abelincoln live looper

abelincoln live sampler
In continuation of my previous post on the Yada Yada Yada samplers here is an instrument that I threw together in one evening. The “abelincoln live sampler” utilizes 3 Yada Yada Yada voice recorder circuits and simple passive 3 channel mixer for the Output signals. I only went as far as summing the resistors and didn’t do anything with the powered section in the schematic. Maybe in the future builds.

The Inputs of all 3 boards are wired in parallel so each sampler receives the same signal, either the Mic or Input via 1/4 inch jack with a switch to select between the two. The signal from the instrument jack is not attenuated, however a single potentiometer should be able to do the trick or if you really want professional quality a simple 20db pad can be constructed. I thought about wiring each sampler individually, but unless you want to sample 2 different things at the same time there is really no need. One improvement maybe to add a 3rd option of sampling whatever is being played back by the other two samplers to “bounce” tracks. The playback buttons were all wired to switches for continuous loop playback. If you want one shot playback, toggle the switch back and forth. The record buttons were replaced with heavy duty panel mount push buttons. Something to note about the controls is that they are activated by connecting the Ground signal to designated spots on the board. This makes wiring a bit easier because the Ground can be made into a common bus. Things that share the Ground are: Buttons, Mic element, the – Power connection (obviously), and the Line In jack, but not the Speaker, at least I haven’t tried wiring it to the Ground. The output is carried via two separate traces and there must be a good reason that. I just picked the same trace on all the boards as the common for the mixer inputs.

abelincoln live sampler back

All 3 circuits are powered by a single +5 Volt LM7805 Regulator with a 9 Volt Battery going into pin 1, Ground on pin 2 and Pin 3 is connected via a bus to all of the Positives on the boards. YYY boards appear to only power ON when the Play or Record buttons are pressed, but the same does not apply if you are using a Vreg connected to a battery. In that case its always ON and will drain eventually, so a power switch with an indicator LED would probably be a smart idea.

The pitch control knobs work fairly well. One only controls the Playback and the other controls the Recording and the Playback. It is possible to slow down the recording speed and get a lot of grainy loop-able time. The playback of that recording can be either speed up or slowed down even further, making things very low bit rate sounding. During the lower recording rates the entire CPU will slow down and the recording will not start until the LED is illuminated. The pitch of the recording tone is usually a good reference for what the speed is. It is also possible to record the pitch changes during while the LED is on, which puts another interesting spin on things.

This is the first stab at a looper device, the construction was done quickly and with as few components as possible. Lots of things could be done differently in version 2. More images are located here.

Possible improvements would be:

  • Attenuator pot on the input.
  • Separate Voltage Regulator for each sampler ( pitch drops slightly when you engage more loops. ) May help with distortions and crosstalk.
  • Cue output for listening to what is being sampled.
  • Switch to pipe the output into the input for bounding sounds between the samplers.
  • Try connecting the pots in the same way that Warp Wheel was soldered, with center and left pins wired together to +5 volts.
  • Battery Power switch with indicator LED.
  • PCB board design with pots, switches, and buttons. Eliminating the point to point wire.

Here are a couple of videos demonstrating the device. Enjoy!

17 thoughts on “abelincoln live looper”

  1. I have been toying with the idea of a similar project and had a few failures so far. This is really nice and just what I needed to keep me inspired. Thanks!

  2. nice work … especially the log-cabin styling of the wooden case.

    i went to my local target looking for yadas, but didn’t see any. all the kids toys are logoed and branded. are they kept somewhere other than with toys?

    i did buy ‘My Lil’ Reminder’ from walgreens (“as seen on TV”) – 2 for $10 – a similar device, but no looping, sadly. i’ve taken one apart and have found the pitch resistor and so forth. may put a vactrol in it to do modulations … we’ll see.

  3. Hahahaha, thanks Alex! I have no idea who that guy was that wanted to hear “Soulja Boy” or why he thought that it was ok to come up on stage and request it in the middle of my set.

    I did my best to help him out by making up a song called Soulja Boy. Probably better to do that then attempt a public performance, may have to pay royalty fees, etc.

    LOL, I wonder if that was a joke.

  4. Bill those samplers should be in the toy section right next to handheld games and such. If you don’t see them just ask. Thanks for the tip on the lil-reminder. No looping = bad.

  5. Man you always get people coming up on stage during your set! Well at least that was the second time I saw it happen… Abe Lincoln Live, rocked the Soulja Boy request though!

  6. “>>Separate Voltage Regulator for each sampler ( pitch drops slightly when you engage more loops. ) May help with distortions and crosstalk.”

    This may also be caused by too much current being pulled from the battery. 9V cells can easily be overtaxed, as I found out when building a battery powered amp.
    You could try adding a capacitor, say something the size of your thumb, to help smooth out current spikes from peaking audio. Or you could add a second 9V battery in parallel.

  7. I got a couple of these and building a similar project. Do u need a power regulator or can u just use a 9 volt battery direct?

  8. NO!!!! Do not use a 9 Volt without a power regulator. It will fry the circuits.


  9. Ok, just got two more Yada’s. Any chance someone could tell me how to wire a regulator to power them? Also what voltage would 2 units need?

  10. Wiring a regulator is not difficult. Just get an LM3805 and wire first leg to your battery, middle to ground, and the right leg to the Yada positive in.

  11. Okay, I’ve fried a couple of these guys after getting some amazing sounds from them by incorrectly attaching the voltage regulator.
    Is there any way you could publish a board scan, or just a diagram that illustrates how to correctly hook up the VR?

    I guess where I’m confused is that there are three “legs” on the vr
    are only two of them connected to the YADAYADAYADA and the 9V?

  12. Just finished my version of the abelincoln, pretty much the same except with 6 yada’s. Two rows of 3, each row with their own 9v supply (and each row has its own Voltage Regulator too). Each Yada has its own output jack and a mute switch (to kill the loud beep!), which looks cool with output leads coming out of its faceplate, I pretend its an analog synth……… I’ll post some pics when I finish off a few more cosmetic touches it needs. One question if anyone can help, how can I compensate for the voltage drop when I engage more than one yada at a time?, currently three use one 9volt battery through a VR, I’ve heard a capacitor would help in this situation, any ideas what size to use? I also noticed another option of applying a VR to each yada individually, in that instance would I need to give each one their own 9volt power supply too? The yadas sound awesome working individually, but sometimes the sound quality (and the pitch) drops when I activate the other ones, and a little bit of crosstalk and sound bleeds through from the other yadas. Cheers,

  13. Hey Friends,
    I just got a bulk deal on 5 Yaddas.
    However, I notice that these units do not loop across the whole range of Warp.
    In fact, they only will loop within 10% of “unity” pitch, and if Warped outside of that, will only play once.
    BIG bummer.
    Anyone know if/how I might set up a transistor re-trigger ?
    These do not seem to match the Version A or Version B of the board from the other GetLoFi articles.
    This one says SJ20110611-2R7.

    any help/advice would be much appreciated.

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