HST1d Feral Technologies

HST1d FERAL TECHNOLOGIES AKA The Music Technology Frisbee (as christened by Electronic Instruments students 2018) is a six-voice portable and battery powered synthesiser based around a 40106 (Hex Schmitt-Trigger). 

  • Three voices are operated via resistive-touch on the MuTec lettering;
  • Three voices can be either light-sensitive (photocells) or controlled via potentiometers, the control method is individually switchable for each of these three voices;
  • The range of the three light/potentiometer-controlled voices is switchable high/low;
  • Lighting/pitch control is laid out horizontally across the board while from an output perspective the instrument is divided in half down the middle, with two separate volume controls: one for the three touch sensitive voices and the other for the three light/potentiometer voices;
  • The three individual voices that make up each of the two halves of the instrument can either be mixed via diodes or resistors (switchable), which offers further timbral manipulation;
  • Output is via mono ¼ inch jack socket on the rear (along with the off/on switch) and/or the onboard amplifier/speaker combination using an LM386 (switchable, and both can be used simultaneously, though there’s no buffering so this can impact tone–I should add an op-amp in future);
  • Power is via 9-volt battery which clips into a socket on the rear, this also makes the whole thing stable and sit nicely/angled towards the performer when used as as a desktop instrument;
  • LEDs articulate interactions with the touch-sensitive side of the circuit;
  • Two of the LEDs on the touch circuit are deliberately placed near the photocells that control two of the other voices, if desired these can be bent towards each other (and even taped together/mounted in a straw) for vactrol fun and interaction.

In case anyone actually try to build this it’s worth noting this I had to make my own footprints for the switches as I bought a large quantity of switches very cheaply and the spacing was not quite what was advertised i.e. some ‘standard’ switches do not fit – always best to print out and check components by pushing through the paper! (I learned this the hard way…..).

Anyway, you’ve been warned!