Friday, July 29, 2011

it's been a minute!

seems like forever since i last posted something up here... let's see what's been happening since then.

*installation progress - i should have some nice pics of the sculptural elements by the end of the weekend as they were cast in aluminum last week and gabrielle is working on them this weekend. i decided to change around some ideas for the sound element - originally i was going to use 8 separate recorded loops that were to use ISD2560 voice recorder chips, but they're pricey and the cost per loop will be rather high... instead, i'm going to buy 8 old school ipod shuffles! much simpler/less work and i can focus more on making the VCA/opto element function better - initial results were positive using an LDR to control the voltage, which in turn controls a channel on an SSM2164 quad VCA chip, which is a nice and compact way to get all 8 VCAs in 2 chips. i need to further work out some smoothing of the control voltage so the on/off triggering is not as abrupt.


more info coming on tuesday.

*the backyard garden is in full swing! tons of tomatoes and peppers coming in with beautiful cornucopia of herbs including italian basil, thai basil, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, thyme, sage, tarragon and rosemary! YESSSSSSSSS

*goddamn i need to get this custom gallery up on the site - seems like the majority of orders coming in have been for custom work anyways so it would make sense for people to be able to peep stuff out without having to go to the forum. just thinking out loud here.

*trying to get the best friend out and solidify a final design for the mountain range, some other random stuff - delay, dredging up old circuits, etc. i've got more shit on my plate than is probably good for me, but i guess what it comes down to is that i'm just a fucking workaholic... better to have the work than not, though. no complaints here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

blah blah more ideas and art installation ideas

*the first run of 15 sparkle motion treble boosters is officially sold out! the response has been overwhelmingly positive so far, so i'll be moving to production of these relatively soon (expect to see them at dealers at a slightly higher price) - just need to iron out some design details, etc.

*some possible drastic changes on the mountain range. working out the details...

*something very secret and very special which will be available at the end of august/beginning of september... ;-)

*making progress on the installation - still just kicking around ideas, but at the moment i think it will roughly be an array of 8 separate voice recorder circuits, each controlled via a light resistor and VCA. the idea here is that the 8 recorders will play back different loops, each of which contributes to a larger composition. the LDRs will be placed on the different sculptural elements of the mobile and when viewers get closer to the work the amount of light will change on the LDRs, which in turn will change the voltage on 8 separate VCAs, creating a swelling type of effect. i still need to suss out a decay feature so that the sample will continue playing when you walk away from a particular element, but i don't think that should prove too difficult. aaaaand i still need to compose the piece...

the block diagram is pretty simple:
(LDR -> voltage attenuator/booster circuit -> LED/LDR voltage control) -> VCA
voice/sound recorder circuit -> VCA -> speaker (x8)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sparkle motion and more life updates

the sparkle motion list is now open!
see this post about ordering info.
some really cool happenings over here lately!

*the other day there was a block party on my street and i happened to be wearing one of my smallsound/bigsound shirts. as i was talking to a friend, some guy was sort of staring at my chest for a minute and i looked at him inquisitively. he asks, "is that a smallsound/bigsound shirt?" i was kind of blown away that anyone would even know what that was... he proceeded to tell me about the team awesome! his friend gave him a few years ago - how sweet it is, how it's been the only pedal on his board since. when i told him that i built it, he was so psyched he went home and got it! anyways, a nice guy who plays in a heavy philadelphia-based band, suncrusher. check them out!

*my girlfriend and i were accepted for a public art installation at the university of the arts in philadelphia! it's going to be pretty ambitious - a mobile made of cast aluminum shapes housing small speakers/circuits which will play back snippets of music/sound/etc based on the movement of the viewer. i'll be using brian eno's "music for airports" and, to some degree steve reich's "music for 18 musicians", as sonic inspiration...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

tshirts! and sparkle motion update.

finally here and looking AWESOME.
terrible iphone pics since i left my camera at home. whoops. i rocked the stache just for that photo, though... i wanted to include a little bit more win.

sparkle motion is going strong! list time is almost here.
PCBs are all built, design is happening this weekend, building will happen next week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

more new finish hotness

i just finished up a nice batch of beautifully finished fuck overdrives and team awesomes. some were my own design and others were inspired by requests.

a minimalist, mark rothko inspired design.

a simple lo-fi stamped version. scratched surface with rubbed in stamp ink for some staining...

my bloody valentine theme

a simple, minimalist frank stella work

bottom of the sea

Friday, May 20, 2011

sparkle motion schematic and updates

here is the schematic for the sparkle motion - a modified rangemaster - with which i will be doing a short of of 15 in the next 2 weeks.

the transistor is any NPN germanium you have available; i check what i have on hand for gain and used ones around 100 hfe. i don't check for leakage, i just pop it in and use my ears... i can hear if it's overly noisy or not.

the 33k/50k pot *should* allow for a bias range of around 3.5v-6.5v, though it will vary slightly depending on your transistor. personally, i like the rangemaster biased a little lower than usual, but this setup allows for a pretty wide sweep with lots of tonal variations.

the EQ control is a dual-gang potentiometer and allows for a wide range of sounds - from trebly boost to full-range boost to heavy driven boost. when the treble switch is (on) it disables the first section (eq, A) of the eq control and will allow for a "standard" rangemaster sound. in this mode the control will still work at adding some slight heft to the signal, though.

lots of possibilities here!

for those interested in one of the 15, the PCBs are on their way to me and should be here by monday or tuesday. it'll take me at least all week to get them finished, what with other orders and such, so i'll have a newsletter(!) sent out then as well as the requisite postings on the forum, etc.

2 quick edits:
*if you need a higher or lower travel on the pot, change the 33k to either a 22k or 47k. if you want less range, use a smaller value (25k) pot, though you'll probably need to tweak the emitter (33k) resistor to get the sweep you want.
*the input/volume pots are both audio/log taper while the EQ and bias are linear.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

MotherTone: Interview with Brian From smallsound/bigsound!...

MotherTone: Interview with Brian From Small Sound / Big Sound!...: "Smallsound/Bigsound effects is a hyper rad custom/small batch pedal company based out of Philadelphia, PA. They make killer fuzz/OD/gli..."

also, from their archives: a nice review of the team awesome! fuzzmachine.