North Coast Synthesis Intros Transistor Mixer For Eurorack Modular Systems

Toronto-based North Coast Synthesis has released the Transistor Mixer, a four-channel utility mixer for Eurorack modular synthesizers.

The module’s minimalist design features only six transistors, but still includes extra features like offset generation, separate AC and DC outputs, and distortion.

“With this one I’m trying to get back to the style of classic designs where every speck of silicon was made to really count,” says North Coast module designer Matthew Skala. “There’s something very nice…about having only a few parts and being able to describe exactly what each one of them is for.”

The new module is designed for both audio and control voltage processing. 

Pricing and Availability

The MSK 011 Transistor Mixer is available now for $210 Canadian including shipping (assembled module), or $140 for a do-it-yourself kit.

11 thoughts on “North Coast Synthesis Intros Transistor Mixer For Eurorack Modular Systems

  1. To be honest the soldering on the pictured module (on northcoastsynthesis site) looks questionable. Reminds me a lot of “how to spot a bad solder joint” pictures. Good thing it comes as a DIY kit. Not that my soldering is much better.

  2. Oh I think it’s rather difficult to see any faults on this picture alone. Harsh words really. I have noticed than some PCB’s are reluctant “solderers”. MFOS boards in my experience are the best, the trendy black/coloured boards used these days, Fonitronik for example, are reluctant to engage the iron and solder. Maybe that’s what you can see here Alex?

    1. Maybe its just a prototype one off and retail module is going to be all nice and cleanly sodlered. But after years of DIY it just caught my eye.

      Just to be precise here is the link to the photo I’ve mentioned. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1610/7581/products/[email protected]

      Entire top row looks suspicious to me. I learned how to solder from the internet and I’m not some DIY guru, not at all. And I didn’t want to be harsh.
      https://cdn-learn.adafruit.com/assets/assets/000/001/978/original/tools_Header_Joints.jpg
      This picture was my guide how not to solder. Plenty of joints from first picture look exactly like joints from this reference.

      1. Here is a photo of one of my PMFoundations DIY boards that a customer returned to me that was not working. I supplied the PCBs and they did the soldering.

        https://tindie-discourse.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/original/3X/5/7/570a045828e390f1d121d044a05f8e67287681b1.jpg

        The joint that was causing the problem was not easily diagnosed because from above it looked OK. Further, when the board was on a bench, it worked OK because the solder blob touched the pad!

        I can’t imagine this company would sell their production boards like that though. Their photo is probably a prototype.

  3. Since the idea of a transistor mixer must surely be for it to be more “retro” , a few blobby joints and a spattering of flux are essential to maintain a look that is consistent with boards from the 1970s and 1980s.

    It would also be great if the user manual is crafted from sheets of folded letter size paper with a couple of rusted staples along the centerfold.

  4. I hope to see some oscillators and filters inspired by this philosophy.

    My modern malleko oscillators are great but they dont feel noisy enough. they dont seem to have the old vibe that I wish they had.

  5. “We distill mixing to its essence”… and then we huff it until our marketing makes sense.

    Pure audiophool garbage: fetishizing “the olden days” without acknowledging that “getting the most out of every transistor” was an economic decision.

    1. Strong words. However there is an important point made about economics. Probably the most useful scenario for a mixer circuit made from transistors is that someone can knock one together from bits in their parts bin. DIY people like that idea.

  6. There is obviously a market for vintage stuff, one that seems to have very little regard for actual sound, but that’s what makes it such a great market. I’m hoping they can provide more examples with better soldering, and bring the price down, it does seem expensive for a small mixer.

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