Oakley TM3030 Midi controlled synth

This board has now sold out and is discontinued.

This TM3030 has been fitted into a half rack width two part steel case with aluminium front and rear panels.

The TM3030 is a midi controlled bassline clone that is designed to sound good, be easy to build and use no really difficult to get parts. The design features the same controls as the little silver box we have all come to love: tune, waveshape, cut-off, resonance, envelope sweep, decay time, accent and volume.

Unlike the older Oakley TB3030 and TB3031, this project has its own midi interface on board. This interface has been especially designed for us by Sequentix, the creators of the P3 and Cirklon sequencers and the midibass TB303 midi interface. By careful analysis of the original unit, Sequentix have created a midi interface that allows the TM3030 to behave as a real unit would do if you could feed it midi messages. Slides and accents are faithfully reproduced. Since issue 2 the TM3030 features optional modulation wheel control of filter cut off frequency.

The TM3030 contains no internal sequencer. Of course, part of the sound of those famous acid riffs come from the sequencer, but with careful programming on your favourite computer or hardware sequencer, it is possible to create those wonderful fluid lines that are so recognisable.

A simple render of the suggested front panel layout.

The PCB contains, in several key areas, places where the builder can chose to use modern or original Japanese parts. I think that the modern parts I have chosen sound as good as the originals, but the option is there if you can get the original parts and want authenticity.

The front panel pots are Alpha or Alps 16mm devices. These are available from many places and offer long life and feel good. They can be soldered directly to the board to minimise wiring and errors. Special pot brackets are available to allow the PCB to be mounted on to front panels without any further mounting requirements. The board is designed to fit into either a half rack case, or in a 1U rack case. It would be possible to have two TM3030's side by side in one 1U rack.

Like the pots, the LEDs and switch can also be board mounted. Input and output sockets are mounted to the rear of the case and are connected to the PCB with flying leads. Issue 3 boards are identical to issue 2 but now use the THAT300 NPN array instead of the obsolete CA3083 array in the exponential convertor.

The older issue 2 board built with a matched pair of BC550B in the filter and CA3080 for the VCA. Issue 3 boards are almost identical.

The front panel LEDs show slide, gate, accent and power on conditions.

The power requirements are 15V AC or 18 to 24V DC. Current consumption is less than 100mA.

The midi interface is controlled by a pre-programmed microcontroller chip.

Board size is 201mm [front] x 130mm [sides].

A close up of the VCO, slide and DAC of the TM3030. Note the PCB mounted pots and switches for ease of construction.

Sound Samples

Some short snippets of the TM3030 in action. The TM3030 was being driven by a Sequentix P3 and the output of the TM3030 was recorded without any further processing.





Webnote: On the Acidvoice website there are some sound samples of a rather striking yellow TM3030. However, I and others do not feel they represent the TM3030 that well. Indeed, there is a good chance that that particular unit has either been built incorrectly or it has a fault.


TM3030 Issue 3 Builder's Guide

User Manual

Construction Guide Our handy guide to building Oakley DIY projects

Parts Guide Our handy guide to buying parts for Oakley DIY projects.

TM3030 MIDI specification The TM3030 midi interface commands and specifications.

TM3030 half rack black.fpd Schaeffer panel database which can be used as a drilling template.

The schematic is provided only to purchasers of the printed circuit board. This will be sent to you as a PDF file with your shipping confirmation e-mail.

For technical support on all Oakley projects please refer to the knowledgeable and helpful Oakley Sound Forum which is hosted at Muffwiggler.com. Tony Allgood and Paul Darlow do not provide building support for Oakley projects, but both and many others are usually available for help via the forum.

This is the TM3030 in a half rack metal case. Metal cases are better than plastic or wooden ones because they reduce the amount of unwanted interference from other sources.

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Copyright: Tony Allgood
Last revised: October 04, 2017.