Friday, 22 February 2008

New (really)Micro PCBs

This is the first test PCB for the new production version BugCrusherMicro, built and tested today. The Micro part of the name is apt - those three ICs are freaking tiny! My first time with SMD chips and, somewhat surprisingly, they're not actually too hard to work with (though you do need a damn steady hand!).

All the tests have worked out well, so production will be beginning imminently!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Thomas Henry MegaPercussionSynth (BetaTest)

Here's some pics of a new module I've been helping to beta-test. I've previously built quite a few modules designed by Thomas Henry, but this has got to be one of the best - it crams in so many features! You can read more about the project on this thread (I've shared the front panel design file on page 8 and there's a demo mp3 there too).

A brief overview of the features:
There are three sections which together make up a synthesized drum -- Impact (a short impulse like the beater hitting the drum), Shell (the main body of the drum) and Noise. Each section has its own decay control - these are all fired by the main Trigger Input. The Impact is a pretty simple Squarewave and the Noise is white noise passed through a voltage controlled resonant filter (low-pass or band-pass). Its the Shell section that really packs in the features -- its based on the XR2206 chip, outputting a triangle wave, and its basic freq. range is massive - I measured 25Hz right up to 19kHz! But, on top of that Thomas Henry has added a wonderful RingMod osc allowing really great tones.
Just like that things'd be great, but you also get CV modulation for the Noise and Shell (which can actually be cross-modulated with the Impact or Noise outputs) and the great LockMode - this holds all the Envs open, giving you a wierd and wonderful synth voice!

PCBs will be being made available pretty soon for this project once some more testing has been done -- check back to the electro-music thread for further details.

As you can see there's quite a lot of wiring to be done! It was quite a squeeze to fit everything into a 3-frac-width panel, but I'm happy to have such a powerful module in such a compact form.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Welcome Weevil08

Here's the test run of the new Weevil08 design. Its got a similar 3-osc heart to the PostcardWeevil, but the end results are quite different due to the more-involved circuitry with extra pitchings for the Oscs, filter control, etc..

These boxes can make some very rich drone tones along with all manner of crazed'n'burble Weevil sounds! Here's an mp3 demo - 6 minutes covering some of the sonic possibles, recorded straight into a soundcard with no processing...

These will be hitting the BugShop sometime in the next couple of weeks.