PAIA 9700SThis project was my first modular DIY synthesizer. It is a 9700S designed by PAIA. I bought this one as a complete kit. It comes even with the case. Most of the modules have double functions. It has two VCO's that are quite OK actually. One of them can be switched to LFO mode. It has also two VCF's that I personally don't like too much, but you can filter with them for sure. The envelopes are very nice because they can also do looping. And in this way they also act as a LFO that you can give a asymmetric feel because you can alter the Attack and Decay independently. Also the Midi to CV converter is quite good actually. On its own it is quite a simple synthesizer, but I just saw that PAIA is building more modules for it.

PAIA 9700S InsideIn the picture on the right you can see a piece of the inside of the cabinet. The PCB are not very difficult to build and I must say the documentation of PAIA is really extensive. Excellent for beginners. You can really start building a PAIA kit when you have no prior electronics knowledge. You just need to have some soldering skills. Also the calibration is doable. I just got an oscilloscope actually when I build this kit. That really helps and I would recommend that you have one of those at least. The only thing PAIA should have done is get some better mini jack connectors. In my opinion they are not very good. I have a lot of them that crackle when you move the connectors. But I guess they are just trying to keep the kits affordable.

PAIA 9700S OutsideAnd here is a picture of the outside when I just finished it. The cabinets are actually quite nice as well that PAIA sells. You could use them for other projects as well I guess. After I was finished I made some simple patches on it. It is nice to get an idea about what modular synthesizers are about. But to make more complex sounds you really need more external modules to hook up to it. But you have to start somewhere I guess and I personally like this for a start. I can really recommend the PAIA kits when you want to start building your own synthesizers.

You can read more about the whole construction on my blog:

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