Thursday, December 19, 2013

A fast project for the weekend: a Fuzz Face pedal clone

So what can you actually build with some leftovers resistors, caps, and 2 transistors?
How about a fuzz box?
I've never tried a distortion unit with my synths or drum machines. just did not feel it's a 'must have' effect unit.
Then, this last weekend i ran into this webpage 'Fuzz Central'
With some pics and circuits of what is considers to be a clone of classic pedal - the Fuzz Face distortion pedal .
Well, it took me an hour to built it and another hour to find what it can actually do.
This thing kicks ass!
Here is the first circuit i've built :

i also added sockets in order to try different transistors. the loose wires in the picture goes to certain interesting points in the circuits that can make this board into something else-
a noise machine from hell !!! just add a potentiometer or even touch it with your finger.

But then - an unfortunate incident happened when i tried to add an on/off switch.
i'll just say that: don't ever get too excited and try to drill in a box while the circuit is still inside!
things can get really messy...

so i needed to built another box. the loose wires went to 'touch bolts' on the side and here she is-
just few $ worth of parts and hours of fun .

Sunday, December 8, 2013

MFOS Vocoder (updated)

As soon as i found about the Music from outer space new DIY analog vocoder, i knew that i have to build it. after all, how many DIY vocoder projects are there? and to get a nice analog one can be pricy.
good job mr wilson!
So here it is, about 1 month later , the board is stuffed and ready to be wired and tested.
i made a lot of silly resistors combinations in parallel and serial in order to get the right values (which i didn't have at the moment)... for some of the bands- i used these polystyrene caps i got in a bargain from Electronic Goldmine .
i'm also going to mod it with the band volume controls with these nice sliders i found.
i got a lot of ideas about this vocoder , like adding a chorus circuit to the output and also some ideas about the case. i'll be updating this post soon...

Some updates for this project:
i've been looking for a proper enclosure for this vocoder but i didn't want to build anything from scratch. So...... here it is :

The beautiful Sierra 415A, used to be a test equipment box of some sort. it has a great looks with knobs, switches and leds, plus a built in meter! it's built like a tank with great quality parts and i guess it used to be an expensive machine back in the days. i must admit i felt a bit bad to 'destroy' a nice working unit, but hey - at least it's getting to be used, again. 
These boxes are not so cheap, but i could find this unit in 60$ icl. shipping off eBay.
i think it is worth it if you want a nice ready made metal portable box. it also has this 'cassette' hatch
which fits exactly with my set of sliders. i thought this will come ready made with a bipolar power supply, it actually did but it was much more work to isolate this circuit from the main board then to make something simple by myself. so i ended up making my own power circuit.
It took some work to prepare the box, empty it from all the circuits and then fit the vocoder PCB and the sliders PCB, fit some new pots and wire (like hell) every point.  wiring sucks!
Ok, but after all - it's working !!!! tried it with the internal oscillator and it sounds FAT and amazing. nothing like i know from software or digital vocoders. much more beefy. the sliders are a MUST if you want to change the sound while you go.
i still have one problem with one chanell but it's probably a mistake i did somewhere...

I also have some spece to add pots/stuff/mods/circuits so i thought maybe ill add a nice stereo chorus circuit to the output, we'll see.
For the sliders pannel I'm going to order a laser cut white metal panel with a printed frequency value of each channel.

Here are some pics : (audio will follow soon).


Monday, September 9, 2013


KiNo's sound and Vision

Check out this very interesting NY based  recording artist (originally from London).
His music is combined in this lovely footage taken in Istanbul. KiNo states that his music was created
"using a rare EMS Synthi AKS VSC3 synthesiser with custom analog sound processors" 

Strange dark and minimalistic  ...i definitely love it!

His website :

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Electronic Records finds from the past year - Part 2

SLUGBUG - Track Month

Wow !!! what can i say, so many genres that i like in one record.
for me it's definitely the best american synth related LP for 2013.
i describe it as Nerdsynthpunk but it's only a shortcut for the names running in my head...
 if you don't know SLUGBUG yet check out his Vids on YouTube.
This Texas synth wizard recorded all his analog gear into 8 track analog tape
and then cut it to vinyl in a 100% analog process.AAA.
Slugbug added an insert to his LP with a table of each track, where and when it was recorded and the gear used for it ,nice!   only 287 LPs left ...

check out his bandcamp here:

Zodiac-Disco Alliace

Really nice 70's fat cosmic disco record from USSR.
Used ARP Omni and ARP Odyssey in this LP.

Beaver and Krause - Ragnarok -(electric funk 1969)

Another 70's Moogish album...
OK, i wish i had this LP, i got other LPs from B&K (In a Wild sanctuary) but ragnarok is extremely rare and electronic.

Solvent -Solvent city

i got everything from solvent on CD's but wanted to get some on Vinyls so this would be the first one. Delicious !!!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The 'Safety PIN' - Adds modulation Straight to the Synthi matrix

This was an idea running in my head for a while ... why not to add some CV into the Synthi matrix using a pin with an Optocoupler inside ? This way the Synthi can be integrated with a modular synth for example and get more modulations options to each and every section you chose straight through the matrix. the Optocoupler makes it very safe and the Synthi circuits will never get exposed to high voltages Or spikes. The special pin can be placed in one of the joysticks rows, this way the modulation anount can be controlled. i made the pin today and placed everything inside a small tube which i took from a panel bulb and wrapped everything with a shrink. i also added a 2.7K resistor to the input in order to protect the LED inside the coupler. The CV  into the pin shouldn't exceed 5V.
 The results are just fantastic!!!  now i need to make some more pins ...