About The Website

[About the website]

A few words about why i even made this place!

Originally, i hosted a synthesizer page on my personal site, as part of the assorted garbage pile it was at the time (it's a more sorted pile now). I tried re-implementing it after a full renewal of that homepage, but i failed. Being a programmer, i overcomplicated things, and made a javascript engine to parse custom format text files and media into a neatly laid-out page, instead of actually making articles about my synth modules. So it became a stub, and i ditched it, too - until recently realizing that a synth website should be as simple and "web 1.0" as possible. This realization came to me after i visited some Japanese synth blogs and homepages (gotta love the japanese web simplicity), as well as revisiting the famous netarchive dump of Ken Stone's CGS pages. They are all simple and usable! And so, i decided that i should make a simple and usable page with plain html/css instead of clouding mine (and everybody else's) mind with good design and javascript loaders.

At first, i thought of hosting it using the same host my friend and i use for a cool service made for friends, but then i realized that i'm paying Neocities whole $5 a month, so why not to use its multiple subdomain capability?So i put the page on here. 'SFCS' means SynthFox Custom Stuff, and it was the first meaningful four-letter subdomain that wasn't occupied. Guess i could've thought of something cooler, but now we gotta stick with it i guess!

Finally, since it's a whole separate webpage now, it feels a bit spacier, and i feel more comfortable making a bunch of pages for beginners, or for just some general handy information! Which is cool - a lot of people ask me how to get into DIY synthesizers, and i always have to explain everything all over and over again. Now, i am able to just make articles on that, and direct them here. Lots of love for SDIY newcomers!

[About me]

Hello again! My name's Aubery Lis and i mainly go by my scenic nickname Astro, yet i also go by a bunch of other names (Lis, Patch, Kate and some more). I am not tall, have long fair hair and grey-green-blue eyes. I was born and grew up in Russia, even though now i am studying in Estonia. I am somewhat around 25 years old (won't be updating the bio for a while so this will do for like, 4 more years!), though i always feel 16 inside. I am non-binary, but somewhat girl shaped - preferred pronouns are 'they' or 'she'. I make music and synthesizers. I also code, and have a knack for visual design, and drawing. I love udon noodles, pizza and mint candy a lot. I'm a relatively calm and absolutely friendly person, and am alawys up for some chit-chat, so get to me through contacts down below if you wish!

[SDIY related bio]

I have been interested in computers and synthesizers since childhood. I have also always been a very rhythmic person. Probably the intersection of that is the reason i started trying to make audiogear at about 15 years old. At first, i tried building a MIDI sequencer with arduino. Of course i failed and it never worked - the box is still there and i might re-use it just for the sake of making it work. At about that same age, i started making music with Gameboys, and also watching videos on magical bleep bloop machines called "modular synthesizers"... they have been a huge mystey to me! For about a year and a half i was "messing with the modulars on youtube" - and also reading a hell ton of articles on modular synths. Never was i able to finish a single book on that though.

For a while afterwards, i thought about making my own modular synth. I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it when i was 17! I made my first rack, and the PSU blew up. The construction of the whole device was crappier than ever. I made another rack, and it was way better - it even had those cool banana jack inputs for external PSUs to avoid messing with any internal stuff. I repurposed an old ATX computer power supply, put some banana jacks into it as well, plugged it into the rack ins and tested it on my two modules: the Atari punk console that i built, and a Polivoks VCF built by a local DIY person and chiptuner Uoki-Toki. And, of course, my Gameboy with LSDJ. Everything worked, but soon enough i messed up the PSU yet again by testing some module design. Later me and my friend made a new PSU - a good linear one, a step sequencer, and some other modules. Stuff was progressing!

At that same point, i was already running the Elysian Tunes netlabel project - it's a fake label, and all the 13 projects on it are just me. I started incorporating some recordings of my newly built stuff into my music. All the fun i had when i finished the step sequencer - the combination of an atari punk console, a polivoks vcf, a step sequencer and the monotron delay was such a magical and interesting thing!

I continued making DIY things, which were mainly remakes and enhanced versions of very basic uncopyrighted circuits from the web (you can't copyright the most basic op-amp cap-to-ground voltage follower slew limiter, can you?) - so i made a positive and negative slew inspired by Doug Lynner's Serge videos. They were based on that easy as hell circuit, and i made them positive and negative simply by cramming a diode around the time setting resistor one direction for rise part and the other way for the fall part. Of course it wasn't voltage controllable (though it could be with some vactrols) - but i still used the most of it! Out of other stuff i made at that point (2016/17-ish) were a 4-step utility sequencer, a shift register (that's when i developed a burning passionate love towards CD40XX chips), a suboctaver, a true transformer ringmod that i made as a request from one guy - he later refused to buy it and said he doesn't "hear the ring modulation" in it. I definitely did, though, so i kept it. Made a nice (and very depressing!) track with it. Then, i made one of my biggest SDIY (by which i mean Sh%t DIY) projects by that time - the Everything Machine standalone logic synthesizer. Of course, it couldn't do everything. It was a relatively big panel crammed with banana jacks on a 2x2 cm grid, that had a load of CD40XX based modules, some VCOs, some logic gates, 2 sequencers - one of my own personal design i am proud of even now - and some other stuff. I recorded a whole album on it and - despite sounding samish - i still find it quite cool. Only a year after making it, i learned about Lunetta synths and realized i just made a lunetta panel. Oh irony!

In 2017, i entered synth fests and cons in Moscow for the first time - Art-Aura, and then Synthposium. I released a few factory-grade Eurorack modules by that time - a dual square VCO, a shift register, a data sequencer, and aslew+comparator. I got noticed by the synth community, so i was very proud that they invited me to Synthposium. That was quite an experience! I met a lot of people, especially i talked a lot to BASTL INSTRUMENTS' leader and CEO, with whom we traded modules. That time, i got rid of Uoki Toki's VCF and my ringmod, trading it for their Skis and Tea Kick. He also gave me 5 patch cables because i was short on them while making a demo patch in front of some people. You saved my butt! The con was definitely a great experience and motivated me to make more modules and other musical stuff.

That's where the story comes to a hiatus: i was so hyped with myself that i ordered a whole LOAD of pcbs of my designs to make new modules for people, that i only had money left for parts for those, and the PCBs were all having unfixable tiny mistakes. I was extremely depressed and upset with myself back at the time; i decided not to give up, but definitely to recharge and get better at things before trying to enter the 'serious' scene again. So i dropped into making custom stuff for myself and researching both practical and theoretical sides of things at that moment, and only rised from my hiatus grave in late 2018. The result of that time is the CrapRack prototype system that is proudly sitting on top of the Index page. It had a step and div gate sequencers, cascade XORs,6 (revamped and actually good) squarewave VCO/VC Clocks, 2 universal function generators, a vactrol slew, a comparator, two summators, quad fixed filters, and a stereo mixer. The recordings from it are used in a bunch of my tracks of that time. I sold it to some guy for cheap afterwards - things gotta come and go anyways.

[Current time]

As of 2023 i am (still) in Estonia, finished my studies and remained a teacher at the Estonian Arts Academy, also became a teacher in TalTech. Looks like i enjoy torturing people! I move out of the university dorm and am missing the cheap-ass rent i had. But i have my tools and materials, and some synths, here with me. I am constantly designing and making new prototypes for my SynthFoxPaperface system, and also have been back back in serial builds business for a while - making better modules for people under the SYNTHFOX brand again, with actual PCBs, faceplates and stuff, this time - well designed and actually interesting.

By now i already thought out most details about my own format, Function-Unit (F~UN), and soon will switch to making modules for it instead. Mostly because i want to have a spaced-out and banana-based modules. No Eurorack hate intended, but i want a more custom format. Someday!

I hope you got to know me better through this textwall, as well as understood a bit more about why in world did i make this site at all. If you have any suggestions, questions, or found some typos - don't hesitate to write to my e-mail:


or use any other contact method listed on this page of my personal website.

Have fun browsing my website!

Lots of love to dafont user ClaudeP for the header font Pistilli Roman!