Monthly Archives: January 2014

Analog synth under way


Things are coming along nicely with my current synth project. Here I am planning the layout of the front panel before i start drilling holes. Its a tight fit, but I think it will work. I’ll try to get the holes drilled tomorrow, after the concerts. In the mean time ill leave you with this trippy video from Critter & Guitari, makers of delightful little instruments.


Making synths



Here is the synth I’m currently making. Its based on a Doepfer DIY synth kit, and I am building it into an old fake guitar amp box that was used in a clothes shop display. I replaced the netting with plexiglass and that is where i will be mounting the pots, switches and jack connectors.

The fake controls and connectors on the panel where varied on the inside. some where fake, and some where real components. Some of the real components however were shorted together on a copper clad PCB. A quick spin with my dremel soon sorted that out though.

wpid-20140121_184302.jpgI will keep you posted on the build as it comes along. in the mean time here are some pics of what other people have built out of the Doepfer DIY synth kit:



Resistance is futile

Finally I have ( almost ) every resistor ever made. And they all fit nicely in this tea box.


And here I am building a village controlled oscillator. That’s the part of the stingy that generates tones, hopefully in  tune. The oscillator is called xrvco and is designed by Thomas Henry. Check it out here 



This is what Thomas Henrys version looks like:


Circuit bent NES is beautiful

This beautiful lookig circuit bent 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System by OSICA is nice:

Cirquit bending is when you take an instrument or other electronic circuit that somebody else has made, and alter it, without necessarily knowing what you’re doing. Here is a nice explaining video if youwant to know more:

and digging around OSICAs blogg reveals more interesting and beautifull stuff! WOW a blogg about two of my favourite things at the moment. Modular synths and circuit bending!



Just look at that beautiful speak’n’spell

and below his lustworthy modular:

image (1)


More here:

Modular madness

Incase you were wondering how desirable a modular synth can be, look at this

5hifting Shap3s from joseph fraioli on Vimeo.


I will be building a small analog modular synth. It will be a combination of DIY kits, finished products and some of my own designs and inventions.

I’ve started smal, and here is a noise generator i made the other day.

Modular noise generator

It has an input that you can plug a voltage source or an audio source into and controll the amplitude of the noise. It’s not quite as snappy as i would like it to bee though, so i think i need to change the circuit a bit. Audio demos coming. Here is the schematic:


And this is what i have been told will work better than the LED + LDR thing i’ve got going there.



Hooray. The race is on!


I’ll keep you posted when more components and PCBs arrive and I build more modules.

Quiet before the storm.


Despite a few gps related problems,  some old buildings with poor electrical circuits and a few blown fuses. The tour is going quite well thank you very much. And I’m looking forward to the workshop on the 24th. Don’t forget to sign up via the home page here. Or ask in the comments if you’re confused.

Sequencer madness

Here is an interesting unit built using 555 timers and shift registers. Someday there will be a tutorial on making a small synth with 555 timers on this page. but until then enjoy:

I especially like the look of this box, and the hot glue trick to make those LEDs nice and diffused is awesome. I’ve got to try that on the next thing I build.

And here is another video using an arduino as a synth. and quite an interesting one too. There are plenty of examples of how to make these and i think ill be trying my hand at it someday soon too.

Analog Modular

Analog synthesizers eh? we all want it. and this is how you make one really fast.

This synthesizer is whats called an analog modular synth. Analog because it doesnt use computers or digital audio processing, and modular because it is made up of modules.  Modular synths are one of the earlier forms of electronic instruments. The synthesizer is composed of discrete individual modules such as oscillators, modulators, and filters.  But the modules are not connected. All connections are made via patch cables on the front of the synthesizer. This is where the term “Patch” came from. You live you learn.


In other news we are welel on our way on our Østfold school tour now and it we havent screwed up yet. Yay

Below is one of Sound technician Robin (Sky) Barstow a.k.a. Sound Poet secret tricks of the trade. using hot coffee to warm up the circuits in the rack fopr even better sound !! Wow. you just have to admire tha guy:




Somebody (Jacob Walters) went and built a great big 5 octave polyphonic synthesizer using 40106 hex schmidt trigger inverter chips (the same chip as we use in the tutorials on this page. Compared to how analog synthesizers are usually designed, this is a rather impressively complicated way of doing things. He basically made a set of 40106 oscillators that where tuned to each note of the top octave. Then he used 4040 divider chips to devide down the frequencies to the octaves below.

Just look at the insane amount of wires:


He also added an LFO, a kind of pseudo decay thingy and a few other weird and interesting sounding mods. Check it out in more detail here



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