Monday, May 23, 2016


The past few years have been a real transitional period for me. After years of being an active musician, tape label owner and working a full time job, I hit depression followed by a burn out and ended up on EI after I got laid off from work. I decided to put a hold on my music activities and set the label aside. During my recovery I started getting back into something I briefly started years ago, my passion for electronics and DIY instrumentation. 

My grandpa and my dad taught me how to solder when I was young and I've soldered basic things pretty much all my life. I never got in-depth with electronics apart from a bit of circuit bending and fixing basic things on appliances and instruments. I discovered the Music From Outer Space (MFOS) website and ordered a few PCBs to start with. I first built the Echo Rockit, then the Mini-Synth, then the Sample and Hold. I then ordered and built the Ring Modulator and the Phaser. I received a copy of the book Handmade Electronic Music by Nicholas Collins as a gift and started reading more about DIY stuff. 

Soon after I started regularly making electronics, Ray Wilson (owner of MFOS) unfortunately got sick and had to close his shop. Since I couldn't order more PCBs from him, I started building perfboard circuits to be able to build more modules independently and to improve my soldering skills. After months of trial and error, I got a few modules working. With the help of my dear friend Al Isler (musician/engineer) who designed perfboard layouts based on Ray Wilson's schematics, I was able to make a few more things to add to the system. (I will post another article with these layouts for DIYists to build. They're very cool :)

After months of building, I had my system mounted on wooden racks, which I constructed by hand. I tested a bunch of modules and designs and kept the best ones for the portable system. I will eventually rebuild the racks with fresh new modules. Possibly CGS stuff. Anyhow, I messed up most of my builds and it was quite frustrating at times. Lots and lots of troubleshooting, filtering through found circuits and all. I had two little metal suitcases laying around, perfect to house modules, so I decided to use them to build a portable system. A system that will most likely be used for droning, texture making and shaping sounds and samples.

Here is the list of what my system has:

- MFOS Echo Rockit
- MFOS Sample & Hold with VC-Clk
- MFOS Ring Modulator
- MFOS Noise Toaster VCF
- MFOS Echo Rockit Resonant VCF
- 2X MFOS AR Enveloppe Generators
- 4X MFOS Noise Toaster VCAs
- 2X MFOS Signal to gate converters
- 4X 40106 Oscillators (inspired by Nick Collins)
- 2X System 100 LFO clones 
- Digital Delay (Boss DD3 modified and rebuilt into my systems format with better parts).
- 3X ZVEX SHO preamp clones
- 4-channel audio mixer
- a utility panel containing 2 attenuators, audio and CV splitters.

The audio signal is 1/4 inches and the voltage is controlled using banana plugs. We could call it the MFOS format maybe? It's between east coast (Moog) and west coast (Buchla). At first I was making a total east coast 1/4 inches for everything on the synth, but I got seduced with the idea of controlling voltage with smaller, stackable cables. 

I haven't made my own music for more than a year now and I'm super excited to start up again and make an album. I will be releasing the next phase of the Élément Kuuda journey, only this time with my new moniker Kinnta Kuuda. With explorations of new sounds and new ways of working with my custom system, it should be quite interesting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


A little mod I made for my friends console. I took a Gemini MX881 mixer that had RCA plugs and I replaced the plugs for 1/4" jacks. I was lucky that the holes in the back were big enough to fit the jacks. So no drilling action for this one! Now he can use the mixer to plug his synths in his studio!