If there’s one effect that pre-dated the current “glitch pedal” mania, that is, without a doubt, the ring modulator, an effect that sounds wrong, that sounds weird – that sounds like the music your parents don’t understand, therefore, wonderful.
Adventurous upstate New York effect designer Adventure Audio just unveiled a new stompbox, the Outer Rings, that attempts to take ring modulation to new extremes of noisiness through a rather complicated circuit featuring 2 footswitches, 7 knobs, 4 toggle switches and two CV ins (we forgot to mention, there are two oscillators inside, among many other things).
We’ll let owner/designer Christian explain how this stompbox works (see quoted text at the bottom of the post), but if you are into noise, you cannot miss this demo by genius pedal videographer Knobs.
This is a brand new take on a ring mod. As far as we know, this topology has never been done before. I will attempt to sum up whats going on here in a very brief, brief, extra brief explanation.
The core function of the Outer Rings is to multiply the input signal by an internal square wave oscillator. This multiplication produces a square wave containing harmonic energy mathematically related to the harmonic content of your input signal and the oscillator. That can then be added together with your post-gain signal for some truly outer galaxy tones.
Because we like to adventure and take things further, we didn’t stop at one oscillator… we included a modulating oscillator to sweep and wiggle the frequency of the multiplying oscillator hands free. (Look ma, we’re modulating now!) You can use it as an LFO to change the pitch super slow (we’re talking 10+ seconds for a full pitch sweep) or rev it up into the audio range and make the the multiplying oscillator do some math and make some sweet, sweet frequency modulation in the process.