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Shallow Water K-Field Modulator

Fairfield Circuitry

  • $ 25000

Shallow Water

K-Field Modulator

Poolside conversations while staring at your own reflection. The depths of which shall never be known, at least not for another couple thousand years. So it goes.

Before the reflection, is the experience. Before phenomena, or even noumena, is that which is undefinable. That which has never been heard, that which will never be heard again and that which has always been heard but never listened to.

K-field (Simulation mathematics), an  undefined, two-dimensional, non-linear field where past and future forces interact at irregular intervals. Shallow Water generates this k-field by randomly modulating a short time delay to create unexpected shifts in pitch. The result is this non cyclical vibrato/chorus/flanger-type thing favouring old tape flavours.

The water is shallow on this side of the pool. Do not dive and you will not drown. 


RATE: The RATE control adjusts the time intervals at which the random pitch fluctuations occur. From rare to nervous, the range is quite wide. At high RATE and DAMP settings, the quick variations have trouble passing through the swampy filter and integrator, effectively reducing perceived modulation. This is normal. The interaction between these two knobs is particular and needs to be tamed through experimentation.

DAMP: The DAMP control affects the slope of the modulating signal. At its minimum, the pitch modulations are quick and sudden; the random changes in modulation voltage are almost instantaneous. Increasing DAMP will elongate and soften the modulation. At high DAMP settings, the changes become so slow that they are not heard as pitch modulations. To hear the changes, some dry mix needs to be applied. Then, the slow movement of the delay time can be heard as chorus.

DEPTH: The DEPTH knob adjusts the intensity of the modulation. The interaction between all three modulation controls is noticeable. The range of modulation is focused towards subtle variations. Adjust to taste, though less is more.

LPG: The LPG control adjusts the level of the envelope going to the low pass filter and gate circuit. At lower levels the signal will be darker, choke subtle notes and reduce sustain. At higher settings, the sound will be brighter, have more sustain and might reveal some noise produced by the bucket brigade device.

MIX: The MIX control balances between the dry and wet signal. When it’s full wet (clockwise) the effect is like a vibrato. Chorus-type sounds are achieved by adding some of the dry signal (counter clockwise).

VOLUME: The VOLUME knob controls the output volume. Unity is around noon and beers around 5 at my place.

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