Sunday, 21 November 2010

Leaf Audio Fuzz-O-Mat & Kenny's Death

A demo of Leaf Audio's DIY distortion-in-a-snackbox effect.

Described by its makers as a 'lethal lash', this deceptively simple circuit is capable of serious audio destruction. It features three gain stages, two feedback loops and adjustable power starve. It was originally designed by Leaf Audio to process electronic beats although, as you'll hear below, it's quite happy when fed with other material.

Despite its diminutive size and innocuous looks, the Fuzz-O-Mat is capable of dramatic gain swings, so be careful of your ears and speakers! I've used a limiter on these recordings to keep the levels in check.

The Fuzz-O-Mat is only available by taking part in one of Leaf Audio's workshops. The kit contains everything you need and the PCB is well laid out, making it fun to build. Manuel of Leaf Audio and Matthias of Curetronic are on hand to help should you get stuck.

Check the list of upcoming dates and their other 'snack-box synths': the BingBong, NoiseFuzzFilter, RingDing & Bumssss analogue drum synth.

The next workshop in Berlin is on the 4th December at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of the Worldtronics festival, where you can also look forward to a modular set from me, quite possibly shredding pristine Cwejman sounds with my Fuzz-O-Mat.

If you can't take part or would like something pre-built, head over to Kenny's Death and contact Manuel to order "the most kaputt sounding fuzz workstation ever" - a Fuzz-O-Mat with all the Hazarai.

Patch Tips #14 - Sub-Harmonic Division

Using Maths or the VCS to generate sub-harmonic variation.

Today's Patch Tip is cribbed from Seth Nemec's Bananalogue/ Serge VCS demos and the 'Undertone Generator' patch in Rich Gold's Serge book:

"Sub-Harmonic Generator: If a series of triggers are applied to the VCS faster than the total rise and fall times, the module will divide the incoming signal by a whole number. In the audio range the output will be the sub-harmonic series."

The VCS has the benefit of an AC-coupled output, but I feel Maths offers finer control over the settings. As this patch relies on the rise time, Math's EOR pulse can be used to provide an even beefier sub signal.

The technique simply involves patching a mult of your principal oscillator to Maths' trigger input and mixing either the envelope or EOR with the main VCO in a filter etc. Set the response to linear, fall to fully CCW and then gradually increase the rise time. Additionally altering the fall time will give you more control over the timing and hence sub-divisions.

Here's what it can sound like: subharmonix.mp3

The patch relies on the envelope's inability to respond to a second trigger until it has completed its cycle, meaning it will 'skip' pulses and thus generate a lower frequency. You can try this patch with other trigger-able envelopes like the Plan B Model 10, Cwejman CTG-VC or Doepfer A-143-1, bearing in mind that the minimum possible cycle time and trigger response will affect the possible sub-divisions.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Berlin Music Days - Navs Live

photo: g.p.macklin

I'll be taking part in the De:Bug Musiktechniktage this Saturday, helping Andreas Schneider with his workshop and playing a short live set. Time should be between 16:00 & 18:00. See the De:Bug link for more information.

Look forward to seeing you there!

De:Bug Musiktechniktage
5th & 6th November 2010

Radialsystem V
Holzmarktstr. 33
10243 Berlin