Saturday, 10 December 2016

CellF at Mofo in January 2017

Don't forget to head south to Tasmania in late January to see cellF running for 3 days at the Mofo festival. Each day cellf will perform with a different musician (to be announced). All the synth and neural interface designs are by nonlinearcircuits - 100% analogue.

cellF at Mofo info

Thursday, 27 October 2016

ready for a gig

This is my larger eurorack modular, there is another 9U as well, but getting ready for the Mandurah Noize Maschin:

all NLC modules:

top row L-R: DP filter, Multiband Distortion, Doof, Numberwang, Wangernumb, CEM3340 VCO

2nd row - Timbre!, Delay no More, dual LFO, Segue, Chopper, 2x Sloth, 4Seq, CEM3340 VCO, mixer

3rd row - serious VCF, 4Seq, LPG, Brain Custard, Neuron, LPG, bong-0, bong-0, badum Tisss, BOOLs

4th row - Cluster matrix mixer, Giant B0n0, Doof, 32:1, mixer

5th row - Squid Axon, Triad, Triad (triple EG), 1050 mix/sequencer, 8bit Cipher, FK1T VCF, FK1T VCF, Brain Custard, Sloth

6th row - Cellf Voice panel: VCO, dual LFO, VCO, Sauce of Unce, LPG, Difference rectifier, EG, LPG, VCA, EG, Chaos, dual VCA, VC reverb


with just a hint of ginger

Monday, 17 October 2016


Wangernumb is 3 modules in one...or 4. If you use the Track input, the phase lock loop acts as a frequency tracker. The VCO Range Cv input and filter pot will determine how well, or more accurately, how poorly it will track. You also get 12 divisions of the tracking signal, right down to divide by 4096. If you use the Roulette input, it will generate semi-random selections of outputs when the input signal is high....or it is a burst generator and you can control the frequency of the bursts with the VCO CV input. If you use the Divide input, you have a 12 stage clock divider, down to 1/4096. In this case you can use the PLL tracker section as a separate and independent module and just get it to generate squelchy, burpy noises.
PCB - US$20
panel - US$25
assembled - US$180 


PCB - US$18
Panel - US$20
assembled US$160

The Router was developed to use in the cellF neural synthesizer at MoNA’s Mofo exhibition in Jan 2017. As cellF would be left running for 6-8 hours per day, we wanted a module to periodically switch around the CV signals to create new patches.
The Router pots can be used as switches, 0 is off and 10 is on. At these settings the switches will ignore incoming CV or gate signals. For the switching to be controlled by CV or gates, set the pots to an appropriate turn-on point.
Some notes:
Input 1 is internally connected to the switches on jacks 2, 3 & 4.
CV 1&2 is internally connected to the switch on the CV 3&4 jack.
The signals to the OUT ALL jack are summed together, as more than one signal can be on at a time; this is the safest way to merge them.
The Router can deliver 1 into 4, 4 into 4 and 4 into 1 at the same time, 2x 2 into 2 and, with a simple mod the PCB, 2x 1 into 2 

Monday, 10 October 2016


Has phase modulated sync & pan-pulse output based on the Aries PMS-338 VCO

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wangernumb revisited

This has taken a while to get to a point that I am happy with, vers5 PCB even.
Track input gives you a very badly behaved frequency tracker, along with 12 divisions of the tracker's output frequency. It performs particularly poorly when you start CV-ing the Range input, which puts a vactrol in charge of the PLLs frequency range.
Roulette input wants a CV or gate and makes the module behave like an electronic roulette wheel. When the CV or gate is high the outputs spin and halt when the input signal returns to zero, giving a random combination of gates, plus a series of bursts whilst it is spinning. The rate of spin can be controlled by the range pot and the range CV input.
Divide disconnects the PLL from the 12 stage outputs and simply acts as a 12 stage frequency divider, going down to 1/4096. The PLL can be used as a separate module when the divider is used, so you get a raucous PLL VCO that is barely controlled by CV.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

8bit Cipher panel

Working well
10HP panel - USD22
set of PCBs (2 layer) - USD25
assembled - USD200

This module is based on the one part of the Buchla Source of Uncertainty/Random Voltage source, although it has been modded somewhat to obtain 4 CV and 9 gate outputs. It requires a clock signal and a signal on at least one of the data inputs to operate. 
The strobe input makes it a bit like an 8 bit sample and hold. If nothing is inserted into the strobe jack the module carries on as normal. When a signal is introduced to strobe, the data obtained from the data jack is only loaded onto the outputs when the signal is high.
Like virtually everything else in the NLC synth, any signal crossing 1V can be used as a clock or data signal.

The best way to see what it does is feed it two signals from different sources, say two LFOs. Leave the clock signal steady and vary the frequency of the signal to the data input. Also try different wave-shapes such as square, sawtooth or triangle. You will see how the data is shifted down thru the stages.
It takes a little bit of tweaking to get the data moving thru in patterns you like, but should be very easy to see what is happening by watching the LEDs.

Once you have it running nicely, connect one of the CV outputs to a VCO and have a listen to the patterns. Tweak the signal on the data input to see how this changes. The first & final stages are fed back to Data input2 via a crude XOR circuit. If nothing is patched into this input, the feedback signal will ensure a nice level of complexity to the output patterns.
The CV outputs are all related to each other but are all different; part of CV1 is fed to CV2, part of CV2 is fed to CV3 etc.

The stage outputs are great for driving drum modules….or anything you like.

Construction pix and comments:

 Place the connectors on the bottom PCB, solder the 2 end pins 1st and check they are standing perpendicular to the PCB. Correct if necessary and then solder the rest.

 Place the other connectors onto the engine PCB, do not solder them yet
 Connect the PCBs and when nice and snug, solder the connectors to the engine PCB
 Remove the upper PCB and install the sockets & LEDs. It might be nice to install a different coloured LED for the centre (serial) position. I found it easiest to place the sockets on the PCB (unsoldered) then place the panel over them. It takes a little bit of jiggling, then hold the two together with one hand and screw the nuts on. Finally solder it all up.
 Note: rows of jacks share ground tabs


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Non Linear Excursions 006

More wonderful music from Steve.

He describes the patch as: Just some (raw) techno using mostly NLC. Boom: Doof1 (with sustain mod) 4x4: Mutant BD Hit (snare-ish): baDumTISSS1 (with IN from Doof2) Hats: Sauce of Unce (high noise) -> 329 Phase/Flange Beat: Bong0 (with IN from FlipFlop Chaos) -> Multi-band Distortion -> Serge Res EQ Off Beat: Doof3 -> Timbre! -> Multi-band Distortion -> Serge Res EQ Klang: baDumTISSS2 (with IN from L1 CVO) -> L1 Tube VCA Sequencing: 4Seq, Flip Flop Chaos, Numberwang, Bools (XOR), 1050. Other: 2xLFO, Sloth(s), Chopper, Squid Axon, VCAs

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Things to come: CEM3340 VCO

I generally prefer to use generic components for new designs, but couldn't resist making a module for the newly re-released CEM3340 VCO IC.
This is very much based on the Aries AR-338 PMS VCO, which features phase modulated sync and a pan-pulse output. The AR-338 used a SSM2030, so it was not too hard to modify the sub-sections to suit the CEM3340. As you can see, for such a feature rich VCO, there are not all that many components.

 The back of the panel.

Things to come: Rimples

A ring modulator with a phase locked loop to do the modulating! The PLL can be set to lock tightly, loosely or not at all with the incoming signal. What could go wrong?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Things to come: 8bit Cipher (Eurorack vers.)

It was going to happen sooner or later. This is the 8bit Cipher from the NLC 4U CMOS panel with an added strobe control, serial data output and built-in loop circuit. It is based on the Buchla 208 Random but includes 8 stage outputs, 4 CV outputs, the loop output and serial out.
If a patch-cable is plugged into strobe the outputs only change when the incoming signal is high, so it acts like a digital sample & hold.

Things to come: 335 CV Switch

This module is functionally based on one section of the Aries 335 Quad Switch, although the actual circuit is different.
It is 1 into 4 or 4 into 1 bi-directional, the routing is controlled by CV and the 4 pots.

If no CV is used the pots can be used to simply turn each stage on or off, so no need for toggle switches. If using CV, the pots add weight to the channels, so each one is more or less likely to be on or off. Each pot affects more than one channel, so the relationships are more complex than simple comparators.
LEDs indicate which channels are active.