Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

...and how to do so...
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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:43 am

Hello , guy i search on internet , how to build , a audio oscilator , it seems pretty simple (i have electricity diploma but no electronic ) , someone here can recommend me a 'starter kit' to create audio waveform ?
or/and a guide to understand what composent do to the signal ... ?
Thx.Nicolas

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whyterabbyt
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27381 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:54 am

"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:55 am

Building synthesizers is a rewarding hobby, it's a serious part of my interests. It's not a way to save money though. If you want to do it for its own sake, then it is fun, but it will take quite a bit of time before you're actually doing useful stuff.

Building an audio oscillator is simple, building one that's voltage controlled is a little more work, building one that's voltage controlled in a reasonably accurate manner across more than a few octaves and has a reliable and robust panel with connection points is quite a bit more work. What is your end goal with this? Do you want a full modular, or, do you want to build small electronic toys/musical instruments that are fun but not necessarily the most stable or high quality?

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:11 am

thx whyterabbyt ,I will probably the buy this book.


ghettosynth:
i want to build 'my perfect modular ' synth , no gadget...
Are you skilled in that domain ? I mean do you do it ?


I will begin to build OSC (sin , tri ....)

I think i will buy a electronic starter kit , maybe it would help me.

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whyterabbyt
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27381 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:16 am

hivkorn wrote:thx whyterabbyt ,I will probably the buy this book.
Also check out the late author's website, Music From Outer Space.

Are you talking about an end-goal of designing your own modules, btw, or building other people's designs?
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:20 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
hivkorn wrote:thx whyterabbyt ,I will probably the buy this book.
Also check out the late author's website, Music From Outer Space.

Are you talking about an end-goal of designing your own modules, btw, or building other people's designs?

I think i will take a little bit of the two options , I will build mine and other from people , and maybe mix the two ... Don't know yet .

My first goal ATM is to build a 1 OSC synth (with ADSR and filter LP or HP ) controlled via midi or USB.

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:34 am

hivkorn wrote:thx whyterabbyt ,I will probably the buy this book.


ghettosynth:
i want to build 'my perfect modular ' synth , no gadget...
Are you skilled in that domain ? I mean do you do it ?


I will begin to build OSC (sin , tri ....)

I think i will buy a electronic starter kit , maybe it would help me.

Yes, I have a small frac rac modular that is about 70% pure DIY. The remaining 30% were kits from Paia and Blacet. Most of the modules are built on Blacet reject panels.

So if you want to build a simple midi controlled synth with ADSR (EG) you need:

1) Midi to CV converter
2) VCO
3) ADSR envelope generator
4) VCA

This is assuming that you don't want a filter of any kind. This is really four modules, not one, which is why I was asking for more detail.

I'd look at that Make book for starters, it will give you a good idea of the scope of this kind of project. It's a bit more work than most people imagine, but, there are a lot of people that do it on a super budget in really interesting ways. It all depends on what your goals are.

My obsessive compulsive nature about some things would never let me work like this guy does, but props to him for making it work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86b0lcU9Dbs

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:59 am

wow ! impressive piece of heaven !!!!

1) Midi to CV converter : i found a USB to midi electronic DIY card
2) VCO : it seems to be the most easy part of job ..
3) ADSR envelope generator : i don't have a look yet at this kind of module
4) VCA : i think i can build it , probably not the hardest one

for the filter , i like to have a HP / LP
ATM it is again in project , i will take my time to know everything before to make something.
but i already have an idea of what kind of filter i want ;) Intellijel make me dreams ;)

but i 'm curious can you show me (pic or vid)of your DIY module ?

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27381 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:18 am

hivkorn wrote:wow ! impressive piece of heaven !!!!
If you're talking about the video, it would appear(*) a lot of that modular synth is based on CMOS chips (https://github.com/chrisbeckstrom/diy_m ... ynthesizer) so if you're heading in that direction I thoroghly recommend Nic Collins book "Handmade Electronic Music" too.

(* as per the big clue in the track name)
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:40 am

Image

:love: :love: :love:

I don't really need a sequencer , because i want to control the hardware with cubase , but this is cleary the kind of stuff i want to make

Terrafractyl
KVRist
352 posts since 15 Nov, 2005 from Melbourne Australia

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:46 pm

Well it is a great hobby and thing to do.

I have built a homemade modular made of kits from MFOS, CGS, Hexinverter, Yuynth, plus a bit of Buchla, Serge, Moog, and pretty much anything I decided I wanted to put in there.

I would NOT recommend making an Osc first though. They tend to be on the more complicated side of things, and I would definitely recommend making some simpler modules first. That way when you build it and it doesnt quite work, it will be WAY easier to work out what you did wrong.

Also I don't think I'm alone in saying my soldering got a fair bit better after a few modules. Your first few may be a bit of a mess.

The Doepfer DIY page has some great info for getting started.

http://www.doepfer.de/DIY/a100_diy.htm

I Built a passive Multiple (no brainer) and then a 4 channel mixer from the above link, before I did anything else. Worked my up from there.

I think Yusynths moog filter clone was one of my first modules from a kit after that, and it was a pretty good one to start with.
Hypnagog (Experimental Electronica) |
Terrafractyl (Psytrance) |Kinematic Records (Label)

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27381 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:13 pm

hivkorn wrote: :love: :love: :love:

I don't really need a sequencer , because i want to control the hardware with cubase , but this is cleary the kind of stuff i want to make
well, depending on the design it could be doing all sorts of things, not just 'notes'. You can treat it as an arbitrary-waveform LFO or possibly even an oscillator...
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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sin night
KVRian
1232 posts since 1 Aug, 2006 from Italy

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:06 pm

Terrafractyl wrote:[...]I would NOT recommend making an Osc first though. They tend to be on the more complicated side of things, and I would definitely recommend making some simpler modules first. That way when you build it and it doesnt quite work, it will be WAY easier to work out what you did wrong.[...]
I was going to say the same.

Start with things like multiple, attenuators or simple mixers, then go simple adsr/lfo (not voltage controlled)... I'm also into building a diy modular (very slowly...) and I'm still at those basic tools (partly because I bought other things that I had to integrate in my setup, so the diy modular project loses priority... and partly because I'm lazy).
I find it a quite demanding hobby, so I don't build much... it also depends on the modules you plan to build, if you can buy panels and boards or if you decide to do everything by yourself...

I'd start with simple modules that don't require calibration (or minimal calibration that can be done with a cheap multimeter), so you have less variables if they don't work out of the box.


And you'll also need a power supply... I don't suggest it as a beginner project, though! It's easy to build a power supply, but you don't want to mess with mains unless you're 1000% sure of what you're doing, so finding something pre-made power supply (maybe relying on a commercial Eurorack case) can be a good idea, depending on your skills and confidence.

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hivkorn
KVRAF
3077 posts since 6 Sep, 2007 from France

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:14 pm

sin night wrote:
Terrafractyl wrote:[...]I would NOT recommend making an Osc first though. They tend to be on the more complicated side of things, and I would definitely recommend making some simpler modules first. That way when you build it and it doesnt quite work, it will be WAY easier to work out what you did wrong.[...]
I was going to say the same.

Start with things like multiple, attenuators or simple mixers, then go simple adsr/lfo (not voltage controlled)... I'm also into building a diy modular (very slowly...) and I'm still at those basic tools (partly because I bought other things that I had to integrate in my setup, so the diy modular project loses priority... and partly because I'm lazy).
I find it a quite demanding hobby, so I don't build much... it also depends on the modules you plan to build, if you can buy panels and boards or if you decide to do everything by yourself...

I'd start with simple modules that don't require calibration (or minimal calibration that can be done with a cheap multimeter), so you have less variables if they don't work out of the box.


And you'll also need a power supply... I don't suggest it as a beginner project, though! It's easy to build a power supply, but you don't want to mess with mains unless you're 1000% sure of what you're doing, so finding something pre-made power supply (maybe relying on a commercial Eurorack case) can be a good idea, depending on your skills and confidence.

Thx for all your advice :)
I was thinking about buy a Eurorack case ,
Why it is more hard to build something voltage controlled ? If I follow the scheme i found on internet , there is something else to do in order to make work to this module ?

ghettosynth
KVRAF
12062 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Help me to begin "DIY" modular synth ....(starting with an OSC)

Post Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:56 pm

hivkorn wrote:
sin night wrote:
Terrafractyl wrote:[...]I would NOT recommend making an Osc first though. They tend to be on the more complicated side of things, and I would definitely recommend making some simpler modules first. That way when you build it and it doesnt quite work, it will be WAY easier to work out what you did wrong.[...]
I was going to say the same.

Start with things like multiple, attenuators or simple mixers, then go simple adsr/lfo (not voltage controlled)... I'm also into building a diy modular (very slowly...) and I'm still at those basic tools (partly because I bought other things that I had to integrate in my setup, so the diy modular project loses priority... and partly because I'm lazy).
I find it a quite demanding hobby, so I don't build much... it also depends on the modules you plan to build, if you can buy panels and boards or if you decide to do everything by yourself...

I'd start with simple modules that don't require calibration (or minimal calibration that can be done with a cheap multimeter), so you have less variables if they don't work out of the box.


And you'll also need a power supply... I don't suggest it as a beginner project, though! It's easy to build a power supply, but you don't want to mess with mains unless you're 1000% sure of what you're doing, so finding something pre-made power supply (maybe relying on a commercial Eurorack case) can be a good idea, depending on your skills and confidence.

Thx for all your advice :)
I was thinking about buy a Eurorack case ,
Why it is more hard to build something voltage controlled ? If I follow the scheme i found on internet , there is something else to do in order to make work to this module ?
In most cases, at least where it's challenging, "voltage controlled" really means exponential voltage control at 1V/Oct. The problem here is that there are usually quite a few details about getting the voltage control tuned correctly, exponential converters can be fussy beasts. Sure, you can just build stuff off of the web, but, expect to have many more problems with scaling, range, and general accuracy with voltage controlled stuff.

If you want to build to learn electronics as it applies to synthesis, its' a lot of fun, if you're just trying to save money, you are MUCH better off buying a small modular to start with.

The Make book describes a small but complete simple synth that is well worth exploring before you jump into anything like Eurorack. Eurorack comes with its own set of headaches that makes DIY a bit more complex.

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