Archive for the 'Shruthi' Category

Shruthi-1 SMR4 MkII – NoisyLittleBugger Edition

August 19, 2014

Hooray!

It’s finally here: NLB’s special edition modded Shruthi-1 SMR4 mkII.

Mods:

  • 2/4 pole filter toggle switch
  • Bandpass 1/3 3-way switch
  • Filter Feedback FM toggle switch
  • Audio input routing switch – normal vs FM modulator
  • Filter FM Feedback amount pot
  • VCA overdrive pot
  • UFO Balcklight mod
  • Audio input and output volume pots.
  • OLED
  • Styroflex capacitors
  • Suitable clothes!

Check here for details of the joystick mods… here for the filter mods……and here for the drive mod.

Here is the SVG file for the case (right-click to download). 

Many thanks to Mutable Instruments and the community.

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Removing the spring from Gamepad Joysticks

February 2, 2014

To satisfy a couple of requests, I made this little vid to demonstrate non-destructive removal of the spring from standard gamepad joysticks (Xbox 360, PS3, Logitech, etc.).

If you don’t have a nephew’s games closet to raid, you can always buy the joysticks. This is my source. Tell Uwe I sent you.

Here’s where I show how to wire-them to the CV inputs of a Shruthi-1.

Back and building with vengeance…

The unaimed arrow never misses…

January 30, 2014

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Coming soon…

😛

Shruthi-1 Modding Session

March 22, 2013

I’ve been a bad boy, skiving-off to further molest my Shruthi-1.

These mods have been brewing for a while, as I fiddled and took notes from the Mutable Instruments forum and the Mutable Wiki. They are surprisingly easy to implement, once you gather the right components, and they are providing good learning points for the 4×4 build.

KK, on with the details…

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There are 3 filter switches…

  • 1. Select 2 or 4 pole filter.
  • 2. Choose either of 2 bandpass modes. I haven’t quite got this one working yet. I think I need a new switch.
  • 3. A switch to allow the audio input to be used as FM modulator on the filter. An input level knob is also added to provide more control. Initial tests of this are very promising!

And two new knobs…

  • 1. A separate FM control knob allows a degree of filter feedback. It’s quite subtle, but adds lovely harmonics to the low-end. I’m going to see if I can beef this up.
    EDIT: Thanks to the helpful guys on Mutable forum, I removed the 47k resistor and used a C10K reverse audio pot to give a nice transition from subtle to a harsher FM grit. Lovely.
  • 2. Then there is the drive knob. This one is great! It overdrives to distortion very nicely. An output volume control is necessary to attenuate, because this can get loud. Shruthi size belies and delights yet again.

I’ve also put a LED on CV1 out. This can be hooked-up in the mod-matrix to provide visual feedback of modulation parameters, including tempo-synced LFOs. It works brilliantly, and the brightness is also adjustable from the mod matrix. CV2 is also available and will be used for the same purpose. This is going to look great on the 4x4Pole!

And of course, the 2 joysticks. I am loving these. In a moment of madness I imagined an interface dominated by an army of these fellas. It surely will happen 😛

Now, I could squeeze all these entrails into the standard enclosure, but I feel that would be unfair to poor Shruthi. I’ve really gutted this guy, so it’s time to buy some new clothes, with enough space to include these and any future mods. I already partially atoned by replacing the filter caps with fancy styroflex thingies. That’s a new OLED too which makes a big difference. Finally, I took the chance to re-align the boards, and now everything is where it should be.

I’ve already designed and ordered the case: the Shruthi NoisyLitteBugger edition should be ready next week 😉

Adding Gamepad Joysticks to Shruthi-1

March 15, 2013

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I built my first shruthi last year and the poor little bugger has been poked and prodded since. Not only is it a great synthesizer, it is also a fun playground for a beginner audio noodler like myself.

One of the standard Shruthi mods is to attach controllers to the 4 CV inputs. These can be mapped to multiple parameters in the mod matrix, providing oodles of modulation possibilities.This could be controlled by knobs or touchpads or the like.

The most accessible method is to attach a 10k linear pot to the points on the control board (left of the LCD).
pot

Looking at the pot, the legs should be connected thus:
1: +5V
2: CV (1-4)
3: GND

On the Mutable Instruments forums I read that PS3 gamepad joysticks are basically 2 10K linear pots assigned to X and Y coordinates. The only problem is that the spring can’t be removed without destroying the mechanism. I want the joystick to stay where I put it.

After a lot of searching, it was apparent that few joystick met this criterion, and they tended to be expensive; 45 euro for the Doepfer version, and an extra tenner for the shaft. Bugger that.

Then I came across this excellent blog post detailing how to remove the springs from an Xbox controller.

Not having an Xbox controller to hand, I instead ripped-open an old, broken Logitech PC gamepad I had thankfully kept – along with many other boxes of junk. The hoarder vindicated 😀

EDIT: You can also buy the joystick components separately if you wish. Here’s a good source: Uk-Electronics.

Click pictures for full size:

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Removing the PCBs is easy…

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..and there are our little beauties..

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Noticing that the joysticks were similar to the Xbox ones, I proceeded to follow instructions in removing them from the PCB and then their springs.

The joystick housing need to be carefully de-soldered from the gamepad PCB…in this case there were 15 points attached to the board. Make sure they are all free before prising the whole thing free. Solder wick is essential.

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The spring and button are house in the plastic base. Bend the metal legs to release it. It just pops out.

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With base removed (and thus spring and button)…

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Once the spring is out the mechanism is unsupported and will probably fall apart. But it’s easy to re-assemble – it’s just 2 pieces. The potentiometers can be snapped-off and reattached also. Very elegant design. To keep the shaft in place permanently, I soldered small wire supports like so:

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For testing, I plonked it onto a piece of polystyrene…

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Then I wired-up both sets of pins…

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..and connected them to the Shruthi CV points…

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At first I thought it wasn’t working, however I had wired the wrong CV pads! Switching to the correct ones in the Mod matrix brought a huge smile to my face. The joystick works perfectly, goes where you want it, and STAYS there.

WooHoo!

Initially I kept the wires long for a reason; I wanted to test how sensitive the CV inputs would be to interference. At this length I noticed no adverse effects.

Now, how to house it?

Conveniently, it turns out that all the joystick legs will fit snugly into the honeycomb side panels, but they need affixing. However the pins are close together, so some insulation is in order. I used some heat-shrink tubing. To keep things tidy should I wish to re-wire, I attached all GRN and 5V wires to pins (discarded resistor legs), leaving just single pins to be soldered to the control board.

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Notice that the wiring must be consistent if you want both joysticks to behave in the same way.

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There’s plenty of room for the wires to fit snugly in the case. Note that the additional switch is not needed – it for 2/4 pole filter modes (another easy mod).

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For today, to keep everything steady. I’m using some ‘blu-tack’. I’m waiting for extra components for more mods, so I’ll be taking it apart again soon. When satisfied I will probably glue them on. I also found two tiny covers to put on the shafts. Cute.

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And there you have it: 2 cheap (free) modulation joysticks, without springs, for your Shruthi, or any other purpose you might be dreaming. I know I am….

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