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Analog Synthesizer

  1. Nov 7, 2007 #1
    I'm trying to build an analog synthesizer for an independent study course at my high school. The submission date for the science fair is Feb. 8th, I'm really finding myself in a time crunch.

    For starters, I thought this would a little easier, but everywhere I look I have to back track and read this and that. I had to go back and read a ton of trig just to get the physics of how my synthesizer would work. But I don't have enough time to learn it all, not yet--I want to learn the principles simultaneously as I build the machine, I've got to multi-task.

    anyways, I don't know squat about computer hardware, i planned on making it with old *i mean old school stuff* like transistors, no microchips. but that's becoming impossible. My physics teacher told me to try to think up the functions I want my synth to have, the more functions the harder it is--but the more appealing at the sci-fair. I'm not even sure what I want it to do, it needs at least one octave of keys and a few different forms of oscillators--I need a minimum of five distinct sounds (or more) that the synth can produce.

    I really don't know where to begin, if anyone has any advice to offer, even a direction I can go--it would be nice. websites, books from local libraries, whatever. Maybe even someone I can talk to about it. yeah--a mentor on this whole thing would be REALLY nice. :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2007 #2


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    i guess i would suggest that you check out PAIA electronic synths:


    and see if they have a kit for you.

    do you need to build this from scratch? do you need a keyboard action?
  4. Nov 8, 2007 #3


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    Well, I made one that I called the synthestring. It synthesized string instruments (using triangle waves and filters). It had six strings to select the tone and slide-pots for attack, sustain, and decay . Bow, pluck selecting. And a couple of sound effects (percussion, tremolo). I used op-amps for the oscillators and filters, etc. And a little digital for multiplexing.

    You will need to have access to op-amp chips, transistors, lots of caps and resistors, ...
    And a lot of time.
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