Time Scattering Device

If you combined a time machine with a woodchipper, you’d have something like the Time Scattering Device. It scatters audio’s recent history with an actively recorded buffer and nimble controls to acrobatically jump across, float around, and spin back time. The Time Scattering Device turns micro-time travel into a real-time module with results ranging from fluttering pulses to reverse delays to dynamic glitches to pitch shifts and it can readily be modulated and triggered to mix and vary such behaviors. You might expect uncontrolled chaos (which you can achieve), but the Time Scattering Device’s controls have 1:1 correspondence with internal functionality, lending them great responsiveness even when their purposes aren’t well understood, so go ahead and press randomly in rhythm.

Primary control is accomplished using a threefold concentric set of dials at the bottom. The centermost yellow dial adjusts a recording length which will affect the rate of repeats/glitches/etc. The next dial outward affects the rate of playback from -4x (reverse) to 4x (two octaves up). The outermost ring offers a 1-2x multiplier of this rate to give you an effective range up to -8x to 8x the playback speed. Use the nearby volume knob to tame the amplitude, or send it to negative values (designated to blend in original signal, not negative phasing), especially for delay effects.

Two columns of buttons above the main dials, marked with intervals of time such as “quarter”, “eighth”, and so on, reference the system tempo. The second column (LEN) moves the length dial (center, yellow) to values that match the beat. The first column (POS) move the playback position of the recording back in time with reference to the beat, resulting in a delay. The neighboring yellow slider allows you to scrub that position back and forth.

At the top, are buttons for freezing the recording and bypassing the device. A green button labeled, “thru” passes the input to output when the volume is set to negative values or when the unit is bypassed, and another button labeled “polarity” affects how the bypass button responds to CV input (high=on or high=off). Use triggers at the sync position jack to time the device with a beat. The rev (reverse) jack/button lets you switch playback directions while maintaining the same speed. Use pitch CV (1V/oct) input to perform pitch shifting chromatically. A wipe jack (top center) lets you clear a recording with a trigger pulse.

Use the Time Scattering Device to delocalize rhythms, to produce skittering harmonies, to slice up time while in the present, to remix & edit on the fly, and to confuse your musical adversaries with sounds that aren’t easy to come by.