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synthesizer design
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author synthesizer design
arthurgrimley
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
Rod Serling Fan Club
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.
andrewF
try reading the module descriptions and studying the schematics at
http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/mfosweb/home.action

and

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

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

sandy
arthurgrimley
thanks for the suggestions - I'm just looking into them now (and to Sandy for moving this strand into the DIY section)
Tim Stinchcombe
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
Tim Stinchcombe
...which actually makes me think we could use a decent list of books in the Wiki pages...
cbm
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
arthurgrimley
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)
megaohm
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.
pugix
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
Junk Rhythm
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.
kindredlost
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.
Tim Stinchcombe
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
discomicke
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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