Building An Original Mono Synth

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Mr. DiSco
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Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by Mr. DiSco » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:29 pm

Okay so this may look like a too big project that I'm starting but it's actually sort of a school project that I will be on for a bit less than a year starting now. My idea is to create and build my own analog monophonic synthesizer module. It would be Two or maybe one oscillators, unpatchable and have an input for basic midi controller. I'm posting here to see if you know some sites or something with a simillar project very well documented or just usefull documentation. I'm a really quick learner and I think I can say I have the basic synth and electronic knowledge, but It's definitely an all new thing for me.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by Augment » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:13 am

I have no experience doing anything like this, but I've picked up a bit of information here and there.

Make Magazine has a lot of information on DIY project related things. It's also available as a print / newstand magazine.

http://makezine.com/

PAiA has been selling synth kits forever. Although this wouldn't really qualify as an "original" synth, since you basically just buy a kit and components and put them together yourself. Which you could probably pass off as your own unless your teacher is knowledgeable when it comes to synths. :lol:

http://www.paia.com/

Mouser is the place to go online when it comes to buying all the components you'll need if you're going 100% DIY. Finding stuff can be a bit of a pain due to them having an insane amount of stock. If you search for "Oscillator" you're going to get 30+ categories to choose from, with many parts in each. "Frequency Control and Timing Devices" is the one you want... which has 25,000 (no joke) parts to choose from. I know that for most homemade / project synths, 555 Oscillators are commonly used, so I'd suggest searching for that to narrow it down from 25,000 to... 5. :)

http://www.mouser.com/

This link of Moog's patents might be useful; it has the schematics for just about everything Moog submitted for a patent. All the oscillators, filters, and so on. While I'm not sure if you want to just buy an osciallator, filter, etc and put them together, or actually make your own, this should be a nice resource nonetheless if doing this type of electronic work interests you.

http://www.till.com/articles/moog/patents.html

I'm sure there's at least a few people here who know a lot more about the subject, like the guy who made his own poly-analog (!). These are the best places I can think to point someone with my limited knowledge. Hopefully it helps!

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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by sqweebking » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:04 am

This book could be a huge help, ive read through it as im planning on doing the same thing you are as soon as I have the space to do so. Gives you explanations, design tips and basic schematics for every part of a synthesizer.


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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by Mr. DiSco » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 am

Thanks a lot to you both! A lot of extremely interesting stuff, excepting Paia which isn't what i'm going for. Mouser is going to be helpful definitely.
Clearly a guy like adamstan could help, my project being such an easy thing in comparaison. I hope some of them post soon too.
I will read the book soon, I had never seen this one even if I have seen a lot of similar books on sythesizers nothing was as close to what I want to do. :D

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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:26 am

Here is some info and some designs for various components. http://www.cgs.synth.net/

My advice is that if you don't know a lot about electronics and haven't made a lot of other people's designs before then don't try starting by designing and building something from scratch. You're gonna need to design separate analogue and digital sections of the board and not have digital noise leak into the analogue part, wire up mains power and troubleshoot a design that nobody else has. If something doesn't work you won't know if it's a problem with your design or with the way you've put it together. Making your own synth can be done but it's the job for someone who knows what they're doing and is experienced, a novice would find it very difficult.

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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by tim_m » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:36 am

Music From Outer Space is one site that comes to mind for me. If you need more sites, I can go through my bookmarks. I fall down the DIY rabbit hole a little too often...

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Re: Building An Original Mono Synth

Post by Mr. DiSco » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:42 pm

Stab Frenzy:
Something like the PICSynth would be to hard to you?
http://picsynth.000space.com/
I am asking, because you know better what I will have to go through and maybe I'll have to follow your advice and report this project to another time when I'll have experienced more things.

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