PoketRoket Analog Guitar Synthesizer.
- Mini analog synthesizer can be ‘played’ all by itself or driven by electric guitars, microphone or control voltages from other analog synths or keyboards.
- 12db per octave low pass voltage control amplifier (VCA)
- Square wave oscillator (VCO)
- Triangle & Square wave low frequency oscillator (LFO)
- PT2399 reverb and effects
- powered by a 9V battery supplying +/- 4.5 V to the circuits.
- Circuit designed by Ray Wilson of MFOS
When I was a kid, I read comics. Superman, Tarzan, Batman, Spiderman, Archie, Beetle Bailey, etc. They have those adds in the back where you can order real spaceships, machine guns and nuclear submarines. You could even order a family of sea monkeys who smoked Marlborough’s. Well, they sure sounded real, especially since the government back in the day was just considering ‘consumer rights’ and ‘truth in advertising’. But to a 9 year old back then…. hell ya, I wanted a nuclear submarine! After all, you could have ordered this fun kit (that’s right, it came with real uranium and a cloud chamber):
When I got my sub…. I was shattered …. it was just a cardboard .. box? I had to assemble it with… tape? the conning tower did not even stay on, the nose of the sub kept falling off and the control panel was …. well just crappy. It fell apart and the cardboard ripped too easily, so I ended up building my own flying sub out of a refrigerator box. I wired mine with lights, switches and batteries. The control panel was made from old radio parts and tubes. It was 9 year old’s version of heaven.
If you are just getting into building synthesizers, Ray Wilson was one of the legends in this area. Sadly Ray recently passed but his Music from Outer Space site has thousands of fans and many people used his designs when building their own modular systems. I was a fan of Ray’s for several years, but never built any of his designs. I have several that I plan to incorporate into reused items. Ray’s EchoRokit design was the perfect choice. A simple and whimsical synth but capable of incredible sounds and a lot of fun to play with. That whimsical fun reminded me of comics, and those ads in the back. I wanted to dress the synth in the same similar colours and place those adds on it, in it and even on the underside (yep, Sea Monkeys!). At the same time, keep it hidden it a subtle old jewelry box that looked harmless. I even recreated the unfinished look purposely by having a cheap battery holder in the lid.
The inside of the synth, like all my sculptures is hand made circuitry and a chaos of wires. I want it that way, I didn’t use prefabricated printed circuit boards and many of the components are reclaimed from old electronic equipment.
A video (albeit poor visual quality) of the synth is HERE. But it is a synth, you want to hear it!