No Tomorrow Update 3

Posted: April 19, 2012 in FX, No Tomorrow
Tags: , , , , , ,

Just a quick update on the No Tomorrow. As I’m moving house I haven’t had much time to spend on this bad boy, but it is progressing nicely when I have had time!

Here’s the latest schematic, admittedly in low res. Once I have got the circuit finalized I will publish a high res schematic.

Since the last update I have:

  • Replaced the tone and body controls a high and low control. These basically cut the bass, and cut the highs. I think that I will probably get rid of the high pass filter (lows) and have one tone control which is a low pass filter, there to cut the harsh highs. I may make it active, a bit depends when I have the rest of the circuit up and going.
  • Changing the op-amp used for driving the distortion to a TL061. I tried a load of opamps and I liked the way this one sounded. It responds really well to voltage starving, and the starve  was limited to ~4.5v, which is just before the IC cuts out, at least audibly.
  • The distortion diodes are 5mm red LEDS. I was trying 1N4148, some BAT85 Schottky, 1N60’s, 1N4001’s and to be honest I liked the LED’s best. I think they complement the overall sound well.
  • I have messed around with the sample rate reduction a bit. I haven’t had a good enough result yet to include in  the pedal, but hopefully once I get a bit of time to spend on the circuit and the layout I will be able to get it working well. Although sample rate reduction was the driving force behind this pedal I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up getting dumped in the end. The problem is with these analog ‘bit crusher’ circuits is that you get this carrier frequency (which changes tone with the sample rate) which drones away in the background. Look at the Catalinbread Heliotrope – an awesome pedal, but the carrier frequency is certainly audible, and while I personally class that as insignificant when the pedal is used by itself, it becomes an incredible pain in the ass when you want to use it with a distortion or other gain pedal, and next to unusable with a secondary gain in a live context. And that is the problem with using it here, it is a combination of the 2 effects, and the problem is massively amplified. Who knows, maybe in the long-term I will get it working well enough, maybe it is impossible without reverting to digital, one thing is for sure I’m not clever enough at electronics to get this feature working well at present.

Regardless whether the pedal has sample rate reduction or not in the long run or not, it is going to sound brutal! The starve works really well, and gets some unearthly tones. Who knows the path this pedal will take, in the end maybe I’ll have dual gain sections, each with independent gain and starve controls and full blending. Actually, that could be very cool indeed…

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