lunar lounge unit (beta) complete

i have finished testing and debugging the beta version of the lunar lounge processing unit.  i hesitate to call it a guitar pedal because it's simply not one.  not only is the interface different, but also it is not necessarily even an effect as opposed to a synth.  i'm starting to buy david tudor's reasons for eschewing the distinction.  all told, the thing is the most complex analogue circuit i've ever built -- and the least predictable.  i wanted its usage to be as ambiguous as possible so there isn't much in the way of markings on it.  also the insides are totally viewable from the outside, which came in handy as i was testing it, not only for the occasional jiggle (the universal fix) but also for the ability to add to the circuit with ease as it's running.  i added a pot that connects the result of the dual-inverter distortion circuit's output to just before the summing resistor after all the octave dividing and pitch-synchronous gating.  the logic behind this was to control how much the gating interrupted the signal, like a wet/dry knob, sort of.  sometimes it sounds like that.  mostly it affects the tone in awesome but not too predictable ways.  i enjoy having it on an aux send on my mixer because i can send feedback through it pretty easily.  when that happens, it self oscillates in the most glorious of ways.  also, i found with the addition of that pot, the whole circuit became rock solid.  previously, i assume when the signal got too hot for too long, it would get edgy and drop out, thus necessitating the jiggle.  after the pot was added, this behaviour stopped and it became very stable indeed.  well, stable is a relative term i suppose.  i'm really excited about adding a few more summing matrices and jacks to the sides so i can produce multichannel sounds from this one unit.  it's housed in an alarm system's motion detector box-- the kind that light up when you move in front of them.  i tested it with phase-modulated grains in supercollider.  the incoming material
was actually quite uninteresting, but the unit responded with stuff that i can only describe as analogue granular synthesis.  it makes these quasi-synchronous trains of pulses that sometimes have spectral content related to the input, at pulse rates related to what the circuit determines to be the fundamental pitch of the signal.  i am considering adding pitch-synchronous leds to the face for interfacing with photosensitive circuitry.  i have determined to build devin a different version of this circuit, in stompbox form, with 1/4" jacks instead of rca's.  aside from improving the design and making the case more protective, my rationale behind this decision was that i have been giving too many of my circuits away and i don't have much to show for all my hard work.  also we have no idea what this thing is going to do to a guitar...

click here to listen to another demo.

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