Open Lab Time | September 2019 | Playing with Vactrols, Hexinverters, and Tape Loops

North Coast Modular Collective’s first ever open lab time was an enjoyable success! A goal with open lab time was to open up the design process of instruments to the community. We try to follow a not for profit, open source approach to hardware and software, so we figured that applying that approach to the process, not just the output, might work well.

A group (foreground) works on a low pass gate, while another group (background) investigates hexinverter oscillators.

Over the past year we’ve been trying to get better at involving more community members in “music” and “instruments”. Summer Camp saw much more community involvement with “music” as we hosted live streaming, studio time, and a culminating concert. Open lab time is an effort to bring community into the Collective’s design process. Our goals are multifaceted: Lower the barriers of entry into synths and DIY; Facilitate open learning between people in a judgement free and inclusive environment; Design instruments that can be used for basic electronics learning, basic DIY learning, and basic synthesis learning, in a low-cost and low-risk fashion.

Hexinverter chip-based oscillator breadboard prototyping
Hexinverter-based oscillator testing
Splicing Tapes and Experimenting with Loops
The Low Pass Gate Group Learned Much about Vactrols and Multimeters

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