GhostTrain

 Sound examples (mp3):

  "glitching rhythms"
  "heavily glitching rhythms"
  "glitching rhythms with tones ending in breakdown"

 

Extended Learning Centre

This Early Learning Centre "Sing and Play" keybord is duophonic, has eight instrument sounds, eight rhythms and four drumpads that can be switched between playing drum sounds and starting "rap"-rhythms. The keyboard have a "Melody Guide" feature, where red LEDs under the white keys shows the notes to play, for 19 different songs. The songs can also be played with "one key play" or as demo songs. There is a simple sequencer that records and plays back what you play. Step increase/decrease buttons for volume and tempo. On the back side is a mini jack socket for a microphone.

Circuit bends:

Pitch/tempo potentiometer: Regulates the tempo/pitch. Especially with the organ and violin voices, the ELC is capable of some fat deep bass sounds, that when tuned even further down gets overlaid with harsh overtones and turns into a gritty digital wall-of-noise sound. Using the mandolin voice can give you a technoish two-note-arpeggiator effect.

As this potentiometer is changing the clockrate of the processor it also affects the scanning rate of the keyboard, which gets rather sloppy when the pich/tempo is set low.

LFO: A simple "555" LFO has been build into the instrument. Through a LED/LDR "DIY Vactrol" it modulates the pitch and tempo. As the LFO produces a squarewave, the effect is more like trills than vibrato. There are two potentiometers to control LFO speed and modulation depth. An on/off switch enables shifting in the modulation without a fade in.

Power throttle: This is a potentiometer that throttles the power going to the processor. When the voltage gets below at certain limit the processor becomes unstable, which results in glitching rhytms, random noises, drones and howls or burst of white noise. Within a narrow range of the potentiometers full range the intensity of the glitching can be varied, but turning it just a little further, will make it crash completely, and it then has to be restet by turning it off and on again. Where the "sweet point" of the potentiometer is depends on other settings as well, especially the pitch/tempo pot (it doesn't work at all when this is set low) but also if there is rhythm or not, playing through line out or speaker, how many notes are played and how fresh the batteries are.

Using a dial that is so sensitive and unpredictable in a live performace is rather difficult, and therefore there is a switch that lets you dial in a "safe" amount of glitch beforehand, and then switch between "straight" sound and glitching while performing. (how well this works depends on not changing the other settings too much, it is still a rather unstable effect to use).