Do It Yourself synthesizer
I always wanted a big modular analog synth, with loads of knobs an jacks, and after having fooled around with making circuit bend "instruments" for some time, i decided to take a shot at building a modular synth.
I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking at all the different alternatives. In the mean time i discovered the SDIY mailing list, and asked there about suitable beginners projects. I got lots of qualified answers and first i was very hooked on the idea of building the PAIA Fatman kit, then i looked at lot a the ASM-1 "synth on a board", then the Formant synth modules. But i wanted something that was expandable, "really modular" and did not require obsolete unobtainable components.
One day i stumbled over Ray Wilsons Music from outer space web site, and after only a few minutes of looking at his stuff i knew that i found what i was looking for. Ray has a large collection of modules all complete with schematics, descriptions, and very important for me, PCB layouts for everything, just what i needed. On top of that Ray is a very nice and friendly person who has been extremely helpful in answering all my beginners question e-mails. Ohh did i mention that he makes everything available to people for free ? And he sells quality ready to use PCB's for some of the modules at very reasonable prices.
Over the next few months i managed to built the modules required for a rudimentary but playable modular synth, one each of VCO, VCA, VCF, ADSR, and LFO.
Until now i have used my trusted old Roland SH101 synth as a CV / Gate keyboard to control things. I'm planning on building a dedicated keyboard controller for the synth, probably based on another of Rays brilliant designs.
This whole project has really been one big "learning by doing" experience, i have made numerous errors and mistakes, and there are many things i would have done differently now if i had only known this and that and this and that and .....
I have realized that building a DIY modular synth is a never ending project. and as the synth expands so will hopefully these pages.
Below you will find links to some pages describing the synth, the modules, the cabinet. I also tried to describe the errors and mistakes i made, in a humble attempt to give other DIY beginners the possibility to avoid them.