Isn’tses Fort Processor: Build Diary #21

I’m back Buchlas! Sorry for the hiatus, holiday season and whatnot had me all over the place. But now that I’m back home in the land of the free/8pm curfew, I can get back to that good good! Today, we’re talking about the Fort Processor, by Isn’tses! God, I use far too many EXCLAMATIONS! I also put smileys in all my emails at work. I’m that guy.

Isn'tses Fort Processor Kit
What a cute little kit!

I got this lil puppy as a Christmas gift, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the bench to throw it all together. So what is Fort Processor, precious? Well I’ll tell you what it Isn’tses… JUST KIDDING, WE’RE HAVING FUN. 

The Fort Processor is an experimental noise synthesiser and audio effect circuit designed by harsh fun noise duo ISN’TSES (Tim Drage & Lisa McKendrick) for Fort Process sound art festival 2018.

Very cool! You can find more details about this little piece of kit at the link here, but its a cool CMOS project that chops, skews, subdivides, and makes some super cool noises. What’s CMOS? Well they are some very cool digital logic chips that can be used for musical applications. If you want to see some cool things CMOS chips can do, grab a Fort Processor! Or, read this page over a beavis audio research, or this article series at Hackaday!

Candy Coloured Bag
What cute packaging. There was no candy inside, unless you like the taste of passsive components.

The Build

It was a very simple build process, made simpler by the instructions that came along with it! So I got to slapping it together, and there were very few hiccups along the way. And oh boy was it nice to look at something other than the Deckard’s Dream for a minute.

Isn'tses Fort Processor PCB
Good quality board, and a very cool design!

Not much to talk about here! When you’re making this thing, just follow the directions. There are some places you think there should be components, but a lot of spots are left empty. If you want to get creative or modify the sound at all, you can swap some parts around. I went with the basic layout the instructions told me to, because I’m a good boy.

A couple resistors here, a couple capacitors there, and we’ve got ourselves a Fort Processor! It was a quick build, under an hour all said and done.

Isn'tses Fort Processor Build Complete
All done!...or so I thought...

Fort Processin'

I plugged it in, and the levels were SUPER low. But I was using mono cables to and from my Eurorack, so I blamed it on this. I unplugged and moved over to stereo, and things got a bit better… but still not as Fort Process-ey as I was hoping. The videos sounded so mangly and cool, so I decided to get this sucker belly up again and see if there were some cold joints. And no, I’m not talking about smoking pot in the winter. LOL GET IT.

Low and behold, your silly blog boy made a rookie mistake. Generally, you should solder all the IC sockets… OOPS.

Missing IC Solder
Only enough solder to hold the socket in place. Whoopsie daisy!

Much better! Now it sounds GNARLY. I was running some Plaits through this bad boy and getting my touch plate on, and boy does it get whacky quick. Very very cool stuff, huge thumbs up for the Isn’tses Fort Processor. It’s so little and cute and full of sound!

My ONLY complaint, other than the fact that kits are so expensive, is the weird shape of the device. My rubber footies don’t fit on it in a way that makes it sit right.

But really, at the end of the day, there’s lil screw holes to put some sort of case on it, so it’s a very minor gripe. And if I’m being real honest, how cool it looks vastly outweighs the minor inconvenience, so I rescind my only complaint!

Isn'tses Fort Processor In Use
I used to make pillow forts. I prefer Fort Processing as I age.

The End

Thanks for coming back around after the holiday season! Hope everyone had a beauty one.

Deckard’s Dream is coming along nicely, I even finished a voice card! Look!!

Voice Card 1
Man it took a while...only 7 to go!

I almost have the hardware board complete. And a sweet Muff Wiggler user who goes by the name of captnapalm is sending over some 15mm tactile switches for me from the US so I don’t have to wait 3 months for them to arrive from eBay. What a sweetheart! Thanks again captnapalm!

So stay tuned! I’ll be testing the single voice of Deckard’s Dream out as soon as I’m able, and I’ll be back next week to fill your eye-holes with SDIY/Music related silliness. If you’re dying for something to quench your thirst until then, check out some oldie goldies like the 4MS SMR build, or the DIY Lyra-8 posts. I’ll do another Druid Diary one day, I swear!

As always, thanks for coming around, have a beauty week and keep it samesies out there!

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