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New Oakley rack module: ADR30
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Author New Oakley rack module: ADR30
Synthbuilder
Preliminary news: First run of boards here and currently under test.

The Oakley Sound Systems ADR30 is an analogue delay module that processes audio signals to create echo and chorus effects. It uses two Xvive MN3005 bucket brigade delay (BBD) integrated circuits to produce a very distinct 'vintage' sound. Classic companding noise reduction circuitry further adds to the sonic characteristics.

Delay time is controlled by a single control on the front panel as well as a built in low frequency modulation oscillator and/or an external control voltage. With short delay times using the modulation oscillator can create both subtle and deep chorus effects. A front panel switch controls whether the signal runs through one or both MN3005 devices. Anti-aliasing filtering is achieved by two 6-pole discrete switched capacitor low pass filters that track the delay time, reducing audio bandwidth depending on the delay time so that short delays remain reasonably bright sounding.

The unit is mono but features separate outputs for the wet/dry signal and the delayed signal. The audio input and outputs are balanced but are compatible with non balanced connections. A two LED level meter helps you keep signal levels at optimum ensuring a respectable signal to noise ratio without clipping. The unit will not be damaged by driving the unit into overdrive and interesting sounds can be obtained by deliberately doing so, either by turning up the input level or by allowing the feedback to build up to self oscillation.

Although the unit does feature noise reduction circuitry the delay line devices are inherently noisy and have a very restricted bandwidth. The signal will deteriorate in an interesting manner as the delay time is increased and/or feedback is heavily applied.

The unit can be built into a 1U high full width 19” rack. It uses no obsolete parts.

The ADR30 PCB is 198mm wide and 153mm deep and is a four layer design using only through hole components. It is expected that the project be used in a standard 1U high 19” rack.

An optional input/output board, the SREIO, is available to go with the ADR30 main board. This features space for three Switchcraft 114BPCX and one 112APCX socket and has a relay controlled muting circuit to reduce thumps on the audio outputs when the power supply is switched on and off.

The power to the unit should be a regulated split supply of +/-15V. Power is admitted onto the main circuit board via a five way 0.156” (2.96mm) header of MTA or KK type. Power consumption is +80mA and -50mA at +/-15V. An optional power supply module has been created for the ADR30 called the RPSU. This is designed to be run from an external 500mA 15V AC output mains adapter. However, an internal mains transformer can be used with the RPSU if you have sufficient knowledge on how to install one safely. The RPSU PCB is 150mm x 51mm.
Synthbuilder
It might sort of, maybe, sound a bit like this:



It's not the same circuit but it shares some similarities.
Paradigm X
wowzers

are the audio/cv sockets on the back? front (as well) ? based on a 198mm width i guess you could squeeze them on the front?

i need to catch up with your new stuff !
Synthbuilder
Paradigm X wrote:
are the audio/cv sockets on the back? front (as well) ? based on a 198mm width i guess you could squeeze them on the front?

The PCB is half rack sized similar to the old HVM, TM3030 and SE330. So you could certainly fit into a standard rack and have all the IO on the front.

Ultimately, it's up to the builder to find a case that works for them. I'm thinking about making my one in a standalone case that will sit on top of my modular.

The delay parts may end up as a dedicated 5U module but I'm not sure yet how to get it all to fit unless I go to a double width module. And that then raises the interesting question of MOTM or MU format as MOTM format doesn't always work when stretched to the wider MU size. Either way it won't be a for a while. The main reason for doing the ADR30 was to test the circuitry for the effects section of the Mysterious Audio Plaything.

Tony
Paradigm X
great. perfect in fact! much as i love the filtrex, having the i/o on the back is a bit of a pain when racked. understandable for that. but front i/o would be great for me.

can you power it from a modular PSU like the filtrex? and support the pcb on a large panel (i.e. not a full case?) that would be ideal i think.

ive really got to sort out a couple of things but might well jump on this next, when its ready.

edit, i see its similar to a dc30, i had the boss version, was excellent, sold it when i bought your laney, an oakley version would be superb!

edit 2 - a tm3030 with a built in delay might also be superb idea...

cheers all the best
Ben
Synthbuilder
Paradigm X wrote:
great. perfect in fact! much as i love the filtrex, having the i/o on the back is a bit of a pain when racked. understandable for that. but front i/o would be great for me.

I have a patch bay in my rack. They're great for bringing rear mounted IO to the front of the rack. I have the Samson one which seems to be a good balance between price and quality.

Quote:
can you power it from a modular PSU like the filtrex? and support the pcb on a large panel (i.e. not a full case?) that would be ideal i think.


Yes, it can be powered from a standard MOTM power socket. The PCB has a fifth pin on the power header that should be taken to 0V but this can be done on the PCB with a wire link if needs be. Power consumption is not as high as mentioned in the post above, it's actually closer to +80mA and -50mA.

I think the board will be supported well enough just with the pot brackets. I always recommend putting audio projects in metal cases though - it keeps extraneous electrical signals out and prevents the noisy BBD clock signals from affecting other things.

Quote:
i see its similar to a dc30, i had the boss version, was excellent, sold it when i bought your laney, an oakley version would be superb!


It's not a clone as such but there's some shared DNA as it were. Did you prefer the Laney over the DM-300?

Unfortunately, Banzai were really slack on shipping my order of pots so I have still yet to finish testing. Hopefully, they'll arrive on Saturday and I can make the PCB available in the next week or so.

Tony
Paradigm X
i couldn't tell much difference between the laney and the boss tbh (in a good way - the laney was an excellent alternative to the boss, at half the price!). they both sound excellent. i only had the little boss one tho without cv control.

a cvable 1u rack version would be great. the laney is unnecessarily huge.

look forward to this.

w00t
Leverkusen
Synthbuilder wrote:

The delay parts may end up as a dedicated 5U module but I'm not sure yet how to get it all to fit unless I go to a double width module. And that then raises the interesting question of MOTM or MU format as MOTM format doesn't always work when stretched to the wider MU size. Either way it won't be a for a while. The main reason for doing the ADR30 was to test the circuitry for the effects section of the Mysterious Audio Plaything.

Tony


While I am looking forward to learn more about the Mysterious Audio Plaything, without seeing me as part of the target group there, I would love to see this as a 5U PCB cause there are not many analogue delays in 5U (only Blacet and MFOS come to my mind) and I am so contented with all the modules I built from you.

I wonder what you have in mind that would be hard to fit in 1U? I like your filter core concept very much and would think that the Flanger layout should work as a dedicated delay too. I could even see me using an external mixer if I wanted feedback processing (which I do not that often, esp. with a BBD).

But I am still looking forward to see the rack unit evolve. Not sure if I find a place for a stand alone box on top of my modular but a Dual Delay in 19" could be a something.
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
I wonder what you have in mind that would be hard to fit in 1U? I like your filter core concept very much and would think that the Flanger layout should work as a dedicated delay too.


Sadly it's not the front panel that's the problem. It's the amount of circuitry behind the panel. For the flanger/chorus I had to go surface mount to get it to fit but the delay is more complex, so even in surface mount it will be a challenge to make the PCB less than 120mm deep.

I'm still tempted but sales for all of my DIY 5U modules have slowed considerably these last few years. Perhaps a dedicated double width MU version with more functionality may do better.

Tony
Leverkusen
I see - that's a pity. I don't understand why not everybody builds your modules. They sound great are well designed and relatively easy to build. Even the Flanger was okay as my first bigger SMD project. Maybe it's the MOTM layout that seems to be less popular nowadays? Or some serious youtube presence might convince people. A Flanger might be a bit special but I am sure everyone with an Oakley modular would built a delay.
Synthbuilder
Some photos of the prototype board.







I will be able to take orders for boards from the 16th April and boards will start to ship soon after that.

The project web page is here:

http://www.oakleysound.com/ADR30.htm

Documentation and sound samples will appear over the next week or so.

Tony
Leverkusen
I see the boards ready to order now. It's peanut butter jelly time!

May I ask a few questions?

1. Will it be possible to build two of them into one 19" unit? Perhaps with enough spare space for a switch to chain them, have both operating in parallel or indepently (hm, might need two switches without extra circuitry)?

2. The ADR and the SRE can both be powered from a standard MOTM-style PSU, right?

3. Am I right to assume the controls on the panel are like this?

Input Level - Delay Time - Feedback - Range switch - LFO Rate - Modulation Depth - CV Level - Dry/Wet
(not sure about the CL Level, just guessing here - external CV / LFO crossfading would be fantastic...)

4. Is it possible to mod CV over Feedback into the PCB/circuit

I am really looking forward to listen to sound examples...
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
I see the boards ready to order now. It's peanut butter jelly time!

Only for the brave that want to order a board without the Builder's Guide. The guide should be ready in the next few days.

Quote:
Will it be possible to build two of them into one 19" unit? Perhaps with enough spare space for a switch to chain them, have both operating in parallel or indepently (hm, might need two switches without extra circuitry)?

Yes, they should fit side by side. You'd have to connect both sets of power leads into the same header of the RPSU power supply.

As for series and parallel operation - that could be done but there is nothing on the board to support that so any switching would have to be done external the board with DPDT switches.

Quote:
The ADR and the SRE can both be powered from a standard MOTM-style PSU, right?

Yes. However, there is a fifth pin, pin 5, of the power header on both the ADR30 and SRE330 that connects the metal parts of the front panel pots and switches to 0V. This can be connected to pin 3 with a short wire link on the PCB or taken directly back to 0V on the power supply.

Quote:
Am I right to assume the controls on the panel are like this?

It's input level, delay time, feedback, LFO rate, LFO depth, dry/wet and output level.

Quote:
Is it possible to mod CV over Feedback into the PCB/circuit

CV control over feedback level is not supported natively. The unit has a wet only output which could be controlled by an external VCA whose output could be then mixed in with the input signal.

Tony
Synthbuilder


A simple render of the front panel layout. The FPD file is on the project webpage for downloading.

I've just ordered what I think will make a nice enough case for this as a stand alone project. 19" rack cases can be useful but not everyone has the space for a rack cabinet nor can afford these more expensive enclosures for their projects. So I'm going to try to build this one in a cheaper case as an example and see what happens.

This is what I've ordered - which was less than twenty pounds:



RS Part number 373-2306. It may or may not work. I'll update this thread as I have news.

Tony
Leverkusen
The panel looks clean and nice! Looking at it I am not so sure anymore if squeezing in frontpanel switches would really be more comfortable than patching the dual delay modes with just two more cables.

I love analogue delay sounds and am looking forward to see a build one! Though I have not much space to put single units on and would rather build something I could put into a 19" or 5U rack, I can see them be a nice option for people who use it with other desktop devices.

I wonder if enough jacks for a module would fit onto the panel when I ditch the input and output level controls - is the input level essential or could one replace it with a fixed resistor for modular only use? I suppose I would loose the saturation effect then or have it always on and with the need to use an attenuator for cleaner delays.

Also what is the delay time range by the way?
Synthbuilder
Leverkusen wrote:
The panel looks clean and nice!

Thank you. It'll nicely fit into a 19" rack though on its own. I'm thinking about doing some more half rack projects at a later stage. I may even bring back the HVM as a few people have requested this board.

One of the benefits of half rack projects is the size of the PCBs. They can safely fit into a 'large letter' package which keeps the postage costs low and reduces damage and loss.

Quote:
I wonder if enough jacks for a module would fit onto the panel when I ditch the input and output level controls - is the input level essential or could one replace it with a fixed resistor for modular only use?

Input level is useful as BBD delays have a small signal operating range before they clip or get too noisy. Letting the ADR30 clip is an interesting effect though.

The PCB is just too wide to fit vertically into a 5U module. If you have a wooden case with wooden rails it may just fit - although I am slightly uncomfortable with mounting any BBD circuitry in an open box simply because of the large amount of high frequency signals they spew out.

Quote:
Also what is the delay time range by the way?

Whoops, I thought I had mentioned that. I'll add it to the webpage. It's 15ms to 300ms with one stage, and 30ms to 600ms with both stages. External CV can push this a little further but not much.

Tony
Synthbuilder
Preliminary version of the Builder's Guide is now available on the project webpage. I'll be updating the document as progress continues with my own prototype so I can add any suitable pictures of the finished build. I don't expect any of the parts lists to change.

Direct link: http://www.oakleysound.com/ADR30-BG1.pdf

Now if only Parcel Force would deliver my case I'll be able to get it finished...

Tony
Synthbuilder
Well my case finally arrived. All the way from Japan no less... which is why it took longer than expected. I'll get the photos up sometime in the next day or so, but in the mean time you can have a listen to some sound samples I did today of the prototype and just uploaded to the project webpage:

http://www.oakleysound.com/ADR30.htm

They show the more freaky side of the unit.

Tony
Paradigm X
coool! will listen later.

Curious how you generate the fpd, is it from the pcb file? as in getting the right spacing? Im in no rush, but it would be ideal if you could also produce an fpd for the rear panel, as i think ill make one with the sockets on the front in a full 1u rack.

but it will take me a long time to get to this so really dont go out of your way.

that case looks rather nice too. would a tm3030 fit in as well do you reckon?

cheers
thumbs up
Leverkusen
Tony, those examples do sound beautiful to me!

I am really impressed how it sounds so very clear and clean on one hand while having the BBD sound and decay. Also the distortion on runaway feedbacks is just right.

love
Synthbuilder
Paradigm X wrote:
Curious how you generate the fpd, is it from the pcb file?

In this case the panel came first. But I'm using my usual pot spacing for the half rack projects so I know it works well enough. It's an imperial grid as for my PCBs I tend to work in 0.025" grids.

Quote:
but it would be ideal if you could also produce an fpd for the rear panel.

I generally only ever do a fpd design if I know I'm going to order one and test it myself. It's so easy to cock up without realising it and I don't want to put a design up there that hasn't been tested.

Quote:
that case looks rather nice too. would a tm3030 fit in as well do you reckon?

Easily. The TM3030 is a smaller PCB - less deep - and you don't need the power supply so you may even be able to use one of the smaller Takachi boxes.

Tony
Paradigm X
Synthbuilder wrote:
Paradigm X wrote:
Curious how you generate the fpd, is it from the pcb file?

In this case the panel came first. But I'm using my usual pot spacing for the half rack projects so I know it works well enough. It's an imperial grid as for my PCBs I tend to work in 0.025" grids.

Quote:
but it would be ideal if you could also produce an fpd for the rear panel.

I generally only ever do a fpd design if I know I'm going to order one and test it myself. It's so easy to cock up without realising it and I don't want to put a design up there that hasn't been tested.

Quote:
that case looks rather nice too. would a tm3030 fit in as well do you reckon?

Easily. The TM3030 is a smaller PCB - less deep - and you don't need the power supply so you may even be able to use one of the smaller Takachi boxes.

Tony


great, thanks. I hate that side of things. i even cocked up when using your templates when ive attempted my own d'oh!

demos sound amazing, really good.
kecked
Anybody got source for the mn3005 and ne570 chips? Are the jfets common.
Didn’t look yet.
Synthbuilder
kecked wrote:
Anybody got source for the mn3005 and ne570 chips?

I get the Xvive MN3005 from Banzai or Musikding (both based in Germany) but Small Bear (based in the US) also have them.

http://www.smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/mn3005-re-makes-xvi ve-audio/

For the NE570 you can also use NE571 but both are old stock only. Small Bear and Banzai have these. Behringer/Coolaudio make the V571 which is in production and works well as a subsitute. Small Bear don't have these but Banzai do.

Quote:
Are the jfets common.

Yes, a standard part and thankfully still available in through hole.

Tony
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