Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Introduction

Hey kids!

I've built this blog as a resource to those assembling Gristleizers from the PCB.

For those who aren't aware, the Gristleizer was an effects unit used by Throbbing Gristle in the late 1970s & early 1980s. Built by member Chris Carter, they were based off of initial designs by Roy Gwinn published as the "GEP" in Practical Electronic. More information on this can be found on the links to the side here.

In April of 2009, Endangered Audio emerged from the folks at Smashing Guitars in North Carolina. Their first product was a new version of the Gristleizer. Initial copies of this were available at Throbbing Gristle shows in Chicago in 2009 (during their first US tour since 1981!). They're now available directly from Smashing Guitars, but you can also order just the PCB!

For me, the PCB was the ideal buy -- personally, I wasn't too keen on the faceplace of the new version, and I'd rather have all the controls and audio jacks on the top of the unit. So, I bought a PCB and the rest is (or will be) history.

A few comments first...

I'll try to provide pictures where possible, but bear in mind that I started the assembly before I decided to create this blog. So, at this point, the PCB is mostly populated. My camera has also been having issues, but I'll do my best (and maybe steal my girlfriend's camera a bit).

I don't plan on publishing the Endanged Audio schematic, so don't ask. They redesigned it from the original schematic, and Chris Carter's changes.
Unless they decide to publish it, I consider it their property.

I'm not an electrical engineer, and this is my first real DIY audio project. My background is in computer science and I'm a software engineer... so I've had to take plenty of electrical engineering courses with the worst professors ever, and I've had to interface with a lot of circuitboards in some jobs (like laser tracking systems). Basically, what I'm trying to say it that I understand schematics and the practical parts of assembly, but I don't quite "get" electronics as much as I'd like to. So... I might not be able to answer all of your questions.

And, finally, a few thanks...
First, to Throbbing Gristle. Your music, especially "Heathen Earth", has been an inspiration for many years. Not to mention the influence of PTV, Coil, and C&C. Your soundtrack performance in Los Angeles in April was amazing.
Second, to Chris Carter, for inspiring my interest in "DIY electronics" -- even though it has taken until now for it to manifest in any real way.
And third, to Todd at Smashing Guitars, for his advice and assitance in the assembly of my Gristleizer.

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