its inability to remember patches or presets. I created a device to solve this by storing the control change values and re-setting them over MIDI, using Arduino nano and a custom interface PCB.

The source code and PCB files are available here:"

Friday, September 09, 2022

ER-99 Online Web-Based Roland TR-909 Emulator by Extralife Instruments

video upload by Extralife

Update: video added above.

"Play the ER-99 free here!

Celebrate electronic music history on 9/09 day with ER-99, a web-based instrument 🎛️ based on a famous Japanese drum machine from the 1980s. It was built to celebrate 9/09 day 2022 🎉!

All of the drums are synthesized using the WebAudio API. The hi-hats, crash, and ride cymbals are produced from sampled audio.

The complete source code is available on Github:"

Original post:

This one is in via Extralife, maker of the Super Sixteen DIY Eurorack Sequencer, featured in additional posts here.

"This year, to celebrate 9/09 day, I've built a free, open-source analog drum synth you can play in your web browser. It's called ER-99, and you can play it here (works best on desktop devices!)

You can program patches and sequences on the web interface and save them as presets using the menu below the sequencer. (I have also added MIDI input for sync with external sequences).

You can also read the complete source code on Github. It's surprising how simple many of these sounds are to make!

The original Japanese drum machine that inspired this project is an analog sound design masterpiece, and you can read circuit analysis about its clever use of noise and bandpass filters over on Network 909. I've tried to use the same techniques in the digital domain but I'm sure I can tweak them to get even closer sounding:"

Check out ER-99 here:

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Paraphonic modes, external mutation triggers and more - Extralife Super Sixteen Firmware v1.2

video upload by Extralife


The latest firmware update for Super Sixteen is now available! Version 1.2 includes these new features:

- 2-voice paraphonic sequencing using CV as 1v/oct pitch output
- smoothed CV "LFO" mode
- use "Reset" input to trigger mutations
- note audition mode
- 4 new mutations - chord, chord (quantized), sub osc, and vibrato

For tech support with installation, please visit the thread on Mod Wiggler to read detailed instructions and post questions:


00:00 Intro
00:40 External Mutation Triggers
03:09 Step audition mode
03:56 LFO cv mode
04:47 Paraphonic Interval Mode
06:15 Paraphonic Note Mode
08:42 Chord and Sub Osc Mutations
10:55 Turing mode with paraphonic out
13:13 Vibrato mutation
13:50 Calibrating both pitch outs"

Monday, August 02, 2021

DIY Eurorack Case Part 2: Power Supply

video upload by Extralife

Extralife DIY Eurorack Case posts

"In this video I finally finish up wiring my reclaimed wood eurorack style synth case. I show how to install a basic switchmode power supply using a busboard, Meanwell RT-50B, some wire, and a few connectors. Supplies used are listed below:

16" eurorack bus-board by Jacob Barss-Bailey:

Meanwell RT-65B swithmode power supply:

Switched power entry module with fuse and EMI filter:

Power entry fuse:

Quick disconnect crimp-on terminal:

Faston solderable disconnect tabs:

Screw-in hex standoffs:"

Monday, March 08, 2021

Song mode & generative sequencing on Super Sixteen Firmware v1.1 (tutorial)

video by Extralife

"Installing new 1.1 firmware on the Super Sixteen. Get the firmware update here:

Get the Pololu USB AVR programmer 2.1 (any AVR programmer will work!)

Get the arduino IDE here:

OR Get avrdude here:

00:21​ Intro
00:50​ Generative mutations
03:43​ Sequence chain / song mode
06:08​ Note name display mode
07:17​ Connect AVR programmer (SMT)
09:06​ Connect AVR programmer (DIY)
09:54​ Arduino Uno as ICSP
10:45​ Arduino connections (SMT)
13:41​ Arduino connections (DIY)
15:10​ Downloading the firmware/AVRdude
16:12​ Upload via cmd/terminal
17:23​ Troubleshooting common errors
18:38​ Upload via Arduino Uno
19:12​ Finding avrdude when installed via Arduino IDE
21:11​ Installing via source/IDE (AVR programmer only)
24:33​ Updated documentation"

Friday, January 01, 2021

Big Button trigger sequencer MIDI upgrade


"Get the firmware and schematics here:

I modified the Look Mum No Computer big button sequencer that I built to sport MIDI input and thru, as well as a new "shift" button that adds some new sequencing features to the front panel, like mute, solo, bank/all and roll. Now I can use it as a MIDI-to-gate converter or program sequences on top of any existing rhythm.

It's a somewhat complex but not super hard mod that just requires a small daughterboard to isolate the midi input signal with a 6N138 optoisolator and support circuitry. The inside is a mess of wires but it's great to be able to sync it up with my other gear."

See the extralife label below for more.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Super Sixteen Module Calibration Tutorial & PCB/Kit Build Guide


"A walkthrough of how to calibrate the 1V/oct pitch control voltage output on the Super Sixteen eurorack sequencer by Extralife Instruments. Requires a multimeter or an oscillator and tuner (or a well-calibrated pair of ears!)."


"How to assemble and solder the Super Sixteen sequencer module from start to finish! This took me about 4 and a half hours before editing, so give yourself enough time and take frequent breaks! It's a lot of parts and they all require some attention and focus. Happy soldering!"

INTERACTIVE BOM - Control board:
Build support thread on Muff Wiggler:

0:00 Introduction
1:46 Tools
3:15 SOIC memory chip (SMT Soldering)
9:18 Resistors
13:50 Diodes
15:50 Ceramic capacitors
18:00 Transistors and Regulators
20:41 Quartz crystal
21:08 Chips / ICs
25:02 Electrolytic capacitors
26:57 Pin & socket headers
31:40 Control board headers
33:11 Resistors pt. 2
36:10 Ceramic caps pt. 2
36:50 Chips /ICs pt. 2
38:45 Tact switches
41:47 Potentiometers and encoder
43:43 3.5mm jacks
45:19 LEDs
50:39 Electrolytic caps pt. 2
52:13 Pushbuttons
53:55 Seven Segment Display
55:08 Electrical test
55:50 Visual Inspection
57:19 Cleanup
58:23 Hex Standoff
58:59 Hot glue
59:32 Start-up test
1:02:05 Button caps
1:05:57 Knobs
1:06:41 Functional test

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Super Sixteen: Scales, Settings, and Mutations


"In this video I demonstrate some of the more advanced features on the Super Sixteen sequencer, including scale selection, transposition, swing timing, glide/portamento, and the many various rhythm and pitch mutations that can be applied in real-time or via motion recording.

Super Sixteen is in initial production for pre-order backers via Kickstarter and will be available via web shop and synth retailers soon! Sign up at the mailing list here to get launch-day info via email.

0:00 Intro
0:54 Rhythm Recording
1:45 Tempo and Swing
3:20 Scale Selection
5:30 Transpose
6:18 Glide/portamento
7:15 Mutations/effects
13:40 Mutation recording

Become a supporter on Patreon to get bonus content and early access to new videos!"

Monday, July 20, 2020

Making a Circuit Board Soldering Jig for the Super Sixteen


"With a big job of PCB soldering ahead of me, I decided to make the task a little easier and more repeatable by building a jig to hold the various parts in place while they're being installed.

In the past I've done this by attaching and removing the front panel by its various threaded fasteners, which can be fiddly and time-consuming. This simple home-made jig allows quick and easy alignment of all the critical parts and will hopefully allow me to build up complete modules much faster."

Friday, July 17, 2020

Super Sixteen is Fully Funded!!


"Thanks so much to everyone who made this possible! Incredibly excited to get started making modules.

In a surprise last-minute push we managed to get nearly 100 new backers in 48 hours get over the kickstarter threshold at the very last minute. I'm as pleased as I am surprised at this result.

In this video I also show off a bonus feature, black PCB front panels! Send me a message on Kickstarter if you pledged and would like one of these instead of an aluminum panel with black text.

I also discuss kits and sourcing some harder-to-find components. I hope to make an announcement about parts kit availability soon - please let me know if you're interested as it will help me judge how many kits to stock."

Friday, July 10, 2020

Riffs on Modular?? 10 Modern Classic Synth Lines Done on Eurorack


Super Sixteen →
I had so much fun recreating that Daft Punk track last time I decided to come back for a second helping. Ten more in fact! I picked a decade of delicious synth treats from my music collection and spent a day recreating them on my homemade eurorack system. We modular nerds have a (perhaps deserved) reputation for being the noodly and undisciplined nomads of the synth world, so I wanted to show another side of the instrument!

And to all my wooly and wired synth comrades out there patching in the blinking darkness, I salute you. Onward to higher planes of sound.

Here is the tracklist:
0:00 Disclosure - "When a Fire Starts to Burn"
1:01 Riton & Kah-Lo - "Fake ID"
1:57 Fatboy Slim - "Acid 8000"
3:17 Simian Mobile Disco - "Cruel Intentions"
4:02 Booka Shade - "Friend for a Night"
5:20 Justice - "Waters of Nazareth"
7:07 Kavinsky - "Nightcall"
8:06 Roisin Murphy - "Overpowered"
9:36 Soulwax - "Krack"
10:42 Todd Terje - "Ragysh"

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Daft Punk "Da Funk" on modular synth & Bass Station II


"The eurorack sequencer used in this video is now on Kickstarter! Click below for more info:

After many years of listening and contemplating it, I finally decided to dive in recreate Daft Punk's classic acid house burner with my modular synth setup. Every sound you hear was created on the gear you see! The drums are hexinverter 909 modules (the sub bass comes from the kick), and some samples on the Squarp Rample (hi hats, drum break, horn stab). The first bassline is on the Novation Bass Station II using some external feedback looping for more growl. The classic 303 line is recreated using my open-source Super Sixteen sequencer, MFOS VCO as an oscillator, Yusynth Moog Ladder Filter, and a SansAmp Para Driver. Some EQ and buss compression was added to the recording.

Sorry that 25% of the video ended up being the top of my head! Still working on a proper overhead camera setup. Will fix that for the next jam."

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Super Sixteen: How to Program a Sequence (Tutorial Part 1)


"By popular request - a quick tutorial on basic sequencing workflow and fundamentals. Early backers get 15% off on Kickstarter:

In this video I dive into the sequencing UI including rhythm programming, pitch and octave selection, adjusting gate duration, and velocity CV. We also take a look at motion recording, multi-bar sequencing, copy/paste, and patch memory.

While this doesn't cover everything the sequencer does, it's all you need to get started making great melodies, basslines, and rhythm patterns on the Super Sixteen. In the next video we'll get deeper into advanced sequence settings and real-time mutations.

Become a supporter on Patreon to get bonus content and early access to new videos!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Extralife Instruments Super Sixteen Eurorack Sequencer Module Kickstarter Launches Today

A Kickstarter campaign for the Super Sixteen Eurorack Sequencer launched today, Wednesday, June 17. Click here for full details.

"The Super Sixteen is a 64-step control voltage sequencer with dual CV, gate, and clock outputs, and a unique 2-handed programming interface.

Some of the features that set the Super Sixteen apart from other great eurorack modules rest include:
- compact 22hp footprint
- patch memory for 99 sequences
- up to 64 step sequence length
- selectable scales and swing timing
- motion recording
- per-step glide/portamento
- real-time rhythm and pitch effects like beat repeat and stutter roll

Super Sixteen is priced at $325+shipping, and the first 25 backers will receive a 15% discount. It's also available as PCB and panel set for DIY enthusiasts for just $40. The source code and hardware files are available here." You can find the Kickstarter campaign here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Building Mutable Instruments Braids / Learning Hot Air Soldering

Published on Mar 11, 2020 Extralife

"I need to learn SMD soldering so I picked up a PCB and parts for the classic eurorack digital oscillator, mutable instruments' Braids by Emilie Gillet. This version has been superseded in some ways by Plaits but I quite like the look of this one regardless.

I tried out a couple different soldering techniques including classic tack-and-place with the iron and lead-free solder paste with a hot air station. The paste wasn't super easy but maybe leaded paste is better for DIY work. Along the way I fried a couple components and had to troubleshoot so I tried to give some insight into how I track that stuff down and fix it.

The module sounds great! I needed to upgrade my case power supply after this build but that's massively improved with a separate digital power rail.

Music used in this video: [active links on YouTube]
South London Hifi - Sunrise Drive -
Silent Partner - Blue Break -
Birocratic - Memory Card Full -
Mylar Melodies - Musik Von Melodies -"

Monday, November 18, 2019

Designing A Eurorack Sequencer Part 8: New panel, Patch memory, Performance effects

Published on Nov 18, 2019 Extralife

"In this installment we fabricate a new front panel for the Super Sixteen using the toner transfer process, and then take a spin with some of the new advanced features it sports, like patch memory, scale selection, swing timing, and a gang of performance rhythm effects."

You can find previous videos in the series here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Building the Super Sixteen Eurorack Sequencer

Published on May 30, 2018 Extralife

You can find the code, schematic and KiCad files here.
You can find Extralife on Patreon here if you would like to support his projects.
You cab download KiCad EDA 5.0 for free here:
For a detailed look at how to multiplex a grid of LEDs, check out this tutorial (a shift register is used instead of an i/o expander).

1. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer - Pt. 1: Digital to Analog
In this new series I'll be designing, prototyping and building a sequencer module for my eurorack sythesizer using the Arduino platform. In this episode, we connect the arduino to our 12v power supply and add a digital-to-analog converter output so our sequencer can output proper 0-8v CV signals.
2. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer - Part 2: Seven Segment Displays
Continuing to design and prototype the Super Sixteen sequencer module for my eurorack sythesizer using the Arduino platform. In this episode, we wire up a seven segment display to show some visual feedback using another serial chip, the I/O expander. Then we take a crack at making our sequencer play a scale!
3. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer - Part 3: Enter the Matrix
Continuing with the Super Sixteen, we build the sequencer's namesake sixteen-button grid, explore matrix wiring and multiplexing in combination, and construct our first working prototype that actually plays a sequence!
4. Designing Eurorack Sequencer Part 4: Making a PCB with KiCad 5.0
In this episode we get into some proper electronics design with KiCad and develop a new layout for a printed circuit board. Then we get to do the fun part and fabricate it at home using a toner transfer and ferric chloride etching.
5. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer - Part 5: Assembly
In this episode we assemble the first PCB prototype of the Super Sixteen with our trusty soldering iron and a spool of mod wire. After a few fried chips and more than a few repairs, it's time to wire it up to our synth and try out some actual sequencing!
6. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer - Part 6: Front Panel and External Sync
Or, "How to Make a Eurorack Front Panel: The Cheap Way"
In this episode we upgrade our module with a faceplate, and add some advanced features like external sync, pitch calibration, and glide/portamento.
7. Designing a Eurorack Sequencer part 7 - New PCBs, Motion Recording, Beat Repeat
In this episode, we assemble, inspect, debug, and reprogram our new dual-PCB stackup for the Super Sixteen eurorack CV sequencer. Not everything goes according to plan!
8. Designing A Eurorack Sequencer Part 8: New panel, Patch memory, Performance effects
In this installment we fabricate a new front panel for the Super Sixteen using the toner transfer process, and then take a spin with some of the new advanced features it sports, like patch memory, scale selection, swing timing, and a gang of performance rhythm effects.

Korg Monotron CV Input Mod (Eurorack Control Voltage hack)

Published on Sep 21, 2019 Extralife

"Hello friends! I'm back in California and back in action. First off the hop is a travel kit project to convert CV (control voltage) signals to Monotron-compatible pitch/gate signals. If you have a Monotron (the cheapest analog synth on then market) you can use it to add a complete synth voice to your eurorack system!

The schematics and PCB layout for this project are up on my github page:

This work is partially based on DINSync's 2010 monotron CV mod:"

Patch n Tweak
Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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