Built by Mike Walters, 2003

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Most definitely not a pretty museum piece... This is basically an old cassette player crossed with the circuit out of an old Realistic Reverb unit (the same kind everyone used to have when in their high school garage band). Come to think of it, both pieces were originally Realistic brand. I was going for realism. This was something I threw together fast for a gig when I opened up for Peter B's "Shinth" tour. I'm down right randy with the results of this machine. Here's how it works... First, I created some simple QBasic algorithms to control the beeps on my PC. I sent that direct audio to a tape deck, and recorded all those R2D2-like beeps (see the blue tape labeled "Beeps" in the picture). The tape is then played in the exposed cassette player. Using a jeweler's screwdriver in the motor coil of the tape player, I could wiggle it and ground it, causing the motor to go super fast or slow. I also wired a normally-closed push button switch on the motor to temporarily stop it on command. Audio was then sent into the reverb board. The reverb circuit itself is made to self oscillate in various ways, controlled by two potentiometers and a home made opto-coupler (LED flashes with circuit's current, and is coupled with a photo resistor by electrical tape which controls yet another oscillation). These found oscillations create new rhythmic phrases and modulate and reverberate the audio from the cassette tape. It went over really well at the gig! I considered a permanent casing other than the old Casio case it lives currently. Like a nice box where I could mount the controls. Peter suggested I keep it as is. I probably will to be honest. If anything, a good excuse to be lazy and not sell it :)