[sdiy] Psych Tone

Darren Shorsky dschnidsky at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 5 20:00:32 CET 2019


thanx so much for this.

From: Synth-diy <synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org> on behalf of Donald Tillman <don at till.com>
Sent: January 5, 2019 5:06 PM
To: synth-diy mailing list
Subject: [sdiy] Psych Tone


I just whipped up a simulation of the Psych Tone in JavaScript.  Please enjoy:


(It's still a little rough.)

"WTF is a Psych Tone?"

The Psych Tone composes and plays musical sequences based on a Linear Feedback Shift Register.  Don Lancaster invented and published (and named) it in the February 1971 issue of Popular Electronics magazine.

The original article is here:


As hobbyist electronic music projects go, it's pretty impressive.  A 6-bit LFSR with variations, VCO, envelope generator, voltage controlled attenuator, and some logic to introduce rests, all in one package.


Previously I wrote a JavaScript simulation of Marvin Minsky's Triadex Muse.  That's here:


Interesting update: I've been contacted by the Barbican Centre in London.  They're putting together an exhibition for this summer called "AI - More than Human" and it will feature a physical Muse, under glass, with my software simulation running on an iPad next to it.  This way museum visitors can see the actual Muse, and try out the simulation, and even "take it home".

  -- Don
Donald Tillman, Palo Alto, California

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