//-->

 

Other archive pages:


TAMA TECHSTAR TS-305

DR220A back

The TAMA Techstar TS305 is one of those curious analogue drum modules that were mainly designed to be used with the electronic drum pads of the era, but in this case there are also standard trigger inputs on each channel. The TS305 has 6 percussion channels. Each channel consists of a complete percussion synth with controls for Sensitivity, Attack (initial click), Decay, Noise (filter), Bend, Tune, Tone/Noise mix, Emphasis and Level. All the channels are identical apart from the 'Rimshot' channel which mysteriously features independent Tone and Noise knobs and loses the Noise filter. Although each of the standard 5 channels is identical in terms of synth circuitry, there are also a selection of trimmer pots on the board that are used to set the preset sound for each channel. At the top of each channel is memory/manual switch that allows you to adjust the settings in manual mode, but switches in the preset for the channel set by the trimmers in memory mode. Thus the channel labeled snare has a preset snare sound etc etc. Theres also an audio input round the back but more of that later.

We have modded 3 of the six channels. These were originally labeled as Tom 1,2 and 3. On each of these channels we have added:

Decay extension switch - The original maximum decay is fairly short but switching this mod in adds a lot more decay length. With the mod activated the knob now starts at its minimum setting where it left off with the mod switched out, and then adds a couple of seconds of possible decay on top of that.

Lowest Pitch Extension - This is a permanent mod that extends the lowest pitch of the oscillators to subsonic frequencies.

High Pitch Switch - This extends the top range of the Tune control. Its on a switch rather than being permanently wired in as it tends to make the response curve of the tune control a little bizarre for everyday use.

LFO to Drum Tone Pitch Switch - This sends the LFO output to that channels pitch. See below for more details.

External Audio to Pitch Switch - This sends the external audio input to that channels pitch. See below.

Along with the channel mods are an unnecessarily complex LFO with controls for speed, square/triangle switch, wave shape knob that sweeps from sawtooth, thru triangle to ramp in triangle LFO mode, and changes the pulsewidth in square mode, and finally an LFO depth knob.

There is also input level knob for the external audio input to drum pitch mod. Essentially this mod allows you to modulate the pitch of a channels oscillator tone at audio frequencies using an external audio input, for some clanging FM and ring modulation type sounds. Good results can also be obtained by routing the individual output of one drum channel back into the input of another channel, or even back into itself.

To listen to the kind of sounds this machine now produces take a listen to the mp3 demos below


..................................................................................................................................................................