Synth DIY Guru Ray Wilson Of Music From Outer Space Has Cancer And Needs Help

ray-wilson-music-from-outer-spaceThe family of Music From Outer Space founder Ray Wilson has announced that he is fighting Stage 4 cancer and that he could use the help of the synth community.

Wilson has been a leader in synth DIY for years – offering a variety of projects via his Music From Outer Space (MFOS) site. His DIY designs include a complete line of analog synth modules, lo fi noise boxes, sequencers, the Sound Lab Mini-Synth and the Weird Sound Generator. He is also the author of the book Make: Analog Synthesizers

Wilson found out about a month ago that he’s got cancer of the kidney, enlarged lymph nodes and spots on his lungs. He’s had to suspend work at MFOS, as a result.

His children have started a GoFundMe campaign to help Wilson and his wife with expenses. Here’s what they have to say about the campaign:

Because my parents are both self-employed, they pay for their own healthcare. They are not covered by any sort of employer-provided long term leave benefits. Currently they pay about $1500 per month for health insurance. Add to this baseline the array of tests, prescriptions, transportation, specialist visits, new dietary needs, and the general cost of living. It is very expensive to be sick.

These costs will soon outstrip savings for a rainy day; they will chip into reserves and eventually eat up their retirement funds. And my mother isn’t even 60 yet. I am extremely concerned, and therefore am turning to the generosity of the community and asking that you please consider helping in any way you can.

Dad has shared so much with the world through his work, his art, and his writing. How has he affected you? Perhaps you have learned a new skill and developed a hobby thanks to MFOS. (Have you built a Weird Sound Generator?) Maybe you’ve read his book, Make: Analog Synthesizers. Maybe you or someone you know has benefited from his extensive research and development in the field of implantable defibrillators and pacemakers. Maybe you have laughed at his YouTube channel or enjoyed a concert or downloaded some of his music. Maybe you’re a family member or an old friend wondering what you can do from far away. Well if you were planning to send flowers, please donate instead. If you were going to make a casserole, please donate instead. If you care but you feel totally helpless, please consider donating. Every little bit will help to defray the mounting medical bills and give my parents a little breathing room.

Here’s a video made to help raise awareness, by Thomas White:

If you can afford to help Ray Wilson out, see the family’s GoFundMe site. You can also help out by sharing the link ( and sharing how his work may have affected you personally, raising awareness of what he has contributed to the synth community and spreading the knowledge of how people can help out.

via FSK1138, Jon, Daniel Mendoza

15 thoughts on “Synth DIY Guru Ray Wilson Of Music From Outer Space Has Cancer And Needs Help

  1. Ray has given so much to our community. Just look at his web pages and they give a complete “how it works”. Not many do that. His designs have saved me a lot of money and effort. For that and many other reasons I will be sending a contribution.

      1. this isn’t really the time for sarcasm but anyone else find it inappropriate to link advice in this situtation from the same government that refused to provide Ray and others with the healthcare plans they need in order not to leave them in a private desperate financial situation like this

        1. The healthcare issue is more complex than just “the government refused to let [certain people] have insurance.” That’s is both giving more credit to our citizenry (who can’t come to an agreement about Universal Healthcare) than they deserve and not enough credit to the people who have struggled to get a Universal program up and running.

          Also, I don’t think it’s appropriate to post any advice about cancer treatment, ever. I think you should leave it to an oncologist. It’s only a matter of time before people start posting about cannibinoid injections and vegan diets.

          If someone doesn’t ask for your medical input (whether you’re trained or not, but especially if you’re not) then keep it to yourself. They need money for medical expenses. They didn’t ask for cures from the community.


    1. Hi Gary,
      Yes. We are trying everything. Vitamin C infusion among them. We are hopeful for a full recovery. Ray began chemotherapy after using alternative therapies for a couple of months. He is now continuing with alternative and conventional therapy. Our hope is that the east meets west approach will bring the cure we are seeking.
      We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the synth DIY community. Thank you for your kindness.
      Debra Lee
      Maiden of MFOS

  2. Thank you for publishing this story. Ray Wilson has given so much to the DIY synth community, and hopefully this gofundme will succeed in getting him the treatment he needs.

  3. Thanks for posting this. His DIY stuff is fantastic. It’s definitely worth checking out his site and videos of things people have made with his designs. He does great work and deserves the full support of everyone on Synthtopia. If we all help even a little we can achieve his goal so with any luck he can “keep imagining, keep inventing, and stay ingenious”.

  4. Four years ago I bought the Weird Sound Generator kit from Ray’s place, just to have something to do during my summer vacation. Now that little noise machine inspired me to learn more about how synths are designed and constructed and now I’m deep in the process of designing my own analog synth with all bells and whistles, spending almost every evening with soldering fumes and Kicad schemos. That’s all thanks to Ray. Needless to say, I’ve donated.

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