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BCR2000 resource packs

The zip files provided here each contain the following:

  • Overlays for SkinMan and ready to print.
  • Preset SysEx files for BC Manager or direct transfer to the BCR.
    • As it is not possible to tell the BCR how and where to include the MIDI channel number within the SysEx message, the byte containing the channel number must be hardcoded within the SysEx file. Refer to the ReplaceMIDIChannel_README textfile in the package for a search-replace string to change the MIDI channel to your needs.
  • BC Manager SysEx Definition File (if applicable)

You may use the content of the packages for your own purposes. For distribution, please link to this site.

BCR2000 Resource Pack for Synth In A Case

download

Synth In A Case is an ensemble for Native Instruments Reaktor.
You will have to manually assign the controllers used by the BCR preset.
BCR2000_Reaktor_SynthInACase.zip

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BCR2000 Resource Pack for Roland α-Juno

download

BCR2000_Roland_AlphaJuno.zip
Can be used with both α-Juno 1 and 2.

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BCR2000 Resource Pack for KORG M1

download

BCR2000_KORG_M1.zip
KORG M1 has different parametersets for single and double mode. This pack only supports double mode patches!

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BCR2000 Resource Pack for KORG Polysix (KLC)

download

BCR2000_KORG_KLC_Polysix.zip
For the KORG Legacy Collection Polysix VST plugin. Please note that not all controllers used in the patch are already assigned in the default controller map!

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BCR2000 Resource Pack for KORG microKORG

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BCR2000_KORG_microKORG.zip

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BCR2000 Resource Pack for KORG DW-8000

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BCR2000_KORG_DW-8000.zip

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Featured post

Custom overlays for BCR

Proper overlays greatly increase usability of the device. You can visualize the controls much better as opposed to just text-labelling and thus bring you much closer to the device you are controlling with the BCR.

BCR2000_mKorg_ovly

The BCR2000 Templates document that you can find on the official downloads page contains simple overlays for control labelling. But I was looking for a way to create enhanced overlays that visualize the device being controlled rather than just labelling the controls.

Custom overlays with SkinMan

SkinMan is a freeware program for creating skins for audio plugins. I created templates for the upper and the lower sections of the BCR. SkinMan can be found here.
Download the SkinMan templates here.

The templates contain grouped elements of four basic types:

  • Background: The overall background of the overlay.
  • Cutouts: These should be left as they are, blank sections to be cut out of the printed layout. They represent the actual buttons and encoders on the device.
  • Labels: Editable primitives for the label background.
  • Label text: The text fields for each label.

To create your overlay, do the following:

  1. Download and install SkinMan
  2. Download the SkinMan Templates and open them in SkinMan.
  3. Design, hide, add or remove elements to your liking.
  4. When you´re finished, export the image via the File menu and print it out. I recommend to use good quality photo paper.
    Use DIN A4 (210 x 297 mm) as print size.

    alert Make sure to use borderless print setting, or the control cutouts will not fit!

  5. Cut out the cutouts (hence the name, right…) with a sharp cutter.
  6. For long term protection, laminate the overlay.
  7. Cut out the lamination foil again and you are done.

You may want to download one of the BCR sets below and use the contained overlay as an example.

Featured post

BCR SysEx support

The BCR2000 SysEx capabilities are hardly covered by the official documentations and tools. I guess nowadays such controllers are mostly intended for use with software, to control DAWs and plugins. But they are equally ideal to control those 80’s to 90’s digital synths, which lack hardware controls but provide parameter setting via SysEx messages.

The BCR2000 is perfectly capable of that, but you have to know how to set it up. You can always use the learn function to assign a SysEx message to a control. If the SysEx message is simple, the BCR will perfectly recognize it. For proper setup however there is a perfect tool out there called BC Manager. It needs a while to get used to the interface, but you can edit and control every aspect of the device with it, send and receive data and manage multiple devices. A must-have for every BCR owner!

If you want more information on the SysEx capabilities of the BCR, check out the resources and links on the Mountain Utilities BCR/BCF page, too.

Poly-61 individual voice tuning

When I recalibrated my Poly-61 I had two voices significantly out of tune. Now since all oscillators are digitally controlled and therefore supposed to be in tune, KORG omitted attenuators for individual voices.

Here´s what I found as probable cause and fix: The parts most likely affected by the aging process in the area of voice CV appear to be the Cn02 (n=1..6) capacitors. I could not identify their exact type, but the marking sais they are 10nF with only 1% tolerance, so precision circuitry could be assumed. If I read the schematics correctly then together with the Rn02 resistors they form the input of the antilog. So there are two possible fixes. The first being to replace the capacitors with new high precision 10nF caps. The other fix is what I went for, firstly because I did not have the appropriate capacitors at hand and secondly because I felt that having control over the tuning would be handy. So I replaced R402 and R502 with precision trimpots.

Poly-61 trimpots for inividual voice tuning

Since Rn02 are 15k the best trimpot value would be 20k. I only had 100k at hand so it was a little fiddely to set the right value but it works for now. I still have to get a couple of replacement parts for proper fixes anyway so I will eventually replace all Cn02 with new ones and all Rn02 with 20k trimpots.

Poly-61 repair

Ressurection of a Poly-61

Like some other 80´s polysynths with memory, many of today´s Poly-61s suffer from battery leakage. The problem for most owners without knowledge of the technicalities is that the symptoms come on slowly and do not neccessarily hint at memory. While leaking, the battery may still provide enough power to retain memory while starting to damage the PCB area around it. The device starts acting weird up to doing nothing at all soundwise. The symptoms depend a little on how the synth has been stored and therefore how the acid flowes across the board. If you see a Poly-61 on the used market described as ‘functional’ but ‘holding a steady tone’ it´s most likely a battery dammage.

I purchaised such a unit with the risk of not knowing the exact amount of dammage it had taken. But I was determined to make it fully operable again. After all I thought it couldn´t be worse than the Opera-6 fix.

Disclaimer

If you use the information presented here you are doing this at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for any damage done to your device or yourself caused by your actions! You need the appropriate skills to do work on electrical devices.

The prequel

I looked around for information on the net but could not find much that was useful. Like others I remebered coming across a pretty extensive repair video, but it has been taken down by its author. The rest that is to be found are forum posts that describe the symptoms and take guesses and if they provide a solution it is only the general ‘re-crimp the connectors’ one. Some say that it helped, but never say why. And I wanted to know why …

There are plenty of download sources for the service manual, but the schematics contained are barely readable. It had to do though.

Symptoms

The device initially showed the following faults:

  • Outputs a constant tone
  • Most keys not working
  • DCO2 not working on all voices
  • Number 6 button not working

CPU board fix

First step was to open up the unit and examine the damage on the CPU board.

KLM-509A CPU board battery damage

Interestingly enough the board was missing the battery entirely. The two wire stumps seemed to be the remainders of a first repair attempt.
It would not have made sense to look for certain errors before the general dammage on the board wasn´t fixed. So first step was to remove all parts that where affected by the leak.

KLM-509A CPU board stripped

It should be noted that I also removed CN27B and IC2 after the picture was taken. Next was to clean the affected area. First I used 70% Isopropylic Alcohol and applied a big load of baking soda to neutralize the remaining acid.

KLM-509A CPU board sodarized

After removing the dried up soda with a tooth brush the damaged area looks alot better.

KLM-509A CPU board cleaned

From here we can look for broken traces. With a strong lightsource we can x-ray the board for a visual check. Notice the broken traces in the red marked area.

KLM-509A CPU board x-rayed

Visual examination is not enough though. It is best to verify all traces using a Digital Volt Meter in continuity mode. If at this point one has to be told to use insulated wire to fix the traces then one probably lacks the basic skills to take on this task at all …

As you can see on the picture already I used sockets instead of soldering the ICs into place directly. This helps in finding and correcting faults without putting stress on the chips.

Replacement parts

Sourcing replacement parts was not that hard. Basically all HD14xxx had to be replaced by MOS 40xxx equivalents. Only one transistor had to be sought out of a variety of possible replacements.

Part Original Type Replacement Type Comment
Q11 (2S)C2785 2SC1815 NPN, TO-92, 50V, 150mA
Q10 (2S)A1175 Still available at the shop of my choice
IC HD14xxx MOS40xxx

Battery replacement

I put in a lithium cell insead of the former reloadable type. This requires the load current resistor R70 to be replaced by a diode (1n4148 will do).

The general crimp fix

A heads up in advance: Yes, the board connectors can be the source of many problems on the Poly-61.

However it depends on the general damage, especially in the case of a leaked battery, whether it is enough to just re-crimp the connectors or whether more action is required. In my case the sockets of CN12 and CN27B where badly affected as well and needed to be cleaned to regain full connectivity. The crimps of the connectors where literally falling apart.

Fixing the faults

Constant tone

If a synth outputs sound constantly, chances are high that the VCA is open. Now in most cases the VCA is driven by an envelope generator. EGs need some sort of gate or trigger. The Poly-61 uses SSM2056 envelope generator ICs and they have a Gate input at pin 6. I checked the pins with a DVM and found ~1.3V at five of the six. Now 1.3V is given in the datasheet as the maximum required threshold voltage for the gate. So all these inputs where active. Looking at the schematics you will eventually find that the gate lines are directly connected to buffer IC outputs on KLM-509 via CN12. With CN12 being severely damaged by the battery acid and having barely any connectivity, the affected gate lines where floating. I assume that this causes the 2056 to pull the inputs high internally for some reason. I cleaned the pins of the board connector with a dremel brush and for the lack of replacement crimps came up with a temporary solution until I manage to source the right crimps.

KLM-509A CN12 custom crimping

DCO2 missing

DCO2 for the six voices are provided by IC5  and IC14 on KLM-509. DCO2 was missing on voices 4-6. This meant that one of the chips was doing its job and the other one wasn´t. It turned out that a trace between IC11 and IC14 was cracked, leaving the CS line non-functional.

Number 6 switch

This was in fact an easy fix, because it was also only a cracked trace on KLM-509, but it was the hardest to find out because of the barely readable schematics. In the end I was lucky that I didn´t depend on it more.

Finalize

That was about it. One Poly-61 back to life. All that was left where the typical restauration tasks like cleaning pots and key contacts and cosmetics.