A Constant Ache Behind the Eyes
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A CONSTANT ACHE BEHIND THE EYES is a four-transistor silicon fuzz amalgamation developed collaboratively with Gloomhead. Textured and mids-focused, it is a series-parallel circuit that takes inspiration from a number of classic fuzz circuits such as the Fuzz Face, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Big Muff, and Hyperion. There are two fuzzes that run in parallel and are summed together using an op-amp at the output of the circuit. The first fuzz is reminiscent of a Fuzz Face with a darker voicing, and clipped using an asymmetrical combination of Schottky and blue LED diodes. This circuit in turn cascades into a pair of differential transistors that work as a frequency tripler. The output of this is more bright, splatty, and bordering on octave fuzz. The outputs of these two circuits are then blended together using the ACHE knob so either output can be used in isolation, or blended together for interesting textural results.
After the outputs are blended, the circuit then utilizes an active mid boost with a frequency sweep between 200hz and 2.5khz for either a woofy lower-mid response, or a brighter and more piercing higher-mid bump. The signal finally is summed using an op-amp with the ability to starve its power supply using the SCUZZ control. Finally, a low-pass filter can be dialed in within the negative feedback loop of the op-amp stage using the PRES control. This not only adds in sub-bass frequencies for a presence that can be felt, but also changes the output strength of the signal some, making it highly interactive with the SCUZZ and GAIN controls to achieve interesting gating effects. Features true bypass switching.
The circuit takes a power input of 9V DC and is boosted internally to 18V DC using a charge pump. This creates massive headroom as well as a wide range of useful sounds within the sweep of the SCUZZ control, without dipping the output volume below unity at its highest settings.
LOUD: Controls output volume
GAIN: Sets the level of saturation to the fuzz. This is calibrated similarly to a guitar’s volume potentiometer, allowing for changes in input intensity that make for a useful gain sweep across all other settings of the circuit.
ACHE: Blends (or isolates) the outputs of the fuzz stages. Fully counter-clockwise is stage 1 only with fully clockwise being stage 2 only, and a combination of the two stages can be achieved everywhere else throughout the sweep.
FOCUS: Adjusts the active mids frequency (CCW for lower mids, CW for higher)
PRES: Controls the level of sub-bass frequencies, which in turn affects sustain at some settings
SCUZZ: Starves the voltage to the summing op-amp stage, creating interesting textures and light gating in some settings
POWER REQUIREMENTS: DC 9 volts center negative ONLY; 10 mA current draw