Time Lapse Build: Nonlinear Circuits Vactrol PiLL (NLC Vac PLL)
In this build, we take on the Nonlinear Circuits (NLC) Vactrol PiLL module. While the build itself wasn’t a difficult one, it did take some patience when it came to soldering the LED after mounting the panel. With most of the components already mounted, we recommend you use a very fine time on your soldering iron to be able to get to the LED solder points.
Also, make sure you don’t have a lot of coffee or caffeine in your system when it comes to building this module… save that for when you are done!
The name is drawn from the two main components that define the function and characteristics of the module. One is the vactrol which is a light controlled resistor, these have an interesting effect whereas there is always a time delay whilst the resistor changes its value – this is a good thing and has been exploited by many synth designers, notably Don Buchla.
The PiLL is from a PLL – phase locked loop, this is a special purpose IC which contains number of subcircuits and usually used in radio and digital control circuits. It contains a VCO, logic gate and a phase detector meaning all fun stuff!
You will notice that our panel is very different from the normal NLC panels. We opted for the White Magpie from Magpie Modular for its unique look and excellent print quality.
Height – 3U
Width – 4HP
Panel: White Magpie Custom