NOVA DRONE sound and light synth

June 18, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized 

The Nova Drone is an open source, analog experimental sound and light synth from casperelectronics.
It it can be used to create effects ranging from slowly fading drones to chaotic harmonic sequences.
The Nova Drones offers 9 potentiometers, 9 switches, 6 oscillators, 3 oscillator sync inputs and an epic 15 voltage outputs as well as 3 high current outputs for controlling external LEDs. All of the ins and outs have been routed to a prototyping breadboard at the bottom of the unit which allows for liberal experimentation and development of custom circuits. The prototyping area is especially useful for syncing the oscillators of 2 or more Nova Drones together.

The NovaDrone has three separate channels which generate sound and control the brightness of the three colors in a tri color LED.
The sound and light come from the SAME electrical signal. You are literally seeing what you hear.
Each channel has:
a TONE pitch knob,
an LFO rate knob and switch,
a VOLUME knob,
2 SYNC switches and an external SYNC input.

The LFO for each channel modulates the LED brightness and audio wave shape. This uses pulse width modulation, or PWM.

The rate of the LFO can be adjusted (using a knob and switch) from around .008 Hz (around 1 cycle every 2 minutes) to 750Hz (750 cycles per second).

The TONE pitch of each channel can be adjusted from 24Hz to 750Hz. It can also be hard synced to the other channels in order to create harmonic overtones. Interesting (crazy) sync feedback loops can be created by syncing one channel to another and then back to the first (for example). This kind of configuration generates bizarre textures and sequences.
Very interesting effects are achieved by syncing the tone oscillator of one channel to the PWM output of another channel. This results in a modulating harmonic sequence.

The VOLUME adjustment controls both the amplitude of sound and brightness of the LED.

Each channel has the following features:
-TONE pitch
-LFO rate
-sync 1
-sync 2
– ext sync 3
-TONE square wave
-TONE triangle wave
-LFO square wave
-LFO triangle wave
-PWM square wave
-High current LED out for off board LEDs.

For more info including ordering info and complete schematics email pete[at]casperelectronics[dot]com or go to


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