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4ms Tremulus Lune

The Best Tremolo...Ever!
Behold...the tremolo of all tremolos...the über tremolo! I first stumbled across this project a couple of years ago when I was looking to build the Commonsound Atoner pedal (which I never got working). I saved all the files for this project to my hard drive, intending to build it right away, but as things sometimes happen...it got pushed back in favor of more fuzz pedals, namely the ToneBender MKII Professional. But in the last couple of months I went looking for a good tremolo pedal because my EA Tremolo just didn't deliver all I wanted...it's a design that's limited by its age more than anything. Then I remembered the 4ms/Commonsound Tremulus Lune, which I had heard was one of the best tremolos around because of its great "tweakability." Yes, Dann Green's designs are famous for having lots and lots of knobs, and I doubt that you'll ever be able to find another tremolo design with this many knobs. The basic model has 5 knobs, one indicator LED (that also flashes in time with the speed of the LFO), and an on/off stomp switch. There are several modifications that you can perform on this circuit, such as extra LFOs (more knobs!), and an especially interesting ramp up/ramp down mod that allows the tremolo to do the sawtooth wave, along with the sine wave and square waves that it already does. I decided to leave off the extra LFO, but thought that the ramping mod would be a great addition...add another toggle switch. The toggle switch that I chose is a really cool little design...a NKK SPDT on-off-on switch that has a locking lever, so that it can't be accidentally knocked into another position. To change the setting of the switch you have to lift up on the lever, which unlocks it. I also made a little circuit board to mount to the bottom of the switch, which also holds the two 1N914A diodes. I thought that this made the construction a lot cleaner and neater. This design also uses the LED/LDR combo to couple the LFO to the input and ouput stages. I mounted the rectangular LED so that its face was right up against the LDR, and wrapped a small piece of black electrical tape around them so that no stray light would find its way in.

After I finished shoehorning the circuit board, pots, switches and jacks into a 1590BB box, I plugged it in for the first time, I had to set the trimpot so that the output level of the tremolo was at unity, but if you so desired, you could set it so that the output was a little higer than unity for more volume boost. The first thing that I noticed was a loud "popping" as the LFO cycled. After looking through the Commonsound tweaking guide for the Tremulus Lune (available on the Tremulus Lune page of the Commonsound site...see the links below in the 'Project Files' section below) and following the directions therein, I soldered a 0.001µF capacitor across the trimpot and added a 100µF capacitor from V+ to ground. These two simple additions to the circuit completely solved the problem, leaving me with the best tremolo on the planet! On a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the best, I give the 4ms Tremulus Lune an easy 10! What are you waiting for? Go and build one now! This is probably the most worthwhile project that I've ever built!

Below is a schematic of the 4ms Tremulus Lune, as I built it:

Tremulus Lune Schematic

And here are some pictures of my Tremulus Lune, which I called the "Apollo" with an especially neat rising sun decal on the top of the box. Click the thumbnails for the full-sized image:

4ms Tremulus Lune

4ms Tremulus Lune

4ms Tremulus Lune

Project Files

4ms Tremulus Lune PCB
4ms Tremulus Lune Layout
4ms Tremulus Lune Parts List (for my build)
Build Difficulty: Moderate

Switch-Mounted Circuit Board PCB
Switch-Mounted Circuit Board Layout
Build Difficulty: Easy

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Site last updated on May 20, 2007.

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