9. Mar 4th-10th: More hard-to-soft transitions and new circuits#

New sounds#

I really want my synth to have some more interesting sounds than plain old square waves, so this week I went back to the breadboard, to build a couple of extra circuits that I hope to include

Electronics Plan#

My plan now is to use the 40106 oscillator:

Then I still need to figure out how to add high/low pass filtering and a sequencer module, if I get that far.

Design Plan#

After considering many different options, I want to make sure that my designs are as close as possible to zero waste. This means using squares, rectangular strips of fabric, and grids with straight line slots, as much as possible. Any other shapes should be able to tessellate within a square, if that makes sense. Hexagons would be great, but they’ll result in waste fabric scraps.

Laser cutting more grids#

I cut some more grids (of different types) out of rubber fabric and two colours of fake leather. The settings I used are documented in the MAKE section of my final documentation

I need to make the grids larger! With more empty space around the edges, because I’ll need to add snaps, or other connectors, so that the modules can connect together.

Engraving circuit diagrams on the back#

I decided I’d also like to have the underside of each module show:

(Update: I never got around to this but I still think it’s a nice idea)

Soft circuits#


I built a prototype soft amp module:

amp prototype

It worked ok, but I decided that the jack socket really needed to be soldered to a few pieces of wire rather than just sewn in, to make it more secure.

XOR breakout#

I also stitched a breakout for an XOR module, which looked like this:


But I didn’t get as far as actually testing it.

(Update: this module was cut because I didn’t have enough time to finish it, but it would be nice to try again in the future)

More soft potentiometers#

This week I also tested a new design for a potentiometer. The image below shows a very rough prototype. A strip of conductive fabric is placed on top of a piece of non-conductive fabric, secured at one end, and held loosely in place in the middle and other end by fabric loops. By pulling the unsecured end of the strip, you reduce the amount of conductive fabric that’s between point A and point B - it should work as a variable resistor!