Bleep Labs Thingamagoop – Ugly Monster Synth

Thingamagoop synthSorry SynthTech. Studio-quality modules, 1/8″ thick aircraft aluminum panels, Bourns pots and Switchcraft jacks are great and all, but they don’t have the personality of the Thingamagoop, an ugly monster analog synth from Bleeplabs.

Yes….it’s got cheap electronics, it looks like they built it in a napkin dispenser and it is limited to making bleeps and blurps, but it’s cute, at least in a sort of ugly monster way.

Why would anyone make such a monstrosity?

According to Bleep Labs, “Because there are not nearly enough beeping, zapping, bixxerfouping, anthropomorphic synthesizer monsters in the world.”

Here’s the lowdown:

The Thingamas have oscillators just like any synth. On analog synths the oscillator that creates the actual tone you hear is called a VCO or voltage controlled oscillator. The Bleeps work a little differently so we’ll just call it the main oscillator. Instead of using a keyboard, the main oscillator in the Thingamas is controlled by a photocell. Heres what the waveform from the main oscillator looks like.

When there is a lot of light hitting it, the resistance across the photocell gos up and the oscillator yields a higher pitch. Less light lowers the resistance and pitch. When the switch on the right is up, the oscillator is in a high range and when it’s down it’s in a lower range.

Just like any analog synthesizer, the thing-a-ma-s have another oscillator that effects some variable. This is usually called a modulator or LFO.

The modulator’s frequency is controlled by the knob and the type of modulation is selected by the switch on the right. When the switch is down the modulator is effectively turning the output of the main oscillator on and off.

This yields a simple beep beep beep (listen) at lower frequencies but at higher frequencies sidebands are created.(listen)

Sidebands occur when the modulator is oscillating inside the audible range . This creates new frequencies that are multiples of the oscillators frequencies.

When the modulator switch is down, the modulator is changing a variable in the LEDacle’s circuit. Now you have some control over its rate of blinkatude

The LEDacle is a modulator too but instead adjusting knobs and switches to change how it interacts with the main oscillator, you physically move it around to effect the sound. The light from the LEDacle can be poonted at the photocell to rhytmically change the pitch.

Not only can you use the speaker inside the Thingamas to listen to crazy beeping nonsense, you can also use the 1/4inch ouput jack to plug it up to all kinds of things. Plug it into some guitar effects and an amp for some indescribable electronic madness.

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