Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Sauce of Unce - NLC - Build notes

This is a Eurorack module based upon the Buchla 265 Source of Uncertanity module.
The 265 is the first in a long string of modules bearing the name "Source of Uncertainity" which I
think is so poetic and apt.

I feel the vintage 265 is one of  the greatest modules Don ever built.
The original 265 uses lots of rare and expensive parts and needs +24V to operate so is out of reach
of most people.

The Nonlinearcircuit module though not a clone is functionally very similar.
The noise source is uses a TL074 (quad op-amp). The 265 used four uA741s (single Op-amp).
The 0.05-50 Hz VCO is op amp based (again TL074).
The Sample & Hold sections are changed to use the hi-Z input of TL074 op amps (ie not uA741s). 
The 265 used an uA741 at the S/H output.

I've often wondered where did the name "unce" come from?
It's the written form of the sound heard in most club music. You have probably heard the sound unce,unce,unce,unce, etc coming from a club.
This word describes a heavy bass tone (un) then a cymbal strike (ce.) Try saying it yourself, pronouncing the un as deep as possible. It sounds a lot like a club beat!

Andrew's build notes are here:

NLC Blog descriptions:

I'll be building two versions: one for my Buchla system & one for the Euro.

First the Eurorack one.
This is what the virgin boards look like.
There are four surface mount TL074 op-amps and some passive resistors in SMD format.
The rest of the build is through the hole.

There are two sides to this PCB

I like to get the SMD op amps onto the board first. Be careful there are no shorts.
Then the rest of the passive SMD stuff. The spacing is for 1206 SMDs.
I'm using 0805 SMDs. 
The 47K resistor  next to the 4u7 cap (marked in yellow) should be added last.
It sets the level of the noise output and determines the behaviour of the entire circuit.
It's value can range from 47K to as low as 12K if you have noisy transistors.
read Andrew's build notes for more info.

T1, T2 & T3 are test points.
T1: should just be noise like the three noise outputs
T2: a noisy approx 100Hz tri wave
T3: turn up the random pot to max, depending on your vactrol you should hear approx 30Hz +/-10V signal .
T3 is the output of the VCO that controls the S&H on the 'random' output, 

The orange & blue circles mark resistors that should be left out or changed. These set the output voltages.
Euro require voltages in the 0-5V range.
Buchla require a 0-10V or 0-15V range.

The blue circle marks the 12K resistor which I'm changing to 6.8k to give a Euro voltage output (0-5V).
The Orange circle marks the 10K & 33K which I'm changing to just a link (on the 10K) to again give out Euro voltages.
To get approx 0-10V, install the 10k and 33k resistors as described. To get it up to 15V, replace the 10k resistor. Use 0805 smd (which will fit nicely), so you can easily remove them, try 22k for starters.

Similarly, on the smooth output you can change the 10k resistor to increase the output voltage.  
The build guide I suggests using 6k8 to 8k2 instead of the 12k. "The output still gets pretty hot but very rarely clips, this depends a lot upon your dual vactrol, so some experimentation is needed. I (Andrew F) used a rare dual Silonex. "Best to use 0805 resistors which can be easily installed and removed".

Another way is to use 6k8-8k2 as suggested to keep signal levels at comfortable (for the op amp) levels and then adjust the '10k*' resistor at op amp C1 to get the range you want, higher resistance = higher voltage.


Muffs- 265sou

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Squid Axon - NLC - Build notes

These are my build notes for the Nonlinearcircuits Squid Axon Eurorack module.

The Squid Axon is a circuit based on the Hodgkin- Huxley
 equation describing the chaotic behaviour observed in giant
squid axons.

Andrew's Build notes are here:

Andrew's Blog info:

Basically it's a 4 stage analog shift register with two feedback paths, one nonlinear and one linear.

 I like to get the surface mount ICs on first.

I'm using this DG411 - from mouser.
 According to the specs, it requires the 100K & 120k resistors.

See Andrew's build notes.

 Get the rest of those SMDs on the board.
You're nearly there.

You can find more NLC builds here.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Pauline Oliveros RIP

Pauline Oliveros will be sorely missed.

The picture above is of her with a Buchla 100.
She was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music.

Pauline was born on  May 30, 1932 in Houston, Texas.
She passed away on November 25, 2016.

Oliveros, along with Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender, formed the San Francisco Tape Music Center
in the 1960's.
She made a huge contribution to the development of Electronic Music.
Her legacy will enrich the lives of generations to come.

Fairlight CMI IIx - Demo - Locust

This is one of the demo tracks that was released in the 1980s for the Fairlight.
The Fairlight I'm using is vintage 1982.

All sounds are from the fairlight with no added effects, etc

 It's important to load the instrument file (LOCUST.IN) first, then load the .RS file (LOCUST.RS)

 Opening page for the Locust tune.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fairlight CMI - Page 9. The Keyboard Sequencer

Here is Page 9 with replay file ALHUMBRA.SQ loaded.

The sequence file was loaded from this disk which can be viewed via page 2:

Here are some help sheets for page 9:

Nara, Japan

Nara. Japan's ancient capital (8th century).
Today, it's the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu.

Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate.

Main Temple, Nara.
Tōdai-ji temple.
Tōdai-ji (東大寺?, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex, that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Dates to 728 AD.
It's the world's largest wooden building.

. Daibutsu, Tōdai-ji's 15m-high bronze Buddha.

Komokuten, one of the pair of guardians in the Tōdai-ji temple.

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.
Tame sika deer (also known as spotted deer or Japanese deer) roam through the town, especially in Nara Park. (Wikipedia).

On the park's east side is the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which dates to 768 A.D. and more than 3,000 lanterns.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fairlight Synth - Initial pics

Thought I'd upload some pics while this baby is behaving.
At times she has a mind of her own.:-)

This is the first page you will see when the Fairlight boots: Page 1, the Index.

Page 2: Disk Control
Provides a directory of all the files currently loaded.
Type P2<return>  to access page 2.
Files with the ending ".VC" are voice or sound files.
Files that end in ".IN" are instrument files.

Type L,A,filename<return> to load a file.
This is Page 6
Page 6 (Waveform drawing) can be accessed by typing P6<return>

This page allows direct drawing of audio waveforms using a lightpen.

This is page 7 (Control Parameters)
This allows you to set, modify & control the parameters for each sound file such as the volume, attack, decay, portomento, etc

You can of course reach this page by typing P7.
And finally the famous "Page D"

It's the Voice Waveform Display.
You reach it by typing "PD<return>"
Page D shows a 3D picture of the waveforms of any voice.

There are 2 formats:
A (above) and B (below)
Format B has a much higher resolution than Format A, but is less "3D" in appearance.