Number 47


Number 47 – otherwise interpreted as a 48-bit bit shifter designed to interface with a 70’s era Serge modular synth. I built this one as a favor to my good friend Jorge Bachmann in exchange for some photo work for the production wing of the industry. Here’s how it works: the two huge knobs that make this box kind of resemble a VHS tape control the master clock and data speed for the bit shifter. Every 8 steps, the voltage is divided and you can take a readout of it in the form of variable steps ranging from approximately 0-7 volts – perfect for interfacing with Serge CV – especially filters. After the eight step, you can either send the data back to the first step of the group, creating a CV feedback loop of sorts, pass it to the next group of 8, or keep the info from passing on to the next group. And so it goes, six times over. For status, there are two rows of RGB LED’s – the top row reports the first 24 bits, the bottom row reports bit 25-48. Also included is a clock out, as well as a common ground that allows this box to be fully incorporated into a Serge system. Also, it should be noted that I managed to wire this thing point-to-point with perfboard – making it possible the first time anyone can ever use the words 48-bit and point-to-point in the same sentence. Getting everything to sit pretty int he case was an amazing chore – I think that may have taken the longest amount of time in this project, all said. That and starting this build right around when Ximena was born and the first Guitar Player article came out. Baby, build, sleep, work on this. I think in all, it took about 6 months to complete, but thankfully Jorge wasn’t in too much of a rush. For anyone interested, here’s what the guts looked like in process:


Also, for those who’ve been following us for a while you might know that this is actually the second Number 47 in the pantheon – the first was a pedal that combined a Number 23 and a Number 24, which, of course add up to 47. This was one of my first fur-covered boxes and alas, it just didn’t work out all that well. It’s been on my desk now for a couple years – every once in a while I get the urge to guy it and build something else, but then something inevitably comes up. Such is life, I suppose.


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