Building the Cosmophone

Last night I finally completed the building of my lo-fi electronic instrument! It took a lot longer than I hoped, but the feeling of satisfaction was immense.

I had a rough idea of what it was going to sound like, but was (pleasantly) surprised at how glitchy and noisy it has turned out! I suspect this to be down to my fairly idiosyncratic soldering, and the inclusion of a ‘power-starve’ control. I was conscious of having misjudged some of the wire lengths when working out where to position each pair of switch and pot, but it turns out that one group(mixed by diodes) of three oscillators are fairly haphazard in their control anyway, which (for me) negates the issue of having two switches aligned with the wrong pot.

In the absence of a decent drill, I used my girlfriend’s Dremel tool to machine the housing case. This was difficult as I chose to use very small switches with a casing that had a good 6/7mm thickness. I got around it with a bit of haphazard drilling which has mostly been covered by the mounting nuts (is that what they are called?).

Anyway… here are some photos of the instrument at various stages
of building. I will make some audio clips available shortly!

Cosmophone (1)

Cosmophone (11)

Cosmophone (12)

Cosmophone (9)

Cosmophone (18)

New project.

Hopefully I’ll do some work towards building my home-made electronic instrument tonight. My soldering skills are rather poor, so maybe I’ll just do some soldering practice. I really don’t want to screw up any of the components I’ve obtained by bad soldering. I’m wondering what I should call it, but seem only to be able to come up with fairly boring ideas… like The Drone Box… I’d really appreciate any ideas you may have – feel free to post your thoughts.

It will contain 6 oscillators, separated into two groups of three. Each will have a pitch control pot and an on/off switch. One group of three will be mixed to one audio out using resistors to retain clarity of each oscillator, and the other three will be mixed to a second audio out using diode’s to get weird signal-addition effects. Lastly, I’m thinking of putting a low-power control to squeeze some freaky sound out of it.

I’m really quite nervous about the soldering, and how I’m going to house the circuit. I guess it’s natural, what with this being my first project, but I really don’t want to damage anything and have to start from scratch.

I plan to post photos of my progress along with any associated audio.

Mono catastrophe!

As some listeners have already noted, some of the recordings I have posted up on my ‘binaural’ diary are actually mono rather than binaural stereo.

This was not done on purpose! But thankfully I have managed to get to the bottom of the problem and it should not occur again. Sadly I still have a set of recordings that will appear shortly that were subject to this problem, and the corresponding minidiscs have been wiped – stopping me from salvaging the original binaural versions.

I’ve edited my previous posts to indicate where a recording is in mono rather than binaural stereo. Please accept my apologies for this oversight. Many thanks to those who alerted me!

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