Dalek : because you are better at Diying !


In January I decided to build my own half scaled Dalek. Seemed to be a good project to do , and fun too even I haven’t started yet. A real sized Dalek would be too much , I don’t have room for him, but a “mini-dalek” would do just fine. The building process will give me headaches for sure but the electronic parts won’t be that hard , maybe it will be the simplest for me. Electronic in Dalek ? yes , at least its voice !

Here’s a documentary about the man behind the Dalek voices :

you can see clearly, and Tennant says it himself , it’s a ring modulator . To be precise ( i’m kind of gearhead or “geek”) it’s a Moog moogerfooger Ring modulator . So the Dalek’s voice is nothing more than a ring modulator (and the cybermen’s voice as well )  and a ring modulator is pretty easy to do !

this time I’ll give at least the general idea


To avoid a limited device I decided to use this circuit as a “voice modulator” that can be used for voice, instruments, or anything that can be modified. If used with voice , only dynamic mic will work , there will be no phantom power.

first there’s a buffer, actually it might be a gain stage to increase or reduce the incoming signal (to not overdrive the ring mod ) and give a good low impedance signal to all the parts.

The ring modulator is simply the AM (amplitude modulator) shown in the LM13700 datasheet , nothing more . Works good . In fact , I’ve already built the ring mod circuit on a previous breadboard project.

the oscillator will offer different range of frequencies , in the video you can hear the different pitches used for the voices (Dalek Caan has a lower pitched voice) . The  Freq will be a pot. to chose the frequency  and it will work  with the range switch. This oscillator will also have a waveform switch to select between a triangle (softer sound) or square (more brutal)

The range switch will also be used to create a tremolo effect (hence the VCA) to not limit the device to a Dalek voice modulator. That way the circuit could be use for several things . The fact is , once you get out of the audio range (20hz-20Khz for a young people) you can use the oscillator as a LFO.

The mix will just blend the “dry” signal with the ring mod or VCA signal (maybe it’ll be useless with the depth knob , the breaboard process will show it or not)

the peak detector is a important addition to the circuit. It will cut the ring mod off when there’s no incoming signal and make it appear when one is present.In this way the ring mod will be playing along with the voice (or instrument). It will be bypassed for the VCA mod (or maybe not )

the peak detector will also control the flash light (made of LEDs) put on the top of the box . It’s a nice reference to the light bulb on the dalek head. The Leds will flash up when the circuit is used (as the dalek light bulbs do)

At the end of the audio circuitry a TDA amplifier will be added to make the project useable alone. A switching system will be present at the back to use only the effect (in a FX loop of a mixing board for instance) .A global bypass will be added as well

To finish , A surrealistic and funny conversation , daleks have a nice sense of humour , don’t they ?

here’s a good link if you want to build your own dalek , you’ll find all the imformations that you need : http://www.projectdalek.com/


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