The square is a perfect combination of weirdness, musicalness and simplicity. It is called the square because it actually multiplies the input signal by itself, it squares the signal. It uses an old fashioned diode/transformer ring modulator to do this. The sound while being a very evil and extreme distortion, never sounds fuzzy or hissy. Instead, it's power comes from it's weird bell like sound and fat compression effect. It also has a gating effect on the signal, which is useful for emphasizing rhythm.
The Square is very simple. The input volume controls the drive to
the preamp with is designed to give soft tube like distortion, the
input volume also sets the amount of drive in the ring mod circuit. The
output volume controls the output level.
The circuit is discrete transistor because I believe it produces the richest possible analogue sound, and because many of the timeless legendary effects and synthesizers are discrete transistor, e.g Minimoog, Univibe, Big Muff, Cry baby/Vox Wah. There is an intangible quality to their sound which is not present in modern Op-Amp equivalents.
Maybe I'm crazy for spending so much time constructing these cases, when I could have opted for the typical pressed steel jobby, but I think they look pretty cool, in a kind of retro industrial way.
The Square costs 85 and is available direct. Please email me to place your order:
The next 2 sounds are the guitar recorded straight into the computer (no amp)Guitar riff
The polarity is center negative for the power supply connection.
The circuit is protected if you get it wrong, so don't be afraid to try
it if the polarity of your supply is unclear. I have chosen the most
common type of power socket, Some power supply tips have a hole down
the center that is too big even though they appear to fit correctly,
this is worth checking of you don't get any sound.
Don't use a stereo jack plug, this is because plugging in the jack switches on the power, and a stereo jack won't make the right connections.