Ladies Hacking Night: Making an APC

One group I’ve been seeing news about more and more these days is the VIVO Media Arts Centre here in Vancouver. VIVO hosts some amazing events such as the upcoming Nomadic Streams Festival of Ambient Music, and is also the home of ensembles such as the Vancouver Theremin Orchestra as well as a local resource for equipment rentals and electronic workshops.

In my journey to continue expanding my knowledge in the audio world, I took the opportunity to attend the first ever Ladies Hacking Night at VIVO, where we were given the opportunity to build our own Atari Punk Console (APC) under the instruction of composer and artist Bella McKee.

I had a lot of fun making my kit. It was nice to get my hands on a soldering gun again for the first time in a while. It also was a unique experience to sit in a room of mostly women while talking about audio and electronics.

The kit we used was made by Synthrotek. The APC has three knobs: volume control, frequency, and pulse width. It’s driven by a single 556 dual timer IC. The kit came with two 1/4″ inch inputs for extra fun, but I’ve only installed one as I will be using a small mint case to assemble the final product, something like this:

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Volume pot will be top centre, frequency and width pots on the top of the case on the left and right. On off switch on the left front, 1/4″ output on the left back, 1/4″ input right back, and DC in right front. I will also have a 9V battery pack for potability.

Will finish it off and post a cool demo track with it after I get home from the AES conference in NYC. For now he’s a short demo of some of the sounds I got out of my assembled kit:

Ta for now,