February 2008

Oregano Crunch

This is the first distortion “box” I designed myself. Admittedly it was a haphazard process of jamming parts together with only minimal understanding of what I was doing. It uses a couple diodes and an LED as well as a couple of op amps to give this guy some seriously gut busting distortion.

Looking back I now know I have some bias problems which cause some unpredictable behavior but my poor design notwithstanding, this is well suited for sound-design/sampling. It however is not functional as a typical signal processor. I neglected to label the inputs and the knobs so I always have to f with it to get it working, an amateur move, but I think it adds a little something… like a what-the-hell-does-that-do kind of something.

The most noticeable feature is the enclosure. As you could guess by the name it’s all tossed in an Oregano spice jar. Even if you don’t like the sound you can’t deny it smells delicious.   Not to mention there’re some LEDs in there but, no battery operation.  I don’t know why; that would have been pretty easy to accomplish. I recently went back to draw up a schematic of this circuit. armed with more knowledge of what i was doing I realized half these components weren’t doing jack and i was just overdriving an unbiased op amp.

Be sure and check the full photo set on Flickr and listen to the sound samples below.

Sound Sample:  oregano_before, andoregano_after.