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Learn about synth architecture
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Learn about synth architecture
soledad
I want to learn more about analogue synth design and build some basic circuits.

And there is a wealth of information out there, as there is on this website. But it all seems a bit randomly scattered around the web, without any context or information on where they come from, who designed them etc .. At the moment I'm a bit overwhelmed and I don't know where to start.

So I was wondering where I can find more comprehensive documentation, technical books, blogs or websites about the architecture of the analogue synth and its components. That goes into the evolution of its circuits, vco, vcf, lfo… etc ..

For example, the vco; its origin, who designed it, in what synths it is used, what circuit is it based on or evolved from, schematics, how to build it etc …
So I can start at the beginning and learn all about the different designs and their relation to each other.

Thanks!
comrade_zero
Great questions! There are some very good resources for beginners that are available. For a nice collection of circuits with good descriptions of how they work check out Music From Outer Space. Ray Wilson also authored a book, Make: Analog Synthesizers which has some great material. For a deeper read with circuits adapted from the Electronotes series (which are the "starting points" for many of the circuits that are considered "standard"), find a used copy of Hal Chamberlain's Musical Application of Microprocessors. Good circuit descriptions. Some of the Chamberlain circuits use old ssm chips, however, some of those chips are currently being offered by various manufacturers again... First things you will want to put together are a solderless breadboard, a bi-polar power supply (to test circuits with, +/-15v for larger format, or +/-12v if you plan on building eurorack), and at least a small collection of parts (standard resistors, caps, diodes, transistors, op-amps, lm13700 ota's, 555 timers, potentiometers, etc...) If you want some very simple (but not terribly accurate) circuits to breadboard and experiment with, I cannot recommend the Nicolas Woolaston circuits strongly enough. http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-34550.html They offer the beginner a great starting point for synth circuits. Good luck on your adventures, hope this helps...
soledad
Thank you for your great info & tips comrade ! wink

I knew Music From Outer Space, but hadn't looked into his book, it seems like a good starting point indeed.

I have some basic skills in electronics but not really building analogue synths. I only recently breadboarded a relaxation oscillator that I just randomly picked from the Falstad circuit sim. And it worked smile Which inspired me to get into it more. But then I thought, ok, what now .. what is the logical progression from this, do people actually use this oscillator in their modules or what are the “standard” circuits that are used, hence my question.
Grumble
http://download1947.mediafire.com/p1gh91gm5h3g/7w2dcsqmkbeduea/Synth+S ecrets+Complete.pdf
BananaPlug
Part of the reason you feel a bit lost is that electronic music is a tiny splinter off the larger trees of Electronc, Acoustics, Music. Oscillators (and oscillation) already existed. The circuits used are mostly familiar idioms from previous work often having nothing to do with sound.

Figure out a good system for making notes an saving links. You’ll find what you’re looking for in bits and pieces and you brain will sort it out for you. It’s magic.

nanners

P.S. you should look at Ken Stone’s CGS stuff.
soledad
some good advice BananaPlug and that link is a truly amazing source of information Grumble !

thanks so much !
Rob Kam
BananaPlug wrote:
... a good system for making notes an saving links ...

That's the idea behind the SDIY wiki.
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