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CubeWeevil (Archive)

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ALL GONE - not to be repeated
When I heard that the CubeCinema was going to raise funds to buy the building, I began scratching my head on how I could help. My solution - a limited edition 'CubeWeevil' designed both to celebrate and support this unique place. 50 have been made and £15 from each sale goes to the Freehold Campaign.
What is a Weevil? - I have been making Weevils since I began BugBrand 8+ years ago (see some historical Weevils here) and their gradual mutations clearly mirror my own developmental routes. While their forms have varied, at their core they have remained similar - simple electronic oscillators, ring-modulated together, combined with the circuit-bend techniques of power starvation and body contact points. This simple recipe conjures up whole sonic worlds - somewhat predictable, but with a healthy dose of unexpected chaos - and creates a portable instrument for discovery and fun.

Why is the Cube so special?- Reading the Cube's own description, the word that sticks for me is INDEPENDENT - this is a place that has run for almost 15 years with no funding and staffed entirely by volunteers. Diverse directions have come from every/some/no-one - I think that instils freedom, chaos, wonder and LIFE - that's pretty damn special in this day and age! On a more personal note, I spent several years helping out regularly and that involvement is still in my blood informing my work today - I can trace routes from doing sound there back when I'd just made my first batch of Weevils (late 2004, I think?) to where I'm sat typing (..trying to..) today in Sweden. To me, the Cube continues to show that the concept of a 'proper' way can often be blinkered - whether designing electronics, doing live sound or running a business, much better to learn through doing, drawing ones own map and rolling with the changes that life conjures.
Oh - what a space, such wonderful people and so many memories!

Introducing the CubeWeevil- The CubeWeevil shares many similarities with previous versions, but there are two specific new areas - refer to the Block Diagram and Instruction images above for a wider overview.
4-Step Multiplexor- you could think of this as a 4 stage sequencer for the pitch control of the main audio oscillator (Osc 3) but, unlike normal sequencers, the active step is determined by the rates of the two control oscillators (Oscs 1 & 2) in 2-Bit-Binary combination (Look it up! 00 = step 1, 01 = step 2, 10 = step 3, 11 = step 4). It is easiest to see how the Rate dials affect the Step selection when running with Starve turned up fully - power starve, as always, introduces some confusion!
'Silent' Operation- Weevils have tended to be noisy (!) in that they emit sound whenever they're on but here there are two Touch Points which effectively bypass the main Level control so that you can turn the control down and emit sounds only when touching. This introduces a new playability to the Weevil line. One point has a (simple) low-pass filter, while the other has a high-pass.[note - there can sometimes be a little low level audio bleed]
Cube touchplate- 12 gold plated touch points which connect you direct to the circuit! By touching 2 or more points you create new routes for electrical flow, thus changing the Weevil's behaviour. The response is very touch sensitive and the most extreme behaviours can be achieved with slightly dampened fingers combined with some power starvation.
Standard Weevil features- Three oscillators, two quasi-ring-modulators, simple Tone control (low/high pass filtering), 3.5mm mono output socket which bypasses the onboard mini-amp. The Weevil is powered by a 9V PP3 battery (battery only!).

The CubeWeevil measures approximately 5 x 4 inches and comes in a hand-stamped cardboard box with foam inserts, printed instruction sheet and PP3 battery installed. The device is covered by a 1 year parts guarantee.

Added on Monday 21 October, 2013.