DWS4: 4-stage diode waveshaper Gerber files (DIGITAL DOWNLOAD)
IMPORTANT: by purchasing these files it is assumed that you'll know what to do with them.
DWS, also known as the 'Diodular Wave Strangler' - an object lesson in what sort of generally weird things you can down with a bunch of diodes and an op-amp. The circuit is based on a public domain schematic that I ran across whilst idly browsing and I figured it might be fun to see what it sounded like.
This is the smaller sibling of the OG DWS - it consists of 4, rather than 8, diode 'stages' which rectify the incoming signal and then mix and amplify the results with the 'main' signal. It's a very interesting effect and is a bit like the Lockhart wavefolder on crack.
The exact output is very much dependent on what you put in, and even small changes can result in some entertaining effects. The controls can be a bit on the twitchy side (again, depending on other settings and the nature of the input) but the results are, I think, well worth it.
This offers a bit more 'immediacy' than its bigger brother, but if you like fiddling and dig weird timbres, this might be right up your street - whilst it can be used in more 'dynamic' pieces, I feel it is particularly suited to drones and the like.
You won't find any voltage control here - this one is very much for the knob twiddlers; there are 'shape' and 'slope' pots (this is what was on the schematic - I'm still trying to work out where they fit into the grand scheme of things) plus control pots for the voltage dividers on each of the diode stages. Finally, there's an output gain pot to give the shaped signal a bit more presence. On top of that, there's an input and an output.
You'll get best results from sine or triangle-based waveforms - square waves are affected very little (or at all) and sawtooths are somewhere in between. This module is designed for modular-level signals - audio signals will require a lot of amplification; each diode stage will remove around 0.3V from the input signal.