Oh Arse!

From ianktindale
Sent Sun, Aug 20th 1995, 02:55

Is exactly, word for word, what I loudly said earlier today when I put my
MC-202 on top of my Korg S3 and turned around to grab my 606, and the 202
slipped off and crashed to the floor, smashing the case. Fucking useless
plastic toy. Still, if it were a REAL synth, I'd be slagging off the
quality of the useless floorboards of this London flat. Then again I
wouldn't rest a proper synth on top of a drum machine (sorry Korg, a
'Rhythm Composer' - shame you couldn't have designed a more difficult to
use item of kit, after only three+ years I've nearly sussed out how to use
the S3). Actually, I've come to really love the MC-202, now I've got the
manuals for it and have used it a lot in recent music, synced from the
MSQ700 (cheers to Antony Balcerzak <redacted@example.com> for sending me the
manual for that unit). I've even entertained thoughts of getting a second
MC-202 when I next see a cheap one.

The 202 case is now damaged in a very surreal way - the front edge of the
top, where there's a sort of 'lip' around the unit, has splintered off on
the front left and the front right - it'll take a little glue to put it
right, and I might as well modify it to buggery now. I'm going to put a
thick strip of tape around the edge, as a ruggedising measure. I've taken
it completely apart - right now it's lying on the floor in pieces after
having a nose around to see what mods I can make immediately.

This is where I need your help - what particular shade of turquoise do you
all think I should spraypaint it. Nah, seriously, are there any cool mods I
can implement electronically. Someone mentioned recently (redacted@example.com
(Scott Koladich) actually if you're listening) that they found a point on
the board which acts as a control voltage input for the VCF, and which can
be internally strapped to the channel 2 out. This I'd go for, but what
exact point on the board will give me a 1V/8va control input, and does this
modification detune / descale the VCF in any way.

Further, could anyone help with the next mod I want to make - making the
LFO syncable / resettable to a gate (again, the gate from channel 2).

Mod number three probably wont work according to previous talk on AH - that
of adding a RAM backup in the form of a memory retention capacitor - for a
start I can't find a RAM chip I recognise, and for another, it has been
surmised that the CPU (an NEC D78C06G flatpack) does a groovy
serenipititious cosmic pattern clear on power up (what a waste of an
opportunity!) so that may not work.

Apart from the digital side of this unit, it looks an eminently hackable
platform for a wide variety of mods, making a wide variety of MC-202s! A
couple of hours ago I even entertained thoughts of peppering the case with
minijack sockets - but what else could you do other than its normalised
routing anyway, apart from things like LFOing the VCA, or feedback FMing
the VCO with a resonant VCF. It's just that its front panel graphics, with
all the 'modules' divided up with white lines reminded me, for a fleeting
moment, of a System 100M.

I get the impression it was designed to save its data somehow, but for some
reason this didn't work. I get this idea because there is a funny botch
board sticking out behind the tape in/out sockets, and also the case has
holes designed in where two sockets could have gone. Anyone any ideas why
this is? There's no actual room to fit sockets, mind you.

While I'm at it, I may as well make this post longer. I've never actually
heard a 303 (well, I must have, but never one in front of me being a 303 so
I can recognise it later), so I wouldn't mind a definitive answer to
something that's been bothering me recently: Is there really a difference
between the sound of a 303 doing it's stuff, and the sound of a 202 doing
the same thing (obviously it can do more). What is that difference? Is it a
different filter? Is the portamento / glide the same? What exactly is going
on with the accent on a 303 versus the 202? In both accent modes? Is the
202 modifiable to do it as well? Does anyone have access to the circuit
diagrams for the 202? Help me turn mine into something completely
different!

The Famous Ian K Tindale
"Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like a banana"