Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Black Arts Toneworks Fnord

One for you glitchy octavey fuzz fans.  Info about the original:

The Fnord is a octaver / fuzz type circuit with some twists. It blends a scrambler / octaver type fuzz with a more traditional fuzz / distortion. From zipper/Velcro tones to a full throated distortion, or a combination of the two. Add a sizzle to your leads, make a rhythm sound that harkens back to the days of screwdriver modified speakers, or a tight lightly gated distortion. If you can’t read between the lines, Fnord!






48 comments:

  1. I think we have ourselves another Tim Escobedo ripoff! Check out his Digital Octave Fuzz.... looks awfully similar.

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    1. Well spotted, absolutely bang on as far as I'm concerned.

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    2. MPSA13 on the front end for a bit more heat, and rail decoupling I think are the only differences.
      I've never actually heard the original Escobedo circuit, but this sounds really really cool!

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  2. CD4070? Isn't that an XOR logic gate?????

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  3. Hey Mark, the diode switch is present on the original?

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    1. Will have to order some 4070, shit, I really hate when want to build an effect and I lack some component, and this is not available at my local store...... in three weeks I'll test it :P

      J.

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    2. It was in the schematic mate, (although it was only a SPST) but despite all the ground connections around the IC I was still getting pissed off trying to sneak more components in to ground so just added a DPDT to make things easier for me! :o)

      The board shows switch pads that are linked so it may be a permanent state in the original. But having something like that switchable may always be more useful, I'm sure we'll find out soon :o)

      http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh218/reverse_engineer/c0ec3b8c.jpg

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  4. Some people whio uses the original suggest to drive a bit more the input, to better decay on high notes and sustain. Any simple mod to improve the input directly on the circuit?

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  5. Yeah this is based on the Escobedo circuit, and they weren't secretive about it when they told us it was coming out. I had the logic fuzz built by culturejam before I started building pedals and it was really cool

    One knob didn't do anything except at the two far extremes of the sweep but one side was a bit woofier and one was more lasery

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  6. I think culturejam worked with BAT on the development of this and he's fond of Escobedo

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  7. It works, but the output is very low, and when you manipulate the fnord knob, it gets even lower. Not sure if that's the wa it should work.

    J.

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    1. Don't think so mate. I transposed the pins over because in the schematic I have the pins used were on the left side which obviously made it awkward for the Fnord pot wires. So I used the right hand channels instead and I'm fairly sure I got them right but I'll check it over.

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    2. I've been checking it with the audio probe. The signal gets to the cmos input loud and clear, but gets out very weaky and low on pins 10 and 11 (outputs), so the poroblem is on the cmos, chip itself or wiring.

      I'll try a new chip (just have two, so no many options :P)

      J.

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    3. And works the same with the other chip. I'm afraid, that as with some other effects that use this kind of cmos chips, the exact model is mandatory, and I've jut seen that my ics are HEF4070BP and the one that appears on the pic published by Mark is a CD4070BE. I've just ordered a few (Tayda), even thought I can see no difference checking the datasheets.

      J.

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    4. Thanks for the info mate, I think I'll put it on hold while we wait.

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    5. Oh, fuck it!, I was ready to throw this board to the "shit bag" when I played a really hard pickin power chord...... and the sound at proper volume appeared!

      So te problem is that the effect is extremely GATED, you need to play with a hammer instead of a pick.

      So, it has shown me a new direction: the darlington. I used a BC547C, and it sounds as it should.

      Very gated effect, maybe more than in the video but we have to take in mind that it shows no long notes at all. I bet that now is just a matter of tweaking. Have to try win 2n5088. I've used 2n39804 with very similar results to the bc547.

      So, I think you can tag it, warning that the MPSA13 is useless here.

      J.

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    6. Awesome thanks mate, I'll tag it

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    7. Hi Mark!
      Where have you found the schematic? I've checked Escobedo's Digital Octave Fuzz and it's pretty much the same except the transistor. He used 2N5088, so like Javi I think darlington here gates as hell.

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    8. The schematic was donated anonymously and I was asked not to publish it. But yes it is extremely close to the DOF.

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  8. Hi! I built this circuit but the output is below unity even at max volume, is there anything I can add to the circuit to boost it?

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    1. What transistors did you use?

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    2. Tried a whole bunch, this was with a 5088

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    3. Something's gotta be wrong somewhere, I'm going to replace the caps and poke around. I'll report back. Thanks for all your work man, I'm a big fan

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    4. I've spent all night on, still not sure what caused the volume drop but it's gone, must have been a stray filament. Anyway, I found that a BC118 sounds really cool in this

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  9. Hey!
    I built this one tonight. Awesome circuit! Also got the gate problem with the MPSA13. I tried all my npn transistors and liked the BC550c the best. I also changed the cap at the input to a 330n for a bit more body. It really screams and sounds nice and heavy :D
    Gonna play with the diodes later on. Got a big volume drop when I switch them on. I used 4148 tho, cause I was out of 914. Could that be the reason for the volume drop?

    Anyway, nice and simple circuit. Was fun to built.

    Great work lvlark. (on all those vero's you share)
    Cheers!

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    1. With the diodes switched into circuit you'll always get a volume drop because the signal is being limited with some dumped to ground. The 1N4148 and 1N914 are essentially the same diode so the results should be the same.

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    2. Try leds for more volume but slightly less clipping.
      Cheers
      Dave

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    3. Off course.That sounds obvious now you've explained Mark. Thanks!
      And thank you for the led tip Dave. Definitely Gonna mess around with some leds:)

      Cheers guys!

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  10. Tried a few NPN I had and settled for a BC549. I might try to tweak it changing LEDs and input cap, but it sounds already really nice! thanks for the layout!

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  11. just built this one today. I used a DPDT on/off/on for the diode switch (two 1n4148's / none / two red leds) and it has a ton of output on al three modes. i'm using a 2N5089 for the transistor and it sounds awesome.

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  12. curious to hear how it sounds with those subs, john! here's how mine sounds with a rickenbacker 4004 (drop A tuning...), straight to soundcard, though:

    https://soundcloud.com/cylens/fnord-bass

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    1. mine sounds pretty close to yours. here's how mine sounds with a P bass thru an amp (genz benz ST900/215 cab recorded on a Zoom H4n).

      http://soundcloud.com/johnk_10/fnord

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    2. Great! I really like it on bass, I'm not sure I tried a 2N5089, will try it for sure. Did you change a cap? It seems OK with stock values, for me.

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  13. So this will be the first pedal I am going to try and build. I had a question on your DPDT and the two diodes. Is this still the DPDT footswitch and not an extra toggle? And are you just adding these two diodes, both soldered into 1 & 4 respectively, directly to the DPDT?

    A picture would be suuuper helpful if you have time. ;)


    Thanks!

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  15. hi! just built this one but i am having the volume drop problem :( i used 5088,89 ,mpsa13 and still the volume drops dont know what to do ? This is my 20 pedal from here and the first one i am having problem! Great work lvlark.

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  16. just built a second one the same thing happened :(

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    1. You're going to just have to try a selection of different transistors in there. I just think this is one of those awkward builds that takes too much tweaking to get right.

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    2. Ok thanks Mark, the 3904 is ok but is gated on every note after 12th fret. Is there any other fuzz that I can build that is similar to this one?

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  17. Very odd this one. I added a socket for the transistor, and have tried a lot of the successful ones here (2n5089, MPSA13, 2n3904), but the volume seems to drop after about 10 minutes of playing. Any clues? I checked the solder joints, etc. and all looks good.

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  18. would changing the two 10k resistors at the emitter and collector with trimpots,do any good?

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  19. So, eventually, I did it , the MPSA13, does not work at all in this project, any other transistor is fine. Mine worked only with certain values on the emitter and collector , so i highly suggest that you put trimpots in!
    http://hgecontraptions.blogspot.ro/2014/09/black-arts-toneworks-fnord-fuzz-clone.html

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  20. With the MPSA13 I had some sound. It acted like an attack envelope Soft attack that swelled to normal then soft fade. It was kind of fun to play with but not to keep. I tossed in a 2N5089 and it sprung to life and had great sustain. The gating only occurred at nearly zero input but remained silent until played. I think this is a keeper even though I only built it out of boredom.
    Thanks guys

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  21. I have worked with Tim Escobedo's Digital Octave Fuzz before and have a design based on it. A few tips and comments to share. It will always gate. that is the nature of the octave portion of the circuit. The first XOR acts as a comparator and will square your signal up. The fact is unless your signal is over a certain threshold it will not flip the logic gate to TRUE. XOR gates are TRUE only when both signals are DIFFERENT. So if your signal is lower voltage coming in it will not trigger the gate until it swings high enough. The second gate is the octaver and the final pot acts as a blend between the straight square wave and the output of the octave.One thing to note is the first XOR can control the phase. one input is fedd the signal and the other is tied to ground. You can tie that second input positive ( pin13 in this circuit) instead and get a flipped phase. if you want less gating feed it a hotter signal and if you want more feed it less. Roll your guitar volume back for pure nasty glitch. Single coils on neck pickup will improve the octave. For contrast here is a different design around the octave portion.

    http://youtu.be/gXNY3v_v_cw

    http://youtu.be/wNIXs_Xj2mM

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  22. Just played around a while with this circuit.

    1: As discussed above - ditch the Darlington. Any basic NPN will work fine.2N5088 for instance.
    2: Swap the 10K from emitter to ground for 1K5.

    It sure does gate, but with those two changes it's actually pretty usable.
    +m

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  23. I have one question about DPDT switch with diodes, in advance sorry for my English.
    The wire called "silence 3" from board goes to pot and then to DPDT? I connected it this way but I can't hear any difference, so I think something went wrong. :D

    I used BC547/549 - 549 has much more bite!

    Thank You for this site, it's my second project from "tagboardeffects" and second awesome.

    Happy Easter!

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