I spent a good deal of time over the last several years exploring different aspects of modular synthesis, from the incredible collection at MESS in Melbourne, Australia, to my own journey through the Eurorack format. I was fortunate to have an original EMS VCS3 in my office during 2019, and I found it to be endlessly intriguing. The literature around this particular synth is extensive, but one thing that often adds to this intrigue is the pin matrix. Since returning from Australia, I've often thought about how I might develop a similar system using off-the-shelf Eurorack modules in a relatively small footprint, and of course, a pin matrix. My reasons for doing so were not because I wanted to have my very own VCS3, but to have an instrument that was similarly limited in terms of its patching. Now, before you start explaining to me that the pin matrix does provide enormous flexibility when it comes to patching on the VCS3, it is the case that the instrument is quite singular: you can't simply buy another oscillator or swap out a filter. This is what I mean by limitation. My plan is to follow-up on this post with a detailed explanation of how I went about determining the best way (for me) to put this thing together, what worked and what didn't, and audio/video demonstrating how I ended up using this "new" instrument.
This might be the best photo I've ever taken