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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Lunettas - circuits inspired by Stanley Lunetta
Block Ideas
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Block Ideas Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I thought it might be a good idea to get together a list of recommended "blocks" for people who are looking at building a Lunetta.
I refer to these ideas as blocks only to limit confusion with complete analogue synthesiser modules.

Also from an idea I had about putting them in little boxes which plug together so as to distribute power, (and possibly other controls) and can be built up like a lego set into a little wall of units. I'm not sure how well this could work.

If we had a set of recommended blocks then we could start to play around with panel ideas etc. Also, when we start trading patch ideas, it will be easier to be able to say "This patch uses the following blocks" or "What blocks have you got in your Lunetta?"

I may as well start the ball rolling with some definite must haves: -
Block list started 15/2/08
Added Adam V's Ideas 16/2/08

1 of Dual J-K flip-flop
1 of Quad 2 input NOR
1 of Quad 2 input NAND
1 of Quad 2 input XOR
1 of Dual 4bit binary counter
1 of 10 stage Johnson counter/divider
4 of Clock source / Oscillator
1 of Phase Locked Loop
1 of Binary Comparator
1 of Shift Register
1 of Pulse Modifier
6 of Inverters
1 of Presettable Divide By N Counter
1 of 4 Bit Adder
1 of Multiplexer

That will get some ideas going I'm sure.
As people come up with more options, I'll come back and edit this post to add them to the list.

The Clock source / Oscillator could be simple as in just a schmitt trigger square wave, a 555 affair with adjustable PW, or a fairly elaborate square wave only VCO for incorporating into a larger modular setup.

Last edited by Uncle Krunkus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Photon



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Pehaps an easy way of sharing blocks would be to use the 'paper circuit' method of both Commonsound and Peter Blasser (Ciat-Lonbarde), where componant placement and traces are printed adjacent and mirrored on a piece of paper. cut it out, fold on mirror line and glue to thin card board. poke leads holes thru with a pin and use trace lines as a guide for point-to-point soldering. Its quick & cheap, and is keeping with the Lunetta spirit (me thinks). Its also a really quick and easy way to layout, build, and share circuits.

I've build several boxs with this technique and I have to say it works well and is actually quite fun. Also could be a light-hearted divergence from the precision necessary when building a nerdular.
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bugbrand



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Photon wrote:
Pehaps an easy way of sharing blocks would be to use the 'paper circuit' method of both Commonsound and Peter Blasser (Ciat-Lonbarde), where componant placement and traces are printed adjacent and mirrored on a piece of paper. cut it out, fold on mirror line and glue to thin card board. poke leads holes thru with a pin and use trace lines as a guide for point-to-point soldering. Its quick & cheap, and is keeping with the Lunetta spirit (me thinks). Its also a really quick and easy way to layout, build, and share circuits.

I've build several boxs with this technique and I have to say it works well and is actually quite fun. Also could be a light-hearted divergence from the precision necessary when building a nerdular.


Well, the thing with many of the blocks that Unc listed is that there's really not even a need for anything as complicated as a board -- literally, take the pins to the front panel and add a few pull-down resistors! Keep it super-simple - certainly for the ORs / ANDs / etc.. Just whack it all on a little piece of strip-board

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Photon



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I see. Thats even easier than I imagined. So if I understand you, these chips are not powered until you 'patch' them in?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bugbrand wrote:
Just whack it all on a little piece of strip-board


That's what I'm about to do tomorrow. Very Happy Build an open circuit lunetta for an upcoming circuit bending workshop here in march.

I just need lots of pins and many crododile cables Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Photon wrote:
...nerdular.


nice.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, I'm definitely thinking of putting mine in a box. (If I ever get around to building it)
Similar to a 200 in 1 electronic project kit. With mini banana sockets. Each chip with power sorted out, bypass caps, pull down resistors, all under the hood. Then, you just get little patch wires and play around with hooking things up on the front. Some kind of graphics which give the schematics of the blocks etc.
Sounds like lots of work doesn't it? Oh well, I think I am quite "nerdular" after all! Laughing

BTW Come on, we need ideas for more "blocks"!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

- Phase Locked Loop
- Binary Comparator
- Shift Register
- Pulse Modifier
- Inverters
- Presettable Divide By N Counter
- 4 Bit Adder
- Multiplexer

Wish I didn't have so much on my plate at the moment, this seems like a brilliant project to just tinker with.

Cheers,
Adam-V

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loss1234



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

now if only someone (uncle K?) could explain how these would work in a lunetta to achieve sound. Obviously i am (and most others) are familiar with what an oscillator does. but some of these dont make as much immediate sense to me (or is that the idea? just wire each pin to a jack and then start plugging things in and out to see what comes of it?)
like multiplexers, counters, etc.

it could be as simple as a few word explanation next to each item on the list and maybe a recommended part number (example:oscillator-hex Schmidt trigger-cd40106-good for oscillator)

maybe i am just too new to cmos (i have been reading the cmos bible but even that doesnt always cover enough basics-it assumes a bit about what you already understand about logic)


ONE LAST QUESTION-would all pins already have their appropriate caps and resistors under the hood (for say a 40106 would the things already be in place to make it osciallte and the jacks would just be for patching the sound??)

thanks


great lists people!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think start building mine this weekend. Here's a quick BOM if you were to build the modules Uncle mentions, with the inputs and oscillators Bugs descibed and LED's on every output. It's looking like a quite a lot of work now!

CMOS Parts
4001 - 8 in 4 out quad 2-input NOR
4011 - 8 in 4 out quad 2-input NAND
4070 - 8 in 4 out quad 2-input EX-OR
4520 - 6 in 8 out dual 4-bit (0-15) counter
4017 - 3 in 11 out decade counter (1-of-10)
4027 - 10 in 4 out Dual J-K flip-flop
40106 - 3 in 5 out - quad Oscillators (as per bug's quickie osc generator)
---------------------------------------------------
46 in 40 out

Parts for Inputs
46 x 100k
46 x 1N4148 diode
46 x Banana Jack

Parts for Outputs
40 x 3904 NPN transistor
40 x LED
40 x Banana Jack

Parts for a 40106 Oscillators
4 x 4k7
2 x 22k
4 x 47n
4 x 470n
1n
100p
5 x 1M pot
5 x SPDT switches (switch between Low frequency and high frequency)

Additional Parts
Switches + Banana Jacks
2.2k common resistor for LEDs
Power supply
Banana Leads
Box
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loss1234



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks for that!!

now just another question

what do these do? 4520 - 6 in 8 out dual 4-bit (0-15) counter
4017 - 3 in 11 out decade counter (1-of-10)
4027 - 10 in 4 out Dual J-K flip-flop

in the context of making sounds? i dont know where youd hook them up or what they would do to the sound of the 40106

thanks

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The ins and outs I mentioned are the number of input and output pins so you can work out how many connectors you need.

4520 4-bit (0-15) counter outputs a 4-bit binary number. Each time the input goes high then the outputted number will increase by 1.

4017 A decade counter (1-of-10) has 10 outputs of which only one is active at a time. Each time the input goes high the current output will go off and the next output will go on.

You can read about flip-flops here.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip-flop_(electronics) They are kinda like sample and holds.

Musically, you could use a 4-bit counter to pitch shift a square wave down an octave. If you input a square wave you get something like this on the first three outputs ..

in out3 out2 out1

0 0 0 0
1 0 0 1
0 0 1 0
1 0 1 1
0 1 0 0
1 1 0 1
0 1 1 0
1 1 1 1 ...etc

... so you can see the out2 is a square wave that's half the speed of the input, which is an octave down. Of course there are lots of other things you could do with the outputs.

Last edited by widdly on Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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danielwarner



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Baby 10 sequencer is perfect for a Lunetta building block
http://www.midiwall.com/gear/babyseq/
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's also a circuit around here somewhere, which is a metalic noise generator. It's 4 square waves into two XORs with their outputs into a third XOR. Using these kind of circuits, it's easy to generate complex, high frequency bit streams. Using different types of counters, it's easy to divide them back down again. You could also create higher frequencies by using a 4046 PLL with a johnson or binary counter (or combination of both) in the feedback loop.
Remember, as Mosc pointed out, that a Lunetta is not neccessarily a "musical" device. It would be quite common to come up with patches which are noisy and uncontrollable.
On the other hand, the Lunetta is basically a customized V8 WSG. So with some type of filtering, and some well thought out control devices, it has the potential to create some amazing and original sounds.

BTW For the 40106 based oscillators I'd use a 1nF with a centre off SPDT toggle so when you flip it up a 100nF cap is parallelled with it (/100) and down a 1uF is parallelled with it (/1000)

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loss1234



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great info!

i love all the ideas this forum is generating!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: Block Ideas Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:


Also from an idea I had about putting them in little boxes which plug together so as to distribute power, (and possibly other controls) and can be built up like a lego set into a little wall of units. I'm not sure how well this could work.


Check out Denshi Blocks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denshi_block

Tony
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, the Denshi blocks look very interesting.
Although it looks like they have to be put into a special grid to make good contact between each other. What I had in mind was a block which actually plugs into the one next to it. So an array of them could be just plugged together and sit flat (or upright) next to a modular synth.
The main idea behind it was to create the Lunetta one step at a time. Instead of having to build a big case with blocks laid out all over it in a fixed way, which then takes hundreds of components to stuff it, and heaps of time, only to find that some of the blocks aren't that useful, or that they could have been laid out a bit more logically,.........
You build a power block,
Then you build a couple of oscillator blocks, and plug them in to it.
Then you build a quad NAND gate and plug it in.
The patching is still done with little patch leads on the front face of the block, but they distribute the power to each other as you plug them in.
Then you build a dual flip-flop and plug it in, and find that it's not that useful really, so you unplug it, remove the label, the chip, and put a binary counter in that block instead. etc. etc. etc.
If funds are short, you've still completed what you've completed, and it will still grow when you've got the time, money, inspiration, later on.

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fluxmonkey



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

early on, Arp did a modular something like that:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

i believe each block had its own dual 9v battery supply.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool pic bbob.

I have seen those before, but never with the kb and as a complete set.

I think the denshi blocks are really cool. Look beyond the wiki at the company that manufactures the educational kits employing denshi and you will get very excited about the denshi form factor!

Tony
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williamsharkey



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Can circuit elements actually be abstracted into blocks?

Could you make system where it is safe to make any possible connection, or is knowledge of the internals required?


Lets say that there are certain connections that are not allowed. That could be solved by introducing different plug sizes or shapes. But, what is the minimum number of types you would need? Or would it be limitless?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Power supply could be solved with a bunch of barrel connectors daisy chained together, like a guitar effects rack, I'd prefer that to a bunch of batteries certainly

I love the look of that Arp modular! That could be duplicated with some RadioShack project boxes
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loss1234



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: thoughts/questions Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

a few things: (maybe mosc could explain some of this)

Lunetta keeps implying something like a computer or processor and some other crazy stuff inside his machines in these quotes:

lunetta says:
"It has tongue-activated keyboards inside"

"I made a typewriter, which is a computer teletype keyboard, and I use it for several things. first of all, I use it to program memories for my performance Machine."

"It has its own memory system, so you can either set it to play or you can set it to do things on its own, or you can perform on it as a performer"

" It's got a little logic system, and oscillators and octave dividers and modulators, which are run by the logic system. The logic system gets its controls from the presence of light and the tilt of the hat, so if it tilts a certain way and the light shines on it, you get a certain set of sounds. So in effect it's a mini-mini-computer that's programmed by its tilt and the amount of light. "



"you can reprogram it to sound differently for each time.


a-i still feel like from what i was reading in the lunetta interview (circa 1981) that there are things not being discussed about his creations, or maybe by then he was just doing more advanced things...he talks about a memory storage unit for starters (could this refer to presets?), and also keeps refering to a "logic computer" or a computer that has rule sets...or is he just making it sound more fancy??

he also talks about being able to interface with it via a helmet or a telephone connection!!! some of that interview is pretty wild!!

also, it might be cool to incorporate a block that has pressure light and sound sensors, so that like his creations, the machine can play itself in response to the environment.

very cool topic this is becoming!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: thoughts/questions Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

loss1234 wrote:
...or is he just making it sound more fancy??


Yes and no I think ...

A flip-flop basically is a one bit memory cell, so when you use a couple of those, or even one, you have a memory. And it would be easy to set a value into a flip-flop by a switch or an LDR. A couple of gates put together does compute some logic function, so basically it is a computer.

This is all very rudimentary compared to what we're now used to see as a computer, but in the 80ties or 70ties computers were not really that much more complicated. It had just more of those flip-flops and gates, but for the first hobby computers not even that much more. And they did not have a keyboard or a screen, just some buttons or a num-pad and some 7 segment displays.

The perspective on computers has shifted pretty damn fast over the last 30 years or so.

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loss1234



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i wonder though, could you "program" such things over the phone? he comments on being able to program his machines from far away by putting on his helmet and programming them directly. would this just be a method of setting high and low on chips over the telephone line?

amazing stuff!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

loss1234 wrote:
would this just be a method of setting high and low on chips over the telephone line?


Sure ! Very Happy The XR2211 can detect frequencies and send logic signals if the incoming tone is within the range. Cool

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