The new KOMA Elektronik Field Kit is the perfect tool for everyone who would like to experiment with electroacoustic sound. Use everyday objects, amplify them and use them to make sound, like our heroes John Cage and David Tudor used to do! The Field Kit is optimized to process signals from microphones, contact microphones, electromagnetic pickups and able to run DC motors and solenoids. On top of that it can receive radio signals and convert signals from switches and sensors into control voltage!
Let’s get more detailed…
The Field Kit boasts 7 separate functional blocks all focussed on receiving or generating all types of signals. They are designed to operate together as a coherent electroacoustic workstation or alternatively together with other pieces of music electronics with the ability to use control voltage signals.
- Four Channel Mixer: is the beating heart of the Field Kit, providing a fully functional mixer with individual Gain, Mix Level and Tone control over each channel and individual Master- and Aux sub-mixes. The level of the Master and Aux Channels can be set with the Master Volume and Aux Volume controls and the channels being sent to the Aux sub-mix can be set with dedicated Aux Select-buttons. The Aux sub-mix is pre-fader. For the noise heads amongst you: the mixer can be used very well for feedback mixing and no-input mixing as well; there is plenty of Gain to play with and the Tone control is a passive Low/Hi Pass filter drastically changing the sound.
The CV Radio is a CV-controllable radio receiver capable of receiving radio frequencies on AM/FM and SW bands. Additionally it provides the ability to catch electromagnetic waves for further processing inside the Field Kit. The frequency of the radio can be set with a dedicated multifunctional Search-control which acts both as a manual CV-source and as an input attenuator for a CV-signal. The Field Kit comes with three connectors to attach needed antenna’s for both FM and SW bands and a loop antenna connector for AM signals.
Envelope Follower with CV and Gate Out: The Envelope Follower in the Field Kit applies two functions to the waveform you send to the input: full-wave rectification (mirroring of negative portions of the waveform) and low-pass filtering (averaging). It can also be used for frequency doubling of a signal, which is a great tool to have in the electroacoustic domain. In addition to the Envelope Out, the Envelope Follower inside the Field Kit also gives out a gate signal whenever the level of the input signal is high enough. The input signal level can be set with a dedicated Attenuation-control.
Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO): The Low Frequency Oscillator generates periodically varying voltages to be used as control signals. The output waveform can be set with a three-position Waveform-control and gives out either a Square-, Triangle- or a mix of Square and Triangle waveforms. The frequency of the LFO can be set together with a dedicated Frequency-control and a three-position Range-control. With the higher range-settings, the frequency of the LFO reaches into the audio-range so the LFO can also be used as a simple drone sound source, send this is into a delay effect and you can make trippy sounds for hours!
DC Interface: A very cool function of the Field Kit is the DC Interface. You can use its output voltages to run little motors, fans, solenoids, buzzers and control them with control voltage signals. You can pick up the vibrations and electromagnetic waves with the contact microphones and electromagnetic pickup. The DC Interface can be used together with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)- or Pulse-controlled devices. An example of a PWM-controlled device is a DC-motor of which the rotation speed can be set by varying the pulse width. A Pulse-controlled device can be a solenoid-motor whose impulse strength/distance can be set with the length of the control pulse. Other devices that can be used together with the DC Interface could be computer fans, LEDs, relay switches, etc. Here are a few things you can use with the DC Interface:
- 2 x Contact Microphones: Use these contact microphones to pick up vibration or sound, they are an amazing versatile input source.
- 1 x Electro-Magnetic Pickup: This guy is good at picking up changes in magnetic fields, you can use it to amplify a string like a guitar pickup or amplify a spinning motor.
- 1 x Solenoid push-pull motor: Use the solenoid to hit things, together with the DC Interface the solenoid can make anything rhythmical and percussive.
- 1 x DC motor: The Motor can be used to rotate things or as a noisy oscillator together with the Electro-Magnetic Pickup.
- 1 x small speaker: Use the speaker to listen to the main mix or as a sound source and to feedback sounds.
- 3 x patch cables: Always handy to have around to patch up different parts of your Field Kit. …and a bunch of little objects to play with (little springs, clamps etc.)