Saturday, 19 August 2017

CMOS - useful chips for Lunetta Synths

Over the past few years of building the odd Synth module I've come across the 4000 series of CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) chips time and again.
I am an analog addict but I must say that the digital 4000 series is very versatile.
It's hard to keep track of what each chip is capable of so I've decided to start a list.
(Ive also added a few other CMOS chips that don't belong in the 4000 range, but are still useful)
I hope this list will become useful as it grows over the coming years.

40106 - hex schmitt trigger inverters.
            This can make 6 square wave oscillators
4001 -  Quad two-input NOR gate (four NOR gates), (NLC Bools)
4006 -  shift register
4009 -  Hex inverter (six NOT gates)
4011 -  Quad two-input NAND gate (four NAND gates), (NLC Bools)
4015 -  shift register
4016 -  analog bilateral switch
4017 - decade counter (Squid axon),
                                  (1050 mix sequencer)
                                  Baby 10 sequencer.
4024 -  shift register
4029 -  4 stage counter-binary/decade (NLC 4SEQ) 
                                                        (NLC 32:1)
4030 - Quad two-input XOR gate (four XOR gates), (NLC Bools)
4040 -  divider/ripple counter
4046 -  PLL (Phase Locked Loop), built in VCO,  (NLC Vactrol Pill)
4051 -  Eight channel multiplexer
4052 -  Dual 4 channel multiplexer, (NLC 4SEQ) 
4060 -  Has a built in oscillator
4066 -  quad bilateral switch
4093 -  quad schmitt trigger/ NAND gates (can make 4 square wave oscillators.)
4094 -  8 stage serial shift register (8bitcipher)
4096 -  shift register
4051 -  multiplexer
4070 - XOR gate (NLC Bools)
4071 - Quad two-input OR gate (four OR gates) (NLC Bools)
                                                                       (1050 mix sequencer)
4077 - Quad two-input XNOR gate (four XNOR gates), (NLC Bools)
4081 - Quad two-input AND gate (four AND gates), (NLC Bools)
                          (1050 mix sequencer)

In vintage synths the most popular of the 4000-series chips appear to be 
the analog bilateral switches (4016, 4066), the analog multiplexer/demultiplexers
4051, 4052,4053, 4067) and the 4046 phase-locked loop (PLL).  These allow the
routing of analog control signals. 
The 4046 PLL was used in such machines as the OSCar.

The CMOS synth was also made famous by Stanley Lunetta of Sacramento who passed away on March 3, 2016.
His Lunetta Synth inspired the DIY synthesizer community. He used mainly 4000 series CMOS chips.
Experimentation really is the whole point.  Learning what the different types of logic chips do, and making use of them in interesting ways.

Analog Multiplexer/Switches

406 - (DG 406) multiplexer (NLC 32:1)
412 - (DG 412) - analog switch (plague of Demons)


Useful links:
+ Msmodular
+ Introduction to Lunetta
+ Fun with Sea Moss
+ Strangeness & Calm
+ Wikipedia CMOS
+ List of 4000 series ICs
+ List of 7400 series ICs
+ Electromusic - circuits inspired by Stanley Lunetta

To be continued

Friday, 18 August 2017

I did some testing of a WAD (Wilson Analog Delay) last week.
It's an amazing effects unit quite unlike anything I own.

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These are videos recorded on Instagram.

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The sound is cleaner than my Buchla 288v ... though I like that for other reasons.

The WAD is so hard to find these days due to the rarity of its components.
.. those SAD1024 chips.

The SAD1024 is a 512 stage bucket brigade analog delay chip
It has 2 independent delay sections.
The Bucket Brigade consists of a series of capacitors that pass the analog signal
like a line of people carrying buckets of water to put out a fire.
The analog signal in each capacitor is forwarded to the next stage using transistors that act a switches.
The rate is determined by an external clock.

It's difficult to say what portion of the WAD's magic is due to the SAD1024 but for the record 
these also use it:

- Ace-Tone EH-50 Delay
- ADA Flanger (Early ones)
- Anderton Flanger
-  BEL ELECTRONICS  Delay/Flanger BA-40
- Boss Flanger BF-1
- Dynacord DC300-e
- DDD Flanger 640
- EHX Electric Mistress
- EHX Deluxe Memory Man (4 knob)
- EHX Memory Man Solid State Delay
- EHX Memory Man Echo/Chorus (non stereo)
- EHX Slapback Echo
- EHX Stereo Slapback Echo
- EHX Small Clone (not all)
- EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress
- EHX Clone Theory (w/Edge switch)
- HARMONY  Synthesizer
- KORG  some keyboards
- IBANEZ  Flanger FL-305
- LUPINE  Systems SAD1024 Delay
- MAXSON  MP-DL201 Flanger
- MONTGOMERY APPLIANCES  77 Flanger (ADA Flanger Clone)
- MXR Analog Delay - but NOT the M-118 version, I am pretty sure it was called M-117
- PAiA flanger
- Roland - some guitar pedals
- Ross Flanger (Stereo delay R-80)
- Sovtek Electric Mistress (prototype)
- Tel-Ray Morley Chorus - Flanger CFL
- Vox 1902 Flanger (1981)

- muffs1
- Ken Stone - CGS208

Ebay has a few of these chips but who knows the quality. Or you could "borrow" them from existing pedals though I think that's sad (no pun intended).

An alternative chip could be the MN3007. Its also a bucket brigade IC.
It is used by Boss in the DM-1 & CE-2. Also in the EMX Memory Man & Small Clone
the AD-999 by Maxon & the Analog Delay by MXR.

Barcelona - Tribute.

I'm so saddened to hear about the recent terrorist attacks.
It's been over a decade since I visited this beautiful city and the recent news brought back such fond memories.
These pics are a tribute to the people of Catalonia. I need to return soon.

travel postcards:

Thursday, 17 August 2017

NLC - RingPull - Rimples - Ringmods ??? - build notes.

These are my build notes for the Nonlinearcircuits RingPull Eurorack module.
Actually, the final name isnt set in stone yet.
Rimples ?? Ringmods, ??? Ring Pull ??
 The PCB above is I understand an earlier version called Rimples.

The version I'm building today is a prototype - version 5 of the module.
There might be future changes.

Andrew F describes it as a ring modulator with a phase locked loop to do the modulating!
The PLL can be set to lock tightly, loosely or not at all with the incoming signal.

Some pics of the virgin PCB & faceplate.:

At the time of writing, there are no official build notes or schematics.
The CD 4046 is a CMOS phase locked loop (PLL) IC.
Its the oscillator that provides the modulation for the ring mod

+ NLC Blog - things to come 2016, Rimples
+ Muffs - 2016
+ PLL - VCO basics- youtube

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Wagernumb - NLC - Build notes

These are my build notes for the Wagernumb.
It's a nonlinearcircuits module in Eurorack format.
Looks to be quite versatile. Andrew's build notes describe it as 3 or 4 modules in one:
+ Frequency Tracker
+ Frequency / Clock divider - down to 1/4096
+ Random or Burst generator.

Basically it's a 1-16 decoder with sync and async modes. Just feed it 4 signals and get all sorts of complex gate patterns from it. Runs at audio rates too so can be used as a sub-octave generator.  

 +The NLC build notes are here: 
+ NLC blog

I'm guessing that the name for this module comes from the fictional television series in which the two contestants call out seemingly random numbers which are occasionally told to be Numberwang.


At the moment, this panel is a mystery to me.
It's not base-2, decimal or any other number system I can decipher.

The virgin PCB.

Some NLC words of wisdom:  Frilve hundred and neeb .

Get those ICs and trannies on first. then the rest of those passive SMDs
I don't have a CD4046... on back order. It's a  PLL or phase locked loop CMOS chip.

I'm using a Silonex NSL-32 vactrol. They are cheap as chips. The white dot marks the cathode of the LED part of the vactrol. Andrew has labeled this as "K" on the PCB.
To be continued.

Click here to return to the NLC Build Index:  


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Feague - NLC - Build notes

These are my build noted for the Nonlinearcircuits Feague module.
It's a 4 pole filter and Quadrature oscillator in Eurorack format.

Andrew's build notes are here:

A Quadrature oscillator is a phase shift oscillator.
 It uses an op amp integrator to obtain a full 90° phase shift.

 Here is a simplified circuit to demonstrate the principle.

The virgin PCB:

Get those ICs on first.
Trannies on next:

Some NLC words of wisdom:
Monday Morning Gunk.

The BOM requires:
a S1JL rectifier
Mouser No: 821-S1JL.
There is a long waiting list for this.
A replacement is  Mouser Part No: 583-FM4005-T.
The rectifier is polarized. The cathode end is marked with a band. 

This replacement is slightly too big for the PCB. so i had to solder it on its side.

Resistor RL - for LEDs. I'm using 470R.
Resistors marked with a "C" = 100K

To be continued ... waiting for parts.

+ NLC Build notes
+ NLC Blog

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Roland TR - 727

Some pics of the modded 727.

This is the sister of the Roland 707. Its sounds are completely different.
This came out in 1985. That display lets you see exactly what you are doing.

You wont find your expected Kicks and claps here.
Its very unusual sounds are a welcome addition to the standard ones you find on drum machines these days.Great for tribal, Indian & Latin beats. There are 15 digital, sample based (12 bit) sounds.
Though I don't think it has the punch of the TR-626 or 505 which have (almost?) all the same sounds (I think it has the sounds of the 707 & 727). With the 626 you can adjust the pitch of each individual sound.

I love the built in mixer which allows you to adjust the volume of each sound. And the matrix sequencer display makes programming it a breeze. 64 patterns.

 This version has some yummy mods. The standard effects are Shuffle & Flam.
With lots of efx this machine can do wonders. You would be surprised how a little reverb or distortion completely changes the sound of this machine.

The layout is the same as the 707.

Aphex Twin, Freddy Fresh, and Luke Vibert have used the TR-727.
Though the PCM wave samples are all digital, the envelope and VCA is analog.
This is something that the new TR-8 doesn't have. The TR-8 uses "Roland's analog circuit behavior technology"

There are individual outputs for each sound and there is full midi (in/out) & Dinsync implementation so you can use your old TB 303 and modern Midi drums with this. Even if you didn't care for the sounds its so useful just for the DYN-Sync to Midi converter capability.

As mentioned earlier, my 727 is modified.

Its a unique example of circuit bending using banana cables.
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It produces unusual sounds.
For more info on the history of Roland Drum Machines click here

Burma - U-Bein Bridge - travel pics

This bridge spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura in Myanmar.

 The bridge was built from wood reclaimed from the former royal palace in Inwa.

 It features 1,086 pillars that stretch out of the water, some of which have been replaced with concrete.

 construction began in 1849.
 The teak posts were hammered into the lake bed 7 feet deep.

 The 1.2-kilometre (0.75 mi) bridge is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

For more travel postcards click here:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

8 Bit Cipher - NLC - Build notes.

These are my build notes for the NLC cipher Eurorack module.

sOME NLC words of wisdom:

ICs first.
Now for the through hole stuff:
Headers to join the 2 PCBs.
Install the Jacks & LEDs

- NLC build notes
- NLC blog 
- NLC panel - CMOS (Serge format) 
- jondent blog - The cipher section of the serge/CMOS panel 


Works well with Buchla.

The upper 9 jacks are trigger outs.
000 to 111 are binary for 0 to 7.
Super serial = ??? Its another trigger out.
CV1 to CV4 are outputs.
The CV outputs are all related to each other but are all different; part of CV1 is fed to CV2, part of CV2 is fed to CV3 etc.
The lower row are all inputs.

"The strobe input makes it a bit like an 8 bit sample and hold.
If nothing is inserted into the strobe jack the module carries on as normal. When a signal is introduced to strobe, the data obtained from the data jack is only loaded onto the outputs when the signal is high. "
You can find more NLC builds here.