MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Suggestions on first projects for synth diy
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Suggestions on first projects for synth diy
msegarra
I had a stroke in 2017 and it has left me hemi paretic,so my left side sucks basically.I just ordered a power supply for a soldering gun, from jbc soldering tools though, and it will allow me to make diy kits with the help of a quad hands and patience I have started electronic engineering course on khan academy. I’m looking for suggestions for good starting projects for synth diy,
I have emailed wmd about this a while ago and they said mfos noise toaster.
I want to see if you guys have any other suggestions as noise toaster is out of stock on just about every site I’ve tried? Thank you for any and all help
-Mike
msegarra
Was also considering s buffered mult would be useful or is that a pain in the ass?
abelovesfun
I built aisynthesis.com to teach DIY. There are kits and PCB/panel sets, as well as guides to tools and other articles. Give it a look and let me know if you have any questions.
msegarra
Wow awesome I never saw your site that’s perfect for me
Revok
Hey Mike. Are you looking for eurorack mainly? The AI stuff is really above and beyond on user friendly DIY. Frequency Central looks pretty good too. Here's an example build guide: http://www.frequencycentral.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/System-X- Filter-2-Build-Doc.pdf

Unless you have a particular use in mind I wouldn't bother with a buffered mult. Normal mults usually do the job fine unless you're having some specific tuning issues. Neither would be too difficult to make.

Are there any particular functions you're currently interested in? Once you get a couple easy ones down to get your technique and workflow figured out, I'd recommend building something you're really excited to try out. It makes getting through some of the early hurdles more worthwhile.
msegarra
I don’t mind if it’s not eurorack but that’s what I mainly own so it’d be cool to make stuff that I can use with the rest of my stuff really just want to learn how the circuits function I started a electronic engineering khan academy course but it isn’t very meaningful without first hand knowledge of how the values affect the circuit again thanks for every and all advice. Everyone
-Mike
Bodo1967
Check out Music From Outer Space (musicfromouterspace.com). The stuff is available through Synthcube, among others.

You'll find anything from really simple modules such as passive attenuators up to complete analog synths (modular and all-in-one) and a vocoder.

Almost entirely THT at that: The only SMD parts I used in a MFOS build so far were some matched double transistors (SSM2212, iirc) with little adapter PCBs in my MFOS Ultimate build, since the THT versions of those chips are unobtainium now.
Noodle Twister
Hi Mike, a further vote for AI Synthesis. The modules are superbly documented, videos, pictures, etc.
Great, in my opinion.

MFOS Noise toaster has some manual wiring which requires more thought and patience. Which is not to say it's not worthwhile.

I built a weird sound generator and got the pcb from Synthcube. The WSG has a little less manual wiring than the noise toaster. The easiest of the noise box, standalone, desktop synths from MFOS, could be the Alien screamer..

Other suggestions are perhaps Bastl Kastle 1.5 or Division 6 business card sequencer. There's lots of options, it's a great time to have interest in Synth DIY.
abelovesfun
love SlayerBadger! love
butter
I had an accident as a kid and can't use my left arm as a result, but have managed to DIY about 30 modules.... mostly through hole, but a few SMT...

- I hold a stick in my mouth with the solder twisted around the end and hold the iron in my functioning hand
- Desoldering can be tricky - you might have to pull a part while heating from the other side - I sometimes put the soldering iron upside down in its stand, so I can hold the pcb against the upward pointing iron and pull on the component at the same time... this got a bit messy, and eventually broke down and bought a proper vacuum-iron to mostly avoid this. Expensive, but overall worth it I think - nice to know its not a major thing to literally pull everything in a few minutes if you need...Sometimes I still use desoldering braid, find it works best if I cut off a small 10mm length and put it on the part and push it around with the iron, rather than using the stick trick.
- Another difficulty is with positioning parts... sometimes a component is skew and to get it flush with the board, you would normally heat and push from the other side - again, I use the upside-down iron technique mostly. (I've also started using a spot of "positioning" solder from the top first, so recently less of an issue)
- I use a lot of flux to help
- I've found "third hand" clamps to be quite difficult to use in practice - squeezing them open and trying to get board correctly positioned ends up more hassle than anything.... but proper pcb clamps might be the way to go - always seem a bit unreasonably priced, but like the vacuum-iron, probably might be the best solution.
- As mentioned, have done some SMT and found it surprisingly easy - might even be worth looking into especially if you go with a toaster oven or something
- MFOS stuff is good, especially if you want to learn, as circuits functionality is explained, most kits are just paint-by-number instructions.
- Music Thing Modular are also great beginner kits, although less explanation of circuit functionality.
- Overall, haven't really found many "hard" kits or builds. Wired controls can be a bit more frustrating (most modern kits have pcb mounted knobs and controls, while older ones might have wires from pcb to knobs... often 5U stuff). Have occasionally had pcbs that aren't well made that have been difficult to solder, but more often its just long build vs quick build than simply hard or easy.
- Just take your time!

Good luck, its a fun hobby! Let me know if you have any other questions...
Randy
I highly recommend:

http://www.tindie.com/stores/pmfoundations/items/

These are not kits 'though, you would need to source your own components, but the BOM spreadsheets include Mouser part numbers.
Flounderguts
My first real synth DIY was a Skookum Anookum, which is a remake of the Mutable Instruments Anushri. I love the synth still, and use it with modular and keyboards all the time. Highly recommended as a first in-depth build!
gtrmstr53
Thonk.co.uk is my favorite source for DIY kits. Mults and attenuators are usually low-part-count kits that would be good for getting the hang of a build process that works for you. If you want something a little more exciting, I've had good experiences with the Cascade kit (https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/cascade/). Befaco and Bastl are also great companies with clear and in-depth build docs, but they tend to have higher component counts and/or more densely-packed pcbs than you might want for a first build.
Randy
Flounderguts wrote:
My first real synth DIY was a Skookum Anookum, which is a remake of the Mutable Instruments Anushri. I love the synth still, and use it with modular and keyboards all the time. Highly recommended as a first in-depth build!


Anushri is a great little synth. My first build was a Shruthi, and I now have 6 of them, and 1 Anushri. But, don't you think an Anushri might be a bit too much for a first build?
msegarra
Flounderguts wrote:
My first real synth DIY was a Skookum Anookum, which is a remake of the Mutable Instruments Anushri. I love the synth still, and use it with modular and keyboards all the time. Highly recommended as a first in-depth build!

Is this the one you’re talking about?Snookum?
soup
Randy wrote:
Flounderguts wrote:
My first real synth DIY was a Skookum Anookum, which is a remake of the Mutable Instruments Anushri. I love the synth still, and use it with modular and keyboards all the time. Highly recommended as a first in-depth build!


Anushri is a great little synth. My first build was a Shruthi, and I now have 6 of them, and 1 Anushri. But, don't you think an Anushri might be a bit too much for a first build?


My first build was an Anushri, it was great first build and is what got me hooked on sdiy. The mutable instructions are great and very beginner friendly. I bought a kit though and think kits with all the parts would be easiest/funnest for a first build.
Just another rookie
Backing up what most have already said;
Thonk is good!
Frequency central is good!
Bastl kits are very user friendly. (I’m a rookie for sure)
Ryo kit I built was well laid out.

Mfos is a great site.

I built the noise toaster from his schematic onto vero/strip board.
That is a project that will keep you busy for at least a month.
He lists all schematics with a good explanation of the circuit.
Really useful stuff! You should start here if you know nothing.
At least that is what I did.
A breadboard and some components, ataripunk I think it is called.
That’s the easiest way to making noise.

Good luck and good health.
mskala
I sell kits at https://northcoastsynthesis.com/sdiy-kits/ and I think my build docs are pretty good. Difficulty varies, basically with the size of the kit, but they're all through-hole.
Ayab
Great to read that you are doing the ee course at Khan college, hope you enjoy it.

I agree that doing some kits is a good way into diy. Someone who sell kits that also helps trouble shooting on Muff's is ideal.

I would start with the AI mult or similar because it is always good to practice on something simple and it will be useful. I think the advice above that you can build anything and it is more time involved rather than difficulty.

By the way always solder in a well ventilated room; ideally with an extractor (I use a small black one like a desk top fan with a carbon filter and it is ok, needs to be close to suck the solder away though) or use a fan blowing across your soldering out an open window.

Another tip keep a couple of lumps of blue tack handy for things like holding components in place temporarily or keeping the end of the solder wire in the same place on the worktop etc...

After a couple of kits then you can look at bare pcb/panels to let you build a full system of modules much more cheaply. And later build some more esoteric ones like Non-linear circuits (he does more standard ones too actually). Yet another reason to do SMT!

Bare PCB/Panels is again just a matter of spending time ordering all the parts (and maybe extra finding out about a couple of bits you are not sure about). It can save money especially if you are prepared to spend time shopping around a bit before ordering parts from Tayda ((first look for the discount code on muff's!!) or Aliexpress. Aliexpress is cheaper when you select including shipping and make sure you are looking at the price low to high.

It is cheaper to buy quantities of the most common components like a set of resistors, 100n ceramic capacitors and electrolytic 10u capacitors for decoupling and IC dip holders etc.. Btw I have been told to avoid electrolytic capacitors from Aliexpress. Go for e.g. Panasonic on Tayda is good quality and value. You will probably order some parts from Mouser anyway but going through the BOM yourself not just using someone else's mouser cart is a good way to learn.

Am sure you have noticed there are lots of really good offers on pcb/panels here on Muff's.

The Pusherman site has a (must be fairly new) range of very good value pcb and panel sets - ST modular. I am not sure if they are through hole or SMT. Also not sure of postage to US.

Also as you want to learn to design you might find downloading eagle files from github from e.g. Joe Beuckman or Lars Bengtsonn etc.. is interesting.

You can upload these eagle files to OSH park and get the pcb's manufactured and sent to you. OSH Park have a minimum order of 3 pcb's but 3 filters or 3 VCA's is never a bad thing twisted and you can then begin to experiment with your own designs. I have not tried using Eagle to draw a schematic and turn it into a pcb design but it is there to be done.

Lars Bengtsonn's github is mainly SMT.

https://github.com/L71
https://github.com/jbeuckm?tab=repositories

As earlier advice on this thread said SMT has many advantages. Parts are not only very easy to solder but cheaper, smaller and many of the parts not available in TH are more readily available. You don't have to keep turning the board over, bending wires, snipping wires off etc. Oven toasting sounds really convenient - I have only done hand soldering SMT but that sounds like the way forward.

Designing your own pcb's in eagle you could have the majority SMT but say include a distortion section with through hole germanium diodes. Or an SMT VCA with a vacuum tube.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
mskala
Ayab wrote:
By the way if you use lead solder be sure to do it in a well ventilated room; ideally with an extractor (I use a small black one like a desk top fan with a carbon filter and it is ok, needs to be close to suck the solder away though) or use a fan blowing across your soldering out an open window.


I'd say that ventilation is even more important with lead-free solder. The danger isn't from the metal but from the flux smoke, and with lead-free solder, the temperatures are higher and the fluxes more active, which makes the smoke more dangerous.
AlanP
I'll add that if you order small parts from Mouser (or similar), look for price breaks!

Getting ten of something can sometimes cost the same as just one or two of something, and then you also have spares, as well as stock for the next project after this one.

Things like LCD displays and the like are not worth getting multiples, though.
Ayab
I didn't know that about lead free solder. I will edit.

Some very interesting stuff on your North Coast Synthesis site. I really like the originality of your designs they have some unique twists but still core functionality modules love

You make good points about the variety of components making it a bad idea to try to keep a stock of all parts. I am sure it is an easy trap to fall into that is not economical. However as AlanP says often 10 can be as cheap as 1 if you shop around. And there have been so many great designs for pcbs/panels.
Ayab
The Skookum Anookum is available from here: (shipping UK to US would be about $12)
https://pushermanproductions.com/?s=anushri&post_type=product

This build will get you a complete analog mono synth voice that will fit into a eurorack case. The Mutable gear sounds really good and as it is eurorack it will be useful as you add to your system. It does not have the patch interconnectivity that modular is all about but will always be useful especially as a lead or bass voice in your system. Having a hardwired synth in your system does have advantages. Want to hear a sound and leave the mass of noodles alone for a while? Voila.

You would have to get the firmware flashed onto the chip (after the build is complete)

Documentation (The list of components bom spreadsheet has plenty of information on where to get the parts) - click on green button 'clone or download':
https://github.com/skookumsynth/anookum

Build documentation for the original Anushri (which Snookum is based on). This will give you a good idea of what the build involves and what the parts are:
https://mutable-instruments.net/archive/anushri/build/

Build it slowly but surely and you will be fine SlayerBadger!
HerrX
Lots of good, smaller projects to be had at Tindie, I built an Arpie arpeggiator as my first diy project a few years ago. Not a noisemaker, but a cool and straightforward project with fun results.

Best of luck to you with your new endeavor/addiction Rockin' Banana!
Ayab
This is are very nice sounding full analog voice. Full kit and easy to follow instructions. Would always be useful in a eurorack system. No pic programming necessary. No sequencer or drum machine either but you can build those next hihi :
https://modularaddict.com/module-type/full-voice/rarewaves-hyrdroniume uro-kit

The Tindie pcb/panel sets linked above are good value. An excellent way to build up a modular. I particularly like the 'state machine' VCADSR very nice. But the Pusherman panels are generally better quality and nicer designs. *Edit* Looking again the black Pm Foundation panels are nice, I just don't personally like the purple ones that much.

I think maybe it was wrong to encourage you to dive in on the Anushri right away. Am sure you could do it but might get frustrated. Best to start with an easy win! Start with an easier kit with good instructions to build your confidence. Then you can go for something more in depth. Whether you want to build up a system module by module or begin with a full voice that will be useful to keep in your modular is up to you.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group