Analog Oscillator Board?
  • Someone said CS-80… The best part about the Studio Electronics stuff is their CS-80 filter. It would be really cool to do something like that here. I have very little understanding of what goes into them, but I can sure hear the difference when they’re switched on in the demo videos. And although I haven’t heard a real CS-80 in person in more than – what – almost 30 years, I still love that sound.

    I don’t want to open another can of worms, but is a CS-80 filterboard possible here?

  • You could always go modular and get your CS-80 and even GX-1 cravings from the likes of Synthesis Technologies I don’t see that being a very good value proposition for Shruthi cloning as well. Neither would something esoteric like certain Serge or Buchla modules… cough cough. My modular is going there, but that ain’t something reasonably cheap for the masses, it requires some labor of love even to be somewhat feasible.

  • Well if you want to make a DIY fully analog synth, there is always

    But it gets a bit more complicated.

    About high freqs: they claim, that your audio stuff should do well over 20kHz because of cross-modulations or sth. Two high inaudible sounds can make an aubible one. Is this true?
  • Or the ASM...
    There’s no shortage on analog, hybrid or digital synth kits.

    (There is, however, a shortage of drum synth kits, but that´s another story…)

  • @istran
    Yes, thats true. Look here)

  • I have to say that a Doepfer monophonic dark energy with midi routed by a shruthi (and sometimes audio in-out-in) and all outs to a good mixer are great. Also a shruthi and a nord lead 2x are great.
    Different source of sounds well mixed together are great.
    My 2%.
  • None of those other diy analog synths have swappable filters :) In fact, speaking of boring, the diy analog synths I’ve seen are all pretty boring except the x0xb0x and that’s just a straight clone. There seems to be a lot of opportunity to put out a well-designed analog instrument. This, to me, is what sets the Shruthi apart – it has character! Or 9 characters actually, and you get to pick! I realize that another reason for its success is its versatility and you lose some of that when going analog. But I think it’s possible to make something really interesting. You can even do it with the existing approach for the filters: look back on history and steal! Which synths had really unique oscs that are worth re-creating? Arp Odyssey, TB-303 (been done but its a good example), Moog (pointless again, just an example). I don’t know, I’m not much of a synth historian. Then there is obviously room to innovate. Minibrute proves that IMO.

  • I thought perhaps this is what the “MiniDarkBrutaurosaurus” was.. But really.. Who knows!?

  • For me, the biggest appeal for a simple analog oscillator option is the (boring) back-to-basics simplicity of it.

    You could think of it this way - you have a nice selection of fancy cheeses (filter boards) to try. To best enjoy them, you should probably put them on a simple cracker (basic oscillator). Sure, you could put them on pizza, prime rib, kebabs, apple pie (Shruthi oscillators), but most of the nice nuances of the cheese will be lost, because there are so many other flavors kicking around. That said, I guess you could put the cheese on some pizza crust (Shruthi oscillator set to saw).

    I agree that sonically, an analog oscillator doesn't really bring that much to the sonic table. Unless you purposely design some organic quirks into it. Which could be done?
    A vintage synth works nicely for making a vintage sound, but have you seen the ridiculous prices they fetch these days?! And they still don't give you all the options of filter boards.

    Another reason for simplicity is that I often find myself in the process of making music, reaching for the Shruthi, and instead of making more music find myself spending the rest of my time playing with all the options of this wonderful toy.
    A reason Mutable might have for building a simple analog oscillator is that we now would have more reasons to buy even more filter boards!
  • Well, you could look at Jürgen Haible (RIP!) and the Living VCOs, or how effective the Minibrute uses analog waveshaping and feedback. Those techniques aren’t easy to put under computer control, especially not in a small form factor! But, instead of dreaming about this, how about we all patiently wait for the next product, whatever that may be. I’d prefer this instead of chasing Olivier into making the Shruthi something all-singing all-dancing, which it clearly wasn’t designed for, to begin with :D

    Besides which, something like a Bit-99 isn’t that expensive or say a Juno 60… Or get a JX-3/8/10.

  • I’ll wait, but not patiently :)

    Certainly I do not hope to derail Oliver’s current efforts on the next awesome thing he’s working on. I only hope to let him know that there is interest if he decides to go this route in the future. Like Mathias said, it would be nice to have a different cracker to put all these nice filters on.

  • I still want a CS-80.

  • I still want a VCO option – sometime.

  • What is special about the CS-80 filter? Looks like a dual SVF from the little info I could find…

  • Everything is special about CS-80. I want one, too!
  • I only know the sound. I don’t know of anything else that even pretends to sound like the CS-series synths except for the Studio Electronics stuff, and their recreations are extraordinary.

    This is one of my favorite CS-80 YouTube videos

    I love the composition. I love the patches they selected for it. But you just have to stop and marvel at the construction of this beast. Look at the miles and miles of wires, each strand neatly bundled and segregated so that someone, someday, could work on it. Solid wood, individual aftertouch triggers. I mean they just don’t make stuff like this anymore. And nothing sounds like it IMO (yet, perhaps).

  • @lstran – Yeah…

  • One word: Bladerunner. CS-80 all over the soundtrack.


  • If FutureMusic “in the studio” videos are to be believed, there is a CS-80 on every other block in Paris.

  • Sometimes you can mistake a genius at work using some equipment with equipment that makes you sound like a genius.

    While the CS-80 is a beast of an analog, if you had one you’re not going to instantly be Vangelis.

    I could probably pick up a similar guitar to that which Clapton plays and playing it would sound like a cats fighting in an alleyway.

    Also, again never discount how good sound can be recorded, processed and mixed. I’m pretty sure the Bladerunner soundtrack would have been recorded with some very expensive kit by experienced sound engineers.

  • I never played a CS-80 but fooled with a CS-50 for an afternoon, thought it sounded like crap. I’ve also spent time with a Minimoog, Oberheim OBX (owned that one), Oberheim 4-voice (my favourite so far), ARP Odyssey, ARP Omni, ARP String Ensemble, Prophet 5, Nord G2X, Clavinet C and D6, Octave CAT, Yamaha S90, Kawai K3 and the batch of stuff I own now, plus who-knows-what-else.

    My favourite instruments to play are, in order, a really nice acoustic piano, or the Oberheim 4-voice. I don’t care if the instrument has no oscillators, analog oscillators, digital oscillators or oscillators made out of cow dung. I do care how an instrument makes me feel when I play it. Given my two favourites, it would appear I’m somehow attracted to a bit of randomness. The strings in a piano react with each other and with the instrument in all sorts of fun ways. And, the voices of the Oberheim are never completely in sync with each other.

    I really like the Shruthi. It’s original and different, two of my favourite qualities, in people and in the stuff I tend to collect. I could picture hooking 4 Shruthis together with one keyboard and ending up with a “budget” 4-voice. What I may try is running the Shruthi through something like a BBE Sonic Maximizer, something that artificially manufactures higher harmonics, adding a bit of sparkle to the top end.


  • exactly, crap. isn’t that the translation for yamaha?

  • Oh come on man! AnalogLab is not Vangelis. Isn’t that piece beautiful?

    Clearly things changed after the CS-80 failed miserably. It was the wrong synth and the wrong time. Huge, unaffordable, available only to the mega rock stars who cared (like Vangelis). The CS-50 is not the same machine. I don’t think you can compare almost everything else Yamaha ANYTHING ELSE with the CS-80. It was different.

    Regardless, certainly not crap.

  • I didn’t say the CS-80- was crap, although maybe I hinted at that. If I did, it was a mistake, they were totally different instruments. I suppose I’m getting a bit tired of hearing people talk about some of these old analog instruments like they were all worthy of worship.

    I’ve been very disappointed in Yamaha’s stuff lately. The CS-80, GX1, early FM stuff, SY-99 and a few others were amazing instruments but the Motif and S90-ish series have not impressed me.

    Oops, I suppose we’re off topic now.


  • Nah you’re not, and I agree with you.

    Fred Falke’s FM “In the Studio” performance with the CS-80 was pretty cool too. I just love their sound. I’m not sure if this is the whole video or whether it will be impressive on YouTube, but it was cool on the DVD. Anyway, he’s a member of the Paris CS-80 club.

    Fred Falke FM In The Studio

  • That is classic, what a sound! I’m really terrible at trying to learn new instruments now (old dog, new tricks, you know), but my son plays bass and guitar, and I’ve always wanted to learn to play bass. Maybe someday. Would certainly be less expensive than a CS-80.

    One other synth I’ve always wanted to try was an ARP 2600. I’m a fan of Weather Report, and Zawinul carried around two of my favourites, the Oberheim and two ARP 2600s.

    Instead of an analog VCO, I’d rather see a polyphonic Shruthi, even if it’s only 4 voices. Or maybe a programmer, like the PG200 for the Roland JX3P.


  • Shruthi poly is definitely cool. I wonder what four polychained Shruthis sound like if they’re all in duo mode? Will it even work? How does note order work?

  • DId anyone say Programmer ?

  • >I’ve been very disappointed in Yamaha’s stuff lately.

    It’s a shame they never continued developing the FM/Formant synthesis range after the FS1R. If the FS1R would have been in a keyboard with a load of sliders they would have sold well.

  • @fcd72 have you considered the idea of making a standalone programmer, that could be plugged into different Shruthi-1s? I think that would pretty cool. You’d need to add some kind of socket to the Shruthis, but that shouldn’t be too hard.


  • Can do it over MIDI? It also has the advantage that you can record the changes? (I’ve not got me a programmer yet so I dunno if it allows that already).

  • @toneburst
    Yes, i am considering something like this and the Shruthi already has this socket….

  • The duo mode doesn’t work along with polychaining. When you set the Shruthi in polychaining mode, it keeps only one note at a time and forwards the other notes to the rest of the chain. I won’t change this behaviour.

  • Ouch … haven’t even started on the WASP yet … but this new pictures gets me quite exited. :-)

  • fcd72, wow! pichenettes, I think the existing behaviour is perfect, looking forward to trying it with two Shruthis.


  • Just to be clear to the above Pic: its only a Prototype for me, it won’t make it into a Kit/Production as you probably won’t pay for this baby….

  • What about schematics so some people can DIY?

  • For the Analog Oscillator Board or for the Proto shown above or for the Programmer?

  • Anything you have done and you are unable to “sell” but have in a working state? It seems a shame for people to repeat work that has already been done.

  • @Pichenettes – Got it. Thanks!

  • Interesting point here 6581punk.
    It seems that only few people are trying to do something from schematics. So far i only know of 2 who build a Programmer from the schematics and i have never seen anyone who built anything on a Filter Playground Board.
    So it seems people are much more confident if they have a PCB and solid instructions. For the Thing above its not worth the effort to put this down in instructions/schematics for exactly this reason – why should i spend time when nobody follows here? But the experiences made with this fellow will make it a well documented Project. Meanwhile i like to torture you with Pics ;-)

  • I can see what you mean. Documentation is boring and time consuming. But sometimes you need to document things for your own purposes.

    I had thought about working on a filter board. But at times you do wonder if you’ll end up duplicating what someone is already doing.

  • Documentation is shurely part of any Project, but its huge different if you document it for yourself on a piece of Paper or if you have to do it in a Way everybody can download, read and understand. Setting Oliviers excellent documentation as Standard it’d take a Week to document that Blue Thing above – if you compensate for the work ill gladly do it ;-)

  • Hmm, I have a playground board, but I was considering whether I’d use it for a Moog tranny ladder LPF, maybe also with a Germanizer if I employ a little digital switching. Still, there’s so many projects that I can’t even guesstimate a time frame. But yes, there will be some circuit at some point :)

  • Interesting thread! Talking about analogue oscillators, how about this >146 valve / vacuum tube powered beast; the Hammond Novachord. It pre-dates modern “vintage” analogue synthesizers by nearly thirty years. I’d love a CS-80 but the Novachord is some kind of ethereal unicorn. What a sound! Anyone fancy breadboarding one? ;-)

  • This is a 60s vintage analog synth :)

  • @toadstool: If you’ve got NI’s Kontakt there are several Novachord sample libraries around that capture this classic tube-based instrument beautifully – my favourite is from Hollowsun


  • why dont you just ask pichenettes to do a cs80 filter

    the unique thing about the filter is that it can be set like a comb filter and gives a nice vocal type sound to patches

    but the aurturia version just does not cut it in the soubd department

    but the thing ways a tun and they have to be serviced on a regular basis

    but the sound is buetiful

    i have had the privelidge on working on 3 of these babies in the last 22 years

    the nova cord was the very first synth

    it uses tubes for the osc and is set like a standard mammond organ using partials

    but the amazing thing is its totally polyphonic and has a resonator per key and so it filters making a nice synth sound

    for me dont bother with the analog osc

    the dss1 uses just digital osc with its additive engine and transient samples and has one of the phatest sounding filters going

    single cycle waves is whats makes these synths interesting as they are small and can make many variations

    thats what the prophet vs uses as does the shruthi and they are fat sounding synths

    the ppg wavetables are just single cycle additive spectra but set out into a table that can be scanned through

    the shruthi has this

    so this synth can have waves from any analog synth and be morphed into others

    i have been making transwaves since 1991 and as an ex ensoniq repair tech

    the asr10 can do sounds via transwaves no other synth can do as you can have 8 different layers playing different transwaves at the same time and still have 4 note poly

    ask dan nigrin i have been sending some of my transwaves for him to testing and am building a vsti of it

    im going to release a load for the shruthi so watch this space
  • Go Jammie, Go!!

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