Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Keyboards, Synths, Samplers and Groove Boxes.

Moderators: MetroSonus, Plink Floyd

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ElectricPuppy » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:06 pm

LOL packaging overkill!
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ClavAnother » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:26 pm

They do that so the customer can find it upon receipt. Too many custy-service calls saying 'why you no send chip :mad:.?'
User avatar
ClavAnother
 
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 7:28 am

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:28 am

Not to mention a relatively proportioned box would surely be lost in transit, never to be delivered.

Interestingly enough* and previously unbeknownst to me, the USPS has maximum and minimum size limits for parcels:

Image

*not really it's pretty boring lol.
User avatar
Plink Floyd
Moderator
 
Posts: 6330
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Veracohr » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:42 pm

Today I turned in my final report on this project, following last Friday's senior project symposium where I got to explain the same things about it over and over to lots of different people.

I'm SO done thinking about this thing. The last couple months have been a bitch, I had so many problems, one after another, and I was racing to get it working before the deadline. I wasn't even sure 2 days before the symposium if I would have a working project to demonstrate.

As it is, what I did demonstrate had some major problems:

- The low-pass filter was completely unusable because in the process of trying to replace some ICs I accidentally ripped some traces off the board. And I was trying to replace ICs because of a problem that didn't exist in my prototyping, only on the final board.
- The power supply circuit (inverter) didn't work right, but that's what I get for letting software design it for me. I eventually had to use two separate wall wart supplies to get the bipolar supply I needed.
- The multi-mode filter cutoff for some reason only went up to about 1.8kHz. I don't yet know why, maybe some more bad ICs.
- Some of the routing didn't work, probably because of bad multiplexer ICs.
- There was supposed to be a bypass switch that I eventually had to bypass (bypass the bypass!). First, I had made a wrong connection in the board layout, and second, I made the poor choice of trying to break the input traces and insert coupling capacitors. Since the traces were so small, it was a complete failure and I had to wire the input jack directly to the input amp, bypassing the bypass switch.

But at least it partly worked. The multi-mode filter sounded fine in the range it worked in, the distortion was fine, the phaser was fine although another issue involving a current source had the result that the upper end of the frequency sweep was around 65kHz instead of the 18kHz it was supposed to be. Although in retrospect, that kind of worked out for the best since it made even the lowest notch way up at the top of the audio range. MIDI control worked, routing worked (with the exception of a couple bad channels).

Now, I'm going to give my brain a much-needed break from this damned thing. But after some time I'm going to work, at a more leisurely pace, on investigating/fixing some of the problems, and get the thing working fully as it should. I have a second, unused PCB that I can solder up once I get some more components. I'm also going to try to refine the sound of the filters as much as I can by just changing component values (changing the design would mean I couldn't use the PCB). Right now they sound decent but ultimately are no real improvement over anything else.

Here's a picture of the final board. Foregoing a case for the thing is just one of the corners I cut.

project.jpg
project.jpg (248.9 KiB) Viewed 2817 times
User avatar
Veracohr
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ElectricPuppy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:53 pm

Dude! Nice!

More pics? some sound clips, perchance?
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:20 am

Sorry to hear all the troubles, but I bet you'll still get a good grade. Since you began talking about it I've thought it a very cool idea. It definitely gets an A for looks! Did you pay a one-off shop to make the pcb?

It sux you had so many bad chips. Did you kludge it together on protoboard first?
User avatar
Plink Floyd
Moderator
 
Posts: 6330
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Veracohr » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:05 am

What other kind of pics would you want? Underside of the board? It's nothing special to look at. The nice, clean unused board? I could do some sound clips.

I used ExpressPCB for the schematic and PCB layout. It cost me $150 for two 6.5"x8.75" boards (they require you buy at least 2) with no solder mask or silk screening (that would have been almost $100 more). Their service is great, and definitely 'Express', the only complaint I have is that their PCB layout software doesn't have a layout-vs-schematic check. They integrate the schematic and PCB softwares so that you can highlight a pin on the PCB and see all the other pins it should connect to, but after laying out a couple hundred components and doing all the routing, I had to manually check everything to make sure I didn't forget any connections. With the size of my board, that was quite a pain. I don't know if I'll go with them again, they have a good but very closed service. They don't accept standard Gerber files and their software doesn't produce them either. So if I want to alter my design and have new boards made by a different company in the future, I'll have to redo the whole layout in Eagle or something like that.

I did prototype it first on breadboard. One of the things that bugs me a lot is that problems arose on the final board that were not there (or I had fixed) on the breadboard. I might be to blame for using different transistors for the current sources, but otherwise everything else was the same, just in SOIC instead of DIP packages on the final board. The "bad chips" that gave me problems in the LPF were not really defective, they became damaged because of a current source problem that didn't exist on the breadboard. In some future iteration of this project I need a better current source design, and/or some limiting to protect the ICs. In hindsight I don't think I thought deeply enough about the current sources, I just went along with the simulation results which worked fine.
User avatar
Veracohr
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:08 am

Sound clips! yes.

I've been thinking about

EAGLE Light
(Limitations: 1 schematic sheet, 2 signal layers, 100x80mm routing area)
Modules 1-User
Layout+Schematic+Autorouter $69


or

EAGLE Hobbyist
(99 schematic sheets, 6 signal layers, 160x100mm routing area)
For non commercial use only!
Modules 1-User
Layout+Schematic+Autorouter $169


I'm hearing different opinions about whether the paid 'Light' version will allow you to make bigger boards than the free one. I may just have to ask them...
User avatar
Plink Floyd
Moderator
 
Posts: 6330
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:24 pm

Yes. Sound clips, please.
User avatar
selfinflikted
Down in it
 
Posts: 4670
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ElectricPuppy » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:47 pm

EAGLE is what I used when I was doing my own modular boards, and made the boards myself. Since they were single layer, that was doable. I looked briefly into ExpressPCB, but it seemed that you were locked into using their capture/layout app, and it seemed rather weak sauce.

I sure would like to get back into the electronics DIY game again. Le sigh.
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Veracohr » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:15 pm

It would have been nice if I could have made the boards myself. I've done a few home-etched boards, but they're necessarily coarse. This board has traces as small as 7 thou.
User avatar
Veracohr
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ElectricPuppy » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:30 pm

Yeah, home-brew boards are hard to get fine detail on without losing traces. I found that the best method was, by far, to use the photoresist method, which is pretty much what they do for professionally made boards anyway. I made a board that had traces routed through .100 center chip pins with no problem.

Nowadays, my eyesight is crummy enough that I can't drill the holes anymore. :(
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby gregwar » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:41 pm

nice betachor verachor !1

I would also like teh sound clips, in particular lazor sounds pew pew pew 11!

:liek:
User avatar
gregwar
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:58 pm

gregwar wrote: lazor sounds pew pew pew 11!


:thu:
User avatar
selfinflikted
Down in it
 
Posts: 4670
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Veracohr » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:52 am

OK, I got off my ass to give y'all some soundclips.

It may get a bit annoying, it's the same 16-note loop for 6 minutes. I couldn't be bothered to do more. :cool: The source is a PEK, 4 saw wave oscillators tuned 0, -10, -20, and -30 cents, filter wide open.

Here's some time markers of what you're hearing. Throughout the duration I'm manually playing with the cutoff (via MIDI), the LFO speed, LFO depth, and resonance/feedback.

0:00 - Dry
0:12 - Phaser
2:30: Lowpass
3:23: Bandpass
3:51: Highpass
4:28 - LP --> Distortion
4:49 - BP --> Distortion
5:02 - Phaser --> HP

24bit WAV (90.8MB): http://www.veracohr.com/audio/transmogrifier.wav
320kbps MP3 (14.4MB): http://www.veracohr.com/audio/transmogrifier.mp3

The recording is processed with a highpass filter at about 50Hz and -6dB shelving at about 200Hz (to tame the LFO wackiness at the low end), and some LA2A compression (UAD).

Some notes:

- The distortion following the multi-mode filter is weird when I modulate the filter cutoff. It tends to go silent when I sweep it too fast. I don't know yet what the cause of this is.
- I made the LFO's the same, but in hindsight I should have made the phaser LFO have a more narrow range. The fast speed really doesn't work on the phaser.
- The range of phaser sounds from no feedback to maximum feedback is unexpectedly narrow. The change is hardly noticeable until the last 1/4 or so of the knob range. Must fix.
- It would have been better if I had taken the time to carefully balance the range of MIDI vs. LFO modulation, but like so many things on this project, it was a corner I cut. As a consequence, the LFO gets way extreme at about half of the full level.
- Reminder: the 4-pole LPF isn't heard because I fucked it up. The LP/BP/HP are 2-pole, and they're fucked up because the highest cutoff is only about 1.8kHz.

Edit: oh yeah, there's no lazor sounds. I hate lazor sounds. :poke:
User avatar
Veracohr
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby MetroSonus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:53 am

you guys are udderly amazing. :clap: :clap:

I went out and got some new solder and a new iron and I think i'm a [sarcasm]genius[/sarcasm] because I put this little guy together. Took me two days to more or less get the basic technique down. Not two full days.. just messing with it a night or two after work. I am really amazed at guys like you, suit etc. :eek:


Image
User avatar
MetroSonus
My style, is the best style.
 
Posts: 8462
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby selfinflikted » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:01 pm

Veracohr wrote:Edit: oh yeah, there's no lazor sounds. I hate lazor sounds. :poke:


I haven't listened yet, since this statement requires immediate attention.

ALEX, NO.

Edit: Sounded cool man. I'm insanely jealous of people who know how to make stuff. :mad:
Last edited by selfinflikted on Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
selfinflikted
Down in it
 
Posts: 4670
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby selfinflikted » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:04 pm

MetroSonus wrote:udderly amazing.



Image
User avatar
selfinflikted
Down in it
 
Posts: 4670
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby ElectricPuppy » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:36 pm

Actual effects, from an actual thing! :clap: Good jorb, man! This seriously makes me want to break Ye Olde Soldering Iron again.
User avatar
ElectricPuppy
The Banned Man
 
Posts: 7112
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Outboard effects - do you/would you use them?

Postby Plink Floyd » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:35 am

Nice noices!

I award the project these several testimonials of thumbuppance:

:like: :like: :like: :like: :like: :like: :like: :like:

Use them wisely.
User avatar
Plink Floyd
Moderator
 
Posts: 6330
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am

Previous

Return to KSS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest