Saturday, October 6, 2012

Discrete IC's,Vibes and Prototyping

Lately a lot of different idea's from the past year or so are starting to come together.
I have build a prototype system thats a lot of fun to play around with.
basically I was annoyed at this maze on my breadboard while trying to build a Uni-Vibe,
I decided it would be easier to chop the thing up into te different stages and make them modular so I can move around entire stages in one move, instead of having to move around every singe part.

So I took some large IC-sockets and on each I built for instance a pre-amp stage, a phasing-stage, a LFO stage. I soldered all the interconnections and a pre-set parts to the legs of the socket, and plugged things I want to tinker with on top of the socket, like the transistors,1uf caps and phasing caps.

so what I now have is basically a hand full of discrete transistorized IC's for a Uni-Vibe that i can plug on the breadboard and move around.

Right now I'm working on 2 different Uni-vibe's.
One is a stereo vibe in a wah pedal enclosure, build in the same turret-style as my Tremolo, which is quite a challenge.
Wah pedal enclosures don't allow a lot of freedom to move stuff around in, but I've managed to make a design that fits and still has short wiring and good signal/power-line separation to avoid noise and tics.
I'm trying to get it as stage friendly as possible, so it will have a foot operated speed control, cancel-function at the heel and a foot operated chorus/vibrato switch 

The other will be a bit of a mad-scientist version called the Deluxe Studio-Vibe.
My latest layout has about 18 knobs on it that will let you select between all the different stereo modes, select different Phase-caps for each stage,select between 2,4,6 and 8 stage phase modes and will also have a stereo tremolo mode.
I know, it's madness, but if I'm going to build this I might as well go all the way.

Both will have a stereo output and  a switch that lets you select between ;
Mono Vibrato
Mono Chorus
Stereo Vibrato
Stereo Chorus
Stereo Chorus/Vibrato (Vibrato on the right/Chorus on the left, bouncing left and right)
Dual Mono Chorus/Vibrato (Vibrato on the right/Chorus on the left, not bouncing left and right)
Another option is Chorus or Vibrato on the left with a clean signal on the right.

I'm going to test all these modes to see if they are all really that use-full for the pedal version. The deluxe studio version will have every mode possible for maximum creativity, but for the pedal version it makes sense not too complicate things too much, so it will be use-full on stage and during band-rehearsals.

Since a Uni-vibe type pedal sounds its best before overdrive I'm going to build a dual mono version of the Wampler plexi-drive (which is my current favourite) for my own rig, meaning it has one volume,tone and gain knob but will be stereo in and out so I keep every stereo effect in front of it.
I will also do this with my Tremolo, which will also get a stereo bounce option alongside the dual mono setting.

Ok, I will now return to my Mad-scientist lab and will keep you posted.

Greetings, Liquitone

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