Music Thing Modular - Chord Organ

Product information "Music Thing Modular - Chord Organ"
Chord Organ is the easiest way to get chords from a modular synth!

• It's perfectly possible to create chords on a modular synth, but its a pain - lots of tuning and messing about. I wanted to create something as simple as a home organ with chord buttons. Chord Organ is exactly that; the top knob chooses a chord shape, the bottom a root note.
• The full story of Chord Organ, including how it was inspired by a Bontempi Organ found in the street, is in this article over on Medium.
• Chord Organ and Radio Music are identical modules; you can convert one to the other by installing new firmware over USB - details on how to install the firmware - and go back just as easily.
• This video shows what you can do with a Chord Organ in a simple little case. Here the chord shape and root note are sequenced by an expanded Turing Machine and filtered through a God's Box Humpback Filter.
• The top knob chooses the chord shape (Major, Minor, Drop 3 9th). The bottom knob chooses the root note. Both can be CV controlled.
• The latest firmware now includes:
• A choice of 12 waveforms (the original just had four) Program chords by uploading MIDI files Easy to use configuration page. Alternative tuning support by dropping standard Scala files onto the SD card (installation details).
• There’s a long history of press-button-to-get-chord instruments; accordions, the Suzuki Omnichord, the Autoharp, or all those auto-accompaniment electronic keyboards that you used to see.

Basically Chord Organ is a new firmware for the Music Thing Modular Radio Music module. It gives the module a completely different function. Instead of playing samples from the SD card, it synthesises chords. This is the full Chord Organ kit with dedicated Chord Organ silver Alu panel and button.

Note: you need to purchase a MicroSD card and a Micro-B USB Cable elsewhere to set up this module. The Micro-B cables are the smallest type shipped with Kindles and many Android phones. You also need a card reader to write files to the SD card, many laptops and desktops already have them built in now. The very cheap $2 MicroSD cards are not worth the trouble they will cause you, buy genuine SanDisk or Kingston branded MicroSD cards from Amazon or elsewhere. 32Gb maximum… that’s 108 hours of lossless audio in 16bit 44.1khz. Total file limit per card is 1200 files.

For the build guide the process is identical to Radio Music, you just program with a different hex file –

Chord organ now tracks 1v/Oct if you use the latest software downloaded here! –

Details on how to load firmware onto the module can be found under the Software header here –

THT-Kit-1. This is a Do-It-Yourself kit, not an assembled module. The kit includes all parts to build the module. Only trough-hole parts to solder. Make sure to check the build guide before you buy. For build guide, more info, videos etc. please check the buttons below.
Current draw +12 V [mA]: 75
Current draw -12 V [mA]: 8
DIY Level: Easy
Depth [mm]: 40
Width [HP]: 4
Format: 3U
Panel / Color: Silver Alu
Manufacturer "Music Thing Modular"
Eurorack Modular Synth format. They are designed in Herne Hill, London by Tom Whitwell. I’m a former journalist and magazine editor (Mixmag & The Face). In the noughties I ran the Music Thing blog, before working at The Times. Got into DIY electronics after attending a workshop with Tom Bugs, reading Handmade Electronic Music, playing with Arduino and building guitar pedals. Contacting me directly is rarely a quick way to get help with a project or a technical problem. GitHub issue lists are a good place to start (Turing Machine, Radio Music), a search of MW DIY will often find answers, as will looking at the Facebook Synth DIY group. You can read more about Music Thing Modular and open source in this article: Why Open Source Music Hardware works for Music Thing Modular.

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