Learn to build mini synthesizer - Where do I start?

Thread Starter

LUISROD

Joined Apr 14, 2016
3
Greetings to all....

I have been an electronic musician for the past 30 years and want to build my own table-top synthesizer. For the past 20 years I have worked in metal fabrication and have designed enclosures and racks for the audio industry. As I am looking to further my education as an adult, I want to learn more about electronic technology. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I need to learn the basics.

Thank you for listening.
Luis
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,695
Greetings to all....

I have been an electronic musician for the past 30 years and want to build my own table-top synthesizer. For the past 20 years I have worked in metal fabrication and have designed enclosures and racks for the audio industry. As I am looking to further my education as an adult, I want to learn more about electronic technology. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I need to learn the basics.

Thank you for listening.
Luis
This is actually a hard question to answer. I could give you the stock answer and say start at the beginning with DC circuits. On the other hand given your mechanical and music background I could almost recommend taking an alternate path. Maybe the hybrid approach. Try the these two chapters from the online textbook associated with this site:
  1. http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/direct-current/chpt-1/static-electricity/
  2. http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/alternating-current/chpt-1/what-is-alternating-current-ac/
Read a little bit of each section and feel your way through it. Ask lots of questions. The heart of what you want to get to is called a VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) and it's digital equivalent the DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) chip.
 

Thread Starter

LUISROD

Joined Apr 14, 2016
3
Thank you for the quick response; I truly appreciate it! I will take your advice. Will post update soon.

Best regards.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,167
Start thinking in terms of functional blocks. Pre-amps, tone recovery amps, power amps, oscillators (sine waves, square, triangle, sawtooth), filters (low pass, high pass, band pass), time delays...Lots to learn.
 

Thread Starter

LUISROD

Joined Apr 14, 2016
3
Start thinking in terms of functional blocks. Pre-amps, tone recovery amps, power amps, oscillators (sine waves, square, triangle, sawtooth), filters (low pass, high pass, band pass), time delays...Lots to learn.
Thanks!
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
@LUISROD

A good first project might be to make a simple theremin.
A good first block might be to light an LED with a battery and a resistor.

Then make an LED switch on/off using an NPN transistor as an amplifier/switch.

Then make a 555 astable oscillator to flash an LED.

Then add a potentiometer to control the speed of the flashing LED

Then increase the frequency of the 555-and replace the LED with a speaker so you can hear the oscillator buzz and change with potentiometer resistance.

Then start over and figure out exactly what is happening with each circuit (current flow, power ratings of each resistor, resistor-capacitor time constants) so you understand everything.
 
Last edited:

hp1729

Joined Nov 23, 2015
2,304
Greetings to all....

I have been an electronic musician for the past 30 years and want to build my own table-top synthesizer. For the past 20 years I have worked in metal fabrication and have designed enclosures and racks for the audio industry. As I am looking to further my education as an adult, I want to learn more about electronic technology. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I need to learn the basics.

Thank you for listening.
Luis
Before making suggestions ... where are you at in electronics now? Can you read a schematic and build a circuit from one.?
Do you have to be an engineer? No, just follow a schematic and know one part from another. You don't need to design the whole thing to build a kit.
 
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