The Aparatus

The Aparatus is a bent Casio PT-10. Conventional wizdom is that there's not much to be done to a PT10 that'll make it really sweet, but having received this one (not working) as part of a deal with a few other things, I figured to give it my best shot. First of all, I re-housed it in an old portable record player that was almost exacty the right size. PT10's are teeny, so not the best for mounting switches and what not it, thus the necessity of the re-housing.

Upper right is the master pitch control. Basically, I replaced the tune knob that you can find on the bottom of most older casio with a pot of much higher value. As such, you can get deep deep tones out of both the rhythms and the built in sounds. Lower right is the output volume. The switches in the middle didn't come out as well as intended, but are a beat cancel, a hi-pass filter, a low-pass filter and a distortion.

On the left are 3 separate oscillators (with on/off switches), all reactive to each other. The combination allows the user to truly distort, pitch-bend, and "bring the white noise fury" into and out of every tone the PT10 offers. Used in conjunction with the master pitch, these 3 knobs can yield spectacular results. The oscillator controlled by the white switch has multiple functions. First, it changes the rhythms to tones, creating amazing tonal polyrhythms adjustable from hi to low pitch. Secondly, this is the on/off switch for the antenna on the far right.

Contrary to most first impressions, this in NOT a theremin like device. It is, however, a simple (and aesthetically pleasing) way of creating a movable body-contact. Depending on the setting of Oscillator 3, touching the antenna (and in fact any part of the metal strip on which it is mounted) changes the pitch of the current tone or beat. A light touch creates a slight oscillation, while grabbing it fully will dramatically affect the sound, from full-on pitch shifts to even the cueing of a snare sound. Also, mounted in the lower right panel (not pictured) is a small brass screw that is also a body contact. Touching both the screw and the antenna at the same time yields some of the best tones the Aparatus has to offer.

To the middle left is an added rate only optical LFO which affects the over-all output, a nice pulse-creation addition to the arsenal the Aparatus brings to bare. Finally, and most interestingly, the PT10 is equipped with a record mode that lets you play back something like 90 keystokes once activated. Using this feature, then pitching it down with the master pitch control, loops of 5 minutes or more can be created, freeing up your hands for oscillator manipulation or even other instruments.