Simple VU Meter Circuit


I recently bought a cheap VU meter on Amazon, which looks very cool but needs some circuitry to get running. Unlike vintage meters, which can be driven by the audio signal directly, newer (and especially cheap) meters require DC current. A simple circuit, based on this example by Rod Elliott, uses four diodes to convert the AC audio signal into DC, plus a resistor and capacitor to dampen the movement of the needle.

See Rod’s post for lots more technical detail and a more complex driver circuit. Of course, this is pretty lo-fi and not studio-quality equipment… it also didn’t cost $1000.

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Frankenpunch Prototype


After several hours of fruitless searching for a very long-reach hole punch, I built a “frankenpunch” from a re-purposed hole punch and some scrap wood and steel. A nicer, better-working version will cut the center holes in 7″ acetate blanks.

LP Center Label Inspiration


One of the things I love about starting a new project is the research phase, but it’s so easy to loose that open, relaxed time when you’re in a time crunch. On the other hand, I can get so caught up in my head that I loose the creative thread. So this afternoon, I sat on the floor and pulled out a bunch of records to look at center labels for inspiration. I’ve scanned 17 of them and put them up here.

They’re mostly the simple ones: one color ink, straightforward typography, and decidedly old fashioned, but that’s what fits with my project.

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