October 24, 2007

For Sale: Fotosis No.003

Good news everyone! We have been very busy the last few weeks working on commissioned work and as a result haven't posted anything on our Etsy shop in a few weeks, until now:-)

This instrument which we have labeled Fotosis No.003 was designed and built by Connie it was the first unit she has designed and built alone and I love it.

It is currently for sale on our Etsy shop.

In terms of functions it is identical to Fotosis No.002 only the housing and layout of the controls is different.

We are selling it for 300 US Dollars which the same price that we sold No.002 but translates into a bit less for us when you convert it into Euro. But due to the fact that we have upgraded our basic design recently and all future units will have extra features and different construction our next models will be priced a bit higher.

Fotosis No.003 is a three in one device. It contains a simple optically controlled synth, a separate noise maker circuit and a passive ring modulator all in one box. There are ten pots, two LDR's, seven toggle switches and two momentary switches all of which control the active circuits and allow you to turn on and off various effects or sections and bypass parts of the device.

This instrument is housed in a thin sided wooden box also purpose built. Most of the wiring is point to point (in a vintage style) to reduce solder board complexity. The instrument is coated in an orange tolex like material and has steel corners and aluminum trimming around the control panel, there is also a leather carry handle on the front.

The sounds produces vary from weird drones to little sequences of chirps, bleeps and beeps and also full on noise.

There are three sections, two oscillators and a ring modulator each oscillator can be used on its own or can be mixed using the ring modulator.

It can be used as an instrument on its own or as an effect that can modulate the sound of other line level devices that are fed into the input of the ring mod.

There is a video of the instrument in action at...

It measures 36 cm long by 22.5 cm wide, the control panel is sloped and is 10 cm at its highest point Fotosis No.003 weighs about 900g.


Firstly there is a passive ring modulator comprised of three jacks, input, suppressed carrier frequency input and output. There is also a bypass toggle that switches the input straight to the output. But as with most passive ring modulators the inputs and outputs are interchangeable.

Optically controlled LFO producing a pure sine wave, with frequency switching function, low and high pitch switch and a toggle that switches off the optical function allows you to control the oscillator using two pots for when you want very slow non audible sine waves used mainly with the ring modulator as the carrier signal. Just above the main controls there is a volume knob. You can interact with this sections using the two LDR's mounted on the face of the control panel using you hands or other light sources, our favorite is to use flashing bike lights, strobes or torches for weird whining tones and intense beeps.

Next is a strange square wave noise generator that consists of two oscillators interacting with one another. Screaming high pitched tones can be produced as can low fuzz like sounds when the pots are at their max or min positions, in between you find effects similar to a simple two tone sequencer changing relative to one of the pots. There is also a low pass filter and volume control.

We have been playing around with it for a while now and have still have not discovered all the possible sounds you can create. It would be perfect for anyone into Circuit Bending, dronescape music, performance art, noise art installations, DJ's or just musicians who want a device on the side that they can use as a noise wig out machine. It is capable of plenty more subtle sci-fi effects and also when effect units like delay, phase, fuzz or pitch modulating pedals are connected between the device and an amplifier the number of potential sounds you can produce grows.

None of the controls are labeled because they are often quite difficult to describe, but we will be suppling a drawing of the control panel with descriptions relating to the function of each knob and switch to get you started.

Here is a basic run down of the controls:

Oscillator 1 Top of control panel:

High / low pitch toggle switch.
LDR switching on / off.
LDR / potentiometer select.
Kill switch.
Momentary bypass kill switch.
Volume knob.
Sine wave intensity knob.

Oscillator 2 Bottom of control panel:

High / low pitch toggle switch.
Low pass filter setting knob.
Volume knob.
Square wave 1 frequency knob.
Square wave 2 pulse speed knob.
Square wave 1 Square wave 2 mix knob.
Kill switch.
Momentary bypass kill switch.
Oscillator 1 LDR's.

Centre of control panel:

Ring mod. bypass toggle.
Oscillator 1 momentary bypass of kill switch.
Oscillator 2 momentary bypass of kill switch.
Oscillator 1 LDR's.
Power indicator LED.

Rear of unit:

Oscillator 1 1/4" output mono.
Oscillator 2 1/4" output mono.
Ring mod. input 1/4" mono.
Ring mod. carrier input 1/4" mono.
Ring mod. output 1/4" mono.
Power on toggle.
9v dc jack.

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