So I went back and forth with John at panicStudios about Shout at the Desert vs. the iTunes “Enhance” setting, and he’s in agreement with, well, everybody I can Google, who are all saying, ‘do not play with it, do not mess with trying to work around anything iTunes is doing, turn that shit off on your own machine and forget it exists. You can’t control what people have at home. Deal.’ So I’m dealing. It is amazing how much “Enhance” blurs and crappifies music all kinds, listening on headphones.

I’m also talking with another musician about maybe providing some live instrumental work as backup for a couple of their performances; we don’t know whether it’ll work out, but I hope it does. I don’t really have the kind of instruments they want – they don’t do the same sort of music I do – but they’re kind of fond of some things I can do on octave mandolin, so I’m in the running.

Look, I have more Trash-O-Matic build photos!

input, output, and battery – I’m pleased with that battery cut

This grid will host six setting buttons.

Epoxy set, Round Two

So, what am I showing here? The first picture is the new case, with holes cut for XLR input (mono, balanced, mic level), TRS output (mono, unbalanced, line level), and the battery case from the original toy. The battery case is epoxied into place now, and seems pretty solid.

The second shows the control button grid – the Voice Changer has six various distortion types, and I’m keeping the original buttons. I cut the grid box out of the original toy, sanded off the paint, and recess-mounted it into a hole I cut into the new case’s cover. It’s epoxied into place. I was originally going to surface-mount it, but that complicated an already complicated mess – anchoring the circuit board.

The third photo shows the case assembly right now. I put the balanced-to-unbalanced-signal wire harness on the XLR input jack directly – even preserving the noise-cancellation effects of XLR, it’s trivial – and I’ve got the signal wires coming off that but not hooked to anything yet. The TRS output has wires already soldered in, too, and the battery pack is installed (with recessed external access door out the bottom) and positive lead run to the new power switch you can see from behind on the lower left of the cover.

I’ve made some mods to the circuit board; the old power switch (still mounted) is bypassed, as are another couple of controls that aren’t meaningful if you aren’t using it as a toy – little things like that. Right now it’s mostly serving as a weight, as epoxy sets for the new circuit-board mounting poles. The three screws visible in the circuit board are actually bolts to new mounting poles, to hold them in the right places as the epoxy sets.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to trust these mounting poles, so I’ll add insulating foam as a back-support to the circuit board, braced against the battery pack. That should help with the button-mashy-mashy.

Originally, I was going to have balanced XLR in and out, and have the output be microphone level, but when I realised I’d have to generate balanced output from a nonbalanced source and reduce the signal because that the onboard preamp would be too difficult to bypass, I decided, eh, fuckkit, line level’s better for noise purposes anyway. Particular with electronics this cheap. XD

You’ve read this far, you must make things. What’re you making?