synthesizer design

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arthurgrimley
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synthesizer design

Post by arthurgrimley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:56 am

Hi everyone,

I wonder if anyone could point me in the direction of articles/books/sites that deal in some depth with the electrical design of synth modules (VCOs, VCAs, filters, waveshapers, etc) rather than more general purpose applications?

Thanks

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Rod Serling Fan Club
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Post by Rod Serling Fan Club » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:11 am

You might want to post this in the DIY section. You might also want to take a look at the DIY forum over at electro-music.com.
Last edited by Rod Serling Fan Club on Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:25 am

try reading the module descriptions and studying the schematics at
http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/mfosweb/home.action

and

http://www.cgs.synth.net/

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BugBrand
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Post by BugBrand » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:48 pm

http://electronotes.netfirms.com/

Order the 'Everything Package' - that'll certainly keep you in reading material for a few years to come!

Or for a slightly smaller initial purchase, get these two:
Musical Engineer's Handbook
Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:03 pm

arthurgrimley

welcome to the forum :)
i'll move this to the diy section. the folks there will have lots of resource ideas for you i'm sure.

sandy

arthurgrimley
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Post by arthurgrimley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:17 pm

thanks for the suggestions - I'm just looking into them now (and to Sandy for moving this strand into the DIY section)

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Tim Stinchcombe
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Post by Tim Stinchcombe » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:48 pm

Other than the masses of schematics on the web, if you actually want a book that maybe explains a bit more, two immediately come to mind:

Electronic Music Circuits by Barry Klein, available direct from him at that link.

'Musical Applications of Microprocessors' by Hal Chamberlin - despite the title there is actually a nice section in there that describes how basic analogue synth circuits work (but don't go paying top-dollar for it: I think new copies are still to be had, but a second-hand one ought to be had for a reasonable price; lending it via your local library also makes sense...)

There are many other titles out there, perhaps a dozen or more, purporting to describe the electronics inside synthesizers, but they tend to be either pretty mickey-mouse, or rather old, or both. And some titles, despite having 'electronic' in the title are just about synths in general, or electronic music in general, and so don't contain any circuits to speak of!

Tim

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Tim Stinchcombe
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Post by Tim Stinchcombe » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:51 pm

...which actually makes me think we could use a decent list of books in the Wiki pages...

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Post by cbm » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:48 pm

I agree with the Electronotes recommendation; really good for synth-related schematics and info. Not a tutorial, though. Pretty high level in places.

Some of the DIY articles in Synapse are good: http://www.cyndustries.com/synapse/intro.cfm

How synthesizer-specific does it need to be? More general refs:
Op-Amp Cookbook - Jung (a classic)
Small Signal Audio Design - Self
Chris Muir
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arthurgrimley
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Post by arthurgrimley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:05 pm

Thanks Tim and Chris

Tim - a books page on the Wiki would seem to me to be a great idea

Chris - I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm familiar with resources such as the Op Amp Cookbook, but I guess I'd like to learn more about why some designs are more suitable for synth use than others, the sonic characteristics of certain designs, and other such things that more general texts don't tend to cover (obviously trying things out is part of the fun, but given time and financial contraints it can't hurt to be informed)

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Post by megaohm » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:59 pm

BugBrand wrote:http://electronotes.netfirms.com/

Order the 'Everything Package' - that'll certainly keep you in reading material for a few years to come!

Or for a slightly smaller initial purchase, get these two:
Musical Engineer's Handbook
Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection
The MEH and Builders Guide are great but lacking in explanations and details of the inner workings.
Bernie also used to have an early vols. package for only $32. I forgot exactly but I think it was vols 49-100 or there abouts (100's of pages!). Most of the circuits from MEH and BGPC come from these volumes.
An unbelievably great deal. No other resource even comes close. Covers all the subjects you listed (and covers them multiple times in multiple places with variations, refinements, and most importantly - suggests ideas and experiments!). Can't go wrong with it.
www.MegaOhmAudio.com

Will work for pistachios

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Post by pugix » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:56 pm

BugBrand wrote:http://electronotes.netfirms.com/

Order the 'Everything Package' - that'll certainly keep you in reading material for a few years to come!

Or for a slightly smaller initial purchase, get these two:
Musical Engineer's Handbook
Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection
I have it - the Everything Package. If you get it, be ready to invest in a half dozen large three ring binders. :hihi: The most valuable parts are the MEH and the volumes of EN up to about 1980. It may be old, but it is still relevant. Just substitute newer op amps for the LF353, etc.

BTW, I just noticed this free PDF page!

http://electronotes.netfirms.com/free.htm
Richard
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Junk Rhythm
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Post by Junk Rhythm » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:28 pm

Tim Stinchcombe wrote:...which actually makes me think we could use a decent list of books in the Wiki pages...
I started a page for Books and Publications on the Wiki under the DIY section.

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kindredlost
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Post by kindredlost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:16 pm

pugix wrote:BTW, I just noticed this free PDF page!

http://electronotes.netfirms.com/free.htm
I think I have seen a link to this from Ian Fritz pages. Hard to remember, kind of like "Concentration" game show. Nice resource, thanks Pugix.

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Tim Stinchcombe
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Post by Tim Stinchcombe » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:57 pm

Junk Rhythm wrote:
Tim Stinchcombe wrote:...which actually makes me think we could use a decent list of books in the Wiki pages...
I started a page for Books and Publications on the Wiki under the DIY section.
Great! I have probably around 30 titles I can add, but not all are DIY-related (so perhaps I'll bang them in the main Bibliography page at the top level) - I'll try and do one a day so it isn't too onerous, and if I can make each title a 'level three' heading (?), we should get a complete list at the top of the page, with links to a little more further down (rough description, ISBN, etc)...

Tim

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discomicke
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Post by discomicke » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:45 am

Tim Stinchcombe wrote: 'Musical Applications of Microprocessors' by Hal Chamberlin - despite the title there is actually a nice section in there that describes how basic analogue synth circuits work (but don't go paying top-dollar for it: I think new copies are still to be had, but a second-hand one ought to be had for a reasonable price; lending it via your local library also makes sense...)
+1 on this. Just read it, very nice book.

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