December 2008

Dub Siren

This little monster is a Dub Siren I made for DJ DRM (Aaron Schultz) of Bastard Jazz Recordings. If you’re unfamiliar with what a dub siren is you might guess by its name that it sounds like a siren. There are many varieties and a good deal of folks make their own:


But the tying thread is that they are usually just square wave oscillators with minimal tone and a couple controls to vary the speed and pitch of the siren. Check the sound samples at the bottom of the page for an example of this one.

This dub siren revolves around a couple of 555 timers and has four main controls. A speed control which changes the speed of the siren, a pitch control which changes the, well, pitch of the siren. A range control which changes the siren’s range and lastly, a modulator which, when engaged, alters the smooth sweep of the siren to a more asymmetrical ambulance type siren. There are two LEDs: one that flashes in synch with the clock cycle so you can see the speed in the dark and another that oscillates gently when the momentary switch is engaged. Both RCA and ¼” jacks are available and the RCAs are only active when there is not a ¼” jack plugged in. This was to prevent ground noise from accidentally coming into the circuit by inadvertent contact with the jacks. Check the full build on Flickr by the link below.

More photos, comments, and the schematic can be found on Flickr here:


Sound Samples:

Dry, without Effects

Wet, with effects