Ciat-Lonbarde Lil Sidrassi

The Lil Sidrassi is a paper circuit designed by Peter Blasser.  It has pretty good instructions.

Lil Sidrassi was made into a PC board by Dennis Vershoor.  The circuit consists of five transistor oscillators, each running at a fixed pitch, as determined by the ‘hairy’ capacitor.  The oscillators modulate each other, going around the ring.  I added a three-position toggle switch to each circuit, so each one can operate at one of three pitches.  The center position (off) uses only the on-board capacitor.  I chose 10nf caps (103) for all the on-board caps, and 33nf for one of the positions on each switch.  The other five are 47, 100, 220, 330, and 470 nanofarad.  I picked these without listening first, with the result that the pitches came out relatively low.  I may change some of these values to get higher pitches and less uniformity.

Assembly

I sandwiched the board between two 4×5 inch pieces of plexiglass.

The top piece holds the nodes and switches, plus the audio output jack.

Here it is together.
Two nodes in each circuit are brought out for touching.  I found some brass screws, washers and nuts, situating them in a pentagonal shape surrounding a central node for the output.  The five nodes closer to the output node are the oscillator outs; the farther nodes are inputs for glitch modulation.  It all operates by touch.  The output circuit is only a 2N3819 FET.  To my amazement I found an old 3819 in my parts bin, its leads heavily oxidized after lying there for more than thirty years. It cleaned up and worked! The board supports an LM386 chip for driving a small speaker, but I took the output straight from the FET to a jack for plugging into an external amplifier.

For this demo, I passed the signal though the Synthesis Technology E580 Mini-delay module.  The player brings out sounds by touching the nodes.  Multiple outputs can mix to the output and some pitch bending is possible.  Toggles go into lower, and even sub-audio frequencies.

And here’s me, performing it.  This is after I changed eight capacitors to get more pitches.

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