MFOS Weird Sound Generator BUILD!

this weekend i decided it was time i built my MFOS WSG.
i’d also been waiting to borrow NPs soldering iron and Helping hands thingy.
NP brought them into work on friday and i went to Craplins on saturday to buy some little sidecutters and solder (more on the solder later…).
anyway, i’ve touched on the WSG before in this post: https://sync24.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/sequencer/ and it’d been sitting waiting for me to get started on it for a while since it arrived through the post.
i got the full kit with faceplate from Ray the MFOS to be sure i was going to manage ok and not mess up having to buy some other bits from somewhere else, this is my first synth build after all.

first thing i needed to do was get all the bits in bags soldered onto the little board:
board01
i soldered on the chip holders and resistors first.
board02
everything was fine, though it did seem to be taking a while to get everything hot enough with the soldering iron on full tilt…
i think the solder i bought from Craplins was too thick, so i set off on a mission around the flat to find some thinner stuff.
‘found some in my ziplock back of circuit bending bits n bobs, nice.
so, next came the capacitors:
board03
job done with the big caps and slapped on the helpinghands so i could start connecting it up to the knobs…
board04
i’d already sorted out the face plate so it was ready for soldering…
face01
trying to connect everything together:
board05
clear pic of the back of the faceplate:
board06
and here it is with everything connected as it should be (including the two chips which i’d left out until the end):
board08

now i could go and test it.
at 1am…
so i plugged it into my mixer and after a little bit of coaxing with the output socket, managed to get some noise!!!
there were a couple of strange things that puzzled me after all this:
1. the power stayed on all the time…
2. the output jack only worked if the jack was pushed in half way.
3. Voice Bs Unusual on/off switch felt like crap and didn’t seem to do anything…

so i went to bed, after watching You’re Welcome America with Will Ferrell!

anyway, i tested the power switch and its connection to the board with a volt meter and it seemed the switch wasn’t working right.
so i replaced it.
i also swapped the lead on the output jack to the 2nd one instead of the third (as indicated on the guide), so that worked properly.
finally i replaced the switch for Voice B and that put a big grim on my face!!
All working correctly, and it sounds brilliant!

this morning i have been out to get a little plastic suitcase thingy from work to mount the WSG into:
caseB4
after a bit of measuring i made a paper template and stuck it to the case.
after some fierce cutting with my mate stanley i’d got the big hole sorted out.
next i drilled the four holes to screw the plate on and got it stuffed in:
cased01
i think it looks good, and i’m really pleased with the whole thing, the most soldering i’ve done before this is making audio cables and fiddling with a couple of Speak n Spells, so nothing much really.
Rays website has all the info you need really to complete this as a beginner!
http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/analogsynth/YOUR_FIRST_SYNTH/WSG_Reborn/WEIRDSOUNDGENERATORREBORN.php?page=WSG
this video was encouraging: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL9brorvfRE
also, as i’m quite used to the traditional Roland analog synth layout on the SH09 etc, Rays names for things are great, but i don’t find them intuative enough, i need the real names of things..!
lucky, rather than me listening to the WSG and deciding whats what, someone had already asked the question here:
http://electro-music.com/forum/viewtopic.php?highlight=weird+sound+generator&t=36662
and there’s a pic posted of a WSG with the same basic layout at the faceplate from MFOS but with traditional names, happy days!

here’s my last pic of the beast today:
cased02BIG
i need to make some noise with it now!!!

and find more things to buy and build, as this has really boosted my confidence.

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3 Responses to “MFOS Weird Sound Generator BUILD!”

  1. […] I found the documentation of building one at Matt Stanfield’s blog, the sync24 blog, and the image at Make very helpful when embarking on my own, I thought I’d pay it forward […]

  2. […] sequencer… that’s not good. though i suppose in the meantime i made a few other things (WSG, Shufflebox, APC, Dronelab, Shruthi-1). anyway, i have made a few posts here [e-m about 3/4 way […]

  3. Nice review! I actually just purchased one of these kits today. Can’t wait to get started on it..

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