SteelCity, Ontario, Canada
Currently I write under two monikers.
cisc - fluffy melodies, quirky percussion, heavy programming
ambage - soundscapes, drones, bloops and bleeps, live recording
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Tons of freeware/opensource plugs and standalones
Electronic Music other: Hello again / DIY Synth stuff
Written February 05 2009 , Tags: DIY
It's been awhile. I've been working hard and now my last semester of school is finally here. To refresh everyones memory I'm designing and building an analog synth as my final project. The design part is over and now the fun has begun.
The final design will be 2 oscs with tri/sin/square waveforms with wave shaping on the tri/sin. A 2-pole state variable filter. An envelope for amp and filter cutoff. A noise source and a ribbon controller. It's all 1v/oct so it should work with other modular stuff as well.
Right now, I have a working oscillator and filter. I did a terrible recoding via my laptops line in (read: the only input I'm willing to blow up in case something goes wrong haha) and you can have a listen here:
How has everyone been? I need updates Toronto, updates and news!
hey! well, i dont know whats been going on in toronto really. but i just moved here about 5 months ago. im into teh synth diy too, we should hookup and talk oscillators. haha. cool synth, anything special about it? or is it just a basic thing to get some kind of modular started? or do you already have a modular? make a sequencer out of a 4017 and throw that in there.
oh, we should have a modular jam! ove always wanted to do that! set up two modulars and interpatch! yum.
It's the first thing I'm building. I don't have any modular gear, but I suppose I will after this! It's going to be a table top unit when it's done but I can always add some inputs to make it patch friendly.
It's nothing really special I don't think. The oscillator is based off a xr2206 so I guess that is kind of different. The state variable is just a standard 2 pole, some op-amps and OTAs. The noise gen will be based off forcing an NPN into avalanche and amplifying it, I think that is pretty standard also.
It's definitely been interesting learning how all these old machines work though and all the problems designers faced. It's almost enough to scare me away from analog forever, DSP is just so much cleaner haha. I think I'll stick with it after this is done though because after all the headaches it's really fun to tweak a pot and hear it come to life. I think the first "after school" project will be some fun distortion box.
Electronics plug swap night could be fun, I'm still months away from being finished with it though.
toronto seems to be the same old. i'm getting old and crotchety and don't go out much any more.
i'm building a x0xb0x! well, i'm half done the power supply anyway.
not quite the same as designing from scratch.
is that breadboard the entire synth? you've kept the part count low if it is. good job!
I'm heavily into DIY as well. mostly building pedals and effect processors, but slowly gettign into synths. I'll be building a 6-osc synth soonish (pic)
I must be getting old and crotchety too then Jeff, because I haven't been out much either! Sounds like you have a fun project ahead of you.
The bread board only has one oscillator and the filter on it in that picture (plus input/output conditioning for line levels.) I am however going to attempt to fit it all on those three stacked boards. I figure I can start cleaning up and cramming as I go along and confirm operation of each section. ;)
If you're worried about blowing up your interface, maybe buy one of those cheap (US$4) USB audio cards and use that for recording. If it blows up, it is likely to give its life to save your laptop.
That's a good idea, I'm actually planning on building a little line conditioning box for the future anyways so there won't be any accidents but for now I'll live with the fear. :P
Been doing the DIY synth thing myself for a bit now, have been practicing my solder skills on little kits that i made into sound sculptures.
i still have my 2-osc/2-filter synth itching to get off the breadboard and onto a PCB. Not unlike what you're doing, though without the discipline of school so it's taking me probably 10x longer than you're doing it.
good luck... i love working in analog, i just wish i had more time for it!
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