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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Simple but fun bleepy machine
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Simple but fun bleepy machine Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I haven't posted on here for a while, but I am running a workshop this weekend, getting some beginners started on the soldering addiction. I have rehashed some of my simple oscillator circuits and merged them into a single (strip)board that gives an LFO and VCO with PWM and headphone output - 6 knobs to twiddle and all running off a single 9V battery. Simple to construct, but capable of a good range of bleepy type sounds. All components easy and cheap to source. Basically designed to be an easily achievable first project that is simple enough for a beginner to build in a weekend, but sophisticated enough to make quite a satisfying range of cool sounds.

Nicolas
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Please let me know if you build this and have any issues or comments or feedback.

Thanks,
Nicolas


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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The new jpeg has a couple of things moved over slightly to make sure that the pots all have spare tracks either side of them. That makes it easier/safer if you are mounting the pots on the copper side (which is what I recommend). If you are mounting the pots on the copper side the legs of the pot need to be inwards towards the centre of the board, if you are mounting them through-hole you will need to have them oriented with their shafts inwards and legs nearer the edge. Hope that makes sense.

Nicolas
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Also, I meant to say, that this circuit has now been built 5 times without problems so the layout is definitely good to go and is well suited to an educational setting where you can use it as the basis for teaching soldering, component identification, basic electronics including opamps, and some aspects of analog synthesis. About right for beginner adults or teenagers as long they have a reasonably good attention span. And at the end they have a little machine that can make some very cool sounds. A beginner (adult) who has never soldered before can build this (with a little bit of coaching) in about 6 hours of soldering. Plus a bit of extra one on one time at the end with someone to help them debug it and get it working. The only issues we had were the usual: placement off by one track, polarity wrong with diodes and electros, solder bridges between tracks, copper whisker bridges between tracks where they had been cut.

Nicolas
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1524
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 14

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Nicolas!
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inlifeindeath



Joined: Apr 02, 2010
Posts: 315
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

looks great! thanks again for sharing
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Played a gig last week making ambient noise with this as my sound source (together with two other guys playing mini modulars based on my circuits and a third guy playing a laptop as his sound source). This circuit above is definitely capable of a very cool and quite wide range of sounds. Especially with an effects pedal or two after it you can do a lot and those six knobs offer a lot of expression. Very happy with how it turned out Smile
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-minus-



Joined: Oct 26, 2008
Posts: 761

Audio files: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey nicolas. Any chance of posting some sound clips or a video? I'm sure people would build this if some demo was available.
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A recording was made at the gig, but right now that is two hours of audio that needs to get edited down by someone and I don't even have it on my computer to attack. It might be easier for me to specially record a little demo noodle to show a few of the sound possibilities. That way you could also get a chance to hear it dry and in isolation. I will see what I can do.

Nicolas
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kaputtpanzer



Joined: Nov 02, 2009
Posts: 62
Location: Cologne
Audio files: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

-minus- wrote:
Hey nicolas. Any chance of posting some sound clips or a video? I'm sure people would build this if some demo was available.


Also curious how it sounds. A soundclip would be awesome. Very Happy
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L´Andratté



Joined: Sep 23, 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Audio files: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Nicolas!

Nice to see you posting here again!
Just wanted to say (before I examine your newest stuff), your VCF & LFO (stripboard layout) were my first REALLY cool synth circuits, I got working, maybe 2 years ago. Kept me going Laughing and I´m happy about that now!

Hope you´re well!
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here is a link to a recording of the gig.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0phQk8Qoa5Y

Not a very interesting video and the sound quality isn't great, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how we sounded. Of the four of us, I was playing this mini-synth circuit above (with delay and chorus), Adam was playing a mini-modular made up of various circuits of my design (2xVCO, LFO, VCLFO, S&H, VCA, VCF, ribbon controller), Dave was playing a VCO of my design plus running the mixer to blend us all together, Malcolm was using his laptop as a polyphonic oscillator. The sustained organ-like tones are Malcolm's laptop, but all the other stuff going on is from this circuit or other circuits of mine:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-34550.html

The other aspect of the sound is that we were all running our outputs into amps inside brewing tanks (this gig being in a small brewery) which were then miked to pick up the sound colour of the tanks.

Nicolas
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Ray_Ketamu



Joined: Nov 03, 2014
Posts: 8
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

awesome!!!
one question from a total greenhorn. Is C5 12nF? in germany (thats where i live) i can´t find any 12n capacitors... can i use 10nF or 15nf instead?
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Any capacitor within 10-20% should work fine, 10nF or 15nF would both work. Go for 15nF if you want a bit more bass range, 10nF if you want a bit more treble.

Nicolas
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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a lot of fun to play with. Mine will be coming out with me again tomorrow night to a gig. One thing I have been thinking about is that the aim was to create something monotron-like and one key feature lacking is an input socket to mangle other audio signals. I think the coolest place to inject some external audio would be the R7/R8/C5/D5 node. A resistor from that node (probably somewhere in the 33-100K range) to an input socket. I will try it sometime soon, but if anyone else gets the chance to try it first, please post here your comments on whether it is sonically interesting.

Thanks,
Nicolas
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Ray_Ketamu



Joined: Nov 03, 2014
Posts: 8
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i had a talk with a friend of mine who is a programmer and we came up with the idea of making a arduino based keyboard controller in the cv/hz range. the whole idea is based on the octosynth

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Arduino-OctoSynth/

as soon as we have the whole think up with code i will post it in the nicolas threads. (I know thats actually for the arduino threads but it´s a special nicolas synth related project)

also i want to mention the Pt2399 delay IC for the bleep machine... making it an monotrondelay...

So awesome for newbees!!! im allready delighted with these circuits!

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nicolas3141



Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Question has come up ... "missing polarity markings on the capacitors c3,c4,c5. does it mean it doesnt matter?"

For these caps you need to buy unpolarised. Polarised caps like electrolytics and tantalums are marked and used for larger values. Pretty much all small value caps are unpolarised types. The 1uF cap is interesting because around that value you can get both polarised and unpolarised types, but in this case you need to make sure you get an unpolarised type and then it doesn't matter which way you solder it in.

Thanks,
Nicolas
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