DDDm2 [Full Meng Qi/Ciat Lonbarde Build]

from Tripping on Wires

DDDm2 is a MengQi PCB of a Peter B/Ciat-Lonbarde instrument (DinDatinDudero) and I acquired it through trading a Nobsrine PCB. It’s got 72 touch points which I’ve soldered to brass m3 bolts. Some of these points could have been wired internally but I decided to keep them all as touch contacts. It’s pretty noisy, plenty of hiss and crackle. You can get quite staccato weirdness out of it, and some pretty deep drones too. On the drones especially, you’ll notice that in/de-creasing touch pressure will shift the tone around a little so there’s some great performance dynamics in there. Oh and also fun is just sticking something conductive on top of the bolts like a metal pan scrubber etc.

The case is assembled purely out of OSB offcuts, with supporting rails for the top inside, and a strip of aluminium for the output jacks. It’s got two 3.5mm outputs. It’s not exactly stereo, more dual mono, with some independence between the two outputs, though obviously all the bolts cross modulate each other. It’s 9V battery powered only (wall power and touch interfaces are scary business) and the battery snap hangs outside of the body. Simply plug a battery in to turn it on, and disconnect to turn it off. There’s an LED in the top panel so you know if it’s on or not.

Finally, the top panel has been milled with a CNC cutter. I’m not convinced that CNC designs and OSB are the best match but this was useful experimentation. I tried a narrow and a wide cutter to compare, and preferred the finer and more subtle effect you see here.

I’ve been sporadically finishing stuff from the unfinished pile. I’ve also been trying to utilise a bunch of spare wood (leftover from building some storage for the studio). It’s mostly OSB/Chipboard so not the prettiest. Finally, I’ve also been using this as an opportunity to test and trial different approaches and ways of working - such as getting to grips with a CNC cutter. Pricing reflects these aspects, they’re a bit like prototypes and therefore a bit cheaper.

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Tripping on Wires Sheffield, UK

Tripping on Wires is a home for DIY Audio Electronics. Specialising in Contact Microphones, Miniature Vibration Speakers, and experimental circuit builds.

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