New Synth DIY Project: PICsynth

The PICsynth is an interesting new synth DIY project for a real analog synthesizer, using easy to get components and capable of a wide range of sounds.


  • Dual oscillator mono synth
  • Really easy to build using just 1 custom programmed PIC chip, 4 ICs and single 12v supply
  • All circuits built on veroboard – no printed circuit board making skills needed
  • PIC based dual oscillator and digital keyboard scan
  • Analog VCF/VCA/Envelope
  • Waveforms : sawtooth, square (with pulse width adjust), triangle
  • Tuning presets : in-sync, out-sync, detune1 and detune2
  • Expandable, first two modules shown below.

Here’s a samlpe of the PICsynth sound:


More demos are available at the PICsynth site.

The PICsynth looks like an easy project. If there’s a circuit board designer out there, though, that’s up for creating a board for this, it could develop into a super-easy starter synth project that still has room for hacking.

Cost Estimate in USD

  • PIC chip $15 including postage and packing from NZ
  • PIC board components $8
  • Waveshape board components $24
  • VCF/VCA/Env components $24
  • Misc $18
  • TOTAL $89
  • + cost of keyboard (mine cost me $10)
  • + cost of wood for case.
  • Around $21 is the cost of the 7 potentiometers – if you can find a cheap source of these or use salvaged ones you will save a lot.

You an find the details here.

If you build a PICsynth, let me know what you think about it in the comments.

via the Forum

8 thoughts on “New Synth DIY Project: PICsynth

  1. Hi just got your chip and will begin building my synth shortly.
    I see you have looked at the jen sx1000 circuits the filter, vca and adsr worked well on the one I had years ago all the parts are still available, cheap and the circuits simple

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