BoardWeevil

boardweevil
My BoardWeevil, a rough schematic. It’s a battery-powered, hand-held, touch-sensitive analog synth with 3 oscillators, 2 ring modulators, a mixer, a complex filter, and an amp. Potentiometers are shown as circles, switches as small rectangles and the smaller triangular shapes are “touch pads.”

Oscillators 1, 2 & 3 each have a frequency control and a hi/lo range switch. Oscillators 2 & 3 have sync switches, when turned on oscillator 2 will sync to oscillator 1 and oscillator 3 will sync to oscillator 2. The outputs of oscillators 1 & 2 go to ring modulator a. The outputs of oscillator 2 & 3 go to ring modulator b. The outputs from ring modulators a & b go to a mixer; an a/b control allows one to “mix” the outputs from the ring modulators together or select one or the other. The output of the mixer goes to the filter which has controls for frequency, presence, hi, and lo. More specifically frequency controls a “bandpass” stage, presence appear similar to resonance, hi and low are “cutoff” stages. The output of the filter goes to an amp with a volume control.

In addition to the “submodules” described, overall controls include a power switch, a starve control, and a chaos switch. The starve control gives the board “character.” It reduces power to various modules, causing them to “lose bits” and react unpredictably. The chaos switch determines the amount of indeterminate behavior.

In addition to the potentiometer controls and switches, the board has touch pads that use “skin capacitance” to effect additional control. The touch pads generate control voltages that are summed with those from the potentiometers. For example, this allows the player to alter the oscillator frequency by touching the pad, the amount of pressure determines control voltage strength.

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