Synopses & Reviews
Dive hands-on into the tools, techniques, and information for making your own analog synthesizer. If youre a musician or a hobbyist with experience in building electronic projects from kits or schematics, this do-it-yourself guide will walk you through the parts and schematics you need, and how to tailor them for your needs. Author Ray Wilson shares his decades of experience in synth-DIY, including the popular Music From Outer Space (MFOS) website and analog synth community.
At the end of the book, youll apply everything youve learned by building an analog synthesizer, using the MFOS Noise Toaster kit. Youll also learn what it takes to create synth-DIY electronic music studio. Get started in the fun and engaging hobby of synth-DIY without delay.
With this book, youll learn:
- The differences between analog and digital synthesizers
- Analog synthesizer building blocks, including VCOs, VCFs, VCAs, and LFOs
- How to tool up for synth-DIY, including electronic instruments and suggestions for home-made equipment
- Foundational circuits for amplification, biasing, and signal mixing
- How to work with the MFOS Noise Toaster kit
- Setting up a synth-DIY electronic music studio on a budget
About the Author
Ray has been interested in analog synthesizers since the first time he heard "Switched On Bach" back in 1968. That magic box on the cover of the album with all of the knobs, switches and patch cords grabbed his attention and never let it go. After working at U.S. Steel, Intec Systems, Siemens Pacesetter, and Telectronics, he now runs his popular web site Music From Outer Space full-time. Most of his electronics learning has been hard won and experiential with hundreds of hours devoted to reading, bread-boarding, experimenting and appreciating analog synthesis.
Table of Contents
Dedication; Preface; How I Got Started; My Electronic Roots; Music From Outer Space; What You Should Know; What's Next?; Conventions Used in This Book; Using Examples; Safari® Books Online; How to Contact Us; Chapter 1: What Is Synth-DIY?; 1.1 A Bit of Analog Synthesizer Etymology; 1.2 What Can I Build?; 1.3 How Far Can I Go?; Chapter 2: Tooling Up for Building Analog Synths; 2.1 Instrumenting Your Workbench; 2.2 The Oscilloscope; 2.3 The Digital Multimeter (DM); 2.4 Logic Probe; 2.5 The Bench Power Supply; 2.6 Some Nice-to-Haves; 2.7 Tips for Reliable Soldering; 2.8 Obtaining Electronic Components; 2.9 Troubleshooting Tips; Chapter 3: Analog Synthesizer Building Blocks; 3.1 Three Configurations: Normalized, Modular, and Hybrid; 3.2 Voltage Control analog synthesizersvoltage control of; 3.3 The Voltage-Controlled Oscillator (VCO); 3.4 The Voltage-Controlled Filter (VCF); 3.5 The Voltage-Controlled Amplifier (VCA); 3.6 The Low-Frequency Oscillator (LFO) LFO modules; 3.7 The Keyboard Controller; 3.8 The Envelope Generator (EG); 3.9 The White Noise Generator; 3.10 The Sample and Hold (S&H); 3.11 Audio and DC Signal Mixers; 3.12 The Ring Modulator; 3.13 The Voltage Sequencer; 3.14 Putting It All Together; Chapter 4: Make the Noise Toaster Analog Sound Synthesizer; 4.1 Noise Toaster Block Diagram Noise Toastercomponents of MFOS Noise Toaster Noise Toaster; 4.2 Building the Noise Toaster; 4.3 Testing the Noise Toaster; Chapter 5: The Incredible Op Amp; 5.1 Op Amps as Amplifiers; 5.2 Negative Feedback Demystified; 5.3 Op Amps as Comparators op ampsas comparators feedback resistors (RFBs); 5.4 Positive Feedback (Hysteresis); Chapter 6: How the Noise Toaster Works; 6.1 The Noise Toaster Schematics; Chapter 7: Your Electronic Music Studio; 7.1 Connecting a Project to Your Computer's Sound Card; 7.2 Introducing Audacity Audacityintroduction; 7.3 Recording Exercises; A Field Guide to Op Amp Circuit Applications; Buffers buffers op ampsbuffers for; Comparators; Signal Mixing audio signal mixers op ampsaudio mixers; Simple but Useful Op Amp Oscillators; Digital-to-Analog Conversion Using Binarily Weighted Resistors or the R/2R Resistor Ladder; Light Up Your Synth with LEDs; The LM13700; LM13700 Manufacturers; LM13700 Chip Details; Three Examples of LM13700 Circuits; A Simple State-Variable VCF; A Triangle-to-Sine Converter; Working with CMOS Logic Chips; Logic Chips in Synth-DIY; Index; Colophon;