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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The mighty audio generator
    Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:27
Ladies and gentlemen of a certain age may remember that Hawkwind employed two hairy lunatics to play "audio generator" onstage in the early 70's. Del Dettmar and Dik Mik got an old audio range signal generator and passed the output through a Binson tape echo (and apparently a ring modulator). This made the audience very ill and was the near apogee of early 70's sound experimentation. 




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:28
Just prior to this, Delia Derbyshire had been messing about in the BBC Radiophonic workshop with nine Jason valve oscillators, 12 Advance H-1 sine/ square wave oscillators and a "beat frequency oscillator" nicknamed the "wobulator". 

Amongst other things, the result was the original 1963 Dr Who theme, an electronic music classic.
Delia below, 9 Jason valve oscillators to the right of the monitor. 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:31
Over in Room 2 of the Electronic workshop, there were a bank of Advance H-1 signal generators, a "keying unit" (and there's the famed "wobulator" just above the drawer on the right.)


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:33
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand guess what I just bought off eBay ? ;-)

Yep. An original 1960's Advance H-1 signal generator. Exact same model as the ones in the picture above. 

This is going to be wired up to a number of Eurorack effects to create the ultimate (I hope) weird noise machine. It'll be paired with a similar vintage valve oscilloscope in a 10U rack mount, with a row of delays, flangers, ring modulators and God knows what. 

Expect sonic destruction. 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:39
Sweet! Great read, Dave! Thumbs Up Have fun with the signal generator you bought! Can't wait to hear it. Smile


Edited by ALotOfBottle - September 30 2016 at 04:40
Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden - step out of the space provided.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2016 at 04:56
Thanks, AlotofBottle - generator arrives today, got nearly everything else ready for it ! ;-)

"His poor neighbours". ;-)


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 07:45
Oh dear, oh dear


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 07:46
Whoopsy !!! Early sonic tryout. 

"His poor neighbours". ;-)



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 08:33
That sinewave doesn't look too pure to me, but then even 1% harmonic distortion can look pretty ropey on a 'scope. Wink Of course when it comes to using it as an audio source for electronic music that's a desirable thing as your video sound-clip shows. Approve

It's been 40+ years since I've used (or even seen) a H-1 as in the test and measurement business we quickly replaced them with solid state beasties based on the CA8038 and XR-2206 function generator chips that were inherently more stable and could be frequency and/or amplitude modulated easily using a second function generator. I see there is an H1E on eBay for 60 - back in the 70s we were hoiking them into the bin without even stripping out the valves first. Hey-ho.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 08:43
Oh, the square wave looks even worse. ;-)

File under "character". There's so much going on sonically that it's impossible to tell. Seems that a lot of ham radio users picked up H-1's, Dean. There are some J-1's out there as well. Might as well put them to a good use. 

Weighs a ton. It's like a T-72.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 09:23
^ I can imagine - I presume that the sine generator is a Wien-bridge valve oscillator and the square is created from that by over-driving the output stage, so it will look pretty dreadful simply because of the technology used - I'd wager that the shape changes quite a bit with frequency too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 09:34
Oh, it's everything between triangular and oval after 10k, Dean. ;-)


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 09:53
^ this is where the engineer in me conflicts with the wannabe electronic musician and the circuit-bending experimenter - the engineer thinks - Oh, I can fix that; the musicians say, Oooo - I can use that and the experimenter asks - Ah-ha, I wonder if I can make that happen at lower frequencies too? LOL

[not that I'd recommend anyone attempts to circuit-bend a valve oscillator even if they do know what they're doing and have the utmost respect for HT voltages - being thrown across the room tends to hurt no matter who you are].
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 10:10
My brother didn't try circuit bending an old valve telly. He just assumed the capacitors had discharged. 

Never seen anyone move so fast. ;-)

Well, it's all coming along. This all goes into a 10U rack case, with a row of Eurorack modules on the bottom - nearly a whole modular synth. If interesting noises cannot be coaxed from that, I shall be most surprised. ;-)


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2016 at 08:53
PS Yep, Wien bridge. On the nosey, Dean. :-)

It's beginning to sound like Forbidden Planet here. 

https://soundcloud.com/brotherhoodofthemachine/generator

To compound the insanity, I found a local lunatic selling the big brother to the Advance H-1 - a J1-B. So that should arrive this week. And I should be in the Macclesfield wicker man by about..... Wednesday. ;-)

Thus.






Edited by Davesax1965 - October 02 2016 at 08:55

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2016 at 10:55
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

Whoopsy !!! Early sonic tryout.

"His poor neighbours". ;-)




They must have realised they have a mad scientist living next door by now though?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2016 at 18:50
IIRC, didn't the Silver Apples use audio generators?
He looks at this world and wants it all... so he strikes, like Thunderball!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2016 at 19:25
Love those old machines, they remind me of the German stuff from the 1930s conspiracists think were used to distort time, de-materialize people, and soften the atomic structure of solid objects.

Let us know if your dog disappears and winds up in the basement.
 
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2016 at 06:43

Half of the synthesizer graveyard, a few synths missing off the video.(Korg and Minibrute)

Audio generator and scopes
Sequencer rack, bass synths and one lead synth
Modular synthesizer

I wonder what all this stuff does ?





Edited by Davesax1965 - October 03 2016 at 06:44

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2016 at 07:12
Silver Apples did indeed use audio generators. There were a dozen in a home made rack which was.... sort of a synthesizer. 

A lot of newsprint has been generated about them, but the albums were... er. ;-)

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