Monday, June 16, 2014

EPFM (Electronic Projects for musicians) Build notes and layouts

Here's a dump of layouts, pics and info about my EPFM modular build.  I didn't include any of the schematics in this post.  They are easy to find if you google them.  PDF versions of the EPFM book is easy to find too.  If you want to build these effect you'll need those resources.  The book has circuit descriptions and will make pot wiring easier.



Craig Anderton's Ring mod.  This ring mod sounds good.  It has a little bit of carrier wave bleed thru like most ring mods do.  Nothing too distracting thou.  I added a tone switch and a pitch switch to this circuit.  I think they were both suggested mods in the EPFM book.



Envelope switch connections


The super tone control is awesome!  A really useful and versatile tone circuit.  Three band control with frequency and resonance!  Very synth-like.  I goes from super low, boomy bass tones to whisper twinkly high tones, and everything in-between.  Prolly the best circuit of the lot.  I didn't have to make a layout for this one because tagboardeffects already has one made up.  I did remove the charge pump because I have a +/-9v supply running into it.



This phaser sounds pretty cool but I wouldn't call it lush or anything.  Compared to my Ross 8 stage phaser,  well, it doesn't compare.  It is capable of other interesting high resonant modulation type sounds though.  This is one of the more complex circuits to build.  It has the most parts and uses four vactrols or opto couplers.  It calls for CLM6000's in the book.  These are non existent these days.  Some people have luck building there own vactrols with LED's & Photocell's.  I bought some opto couplers from electronics goldmine.  You can buy them individually or get a lot of untested ones.  I went for the lot and hand picked ones with similar resistance values.  



This is the envelope follower circuit found near the back of the book.  This is like an add on that works in conjunction with the other effects.  This circuit also uses the opto couplers mentioned in the Phase shifter text.  If you go back and look at the pictures of the Tone control front panel , and the front panel of the Phase shifter, you'll see the envelope switches.  These switches activate the envelope for these effects.  When activated on the tone control it acts like an auto filter type effect.  On the Phaser it's suppose to add a swell type effect.  The envelope works great on the tone control and not so well with the Phaser.





This is the one effect that didn't come from the EPFM book but it is a Craig Anderton design.  I actually stripped down this circuit.  The tank I used has a long decay and a dark tone for a spring reverb.  The parts I removed seem to muffle the sound further.  The reverb still sounds kinda dark but in a neat way, I think.  


Some extra pics of the enclosure, reverb tank, and PSU.  The PSU is pretty much the MFOS wall wort PSU with 9v regulators.

Hope you enjoyed the pics and info.  


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  2. Repost...

    Beautiful, Beautiful! A huge Anderton fan here. I was so happy to find your work. I love your casings and artwork. It's very nice. I can send along several build pics if you are interested. Mine are stock stomper types. Not nearly as handsome as yours. All of my own ad hoc perf.

    #8 The Whisper Comp (this was Thomas Henry's take on the CA comp w/tone control, etc.)
    #9 Ring Mod with onboard #25 EF.
    #10 DFVU
    #13 Bipolar PS
    #15 Electronic Footswitch
    #17 STC
    #21 Phaser with onboard #25 EF
    #23 Talk Box with cheap driver
    #24 TSF
    #25 Stand alone EF

    On the board right now getting finishing build touches is the Hot Lyx Sustain. I'll be cutting a box within a day or two. Not EPFM but still an "Anderton".

    Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Jay,

      I missed this comment somehow. I'd love to see your builds!

      How does the talk box work?!

      Anderton is the Man. His projects got me hooked on DIY electronics :)

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  10. Hi
    Thanks for your beautiful project which inspired me to something like it myself. I don't want to take much of your time but could you send me the schematic of your super tone control and not the one on the perfboard you posted. The other ones are easy to follow but this one got my confused cause the pictures are a lil different from the layout. The Craig schematic didn't helped ether!!
    My mail is
    Thank you so much in advance

    1. Hi Rui,
      You probably have a power supply problem. The linked perf board uses a charge pump IC to make the +/- supply rails. I didn't need that part, so I took left that piece off. If you look at the picture the three pins on the top left are the power pins. Red is +9v, middle is Gound, and Black is -9v. The two black electrolytic caps near the top are smoothing caps tied between the supply rails and ground ( just like all the other boards). So make sure the pins 4 and 11 are getting the correct voltages.

      Also one other note: That white dot, with a blue ring around it, under the Opamp in the perf board picture is two links that connect at that point.

      Maybe that clears some things up for you. Let me know if you have more questions.

    2. Hi JS and thanks for your time!

      I've been out for some time and I couldn't thank you enought.
      The problem I got is that the linked layout never says nothing about +9v, -9v and ground (just +9v and ground right?). Was the -9v created byt the removed IC2? The top caps are 10uf and 47uf right? That's why I asked for the schematic!
      Sorry about this newbies questions but I'm willing to learn!

  11. Hi JS
    Sorry to bother you again but on the envelope follower circuit you have a resistor that doesnt show up on the layout, near that 47uf cap. What is the value of that resistor?

    Thanks again man!!

    1. No Worries :)

      Good catch! I had to go back to the schematic to figure that one out. The missing resister is R8. A 22K resistor that ties R9 and R10 to ground. Hope that helps.

      I corrected the layout for you too.

  12. Hi again JS

    I'm here again to bother you a lil more!
    I got the Supertone Control ready but I need you to map something for me. I've read the Craigs book, Super Tone connection notes and watched the pics yoou posted a lot of times. I got to know that Craig says to basically disconnect the Frequency dual gang pot to make it work in tandem with the STControl. I see the switch to activate the Follower and the pins on the STControl switch to connect the cables coming from the Follower (still wit me?).. The pads D,E, J and K are linked to the Follower through the STControl switch, which (and this is one of my doubts) bypasses the Frequency pot, right? So, if the Follower is not active, its reconnecting this dual gang pot to its pads? But how with this DPDT switch? Could you map me the connections? Everything else I got right, but this one is making me crazy!! This must be a newb question, but thats what I am!
    Again, thanks for your work and your music samples! Yeah, I already heard some of your music!

  13. Hey man,

    The envelope follower hookups are not documented clearly in the EPFM book. It's also probably the most confusing thing about this build. So don't feel bad. I had to go back and look at my setup to figure out how I wired everything up.
    I think I actually wired it differently then the book recommends. Your right in that the book says your basically bypassing the Freq pot with the EF. I actually put the EF in parallel with the Freq pot. So with the envelope switch engaged the Frequency pot still works to tweak the envelope range. I don't know if this is better or worse but seems to work pretty well. It might have also been the only way I could get the thing to work with a DPDT switch.

    So here's how my switch is wired up:
    The top two connections of the switch go to terminals 3 of the dual gang Freq pot (R16A and R16B). the middle two connections of the switch go to High pass terminal 3 (R9) and terminal 3 of the Resonance pot (R17 this pot is also tied to terminal 3 of the bandpass pot).

    Still with me :)

    the bottom two connection of the DPDT switch are solders to two terminal pin pairs (4 pins total ). these four pins go to the envelope follower. they just need to be paired correctly. the wires soldered to the outsides of the four pins return to pads D and E

    Let me know if any of that makes sense haha. I'll upload a closeup of the switch to help you out.

  14. I must confess Im not used to this kind of fast, detailled and helpful response to my questions!! I have little words to express my huge greatfulness! So Ill just say thank you soo much!! When I get home Ill try it out!! (Still with me? lolol).
    Thank you again Js. I wonder if you have more music of yours to entertain my ears!! Youtube?

    1. hehe,

      Your questions seem to motivate me to dig out my old projects and play with them again.

      I'm not very proactive about releasing music on the other hand. I've been meaning to put out an album on bandcamp for a while now ( like over a year ).

  15. Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a very superb website.
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  16. Hello, I'm interested in building the Center Stage Reverb as a standalone guitar effect, and your vero layout is very elegant. Will your circuit take an instrument-level input (i.e., can I use it as a guitar effect)?

    Also, for the power supply, I want to power it from a 9V center negative input. I was thinking of using this voltage inverter circuit:

    Would it be fine to run the DC in directly to the +9 line and the -9 from the inverter to the -9 line on your layout? Also, where would the grounds from the inverter end up going?

    Thank you for considering these quesitons.

  17. I don't know if you still check this, but should there be a problem running the Anderton reverb circuit on +/-15v?