Hello, I am Oren!
Welcome to my “Analog Synth Guy” blog! A little about me – I am a quiet, long-bearded fellow living in Dallas, Texas who enjoys electronic music and building modular analog synthesizers and other electronic music related stuff.
I also work professionally as a software engineer with Odyssey Computing writing killer mobile apps. Computers and programming are another subject I enjoy.
I also enjoy health and nutrition, computers, and am also an avid roller coaster and theme park enthusiast. I am member of ACE – American Coaster Enthusiasts.
In The Beginning…Electricity
Since the age of 7 electricity and electronics have always fascinated me. It all began when opened a flashlight, took out the batteries and the light bulb. Parts! What can I do with these… I found a piece of wire, placed one end on the bottom of a battery, the other end on the metal side of the bulb. I then touched the button on the base of the bulb to the top of the battery. Presto! The light bulb lit! Thus was born my interest in making electrical stuff.
There was a book at the local library that I had always enjoyed titled “A Boy and His Battery” (I do not remember the author – will have to research…). This inspired me to play around with making electrical circuits.
I then started to make more complex circuits out batteries, light bulbs, and other bits and pieces scrapped from various toys and appliances.
Soon I wanted know what makes radios, televisions, telephones, intercoms, cameras, tape recorders, etc…etc…etc… work. This was way back when all of those items were separate units in their own big boxes. Today, they come all in one little box that sits in the palm of your hand.
My parents would drop me off at the local Radio Shack store while they went shopping or whatever. I started building the various electronic kits that one could find back then, like the “P-Box” project kits. Here’s a website page showing a collection of these kits. One project kit I really enjoyed was my 100 in 1 Electronic Project Kit! With that and the others, I learned a lot about electronics. Enough to start experimenting on my own. While I dabbled in a bit everything, I had a leaning towards audio electronics – things like amplifiers, pre-amps, oscillators, etc. Oh, and of course, I liked high voltage stuff too!
Making Noise…Electronic Music
In grade school, I had been given a “Bell System Science Experiment No.3” speech synthesis kit to build and play with. This, along with oscillators became a fun subject to build upon.
I later came across a book in a local Heathkit (remember those?) store titled “Electronic Music Circuits” by Barry Klein. This book contained a collection electronic circuit building blocks for making a complete modular analog synthesizer system. Following some of the designs provided, I built my first complete synthesizer!
Bigger Noise Machines
My first synth – yay! Now time for more… When I moved out on my own and had a somewhat steady job. I began planning a larger modular rig. I built a cabinet out of “dumpster dived” scraps of wood, added a beefed up +/-15 volt power supply, and began work on more modules. The module format I settled on was 9 inch high by 2 inch wide, with wider widths in multiples of 2 – e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. Below is a shot of this beast in its current state. I have been working on this one since 1990, and am continuing to expand on it as time permits.
I have been and still am a long-time subscriber to the SynthDIY mailing list.
Welcome to my “Analog Synth Guy” blog, I hope you enjoy!