Let's start from one of the craziest.
This one is a 4-channel, 10 step analog sequencer. I still have it around.
|Now that's just crazy...|
It took me three years until I realized that I could finally do it. The device would be modular and I could use it also to trigger whatever else I wanted it to, like some toy synths or other shit.
Of course, now that I look at it, I could do it better, and would go definitely digital, with some fancy LCD screen, unlimited steps, and stuff like that. And still, it would be a breeze to create, compared to all that soldering I had to go through with this clicking analog beast.
The thing is powered by a 4066 decade counter that is clocked by a 555 timer. The circuit is very simple but all the switches took a fucking long time to solder. Everything is enclosed in the shell of some old toy computer my then-girlfriend gave for me to hack.
Here's a feature list I wrote back then:
- Selectable pattern size with min. 2 and max. 10 beats
- 4 channels:
- 2 channels with two outputs each
- 2 channels with two outputs each, one output being inverted
- 10 LED display
- Fine & coarse BPM knobs
I had my reasons to put inverted relay outputs (normally closed) there, I was hoping that when combining a normally opened and a normally closed relay output, I could maybe trigger some sounds on each beat. I never got around to test this, though... I don't think it even works because of the extremely small time it takes for the relay to switch.
For those asking, I don't have the full schematic anywhere. That is because I never made one. Back then, I was a bit unorganized in my DIY projects. Anyway, I have some bits and pieces of the schematic, and an old write-up of the whole project. If there's enough interest, I might do some research and eventually post instructions.
Well, here's pics I found of the creation process.
|Internals of the sequencer. On the left is the main circuit board. On the right is the relay board and the RCA outputs.|
|Here's the insides combined. There seems to be some little additional breakout board on the right.|
|A dark picture of the unfinished case.|
|Beginning of the soldering nightmare...|
|Still missing the beat size selection switches and the BPM knobs.|
|All done! It was a pain in the ass...|
|The set-up to achieve a sequenced tremolo guitar effect.|
And here's the real beef. It's a sample of me playing a guitar through the above set-up, just before taking that picture, somewhere in 2006. I just used some cheap 5€ dynamic microphone. If you listen closely, you can hear the relays clicking inside the sequencer.
I'm still very pleased to hear this effect, even though I really haven't used the device for almost anything after recording this 42 sec clip. Well, I have sequenced a (very shitty) toy synth with it, but I don't have any samples of that... Maybe I should make some.