I Dream of Wires: The Modular Synthesizer Documentary commissioned me to develop this module design as a fundraiser for their film project. The proceeds from the IDOW Edition eurorack module are going to the film's completion costs, but, this DIY project is a regular hexinverter.net project. (I just want to make that clear so there's no confusion!)

This is the DIY (do it yourself) version of the batteryACID: IDOW Edition eurorack module

batteryACID is a unique voltage controlled analogue distortion module for musical synthesis. It is loosely based on the infamous MXR Distortion Plus guitar pedal which acid house musicians have taken to processing distorted acid basslines and other synthesizer textures through.

Where batteryACID differs greatly from its guitar pedal counterparts is that it has been designed to have voltage control of the distortion amount. This makes it right at home in a modular analogue synthesizer, as fun modulation of the distortion parameter is of course possible! It sounds great on synth leads, basslines and of course drums!

For anyone that might be familiar with the older DIY ("do it yourself") batteryACID project offered by hexinverter.net in PCB form, to answer your likely question: This is an entirely different and updated circuit. It features a slew of new features and differences, as outlined below.

Base Features

  • Voltage controlled all-analogue distortion effect

  • Onboard compressor for automatic gain correction (the signal volume would otherwise vary drastically with the distortion modulation)
  • Designed anew specifically for musical synthesis and drum processing
  • Can function as a basic standalone hardware compressor when the distortion effect is switched off

Analogue Distortion with Voltage Control

  • A new take on the classic diode overdrive distortion circuit found in many infamous guitar pedals of the last half-century
  • Fully analogue voltage control of the distortion amount parameter
  • The high-pass effect (ie: bass frequency loss) commonly experienced with using guitar pedals to process synths and drums has been reduced
  • Effect wet/dry mix control for dialing in the perfect amount of distortion
  • Attenuators for input/output levels
  • Bypassing is possible via the panel switch

Onboard Compressor

  • Can be disabled easily via the switch on the panel
  • Compressor Threshold, Ratio and Gain parameter controls for locking in the desired dynamics after distortion
  • Functions as a basic analogue hardware compressor when distortion is disabled

(note: user guide is the same as IDOW Edition)