The Nonlinear Circuits Thread


#21

A great summary. Thanks!

How hard was the 8hp triple sloth build?
I have built a couple of the 4hp sloths, amongst a number of other things. I consider myself to be reasonably competent with a soldering iron, but I’ve only ever built through hole.
Would it be too tough as a first SMT project?


#22

All of the NLC stuff looks amazing. I don’t have any yet, but when I get my new case these will be some of the first things in it. I’m planning for an 8hp Triple Sloth and a DNM right now.

Has anyone used a Numberwang? I’m not sure I totally get it, but I want one mostly because of the name (one of the best Mitchell & Webb skits if you’re not familiar with it).


#23

It’d be pretty tough as a first SMT build. There are a lot of parts, a lot of unusual resistor values (68M, 100M, etc.) that you won’t find in other Euro projects, and very little spacing between the parts. Also, the PCB is labeled R31, R23, etc. instead of the values. You’ll have to look back and forth between the build document and the PCB a bunch.

The easiest first SMT is Music Thing’s SimpleEQ. Tom designed that to be a first SMT project. The easiest SMT Nonlinear build that I’ve done is BOOLs. With BOOLs, the circuit is spread out, the part values are really easy, and there are no SMT ICs or transistors. The second easiest is Squid Axon. The part values are still easy, but it introduces a small handful of SMT ICs and transistors. DelayNoMore is also pretty easy but you have to solder both sides of the PCB. The 1050 Mix Sequencer was great, but it has a higher parts count.

@emenel I made a Reaktor version of Numberwang called Gate Matrix. It’s in my Euro Reakt collection (https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/9093/)
The functionality is easier to understand if you remove the silly numbering. Imagine the inputs are labelled 0001, 0010, 0100, and 1000. Then, look at the jack labels on the back of the PCB: http://nonlinearcircuits.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/numberwang-now-available.html

Essentially, the active output is a sum of the input values. For instance, if gates 0010 and 0100 are high:
0010
+0100
0110 will be the active output. If no input gates are active, then output 0000 (top left) will be active.

New review: I built a FlipFlopChaos last night. Honestly, I was expecting it to be a quick sell after B0N0 and Brain Custard, but it actually fits right into my workflow. It’s a chaos source that “syncs” up well to an incoming gate (I put that in quotes because it’s not a rigid clock sync). The various chaotic outputs are all very musical (two CVs, three related gates, and a burst-like trigger). Occasionally, it will get trapped in a chaos well and output a funny oscillation dance. This pairs nicely with a stable clock source and a Sloths for the CV input. The build was easy-ish, but there’s kind of a weird mish-mash of SMT and through-hole parts, along with a large number of hard-to-read SMT parts on the faceplate side. There’s also one jumper resistor that you have to add. I’d put this in the upper tier of awesome NLC builds, for sure.


#24

It’s worth watching all of the ones on YT. They have a sort of cummulative effect.


#25

I ordered the 8hp sloths today, looking forward to build and trying them out :slight_smile:


#26

I wanted to actually comment briefly on this aside from the YT clip–too busy a day.

I have one on the way, as well as a Wangernumb, a Giant B0n0, Squid Axon, and a 4Seq.

Those are in addition to the ones pictured here:

As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m slowly putting together a whole NLC instrument of sorts, with a few more still to come a little later.

There’s something very special about his modules–not just individually but the way I think they work as a system. Naturally, you’ve got to be interested in this kind of an approach to synthesis–I imagine the Peter B., Gieskes, et al fans will feel pretty at home with NLC, although there are clear differences–but if you are, wow.

There’s also something about the sound his modules produces that’s really seductive to me, irrespective of function, sequencing ability etc. I don’t know much about components and circuits and whatnot, but something about the sound in his demos gripped me immediately. I was not disappointed in how the modules I do have correlated to that feeling from the demos.

This is something I don’t see discussed much when it comes to Euro gear: pure sound. Lots and lots of discussion about functionality, control, CV manipulation, modification of an already existing sound, but not so much about pure sound–tone, timbre, dare I say quality, etc., and I think there are clear differences from one manufacturer to another. This is really subjective stuff, but for whatever reason, the SOUND of these modules really, really speaks to me.

More on the aforementioned pieces as I assimilate them.


#27

Gah.

The awesomeness of these NLC devices is off the charts.

I wish I knew exactly what I was doing, but it doesn’t really matter.

I’m ecstatic.


#28

I have a 8hp Triple Sloths and a Numberwang on the way to help flesh out my controller skiff, which will look like this when it’s “done”:


#29

Just posted my 8 Bit Cipher port for Reaktor!

More reviews from this week’s builds…

Chopper: This is a 2-in, 1-out switch where the input signals control the switch. I mistakenly thought that this would be good for demolishing oscillators, but that’s not really the case (although, you can by manually modulating the COMP input). Really, this is a fantastic tool for taking two CV signals and creating new patterns. The most useful out is “Chop Slewy”, which is a variably slewed version of the main Chop output. There are also two gates, one for each stage of the switch. On the bottom is a regular bi-directional switch (like one half of a Doepfer A-150). I’m keeping this one, for sure.

Bong0: Built this for a friend. This is an extremely easy build. It took me less than 40 minutes from start to finish. I’d recommend it as a first SMT build. Nothing too crazy here. A Trig input triggers an envelope to modify the pitch and amplitude of an oscillator, creating a simple drum tone. A secondary input mainly acts as FM, but can coax other weird behaviors out of the output.

Feague: This was a beast of a build. Lots of weird resistor values, plus a tempco resistor, an expensive matched transistor pair, etc. Probably the hardest NLC build to source, although assembly isn’t too hard. This is a quadrature LFO/oscillator and low-pass filter. The filter has regular feedback for resonance and non-linear feedback for unpredictable behavior. The SYNC input provides very strange filtering behavior. I haven’t calibrated the 1v/oct input yet, but I’ll probably sell it after I do that. It’s pretty cool but it doesn’t fit into my sound.


#30

I’m selling a new Feague build for $180 on Muff’s: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=172341 PM me here or there if interested. It’s not the tightest 1v/Oct calibration in the higher frequencies.


#31

Behold, Andrew’s latest forthcoming creation: a complete 42hp instrument, containing condensed versions of several of his iconic designs.

Also forthcoming is a new 4hp envelope follower.

I don’t know how he does it.


#32

NLC is great stuff, he offers many different flavours of random/chaos as well as straightforward predictable stuff to add some predictability. on top of that andrews is a great guy and very helpful so its a good way to start SMD


#33

I’m lucky to be able to attend the workshops that Andrew runs in Perth. Went to my second last night. I’ve built a brain custard, dual lfo and divine CMOS so far- the second two last night- and they are heaps of fun paired with the mother 32. The brain custard in particular is really fun to use as an audio rate modulator. I really like the design sensibilities of the modules too- the naming conventions, hidden messages on pcbs, and aesthetic.

For what it’s worth- the dual LFO was an easy build that I would recommend to a beginner looking to start out doing diy modules.


#34

In case anybody needs some I still have some single an dual Neuron panels (the Magpie ones I’ve made) left. In case PM me.


#35

Hi,

I bump that thread because I am a huge fan of NLC. Think is really unique in Eurorack universe.

I love this one:

  • 329 phaser/flanger : I really love it, very musical, and huge when you put low frequencies VCO.

  • 32:1 : not the most popular NLC module and I think is not just. The concept : it’s a sequential switch where 32 inputs are switched to one single outputs, or one single input is feed sequentialy in 32 ouputs ! Clock move for one step, reset (reset…) and a input to change the direction of switching.
    Very funny with slow clock, but the circuit is very very good in audio rate clocks to make waveshaping, because you dont have any single clicks ! Insane and very musical.

  • 8 bit cipher : I use it always. It’s a source of clocks and CVs that can be very musical and produce polyrythms.

  • Plague of demons : insane. Very good sound and can be evil because of feedback loops, FM, and some strange inputs. Take it.


#36

I built one too. Mine’s very subdued. Andrew warned me that it is somewhat part selection dependent, and some choices I made rendered it slightly mild. Still, nice sounding.

I actually built two, and normalled all the ins/outs together. Lots of fun! I have a dedicated mini-case, with the two 32:1s and one of his Dual-LFOs.

The PoD is total genius. I’m building a second one. You can spend huge sums of time with just that and a small handful of control modules. It’s the greatest oscillator I have.


#37

gorgeous sounds … and 20+


#38

Oh very nice idea ! You have a single panel for this dual 32:1 ? It’s a quite very nice idea, I would love to transform my 32:1 to this :p.


#39

Can anyone help with this?

I’d like to send CV from several channels of my z8000 to a module for them to be combined/squished/mutated together in interesting ways.

Is this what numbering is for? Or have I misinterpreted that?


#40

Not sure on what NLC make but you might want to look into a matrix mixer.