Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

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Mooganoid
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Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by Mooganoid » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:52 pm

Hi everyone. I've owned a moog source for the past 15 years or so. It's fine most of the time, but sometimes I feel it has a mind of it's own and I need to figure out what's going on. I'd expect such a beautifully sophisticated piece of electronic engineering to have a mind of it's own, but what it did the other night just confused the hell out me, so that's why I'm here.

I was recording some stuff on Wednesday night, all was fine. It sounded like how I'd left it the last time I played on it (about 2 months ago ashamedly). The 16 memory banks were all sounding as I remembered. I had some really good programs saved on there from over the past 10+ years.
Anyway, I came back the next day to add some more overdubs to the track I was working on, and it sounded like crap. I went through all 16 programs, and they all sounded broken. I actually thought one (or both) of the oscillators must have exploded or something over night as it was cooling down (it''s very cold here at the moment and as you probably already know the source gets HOT after a few hours of work). I was very sad because this used to be my brother's synth before he died, so I'd been looking after it since then and had taken great care in using it.
Now all it had to offer was a selection of ear-piercing whistle noises and broken computer sound effects. One of them sounded cool and very usable, but I was still gutted (English for extremely disappointed) that my moog had died for no apparent reason. I tried it again yesterday hoping that the analog-synth-faeries might have restored it to how I left it a few nights ago, but it was still broke.
I tried playing with the controls to see if I could identify which part had actually failed so I could look into getting it repaired, and as I was messing with the filter, a very familiar thick juicy moog sound crept back from the grave and put a smile on my face.

Turns out that it's not broken after all. Well at least not in the way I thought. It's like someone had turned it on overnight, found the 16 most evil sounding programs imaginable and stored them for me to find the next day as some sort of practical joke. Now, I know this didn't happen, so do any of you have a better idea of what might have gone on?
I was thinking the memory must have somehow reset back to the factory preset, but if that were the case then every bank would be the same raw sound, surely? These are all different.

One time a few years ago I turned it on, hooked it up to the amp and left it to warm up for a few minutes, and after a while it started to play itself without anyone touching it. Sounded like computer language. I think it was a slow random step-like sound if I remember correctly. Anyone know what was going on there?

I know very little about the internal workings of analog synthesisers as you can probably tell, so any help is much appreciated. Any tips on how to take better care of it are also welcome.

Cheers

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thealien666
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Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by thealien666 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:48 pm

Hello.

Your Moog The Source might be suffering from the well known bad contacts from the voltage regulators issue.

You don't really need to know much about electronics to fix it. All you need is a screwdriver and a pencil eraser. That's right, a pencil eraser.
Open up the synth, and locate the voltage regulators near the back. They will be held in place by screws on a metal plate that acts as a heatsink.

The legs of these regulators are inserted into sockets, and with time these metal legs will get oxidized or dirty and not make a proper electrical contact in that socket and cause all kinds of weird behavior.

Remove one, and rub a pencil eraser on both sides of the metal legs to remove oxidation, dirt and moisture. Do all of them, one by one.

To help you out, here's what the insides of a Moog The Source looks like. The regulators are on a back plate, to the right of the transformer in the middle.

Image



Close-up view:

Image
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

LaxSlash1993
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by LaxSlash1993 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:02 pm

Your preset issue is almost exactly what I had with my MemoryMoog+. Some of the presets were wiped with odd sounds, some of which would have two waveforms selected in the LFO (which, with the MM+, is impossible to do.)

Somebody had suggested that it was a bad battery, or possibly the RAM.

I don't know much about The Source, but maybe that's something that could be worth looking into as well.

My topic for reference:
http://forum.moogmusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11137

Hope you get it fixed, though. Best of luck to you.

Mooganoid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by Mooganoid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:27 pm

Thanks a lot Alien. I will try that soon. Tomorrow maybe.
Do they look like this?...
http://www.ladyada.net/images/parts/7805.jpg
And how many of them are there in The Source?

Thanks

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thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by thealien666 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:34 pm

BTW, there are no "preset" sounds from ROM in a Moog The Source. The RAM content is maintained by a lithium battery. Once the battery fails, all memory content is lost and can never "magically" return to memory by itself. They have to be reloaded from a previously made cassette tape back-up once the battery has been replaced.

That's what makes me suspect the regulator contacts problem.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

Mooganoid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by Mooganoid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:45 pm

LaxSlash1993 wrote:Your preset issue is almost exactly what I had with my MemoryMoog+. Some of the presets were wiped with odd sounds, some of which would have two waveforms selected in the LFO (which, with the MM+, is impossible to do.)

Somebody had suggested that it was a bad battery, or possibly the RAM.

I don't know much about The Source, but maybe that's something that could be worth looking into as well.

My topic for reference:
http://forum.moogmusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11137

Hope you get it fixed, though. Best of luck to you.
Yeah I noticed that too now you mention it. I mean, there's no waveform indicators on The Source, but when I was switching waveforms trying to get a decent sound out of it, I realised that the preset had a different sound than any of the 3 wave shapes on their own. So it must have been a combination of two. Very strange.

I didn't even know it had a battery. I just thought it was good at remembering stuff. Are they expensive to replace?

What did you do with your Memory Moog? Did you repair it or just ignore the problem and hope it doesn't happen again?

Thanks for your help.

Mooganoid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by Mooganoid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:57 pm

thealien666 wrote:BTW, there are no "preset" sounds from ROM in a Moog The Source. The RAM content is maintained by a lithium battery. Once the battery fails, all memory content is lost and can never "magically" return to memory by itself. They have to be reloaded from a previously made cassette tape back-up once the battery has been replaced.

That's what makes me suspect the regulator contacts problem.
Just to be more clear, my presets haven't magically returned. They were all wiped or replaced with something else (evil sounds). When I said "I was messing with the filter and a familiar sound crept back from the grave", I was referring to the general voicing of the synth, not MY programs. They are all gone. So it might be the battery.

But I will probably do both anyway whilst I've got it opened up.
I've got some switch/potentiometer cleaner spray at home; would I be able to use that on anything inside? The volume pot is crackly and I don't think the synth has ever been serviced, so I'd like to clean it as much as I can.

Thanks again.

Dan

LaxSlash1993
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by LaxSlash1993 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:57 pm

Mooganoid wrote:
LaxSlash1993 wrote:Your preset issue is almost exactly what I had with my MemoryMoog+. Some of the presets were wiped with odd sounds, some of which would have two waveforms selected in the LFO (which, with the MM+, is impossible to do.)

Somebody had suggested that it was a bad battery, or possibly the RAM.

I don't know much about The Source, but maybe that's something that could be worth looking into as well.

My topic for reference:
http://forum.moogmusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11137

Hope you get it fixed, though. Best of luck to you.
Yeah I noticed that too now you mention it. I mean, there's no waveform indicators on The Source, but when I was switching waveforms trying to get a decent sound out of it, I realised that the preset had a different sound than any of the 3 wave shapes on their own. So it must have been a combination of two. Very strange.

I didn't even know it had a battery. I just thought it was good at remembering stuff. Are they expensive to replace?

What did you do with your Memory Moog? Did you repair it or just ignore the problem and hope it doesn't happen again?

Thanks for your help.
Since I posted that post, it hasn't happened again... and I have some presets saved in place of the ones that got corrupted. Never took it in to get serviced for that, though.

Try making a simple patch, and save it to a preset. Make sure that it uses all possible features of it. Write down what you did, and see if it stays saved.

Batteries aren't that expensive, or at least I wouldn't think so.

Mooganoid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by Mooganoid » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:03 am

Yea I tried that the other night. I quickly edited most of the presets and saved them but It seems to have only saved one or two. I don't know why only one or two; it should be all or nothing right?

If I replace the battery using a Duracell or other consumer brand battery, would it last another 20 years like the one it came with, or would I have to replace it more often?
One of these isn't it?...
https://www.google.co.uk/#q=cr123a+lith ... y&tbm=shop

Can someone please answer my noisy pot question; is switch cleaner a good idea or would another method be more effective long-term?
And do the voltage regulators look like they do in the other link I posted, and how many are there in The Source?
Cheers,

Dan

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MC
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Re: Ghost In The Machine (The Source)

Post by MC » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:41 am

You cannot replace the battery with a Duracell or other consumer battery. They are not electrically compatible despite appearances or voltages. The BRC battery used in the Source is still easily available and it is highly recommended that the replacement battery be mounted in a "C" size battery holder, as I did with my Source:

Image

There are three regulators in the power supply.

Regarding the noisy pot, read this for a better solution:

http://www.retrosynth.com/~analoguedieh ... ifications
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