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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Simple Sampler
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1650
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 332

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Simple Sampler
Subject description: modified keychain recorder
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Here´s a simple sampler I made from a small digital recording device. These little recording devices come in all kinds of varieties, with different recording
times and functions. Some of them produce a beep at the start/end of the recording which is very annoying and makes them not very useful for this purpose.
There are versions that repeat the recording when you keep the button pressed (looper), others just play it once. Some record for a fixed time while others
record as long as you keep the record button pressed. And although I haven't seen them there might be versions that just use one speaker for both recording
(mic) and playback.

The one I used for this simple sampler (labeled "KEYCORDER") has a nice feature. It can record for ±16 seconds, but if you record something shorter it
doesn't erase the rest (similar to a tape). And if you keep the play button pressed it plays the whole recording to the end. So if you record at different
lenghts you end up with a recording containg several snippets. (And now I want to make a similar device using actual tapes Laughing). Sadly I couldn't find any
pitch control on this one, but I have other versions that do have it.

The circuit board has a black blob and for such a small device a lot of components. So I first drew a schematic of the thing, which wasn't very easy,
to see what everything was for. Well, even with a schematic I'm not sure how it works, I also did some measurements but that didn't make things any clearer.
I did find something useful though. As mentioned when you keep the play button pressed it plays the full recording, but if you just shortly press it, it
will only play for the length of the last recording. Untill I disconnected one side of diode D2, without it, it plays the full recording no mather how long
press the play button is pressed. There was only one problem. After that it didn't want to record or play, unless I connected the diode again. I'm not sure
how it works but it seems like "the blob" sends out a low pulse after the last recording is finished playing which stops it. So I tried giving it a low
pulse manually and that worked Very Happy. So that made it possible to play back the recording for any length off time.

So the next step was to make timers for both recording and playback, and to make it more fun, add voltage control. I started with a 555 timer chip and messed
with the timing cap/resistor untill I could get the full time of ± 16 seconds. But with these values I couldn't get a very short time (3-4secs min.) so I
also added a range pot. And for safety reasons I used optocouplers to replace the original play/record buttons. I also connected the reset of the playback
timer to the record button to make it stop playing and start recording. But this didn't really work, if the playback timer was on and you pressed the record
button then the record timer would just take over the function of the playback timer, so it kept playing instead of stopping. (I think the 2 100nF capacitors
C6/C10 might be responsible for this). By adding a delay (resistor/capacitor/schmitt trigger) between stopping the playback timer and starting record this
was solved. I then did the same thing with the reset of the record timer and the playback button, so it stops recording when you press play.

I also added a switch to disable the timers so it just records/plays as long as you keep the rec/play button pressed. For the record switch I used one with a
center position (only had 1 without) and used it to disable the record function. (like the little tab you can break out of a cassette tape Wink ) A bonus
feature is that when it is disabled the record button acts as a stop playback button. Actually if you press the record button really short it will always
stop playback without starting to record. same goes for the play button (can stop recording without playing).

One idea was to add a random control voltage to both timers and for this I made a Quad S&H with a noise generator (posted here). I made use of
the delay function for sampling the noise just before playing/recording. The audio input was a microphone so to use a line level signal I added a voltage
divider to attenuate the signal. And for the output I used a differential amplifier because "the blob" has 2 output pins with a signal (most likely inverted).

I put everything in a plastic box I had which was just big enough to get everything in. And it came with a nice piece of (non conducting) foam which keeps
everything in place. The 2 unused S&H's are wired to the connectors (gate/Cv out) so I can use those to control something else. No fancy front on this one,
just a fuzzy butterfly sticker (hey, it had the right colors).


PHOBoS - Simple Sampler.gif
 Description:
simple sampler schematic (numbered parts are part of the "keycorder")
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PHOBoS - Simple Sampler.gif



Keycorder.jpg
 Description:
original Keycorder
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Keycorder.jpg



Simple Sampler - 01.jpg
 Description:
Simple Sampler outside
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Simple Sampler - 01.jpg



Simple Sampler - 04.jpg
 Description:
Simple Sampler inside
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Simple Sampler - 04.jpg



_________________
"My perf, it's full of holes!"
http://phobos.000space.com/ http://www.acidtrash.com/ Stickney Synthyards

Last edited by PHOBoS on Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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dougseidel



Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Posts: 63
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it's astounding the amount of cool stuff you are able to create.
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Muied Lumens
Stream Operator


Joined: Apr 24, 2009
Posts: 1676
Location: Bristol UK
Audio files: 249

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dougseidel wrote:
it's astounding the amount of cool stuff you are able to create.


My thoughts exactly! Cool

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new voodoo



Joined: May 06, 2013
Posts: 90
Location: RVA USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thx for the schema. i use the 'Yada Yada Yada' devices in much the same fashion. thx for sharing, really appreciated
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-my creations, bends & bendable pieces
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-oddities & weird
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new voodoo



Joined: May 06, 2013
Posts: 90
Location: RVA USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

just curious, around the "record button" and "play button" -it looks like your schema indicates that there is either a LED or a Vactrol and then perhaps the vactrol or the LED lead is connected to one leg of a transistor and the other 2 are what a SPST button connects?
Is that correct?
Sorry to ask, but im uneducated in re engineering so I often, even after quite a while reading these, run into symbols or combinations of symbols I am unfamiliar with for whatever reason.

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www.newvoodoodesign.com
-my creations, bends & bendable pieces
-vintage parts & tubes, IC's & audio chips
-oddities & weird
newvoodoo.blogspot.com
-bending DIY/projects
-crap
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1650
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 332

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks guys Very Happy

new voodoo wrote:
just curious, around the "record button" and "play button" -it looks like your schema indicates that there is either a LED or a Vactrol and then perhaps the vactrol or the LED lead is connected to one leg of a transistor and the other 2 are what a SPST button connects?
Is that correct?


the CNY17 is an optocoupler which is similar to a vactrol but instead of a resistor it has a photo sensitive transistor inside. And the collector/emitter
of that transistor is connected instead of the original record/play button. You could just use a transistor, but since the recording device works on a lower
voltage I use an optocoupler out of safety reasons so the higher voltage, that powers the rest of the circuit, can't fry it if something would go wrong. (it's
not a chip I could replace). It's a method I often use for circuit bend devices.



------


What I have now works great but I realized that if I want a recording containing a lot of snippets the recording time has to be shorter for every
new recording, since a long recording time would override all the previous ones. So I need a slowly dropping voltage which I could do with just a
big capacitor, but that wouldn't be linear which I think is what works best for this. I guess I will have to discharge it with a constant current. (have
to look up how, probably with an opamp). So I'm probably gonna make a little extension box, and maybe put some kind of logic in there aswell to
(randomly) trigger play & record. Cool

_________________
"My perf, it's full of holes!"
http://phobos.000space.com/ http://www.acidtrash.com/ Stickney Synthyards

Last edited by PHOBoS on Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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RingMad



Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 219
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool. I'm glad you included a photo of the inside, which I take as an example of good layout and wiring organization from board to panel. With each box I build, I learn tricks, but sometimes it seems impossible to do neatly and it ends up a rat's nest. Plus it seems my boxes are more and more complicated and involve more chips and hardware.

James.
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analog_backlash



Joined: Sep 04, 2012
Posts: 387
Location: Aldershot, UK
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

RingMad wrote:
...but sometimes it seems impossible to do neatly and it ends up a rat's nest.

Ditto here, James.

Another great idea by the way PHOBoS. I was looking into these devices and I found the Yada Yada Yada toy that New Voodoo mentioned. I might get one and have a play with it.

Gary
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