Bastard Jazz

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

DJ Paul Digs Fuzz


This is my second design from scratch that I put together for DJ Paul Diggs. He mentioned to me he wanted to add some fuzz to his Fender Rhodes and this seemed like a great chance to take a stab at an original design. Well, almost original. The distortion circuit is a portion of a larger circuit which I found on the web but unfortunately did not document. The remainder however, the sweepable low pass filter and second tone control I added in myself. Overall this is a pretty versatile sounding fuzz box with a pretty wide range of tones. It utilizes diode clipping so it still can be a little harsh although with the filter and clean/dirty mix you it can be tweaked for a nice sound. This is hopefully only the first version, I’ll be working with Paul to refine the tone and the layout to hopefully make this a perfect compliment to his Rhodes and bring about the sounds of classic rock years gone by like those from Joe Zawinul and the likes of Weather Report… though that’s just my taste, I’d bet it will end up a bit different.

This time I actually took notes and threw together a schematic. I’m hardly an engineer and my understanding of analog circuits is elementary so I welcome suggestions and criticisms from anyone familiar with these types of things. As with the other projects you can see detailed photos on the build at Flickr.

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

Paul’s Fuzz

Sound Samples:

Unfortunately I neglected to sample this box before popping it in the mail. Version II will definitely have samples. That will be better anyway.  Incedentally I’ve repalced this fuzz with a better one.. the Big Muff Mod.

Sackett Street Stitches

The Endless Winter EP

This is a track from Master Mosquitto (Aaron Schultz, Jed Elijah Mowshowitz, and David Langolf, with guitars by Jamie Roberts) put out on Bastard Jazz records back in 2004.  From Bastard Jazz: a melancholy beat driven downtempo joint – heavily layered with droning synths, delayed percussion, and distorted guitar mumblings intersecting with emotive and pastoral post-rock loops.

This one is a few years old but it still puts a smile on my face.

The MP3 is Available through iTunes. For more information check out Bastard Jazz