Anyone into synthesis video/audio or otherwise

Poking around to see what the interest is within the community for all things audio/video synthesizer related like:
DIY (building oscillators, filters, amplifiers, sequencers, mixers, and other audio circuits.)
Noise/Effects boxes

The weirder, the better when it comes to this stuff…
check out Look Mum No Computer for inspiration.


I love Look Mum No Computer! A couple of buddies and I are into this stuff and I would be interested in learning more about it. I was just in electronics today looking at our oscillators and thinking about the possibilities…

I’m just getting into modular synths. I’m planning on building some gear over the winter.

I got 2 Berhringer Neutrons as starters, but haven’t had time to play with them much yet.

I also have a couple of 90’s vintage Roland MIDI synths.

I don’t know how he does it or what his background is, but I get a kick out of what he creates.

I’ve dipped my little toe in the waters of digital IC’s with simple 555 squarewave tone generators, but I’d like to create polyphonic oscillators using the 555 or 556 and link(mix?) their signals together. I picked up a chip called a “CD4040” which is a " 12-Stage Ripple-Carry Binary Counter/Divider" useful for subdividing a given frequency. I tthink this would be perfect for creating harmonic rich waveforms that could be the foundation of an additive synthesizer…

Nice! What kind of gear are you thinking? I’ve been thinking an easy way to get into modular would be to build a power supply/case. Instead of investing hundreds of dollars in a prefab case, make something substantially less.

roger arrick in Tyler owns and is a former DPRG president and has made it out to the DMS this summer. Get a group of folks willing to learn, and I’ll call him and see if he’d do a webcast or something


My plan is to build a good sized portable rack case first. I’ve started collecting hardware for that. Need to finish my checkout on the MultiCAM…

I think I’m going to start with building 4 oscillators from 3340 chips. Those can be had for ~5$ each these days. Not sure what kit I was looking at. Music From Outer Space maybe. Need those, a quad ADSR envelope generator, and a quad VCA.

The big project ( after the case ) will be a multi channel sequencer. I’m looking at one of new Teensy boards. Going mixed analog and digital.

There’s also a guy I found that makes cheap kits. Quantizers, LFOs, filters, etc.

The real trick is getting face plates at any sort of reasonable price. I’d like to do something a bit more professional looking than LMNH’s stuff. I took the Shapeoko class a while back with that in mind. Front Panel Express does VERY nice work, but they are rather proud of it…

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I start to have time in October. Art mentioned him as well. I’d be interested.

But first, FenCon is rapidly approaching.

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In case you haven’t seen it yet:

I love it that it looks like these two guys were on a heist, stumbled across this room of gear, and just HAD to stop for a session… :slight_smile:

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The guy with the cheap kits I mentioned:

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Would be awesome! Thanks for the rec!

Sparkfun has some sequencer kits I don’t know if you’ve seen these.

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Following. Very interested in audio synthesis and sound design. Pretty excited about this new toy… er, I mean, tool… yeah tool, to play with. Uses brush-less modern micro-controlled drone motors as oscillation and also optically generated wave sources that can be shaped in pretty much infinite ways to create new and unique organic sounds. Really interesting mix of digital and analog tech. On the list as of right now as a Got-To-Have. :wink: Never occurred to me to actually build something like this myself, but that very definitely appeals to me, and now I find a whole bunch of like-minded folks and the tools that could make it possible… But check this thing out:

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Whoa! VERY cool! First thing that jumped out at me in the video is this old synth. It’s a “WASP” synth, made by Electric Dream Plant Limited in England in the late '70’s, back when I was young and had hair. Was only $200, and was a pretty amazing piece of kit at the time for that price. I bought mine as soon as I heard about it in 1978. My brother dropped it on the driveway one day and cracked the plastic case. I was doing royal and executive aircraft interior fabrication at the time and decided to build a new case out of teak and put a nice pig skin leather pad on the bottom, and a handle off an old briefcase. Still have it. Still love it. Still works.

Funny, the look of that synth is so striking with the yellow color, it immediately draws your eye. I’m assuming it doesn’t have any Midi connection?

Cool video too. It is unique instrument that is one of a kind… I’m interested in the electrooptics bit. I’ve built some basic circuits using a photo resistor and one transistor to produce a screeching tone… not very pleasant or musical

Here’s a different use of motors to produce sound by the artist Zimoun.

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Nice work ! I’ve only read about those.

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No midi, unfortunately. The connectors in the top right corner of the instrument were originally intended for chaining mulitple WASPs together, which I never did.

Actually, I’ve never seen another one in the wild, other than my own, but it’s great fun for synthesis experimentation, and I’ll be sure to bring it with me the first time this group gets together. I don’t yet know about the hardware end of things, but it’s something I’ve always been keen to learn, and I’m really looking forward to sitting in the same room with all of you and soaking up the patterns.

And that is a VERY interesting video! Thanks for that.

I have somewhat grander ambitions than the simple sequencer kits I’ve seen so far.

I want to be able to sample and digitally store a sequence into a microprocessor. Or more accurately, 8–16 sequences of 32–64 steps each. I want to be able to store those on a host computer for later reload. I want to be able to load and then adjust each sequence without a computer ( probably via an array of shaft encoders ). And I’m toying with the idea of building in the option to include quantization on playback. ( As in only play back voltages that correspond to a note, chromatic, or constrained to a selected key. )

The trick will be making this all modular enough that I can work on it usable sections. As noted: big project.

Plenty of ideas. Time and money – not so much sometimes…

In the mean time, I have a Novation SL Mk-III, which has a nice sequencer and a pair of CV-gate outputs, along with 2-3 MIDI outs. I’m still very new to it, and I don’t play keyboards at all yet. Music theory is on my list of things to learn though, and a keyboard seemed easier for that than a sax.

I think initially at least I’ll be using digital synths for drum sounds, so either using the Novation to manage that, or I’ll have to look into a CV-Gate to MIDI module. Drum sound modules seem oddly expensive for some reason. Doepher has some nice ones, but they are not cheap.

Anybody played with 4046 PLL ckts?

I tried to build a Theremin using one years ago. Never got it to work.

What would they be used for in a synth ?