adventures in circuit bending, diy electronics and experimental music

Gristleasmo !

This is a Gristleism, the latest release from Industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle. It is designed by Throbbing Gristle & Christiaan Virant (of FM3 Buddah Machine fame). It contains 13 loops of LoFi gristleized gorgeousness lovingly presented in glorious mono. It comes in 3 colours, black, red and chrome with exquisite die cut spot laminated packaging.

For me this was an instant target for modification, in terms of straight circuit bending there’s not much you can do with it other than increasing the pitch range, so to do something more interesting with it would require some additional circuitry. An LFO seemed the obvious choice but would have to built small to fit in the limited amount of free space inside. I went through several revisions before finalising what is presented here.

The circuit is based on Peter Edwards’ Speak and Spell LFO schematic at Casperelectronics.com, I made a few changes to the design to suit the Gristleism.
I built the mod over the Christmas holiday and posted some pictures on Flickr and audio on Soundcloud and was quickly bombarded with requests for schematics.

I have drawn up schematics with extensive build notes, high resolution images and Rapidonline.com order codes for all components.
I have specified some components for their size (eg 16mm pots) due to the limited amount of space available inside the Gristleism, if you use alternative parts check them for size before drilling any holes. There are additional photos on my Flickr page here.

Thanks to Chris Carter and TG for sharing these schematics on the Gristleism Mod Blog

Download schematics ASMO Gristleism mod corrected

UPDATE : a few people seem to be having problems opening the pdf, seems to be mostly PC users but some have said it’s fine.
I’ve uploaded high res jpegs here
You could also try updating to the latest version of Adobe Reader

UPDATE : Unfortunately I made a mistake on the schematics, the orange wire from pot VR4 is connected to the wrong point on the board.
It shouldn’t cause any damage to the Gristleism but means the LFO doesn’t work properly.
I have have corrected the mistake and uploaded the new file.
Apologies for any inconvenience.

ASMO Gristleism mod corrected

13 comments on “Gristleasmo !

  1. Onderstebovenradio
    January 21, 2010

    Many thanx for the effort of sharing this with us. May you be sung to by little angels in a balmy night.

  2. Pingback: Gristleism MODS « sync24

  3. Roberto
    January 30, 2010

    in order to do your LFO Mod, recommends you to do it before or after the Output Mod?
    Thanks a lot

    • asmo23
      January 30, 2010

      Before, you’ll need to put the jack socket in a different place to what is described in the audio out mod instructions as it will interfere with the LFO board.

      Alternatively you could build the LFO mod in a separate enclosure with it’s own power supply and connect it to the Gristleism with another socket. You’d need a stereo 3mm jack socket and lead, the 2 hot connections for the pitch and trigger and the other connect the ground.
      It’s a lot less fiddly that way and you won’t have to drill loads of holes in the Gristleism.

      • Roberto
        February 1, 2010

        thanks for your answer. I will try to do the two Mods inside the Grsitleism anyway.
        Just like the one on the video, with the input close to the middle, but I think that would be better to place everything else from the LFO Mod first.

  4. Roberto
    February 7, 2010

    Hey Asmo I have another question for you:
    On section Building the LFO Board (pdf file), on paragraph 3 says: -Next add the 4 jumpers wires…- On fig. 2 there are two yellow ones, and then two other ones (without insulation), these two, of which material should be?
    Thanks a lot!

    • asmo23
      February 7, 2010

      You can use the same wire you use for the 2 yellow ones. Trimmings from resistors and capacitors are good for small jumper wires too.

  5. Roberto
    February 7, 2010


  6. Lu
    February 14, 2010

    Hi Asmo,

    thanks for doing all this and sharing it with the world. I as a electronic novice really appreciate it. I think copying and understanding is a great way to learn. I just killed my stylophone beatbox in a bend attempt, so I gues I will stick to some tutorials a little longer 😉

    My question: I would like to rehourse the whole gristleism in a larger enclosure (table top device). I wonder: can the volume and pitch wheels be replaced with regular pots? If so, how do I know what the “correct” values are? Thanks for taking the time and keep what your doing!

    Later, Lu

  7. Marzdelmo
    February 23, 2010

    i’m wondering if it’s possible to make the lfo mod on a buddha machine 2.0 ?

    • asmo23
      February 24, 2010

      I’ve not tried it yet but it should work ok I reckom

  8. Chris
    January 10, 2011

    Would this lfo work on the pitch resistor of a circuit bent toy?
    I’ve been using the vactrol/led method and this looks much smaller and easy to build.
    I’ve put the casper electronics one in a speak and spell and it only had the one wire going to the pitch spot on the speak and spell so I wasn’t able to just attach it to a potentiometer like with the vactrol thingy.
    Am I making any sense?

  9. Albert
    March 5, 2011

    Hello, where can i buy all the pieces to bend it?

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2010 by in Circuit Bending, DIY Electronics, Experimental Music and tagged , , , , , , , .
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