Analog Shift Register
The previous versions can be found here.
This module is an analog control voltage shift register, three stages in length. It duplicates the functionality of the Serge ASR, but goes about it in a very different way. It is great for producing "arabesque-like" sequences, trills etc., when used with VCOs. Of course it's use is not limited to VCOs only.
Unlike ASRs produced using "bucket brigade" techniques, the CV outputs are constant from the beginning of the cycle to the end - there is no "charge period" in which a brief glide is heard.
The CV input/output range of the ASR is approximately +/- 10V.
How to use this module:
Connect the CV input to a voltage source such as a keyboard or sequencer. Connect the three CV outputs to the three modules to be controlled. Connect the clock input to a LFO or other low frequency trigger source.
To cascade the unit with others, connect the clock inputs to the same trigger source, and connect the third CV output of the first ASR to the CV input of the second ASR. Unlike the Serge ASR, there is no need to used delayed trigger pulses.
A little on how it works:
The ASR is nothing more than a 4 stage analog memory. Each cell of this memory is a capacitor, followed by a buffer.
Addressing each stage of this in turn is half of a 4052 4 pole analog switch. As each cell is addressed, it is forced to follow the incoming voltage. The cell remains connected to the incoming voltage for a full clock cycle, giving it ample time to reach the correct level.
At the same time as this is happening, there are three other 4 pole analog switches that are pointing to each of the other three cells. The first of these points to the cell filled the previous clock cycle, the second to the cycle before than, and the third to the one before that.
As such, once each cell is filled, it remains that way for 3 clock cycles, then is filled with a new voltage on the fourth. The other three cells are cycled in turn to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd outputs.
The TL071 and 4024 form the clock pulse to address converter.
The remaining circuitry is an input buffer and three output buffers designed to adapt the voltage to that suitable for switching by the 4052. The input range of the ASR itself is approximately +/- 10V.
The capacitors specified as CX on the circuit board and diagram are the S&H capacitors and as such should be high quality low leakage sorts, such as polypropylene. None the less, quite satisfactory results can be achieved using common 100n MKT capacitors. The value of them will depend on the speed at which you intend to run the unit. The larger the capacitor, the lower the maximum speed at which it will run, but the longer it will be able to hold the voltage without drooping. 47n is probably the smallest that should be used, though drooping becomes quite noticeable at slow speeds. It may be possible to go as high as 220n for really slow operation, though this will somewhat limit the maximum speed (see the notes below). Do NOT use capacitors in which the dielectric is exposed: one such example is block shaped and green in color. Another example is shown below. They will not work.
The 10k and 22k resistors in the input and output buffers should be matched 1% metal film for best results. Where do you get matched resistors? Buy a few more resistors than you need (maybe twice as many), and compare them with your multimeter!
Other FET input op-amps may work in place of the LF356. CA3140 works fine, perhaps better than the LF356, but you may need to hand select them to remove any offset inconsistencies. At least use chips from the same batch. The TL071 would work though may cause faster droop.
Before you start assembly, check the board for etching faults. Look for any shorts between tracks, or open circuits due to over etching. Take this opportunity to sand the edges of the board if needed, removing any splinters or rough edges. Note that on the ASR board there are guard tracks around the high impedance circuits. These tracks appear to go nowhere, but are important.
When you are happy with the printed circuit board, construction can proceed as normal, starting with the links first, followed by the resistors, the IC sockets if used, then moving onto the taller components.
Take particular care with the orientation of the polarized components such as the electrolytics and ICs.
When inserting the ICs in their sockets, if used, take care not to accidentally bend any of the pins under the chip. Also, make sure the notch on the chip is aligned with the notch marked on the PCB overlay. Note that sockets introduce a point for future failure. I only use sockets when I expect to try several ICs for test purposes.
The VER1.2 board includes a trim pot to make the alignment procedure easier.
This is a guide only. Parts needed will vary with individual constructor's needs.
If anyone is interested in buying these boards, please check the PCBs for Sale page to see if I have any in stock.
Article, art & design copyright 2001 by Ken Stone