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Subject: RE: [motm] I'm taking a poll...

From: "Tkacs, Ken" <ken.tkacs@...>
Date: 2000-06-07

>>>I would be interested in hearing how some of the list members first came across Synthtech.Com.
∗My MOTM Adventure∗ by Kenny Tkacs
I was going through my bi-annual "I wish I had a modular synthesizer blues" that I've been going through since about 1973, when I searched the web for info on modular synthesizers. I found the Analogue Heaven ("AH") archive lists and started reading thousands of posts. It was fun reading the ramblings of like-minded synthesizer enthusiasts, since I have felt quite alone in my love for these machines all these years.
I remember reading about this guy in Texas trying to stir up interest for a 'Module of the Month,' which I thought was a great idea, but I guess I never thought it would fly (and I ∗certainly∗ never expected the quality of such a homebrew venture to be as high as it turned out to be... but then, I didn't know then that Paul was the brains behind the TRS-80 cassette interface, either <g>).
Maybe a little less than a year later, with all this "virtual modular" crap starting to consume the pages of the music magazines, I was damned ∗determined∗ to get a modular once and for all. I couldn't find/afford/repair an old used Moog. I figured I would have to build it myself from old schematics that I might be able to find on the web (I had pulled down a lot of Moog Modular schematics, etc.  ... I know it's old technology but I had nowhere else to turn). It was a nightmare idea that would take forever and probably never work right, but I figured it was my only option. Also, Paia was starting to mention getting back into modulars, so I figured I could adapt a few modules from them. I bought their MIDI2CV, multi-mode filter, and Theremax kits to get me started.
I began laying out a whole scheme for ergonomics, front panels, colors, control spacing, etc. (since my real education is in Industrial Design, not EE, I was going to make it the best ∗looking∗ modular that I could). Around that time (last September-ish), more web searches brought me to I realized that this was the guy from AH, studied the site, then went back to AH and found that people were raving about the stability of the MOTM VCO. So I figured I'd pick up a VCO from Synth Tech, since it's a critical component, make my own front panel for it, and integrate it with tinkered together DIY crap for the less critical modules.
So I put in a web order for an MOTM-300. About an hour later I get a call from this guy Paul who asks me what kind of power supply I intend to use with his prized oscillator. I said something like, "I dunno yet, I'll tinker something together from a Radio Shack book or use my old PAIA 4700 supply which is still powering some of my old DIY stuff." Paul patiently explained why a PS is critical to the performance of the other components, etc., and talked me into the MOTM-900.
Anyway, the stuff showed up soonafter, and I opened the box, held the front panels in my hand, hefted them a few times, and within five minutes was thinking, "Okay, ∗obviously∗ I'm not going to replace THESE front panels." I built those two modules, and ever since, I have been hooked. Now I'm converting OTHER things to ∗MOTM∗ standards!!
Currently I have one of every module (physically or on pre-order/back-order [MOTM-101]), and multiples of several.