tirsdag 18. februar 2014

Final (?) Saw mix and detune circuit tested

This week I've spent at least 20 hours recalculating and building the saw mix and detune circuits on a solderless breadboard. I changed the mix and detune inputs to accept 0 to 10V instead of 0 to 5V, and also added an offset input to be able to use -5 to 5V inputs. The detune output still ranges from 0 to 5V, but the mixer slopes are now 0 to 10V as well, as this is what the VCAs I use expects.

I did a lot of up front calculations, but the final circuits were adjusted by ear. I am pretty pleased with the result, enough to go ahead and redraw the PCBs. I have decided to place the two VCAs on a separate, tiny PCB, which can be reused for other projects. I will also try to fit all parts on a single PCB instead of the two that the initial design uses, but this probably requires me to use SMD components again - the prototype uses almost 30 op amps and more than 50 resistors and takes up one and a half proto board :-)

The result is quite good, although not as good as I initially hoped and dreamed about. I am still impressed with the result though, especially at lower frequencies - it will make one hell of a bass sound. I may try to make a "computune"-style automatic tuner, to keep the oscillators better synced. I will also add a chorus, filter and perhaps distortion module, but for now I will focus on making the controller PCB.

The prototype fills two breadboards and includes all the necessary electronics for generating separate detune slopes for each oscillator, mixers to mix the single input pitch CV with the detune CV, mix CV slope generators, two VCAs and two audio mixers. To the right, behind the breadboard, is the 8 oscillator module.

Before protoboarding this circuit, i finished the 8 oscillator module, complete with separate fine tune pots and 8 CV in / 8 saw out connectors. It looks very cool!.

I shot a few videos for a friend of mine - the quality is crap but it illustrates how things work: