16 October 2010

Tutti Box

Tutti Box
The Tutti Box is the first in a series of CCCL scratch-built, self contained, experimental sound generators.

I built this unit specifically for Cosey Fanni Tutti (hence the name) to perform with at the upcoming Throbbing Gristle shows (details at throbbing-gristle.com).

Tutti Box consists of five oscillators. Three of these VCOs are connected in a feedback loop with the output of each affecting the frequency of the next, with a master oscillator modulating the first VCO in the chain. The master oscillator can also be modulated by an 8 step sequencer. The step sequencer cannot be programmed but has various preset patterns - forward, reverse, follow, random etc. The sequencer has a speed control; from zero (no steps) to audio range (in effect it becomes as a sixth oscillator).
The fifth VCO is connected to the joystick controller, with the X and Y axis varying the frequency and volume. The joystick oscillator can also modulated by a small touch sensitive steel coil next to the joystick.

The oscillator bank feeds into two circuit-bent effects units. The first is a multi effect with switchable and variable delay, chorus, phaser, flanger and pitch. This feeds into a digital reverb which has various modes: halls, rooms, springs. The effects chain has a separate feedback loop for introducing distortion and extreme feedback.

The lid of the Tutti Box includes a small but powerful 'performer facing' amp & speaker and an 'audience facing' 6" plasma display. The display uses a mixture of Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Nitrogen to produce blue lightning strands triggered by the sounds generated.

Tutti Box is powered by standard 9v power supply and includes a standard jack socket for connecting to a PA system.

You can see a video of it in action here: http://www.vimeo.com/15879508

or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-G5HHAziJw


  1. have you heard of the DeWan Bros.? Pals of They Might Be Giants and others (they did the cover art work for TMBG's Lincoln). They have a Dewonatron:

    and here's what it looks like:


  2. that is wonderful !!! did you build the plasma light ? Or it is a comercial device ?

  3. Very cool.I always thought it would be great if Carter would go into how these kind of projects/objects work. They are truly works of electronic wonder and have great creative flair. I have a Gristleizer, and it does wonders for my little country music combo.

  4. I want you to build me one of those!