Ambika 106

I’ve always dreamed of building an MI Ambika one day,
and would love to build it in a Juno 106 like enclosure due to ambika’s sound and SMR4 inspiration.

I’ve made a sketch of this idea.
Took me a while, and I’m really proud of it.

I think it looks like a hybrid of an Ensoniq and Roland instrument (which is kind of what the MI Ambika sounds like anyways), with the colours and OLED display (gotta have an OLED) .

This drawing follows the Ambika-C, Shruthi XT and TSFKAA Pro with their (mostly) Knob-Per-Function design. (Most of the core functions are modeled on Ambika-C, whilst the rest will be accessed through the usual menu diving/mod matrix)

Due to Ambika’s height, this wouldn’t be possible to build with a ‘gutted’ 106 (and pls don’t do that to a Juno!), but rather building it around a similar design.

This could be done by cutting wood panels, screen printing/cutting an aluminium frame and maybe sourcing similar faders/buttons from a Juno repair shop.
The keys, buttons, faders, pitch/mod, additional led’s, etc would have to be monitored and controlled by an additional arduino or atmega, communicating with the ambika similar to TSFKAA’s design.
(Even with motorised faders if you had the money).

All in all, (if doing it totally DIY, and you had the time/tools) you could probably build this for less than or equal to a serviced 106 (UK price at least).

I’ve chosen to not include a chorus circuit, as it would be difficult to implement over midi (storing the parameter in each patch without modifying the core firmware).
Also a lot of Ambika users like the versatility of using 6 outs at once, something not possible with putting in a single stereo chorus unit. (I understand as I have an Emu Emax w/ similar multiout panning options). There’s always those TC (Behringer) units that (bar their build quality) sound ‘close enough’, which I’m sure SMR4 Ambika users use often anyway.

The controls are generally listed in the picture, or are referencing the usual controls in the manual.
The only additional unlabeled ones are the right 8 buttons next to the display. The first 6 yellow are the voice selection buttons, then the next 2 (grey) are legato and poly switches (off=mono, on=poly, unison=flash or something?).

The grey buttons/led’s on the main panel next to the lfo/vco/env are selectable to edit each individual section (i.e. editing env1/2/3), without having 2-4x the controls.
I think this is a pretty good compromise for space/cost/functionality.

Left from there, is the normal Ambika controls and button set.
I’ve chosen to leave the 8 buttons on the left, with the encoder and potentiometers on the right.
This way, it’s easier to have a two-hand operation on each side, as opposed to the kind of cramped hand-over-hand operation of the usual design. (Which isn’t normally an issue as a tabletop unit, but could be an issue now that there’s a keyboard underneath)

Anyways, just an idea I might take up building in a couple years when I have the money/time. But just thought I would share if anyone is curious or would want to take up the challenge :wink:

Any comments/questions, please ask!


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