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Re: tape looping/tape delay KLANGUMWANDLER


     Ya, after I told you to Google "Klangumwandler", I tried it myself.  
I guess I have way too
much faith in the Internet.  :)  It seems as if the Klangumwandler that 
Wendy Carlos mentions and
Moog built and was designed by Harald Bode, may have been an entirely 
electronic device.  Nowhere
on the Internet was I able to find any mention of a "rotating tape head 
pitch shifting device". 
Yet I have a very clear memory of reading about it back in the late 70's.  
I thought that I read
about it in "Source" magazine, though I could be mistaken.

     Even though I've never seen one, the discription that I read was so 
clear in my mind, I feel
that I could build one myself just from the memory of how it was 
described.  Basically, it is a
rotating disk about 3" diameter with the four tape heads located in an X 
pattern, 90 degrees from
one another.  This disk is set in motion by a reversable motor, allowing 
variable speeds and
directions.  You are correct in assuming that you'd have to have carbon 
brushes on the rotating
disk to transfer the electronics up into the wiring harness, I don't see 
any way around that.

     My thoughts are that this device was used in the 50's and 60's back 
in the days of the
classic electronic music studios.  Dr. Zvonar are you there?

     As far as keyboard control of tape speed, I have seen two track 
studio decks with a digital
readout of the percentage of pitch shift with increase or decrease of 
motor speed.  This one went
up to an octave in either direction.  I believe it was an Ampeg, though 
don't quote me on that


<<<Thanks Stephen for the post about the "klangumwandler." 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 
<<<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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