Sound Doctorin's current direction (1/2001)
For the past five years it's been my privelege to service all music electronics for the Gallatin Valley here in Bozeman, Montana. The people at Music Villa have been more than helpful in getting me established and authorized for warranty repair on Peavey, Marshall, Vox, Korg, Ampeg, Crate, Kawai, Fender, and Roland products. They are just an outstanding crew to work with and compete with prices from catalog places,yet offer a personal service that really reflects a concern for the customer. We perform a lot of simple jobs, but also construct occasional custom solutions for people. Recently, I finished one for Todd Green who plays a large number of acoustic instruments, and creates "jam loops" with four Lexicon Jamman devices. Click here for a detailed description of this rather useful device I call the MultiMix . I can imagine applications of this device for guitarists and keyboardists who want to have real time control over the mix of various devices (keyboards in a MIDI chain, stomp boxes, etc.) through a single pedal. And speaking of control, I also use a custom control platform which allows me to have simultaneous control of volume and Leslie for instance, with one foot, while controlling dampers for two keyboards with the other. I stand up when I play and there was just nothing on the market like this years ago so I built it. It's been road tested and it's ready to release I believe in a more refined form. Meanwhile, the studio is expanding here. For many years I've been using a modified movement Kurzweil K1200pro, a Korg Wavestation EX, a Kawai K1m and K5m, and the Alesis D4 to generate the sounds in my productions, along with an old old Olds Ambassador trumpet and a Reynolds Medalist Trombone and my voice. Now being mounted in the framework are a Sequential Circuit "Six Trak", a Rhodes Chroma Polaris, and the Roland MKS-70 and Kawai K5000 modules. So it's time to redesign the control environment as well obviously. Oh wait, now we have a bunch more stuff...let's do a list: Digital Synths: Kawai K1m- 8bit ROM sample architecture with AM and 4 samples wide 8voice Kawai K5m- 1985 designed Additive synth with lots of parameters! Kawai K5000R- 1995 release similar to K5 but with ROM samples and more/better Korg WavestationEX- One of my favorites for ROM sample type architecture. Korg DSS-1- I probably drooled over this very one in 1986 or 7. Came to me broken and meshed parts from another unit. Great NJM2069 filters, 12bit sampler with some interesting tricks, dual digital delay boards.. Kurzweil K2100pro- modified so it doesn't double trigger notes! :-) Nice piano, orchestra and voice samples on this 88key unit with db params! Roland JV-1080- A studio standard, this one equipped w/ keyboards of 60/70's. Impressive CS80 brass emulation, great bread n butter sounds on card. Alesis D4 and DM5- Drum trigger inputs, nice drum samples. Yamaha DX21- Renown to have better attack than DX7 but 4 op for simpler sounds Casio SK-1- The classic chezo sampler with mini keys Analog Synths: (some have digital control but mostly analog signals) Sequential Circuit six-trak- 1983 early midi synth 6 voice multimode vco's Fender Chroma Polaris (ARP)- 186 processor driven 6 voice 2osc/voice synth with lots of cool sound potential and sliders and unique control features. Roland Jupiter 4- Looked a long time for a reasonably priced one. Amazing sounding synth really. One of my favorites if not THE favorite here. 4 voices, 1 vco/voice but just..awesome sounding in many respects. So real. Crumar Performer- 1976 string/brass machine. Uses organ architecture with filtering to create voice waveforms like brass and string..then puts a nice sounding resonant filter on brass and 3 EQ sliders on string..sweet for little it does. Playing off the limitations can yield good results. Moog Opus 3- Similar to Performer but with three volume/pan controls for String, brass and organ. Chorus on string/organ mix. Filter on Brass/Organ mix. Real moog filter for those star wars fx! String and organ have own simple filter. Farfisa VIP345- Cool retro slider switches with funky colors. Classic Farfisa Conn Electric Band- Hey it was 20 bucks and the reverb can is worth that as it WAS after all made by beautiful women in a controlled atmosphere environment in Milton, WI! But sick gnarly organ on bottom, mono synth w/presets that have their own custom voicing on top. Strange. Nice reed lead though. AT! Roland MKS-70- And soon with PG-800 programmer, this synth is two 6 voice dual oscillator per board. Same filters as late Jupiters. Very nice string pads and some very interesting more complex sounds possible. Roland JUNO-106- Probably one of the most popular analogs of all time. This 6 voice 1osc/voice synth makes some great filter sweeps from those custom modules..whatever's in them. Warmest digital controlled synth I think in this collection in many aspects. Siel DK600- 6 voice 2 osc/voice synth. Impressive ethereal pads w/3lfo's. Kawai SX=210- Like Siel w/SSM2044 filters, makes great helicopters :-). This one is 8voice but 1osc/voice w/ sub osc. Great thing is you can run it as 4 voice by stacking two arbitrary tones on the fly, or go all the way to monophonic stacking 8 arbitrary notes! Digital input wheel w/ button for each parameter. Nice smooth synth for live performance really. I like the bender feel on it also. Good solo sounds possible. FX: Digitech DSP128+- These old units were amazing considering the technology of the time and their low price. MIDI control over everything in real time. Digitech DSP256- Slightly newer version of 128+ with more stuff of course. BBE462- The classic sonic maximizer for adding clarity to vocals, etc. Behringer Modulizer pro- cheap but cool fx...big flanges and stuff various eq's mixers and mics, the infamous alesis compressor..works for me at the time of writing still... Computers: Using a 1.2G machine for recording right now with Power tracks pro v8 and for sequencing still using a 486 machine with Voyetra spg...need to get the new card installed so I can run three midi ports on the thing. Obviously two isn't enough even for the rack gear and digitals I leave set up all the time. In my current space I have only two two tiers set up plus stuff on the conn organ (the farfisa and usually the moog or crumar). Potential to use two ports well with just Kurzeil, WS-EX and JV1080 easily. Chroma can use three channels at once believe it or not. Not bad for 1985! The K5, K1 can do 15 and 8 respectively but I seldom use more than a few sounds at once from them. K5000R actually can only use..what is it 5? It was set up for individual sound depth, figuring most people would only use one or two at a time from it I guess. Good enough for me so far. Yet to use more than one in a track at a time actually. When you find one that works though it's a great thing! I've always had a desire to do some moving scoring so I intend to put some serious time into getting this stuff all working together as it should. I really can't say enough about the expressive potential of real analog synthesizers and though some cool sounds can come out of digital modelling, there's nothing like the real thang baby!
What I'd like to see here eventually is a list of every synth ever made, with a standard set of notes for each one. These would include links to pages that relate to that synth, reset codes or a note that no known ones exist. There are plenty of great pages that have pictures and basic descriptions of these machines, but I've found it very difficult to find any decent technical information, or practical things like patches, editors, etc. So if you know of good pages that have this kind of information, please e-mail me here. ARP Fatar EM Products available from Sound Doctorin' K5MP, the ultimate concept to patch pathway for the Kawai K5 Synthesizer. Including patches.(Available for IBM/MPU/DOS platform only) $55 Patch bank for K5, written using K5MP - $15 Patch bank for Kawai K1 or K1 II (Great sci-fi techno sounds!) - $15 Patch bank for Korg Wavestation (techno/ethereal or hybrid keys) - $25 ea. (Or $35 for both banks.)
(dreams that I might return to programming.....) ALSO ask about products under development, including a Kurzweil K1000 series editor, AND MIDI Network Manager! MNM will be one of the most exciting releases ever for those who dream of having things organized in a way never before possible, and who want to have unlimited creative headroom in the use of triggers and continuous controller devices! Prices include handling charges, and shipping will be estimated or added depending on your location. Kawai K5 Synth Notes The Kawai K5 is one of the most revolutionary synthesizers to ever hit the consumer market. With so many features ahead of its time, one might wonder why it didn't make even more of a splash than it did. The architecture, to my knowledge, provides the most flexible sound generator of its kind available in this price range. Aside from noise problems, whose partial remedy can be found by clicking here, this fabulous machine has some other problems which led to its discontinuation. The biggest one I found when I started programming it was the difficulty remaining goal oriented with the sea of possibilities whipping my mind to and fro. Surveying, I find users became easily frustrated with on board editing, and weren't all that pleased with the bulk of the available patch libraries. The number of parameters and absence of presets, leaves doubt that there are really any people who can sit down at the K5, or any available editing program, and crank out the sound they are desiring without several hours of hard work! (Unless they desire something very simple). That's why I wrote K5MP. ( K5 Macro Processor ) K5MP FEATURES: * Runs on any IBM compatible with DOS 3.2 or higher, floppy DD and an MPU-401 compatible (UART) midi card. * Eases the process of becoming K5MP proficient, by providing COMPLETE MENUS, which prompt for all options available. * Allows you to create custom MACRO LIBRARY files, which help you generate complex sounds in minutes! A library file for each "page" of data on the K5 can be accessed. Just imagine selecting your favorite piano timbre without searching your patch libraries for the sound that contained that timbre, and then extracting it into your working patch. Setting up these libraries as you please will allow you to remove the obstacle which has kept your imagination from running wild on the K5! * Takes out the guess work when editing delays and envelopes by letting the user enter real times. (eg. trend of 4.2 sec.) * Provides logical and imaginative tools for creating timbres, a very efficient discrete harmonic entry utility, and a waveform plot utility. * Patch can be sent to or received from the K5 with one keystroke. Kawai K5 Synth Modification (Another version of this fix, as well as LOTS of other K5 information is available HERE! ) From rec.music.makers.synth Fri Oct 28 22:01:56 1994 From: email@example.com (Curt Malouin) Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.synth Subject: K5 output level mod Date: 27 Oct 1994 23:10:28 GMT Organization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor Over the past week I performed the output level mod on my K5 and K5m, replaced the inverter on my K5m, and upgraded the OS on both. Upgrading to OS 1.2 is a cinch. Call Kawai technical support, tell them your serial number, and they ship it to you. It's free as long as you return your old EPROMS. You pop open your K5(m), swap EPROMs, and close it back up. The EPROM is readily accessible in both the K5 and K5m (once you've got it open, that is). If you're LCD backlight is not working, the first thing you should try is heating up the joints and applying a bit more solder (a lot of the inverters suffer from cold solder joints, I guess). If that doesn't work, you need to replace it or live with it (which I've done for a few years - it's not that bad). You may want to look for an alternate source for the inverter, as Kawai now charges $45 a piece! When you open your unit you will be able to see the inverter. It's a white rectangle mounted on the backside of the LCD assembly, mine is labelled "N103-05-5 Nichia 14S7ZT". Remove the board it is mounted on, turn it over and you will see the three solder joints. You'll need quite a bit of heat, but be careful 'cause it's sensitive/expensive. After replacement, my K5m blew the 1A 250V fuse on the LCD assembly a few times. It's fine now, but makes the typical K5 LCD buzz. Anyone know how to get rid of that? Now to the fun stuff. I've avoided setting the flat level low for resonance-type effects because it was just way too noisy. No such problems now :-) The mod basically involves changing the feedback resistors in the output op amps from 56k to 147k. Plenty of volume, even with 0 flat level and a sharp cutoff. You have to watch your volume levels, though, to avoid distortion. Here's what's involved: (1) Get some small 1/8 W 147k resistors. I used Mouser part no. ME 278-147k (1/8 W 147k 1%). There isn't a lot of room on the board, and you would have a tough time getting typical 1/4W resistors in there. Also, the holes are only 7 or 8 mm, and you don't want to have to bore them out so you can get your resistor leads through the board. (2) Open up your K5/K5m. The K5 is simple. Remove the four long screws from the sides of the case and pull up the hinged panel above the keyboard (which is actually every- thing above the keyboard). If you have a K5, lay it face down and remove the appropriate screws. You will need to unscrew the rack ears and the rotating output assembly. (3) Locate the PCB labelled "MI-004". K5: it's on the left side above the keyboard. K5m: it's below MI-003 (it would be on the bottom if you table-mounted the K5m. You need to remove MI-003 and the spacers between MI-003 and MI-004 (the spacers screw into MI-004). You'll see a silver shield between MI-004 and MI-003. Actually, the side facing MI-004 is a conductor and the side facing MI-003 is an insulator, so make sure you put it back the right way or you will short every- thing on MI-003! NOTE: this is how it is on my K5m, yours may differ. There are also some rubber spacers attached to the underside of MI-004 (to prevent the shield from touching it). I had to remove one of them to get at a few of the resistors in question. You'll probably want to peel all of the foam off the pads before you melt it with your iron. I used some Elmer's glue to stick it back on. Anyone know the conductivity of Elmer's glue when it dries? You'll need to disconnect a bunch of ribbon cables, but they're all different sizes, so it's pretty easy to figure out what goes where. Also, keep track of ground lugs and be sure to reattach them. (4) Locate, remove, and replace the resistors: R26,R27,R28,R29 - individual outputs R19 - mix output They're on the left side of the board (looking from the component side). They are all 56k. I had pretty good luck just using desoldering braid, but had to heat and pull a couple of them. If one of the holes closes up, you can melt a little solder onto it (if necessary) and use a desoldering pump/bulb from the component side while you heat the trace side. (5) Put your K5 back together and enjoy! No more need to crank up the preamps to hear your K5... Other tips: individual outs are quieter than the mix out, and multi mode is quieter than single mode. DISCLAIMER: If you are not comfortable handling and soldering sensitive electronic equipment, forget the mod and buy a noise gate. It is not my fault or problem if you cause irreparable damage to your synth. I wouldn't recommend using a $5 Radio Shack soldering iron, either. -curt -- Curt Malouin Senior, Graduating May '95 firstname.lastname@example.org Dept of Electrical Engineering CAEN Systems Group University of Michigan ----------------------------------------------------------------------- (Thanks Kurt for one of those bright moments in internet history.... I only wish it could have illuminated my display as well...:-) Mine appears to be one that needs the new inverter, and since I use the software to edit on it when I get serious,..it just isn't worth it. -Bob) K5000 Page
If you get a chance to see Todd Green in concert, it's a very enjoyable experience. He plays some of the most beautiful instruments ever created and showcases them by layering them with each other. If you get a chance to look at his setup, you'll notice a little box in the back of his Jamman/preamp box which controls the volume of the signals coming out of those four Lexicon Jamman devices. At his feet you will see a single volume pedal, and an aluminum box which houses the prototype of MultiMix's brain/control interface. It gives Todd the ability to, for instance, create a track using the switches in the blue box which control the Jamman units themselves, and set a volume on that particular unit's loop. He can see an LED readout of the approximate volume, (only 4 lights on this prototype), and can choose to Mute it for a time, or gradually fade it's volume, while leaving the other tracks alone. Or he can fade any number of them at the same time. A single LED for each channel will be off if the tracks is live, and immune to changes in the volume pedal. It is green if it is live and affected by the current position of the volume pedal. It is Red if it is muted and immune to changes in the volume pedal. (This allows you to bring it back in the future at it's previous volume setting). It is orange if it is muted and affected by changes in the volume pedal. So there is one bar graph to show the current volume setting of that channel (Whether or not there is any signal currently coming into or out of it), one LED to display the conditions listed above which is a special dual color LED, one mute switch, and one pedal select switch per channel. Also, there are two switches in the front of the bottom which can be pushed to turn all channels of volume control on or off. This allows for smoother control when, say, we are playing all tracks at full volume, and which to gradually fade them all. It is also useful when we want to simply kill all tracks suddenly. (Desect all, drop the volume pedal to zero, then hit select all at the right moment!) The creative uses for this device are obviously endless. If you would like to see this device in your performance setup, call to specify the custom options you'd like and we'll work a quote up. -Bob Weigel About Sound Doctorin' My name is Bob Weigel. I decided to begin my own company in 1992. The name says a lot about what I like to do now. It also represents a real transformation in my life. At a very young age, I began to get very interested in science, and particularily its tools. My interests went from one area to another, hoping that someday I would grow up to be a great scientist or astronaut. I built telescopes, photo enlargers, a view camera, and many electronic gadgets. After college, my dad died. I used a motor I had helped him rebuild to build a car from parts that weren't meant to be fit together. It was the first major thing I remember that he hadn't helped me a lot with. I had a really good dad. Until this time, I had absolutely no interest in the audio world, aside from the speaker on my ham radio. I enjoyed music, but the audio world looked like such a complicated, expensive mess, that I just couldn't see getting into it. Mom tried to teach me piano when I was young. I picked up trumpet instead. I became very frustrated with piano, but when we got an electronic organ, I regained some interest because I all the sudden had some control. The piano lacked dimensions of expression to me, an inexperienced player. I wanted to be able to tweak things as I played to change the sound I was making, and the old Gulbransen gave me some of that, but eventually, it too seemed too static. After High School, I continued to play trumpet, and got a trombone. My range was fairly good, (nearly 4 octaves at my peak). It was just like anything else people try to excel at I suppose, but I began to be challenged about my motives for playing. When I was young I asked Jesus Christ into my heart, and I began a walk that would transform me from the goals I had set, and shake the motivations of my heart. I began to realize that I needed to step out in the faith I was professing. After all, if God died for me, and he loves all of us the same, how can I not give my life for those around me, given that I had asked his spirit of love to lead me? I began to feel a desire to use the gifts of music he had given me for something other than self gratification. I began to form lyrics from deep thoughts of compassion that wanted to come out. I began to give away my life, as Christ gave his for me. God taught me a lot of discernment during this time, and the words began to flow more freely. This was about the time I moved to Eugene to begin working for the Institute of Molecular Biology repairing laboratory equipment. (Aug. 1985) It wasn't long till I had purchased a friends Rhodes electric piano. After a year of working with that instrument, I got a Kawai K-3 and began learning subractive and harmonic addition synthesis. It took about a year to feel the need for more creative headroom, as I took on a K-1 module, and entered the world of MIDI. (~1988) Since that time I sold the K-3 keyboard, and replaced it with a Korg Wavestation, shortly after acquiring a Kawai K-5m. (The K5 became the subject of my first major software endeavor. It is a very complex synth, and the software basically breaks it down into "bite sized" chunks of more conceptual data, called "macros"). The addition of the Alesis D-4 drum module, which I have built a custom Hi-Hat trigger/switch assembly for, and a home made portable PC completed the sequence production studio. I also acquired a Kurzweil K1200 and modified the key springs for stiffer response for a controller. I've written at least one sound bank for each machine I've owned, except the K1200. Taking the time to develop those sounds was a great investment. They are extensions of my being in a way, and many were written to precisely complement particular tunes. It's kind of nice to know that nobody else on the planet is going to be producing a song with exactly the same sounds. Having compiled a lot of lyrics and tunes ready, for years I've been trying to use my current setup to produce a demo in the near future. Being able to share the words laid on my heart is the most pressing goal in my life. Sound Doctorin' is my effort to use the skills I have attained along the way, much as Paul the apostle used his tentmaking skills so as not to be a burden on anyone.
Currently, I'm servicing professional music equipment here in MT. Contact Sound Doctorin' E-MAIL