Isn’tses – Chernobylizer – Full DIY Kit

From: £85.00 (Excl. VAT)

The Chernobylizer is a psychogeographic and esoteric synthesiser designed by Isn’tses (Lisa McKendrick & Tim Drage). This synth contains a world of unique aggressive sounds, including throbbing multi-oscillator pulsewaves, crunchy glitches, bass rumble, harsh noise, 8-bit-esque bleeps, geiger-counter clicks, birdlike tweets and a unique motor-like power-draining effect. Detailed PCB art covers both sides of the board.

Black & Gold PCB

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Description

The Chernobylizer is a psychogeographic and esoteric synthesiser designed by Isn’tses (Lisa McKendrick & Tim Drage). This synth contains a world of unique aggressive sounds, including throbbing multi-oscillator pulsewaves, crunchy glitches, bass rumble, harsh noise, 8-bit-esque bleeps, geiger-counter clicks, birdlike tweets and a unique motor-like power-draining effect. Detailed PCB art covers both sides of the board.

The synth is controlled by five knobs and 9 touch-pads. Multiple oscillators interact in deep and mysterious ways, and can be manipulated by an unorthodox resonant pseudo filter and a versatile power-starving section.
The Chernobylizer attempts to add to the conversation surrounding the Chernobyl disaster and is an experiment in horror noise. This comes from our own personal interest in Chernobyl and research into the radiation disaster. The silver outline on the front of the PCB represents the decontamination zone and the white outline on the back is the exclusion zone. The four large capacitors represent the four reactors of the Chernobyl plant.

The touch pads are mutated forms, mutations caused by radiation. The three ‘phantom touchpads’ on the right only have an effect when also touching some of the other pads on the left hand side of the switch.
The power-starve switch represents the draining of power to reactor 4. If the switch is turned downwards, power will slowly drain from the four large capacitors causing the synth to create a sound similar to the reactor losing power followed by a Geiger counter crackle, then to little or no sound as it is fully drained. Note: this is not an on/off switch but if the synth is making no sound it may have fully drained; turning the switch back up will restore power to the circuit in a full-on explosion of sound. This is a rough reenactment of how Reactor 4 exploded. The middle knob controls the wet and dry signal of the filter. All the 5 knobs can be experimented with to create various explosive, loud, crackling noises and drones.

The synth has two outputs:

  1. The output on the left is an audio output and includes all sounds coming from the synth.
  2. The output on the right does not include sounds coming from the filter but includes all other sounds from the oscillators. It is an unfiltered, DC-coupled output which could also act as a weird gate/trigger/LFO signal when connected to other synths or modules. In this way it is compatible with various Eurorack modules and other synths which have CV, gate or clock input. The Chernobylizer does not have an input.

The LED on the right lights up when the synth is on, and the one on the left flickers with the oscillators! We call them the bat eyes.

The Chernobylizer is powered by any standard BOSS-style 9v centre-negative power supply. Or it can become portable with a centre-negative DC-jack-to-9v-battery-clip adaptor (not included). Using any other power supply may cause the synth to short circuit so please be careful.

IMPORTANT: As this is an open circuitboard synth, take care to avoid placing on a metal/conductive surface while playing or you will short something out!

The Chernobylizer plays well through the input of Isn’tses other synth, the Fort Processor.

Dimensions: 15cm (W) 10.5cm (L) 3cm (H)

Chernobylizer – Build Document & User Manual

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