DIY Digital Synth Project

Hack-a-day has published another synth DIY project – a tutorial on building a basic digital synthesizer:

This simple guide will show you how to build a digital synthesizer that generates and manipulates square waves. Your synthesizer will have one oscillator, which produces a variable pitch controlled by a potentiometer, as well as an LFO which modulates that pitch at a variable frequency. The part count for this project is quite low, and it can be built for under $20.

Looks like a fun project to learn about basic digital sound generation.

6 thoughts on “DIY Digital Synth Project

  1. AMPLITUDE (loudness)/WAVESHAPE CONTROL:

    This will allow your simple hack-a-day synth to have Square and Triangle Wave outputs with a loudness control so you don't have to adjust it externally or have your ears ringing ;O
    materials needed:

    (1) DPST (non-shorting changeover) switch or a DPDT (center off)
    (1) 100k audio/linear taper pot (audio taper preferred)
    (1) 10k resistor
    (1) 100k resistor

    …to be continued.

  2. AMPLITUDE (loudness)/WAVESHAPE CONTROL:

    This will allow your simple hack-a-day synth to have Square and Triangle Wave outputs with a loudness control so you don't have to adjust it externally or have your ears ringing ;O
    materials needed:

    (1) DPST (non-shorting changeover) switch or a DPDT (center off)
    (1) 100k audio/linear taper pot (audio taper preferred)
    (1) 10k resistor
    (1) 100k resistor

    …to be continued.

  3. AMPLITUDE (loudness)/WAVESHAPE CONTROL (continued):

    1. solder two wires for one end of the switch for your Triangle Wave and two wires on the other end for your Square Wave.
    2. solder three wires to your 100k pot; LEFT TERMINAL:Vcc, CENTER: output; RIGHT: ground.
    3. insert the 10k and 100k resistors in series with each other on your breadboard.
    4. connect the RIGHT leg on the 100k pot to ground, the CENTER leg in line with the positive side of the main output, and the LEFT leg after the two resistors.
    5. insert one wire of the TRIANGLE side of the DPST after the two resistors and one wire into the 'emitting' channel of the inverter (pin 1).
    6. insert one wire of the SQUARE side of the DPST before the two resistors and one wire into the 'receiving' channel of the inverter (pin 2). The square wave is louder, so the two resistors act as a 'loudness governor'.

  4. AMPLITUDE (loudness)/WAVESHAPE CONTROL (continued):

    1. solder two wires for one end of the switch for your Triangle Wave and two wires on the other end for your Square Wave.
    2. solder three wires to your 100k pot; LEFT TERMINAL:Vcc, CENTER: output; RIGHT: ground.
    3. insert the 10k and 100k resistors in series with each other on your breadboard.
    4. connect the RIGHT leg on the 100k pot to ground, the CENTER leg in line with the positive side of the main output, and the LEFT leg after the two resistors.
    5. insert one wire of the TRIANGLE side of the DPST after the two resistors and one wire into the 'emitting' channel of the inverter (pin 1).
    6. insert one wire of the SQUARE side of the DPST before the two resistors and one wire into the 'receiving' channel of the inverter (pin 2). The square wave is louder, so the two resistors act as a 'loudness governor'.

  5. AMPLITUDE (loudness)/WAVESHAPE CONTROL (continued):

    final tips: make sure your two fixed resistors are isolated from your final output or your variable resistor (loudness control) will not have no effect and be sure the switch is wired correctly or you might have an ultra-silent Triangle and a loud square wave. Mixing both waves simultaneously in this setup will ground out both sides of the inverter and you will get absolutely nothing. HAVE FUN!

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