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Home » Audio Gear, DIY

Steam powered sequencer

Submitted by on September 1, 2010 – 10:09 am No Comment

Dabbler & experimenter Paul Bower was browsing eBay looking at vintage steam engines one day, and decided to do something fun with it: he built a DIY steam-powered sequencer.

Using an old 1920’s steam engine to turn a dynamo and generate electricity, he powered a host of MOTM and CGS modules.

He says:

“You’ll recognize the MOTM 120 sequence with a little variation courtesy of some CGS modules. The dynamo is just regulating the tempo of a MOTM320 LFO via it’s V/Oct input. I did spend most of the bank holiday monday building a steam powered pulse generator (add a rotating disc and a pair of commutators) but the steam engine wasn’t powerful enough to power my clunky transmission (bits of old tape machines, the shaft from a coffee percolator, bits of hard disk and a hairdryer)”

Here it is running:

I imagine that you could combine this with the steam oscillator, and a few other modules and have a full steam powered modular synth! Now that’s real steampunk!

While he’s not trying to figure out how to power his synths when the hydro goes out, Paul’s day job is putting out music on iTunes and other services.

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