The internet can surely be a treasure trove of the weird and wonderful, a museum for the strange and the genius. In the world of gear, the net creates an open source environment for tech heads and circuit benders to share their crazy and brilliant experiments. A case example is a pedal builder by the name of Wraa Defects, who has recently showcased a very unique lo-fi looper, built with a chip sourced from an answering machine.
A U.K. pedal builder called Wraa Defects has created a lo-fi looper with a chip sourced from an answering machine. Man does this thing sound wild.
Wraa Defects isn’t new to sound experiments. A short visit to his website shows a fine array of strange circuits and whacky experiments, but what’s awesome is that he’s provided circuit board diagrams for anyone wanting to replicate his designs (the glitchwave fuzz is also killer).
The Lo-Fi looper is one of his recent creations. It employs an ISD chip, which usually has a home in single-chip voice records and playback devices, great for 16-20 seconds of sound reproduction. It sounds like a bit of a strange idea, but as Wraa Defects mentions, other pedal manufacturers have made use of these chips in the past, namely Z_VEX’s LoFi Loop Junky and Tone God’s Payback.
So with a bit of tweaking, he found he was able to squeeze some unusual but very unique sounds out of the thing. “Like any curious circuit bender, the first thing I tried was reducing the 5v to the ISD chip. This lowers the pitch & tempo of the loop being played back, but if you push it far enough the sample rate drops to audible frequencies and you get sweet-to-vapourised bitcrushed sounds.”
Have a listen to how this thing sounds below, or check out the circuit board here if you’d like to have a crack yourself.