Cascade Oscillator Bank


The ultimate "glitchstrument"...

The Cascade was a born out of a desire to create an instument capable of producing thick drones, wild soundscapes, and complex pulsations. Based in part on the designs of circuit bending guru Nicolas Collins, the Cascade is built around 6 NAND gate square wave oscillators. Each stage of the Cascade features a tuning control and range switch, as well as handy arcade style trigger button for maximum playability. The unit is fully patchable via 3.5mm jack, with each oscillators capable of accepting frequency modulation input. Each oscillator is normalized to its corresponding trigger, but as stages begin to be fed into one another, complex patching configurations open the door to a world of sonic possibilities. The Cascade also features two 4 input mults and a built in speaker for freedom of experimentation anytime, anywhere. Other noteworthy design features are a handy 3.5mm master output, 4 addtional speaker inputs, a master killswith, master volume attenuator, and power via 9v battery or wallwart. All of this is crammed neatly into a desktop module constructed from sturdy laser cut clear acrylic.

Features and Specifications:

  • 6 square wave oscillators
  • Modulation input, wave output per stage
  • Frequency control, range switch per stage
  • High performance arcade style trigger buttons
  • Normalization: Stage -> trigger -> speaker/master out
  • Patchable trigger I/O
  • Two 4 input multiples
  • 4 input speaker (8ohm)
  • Killswith and master volume control
  • All patch points and master output = 3.5mm jacks
  • Dimensions:
  • Power: 9Vdc battery or wallwart (internally regulated at 9vdc)

Sound samples and compositions:

An Improvisation for a Glitchstrument was a piece originally conceived to showcase the power and versitility of the Cascade. The improvisation features the Cascade played through an Eventide TimeFactor delay unit, with the performer instructed to gradually feed each oscillator stage into the next over a set time. The stabbing rhythms that can be heard throughout the improvisation are the result of this, as the NAND gates fluctuate between true frequency modulation and digital amplitude modulation. In this recording, the performer attempts to evoke a dynamic soundscape heavily relying upon the master volume control and killswitch. An Improvisation for a Glitchstrument is an exercise in entropy. As the Cascade patch becomes more complex over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for the performer to truly control the instrument, as even the most sublte adjustment in one stage will profoundly impact the entire interconnected system of oscillators. By the conclusion of the piece, one could even question if the performer is playing the instrument, or if the instrument is playing the performer...