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re: tape looping/tape delay KLANGUMWANDLER

Thanks Stephen for the post about the "klangumwanler." I appreciate you chiming in, particularly because I had seen a picture of one of these in a book ("How Things Work," a sort of multi-volume scientific encyclopedia published in the 60's some time), where it was described (though not named) as a device used to alter the pitch of a sound without altering its playback speed. I had a bit of trouble understanding how that might work. And since they didn't really give any more information than that, I figured it a dead relic of the tape music days, something that maybe never worked quite right anyway, or was way to expensive/hard to build.
I would really appreciate some more info anybody out there has any. The only stuff I seem to turn up on google is lots of Wendy Carlos stuff and a few very casual mentionings of the work klangumwandler. Do you think this would be tricky to build? The one I saw in "How Things Work" looked like a detachable or retrofit unit. It seems that one would have to come up with some kind of a circular "railroad track" kind of brush that the contacts for head could ride in, otherwise, your wires would be twisting around with the 4 tape heads, and would snap pretty quickly. This is the same problem I ran into when I was trying to build my own leslie speaker years back. Everything was simple enough but the contacts for the speaker that actually spins. I wound up just pirating a cheapy foam-baffle leslie out of a Thomas organ and building a box for it. It does sound good, but not quite the real thing.
Anyway, back to tape music stuff, any info out there would be much appreciated. In particular, I would like to know sort of what it sounds like. Any recordings to check out with obvious klangumwandler usage. If this thing is as cool as it sounds, though, I would love to build such a device. I am hoping not to simply build a cut and dry delay machine, but something a bit different, drawing from different sources and musical posibilities. It would be great to have a combination tape delay/looper/klangumwandler/reverb box.
Another idea I had, (more along the lines of pipe dreams) would be to build a small keyboard controller for the motor speed of the unit. I remember reading about one design that used kind of a derralieur system or maybe belt drive with ramped tensioning sprockets (ala continuously variable transmission) to change pitch/speed of a tape machine at music intervals. I thought motor speed would be easier to manipulate, but alas, there is probably not enough workable voltage range to be able to get much more than an octave or so. Of course, it would be monophonic too, unless you looped it!

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