Author Topic: DIY Modular Synthesizer  (Read 11650 times)

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Offline LenTopic starter

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DIY Modular Synthesizer
« on: December 10, 2021, 08:11:02 pm »
I have started building a Eurorack modular synthesizer from scratch. (If anyone knows why I'm doing this, please let me know.) I plan to design & build all of the modules myself, except for one.

I'm posting open-source design documents here: https://github.com/Len42/Synth
Please note that I'm a hobbyist, not a professional EE, and my designs reflect that!

Here's a pic of my progress so far:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 07:18:12 pm by Len »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 
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Offline rpiloverbd

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2021, 11:03:32 am »
Thanks for sharing with us.
 
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Offline latchesheyhey

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2021, 03:08:21 am »
 ;D Gr8 work mate!
 
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Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 01:54:04 am »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2022, 12:46:03 am »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2022, 04:31:13 pm »
You need a copy of electronotes.  I bought a copy a few years ago thinking I would do the same thing as you.  Came in a box the size of 5 reems of paper.  Lots in there.

https://sdiy.info/wiki/Electronotes
« Last Edit: January 31, 2022, 04:33:16 pm by cncjerry »
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2022, 04:49:47 pm »
Unfortunately he's no longer taking orders for hard copies of Electronotes. But a bunch of the articles are posted on the Electronotes site.
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2022, 03:42:54 pm »
Here's a VCO module using an SSI2131 chip: https://github.com/Len42/Synth/tree/main/modules/VCO-2131
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline Terry Bites

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2022, 04:06:16 pm »
You are doing it because you fell through a wormhole into the 70's.
Schroff rack I hope!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2022, 01:14:27 pm by Terry Bites »
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2022, 04:47:28 pm »
You are doing it becasue you fell through a wormhole into the 70's.
Schroff rack I hope!
:D I thought about getting an old server rack but I want it to be more desktop-friendly.
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2022, 08:17:28 pm »
Unfortunately he's no longer taking orders for hard copies of Electronotes. But a bunch of the articles are posted on the Electronotes site.

I have a copy sent to me by Bernie (or maybe a helper) several years ago that I am thinking of selling.  The printouts came in a large paper box from paper reems.  Point was even though some are available as PDF, the cost of printing them yourself, as I calculated too, exceeded what they wanted to send them.  Contact me offline if someone wants to purchase them.  Same cost as I paid.

There are many tricks and techniques in the docs that have broad applicablity to audio.  Many related to keeping eveything in tune by preventing oscillator drift.

Jerry

p.s.: I was working on a general purpose module using the analog devices VisualDSP (might not be the name, but it is the block programming DSP software from AD).  I was planning to make a module that, with a PC loader, could emulate oscillators, ADSR, filters, amps, etc depending on the load from the PC module.   The modules had mutiple knobs and in/out connection that could be changed with the loader.  This was all digital, and that violated my analog principles so that was the first hangup... I got pretty far until I needed to implement control voltages for the keyboard. Then Roland released the boutique series of synths and I bought a few, then a deepmind 12, and now a Fantom88.  The issue with the Eurorack synths is that I found you quickly had a want/need for poly and that multiplies everything, of course.  And now the Fantom has n/zyme, that I found to just be incredible and can point to new movies, commercials etc that have that style of music..
« Last Edit: March 12, 2022, 09:25:23 pm by cncjerry »
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2022, 07:57:15 pm »
« Last Edit: April 01, 2022, 08:20:17 pm by Len »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2022, 03:43:22 pm »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2022, 07:02:31 pm »
I made a simple Bus Driver module to patch CV & gate signals onto the Eurorack system bus.
https://github.com/Len42/Synth/tree/main/modules/Bus-Driver
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2022, 04:51:12 pm »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2022, 09:56:38 pm »
VCF work in progress
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline Ground_Loop

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2022, 04:05:00 am »
How are you doing design and fabrication of the faceplates. They look really nice.
There's no point getting old if you don't have stories.
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2022, 02:42:15 pm »
How are you doing design and fabrication of the faceplates. They look really nice.
Thanks! They don't look quite as good close up. ;D

Some modules were made with a Delptronics Module Construction Set. This includes an alumin(i)um front panel with a drilling template printed on it.

Other modules use PCBs that I designed, so the front panel is a PCB with holes.

The graphics are just laser printed on adhesive-backed paper and covered with a clear adhesive lamination sheet.
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2022, 03:09:37 pm »
No song yet.
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2022, 07:24:44 pm »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2022, 04:53:12 pm »
sigh I bought a case. My system outgrew the hacky rack and power supply that I made and I don't have the tools or skills to make a proper case, so I bought one.

However I did engineer a sophisticated desktop cradle system to hold the case at a convenient angle.

(yes it's a cardboard box.)
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2022, 02:02:44 pm »
My synth finally has a filter! It's a 4-pole lowpass VCF based on an SSI2140 chip: https://github.com/Len42/Synth/tree/main/modules/VCF-4P
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2022, 04:09:55 pm »
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 

Offline ajb

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2022, 06:28:02 pm »
Cool project! I know a bunch of people who are into synths as either musicians or equipment maker, it looks like a ton of fun to build and play those systems! Sadly for me (but happily for my wallet/free time) I have negative musical ability.

What are you using for your front panels?
 

Offline LenTopic starter

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Re: DIY Modular Synthesizer
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2022, 07:54:53 pm »
Sadly for me (but happily for my wallet/free time) I have negative musical ability.
My musical ability isn't great but I plan to work on it whenever I finish making modules. :)
Quote
What are you using for your front panels?
You're the second person to ask this, so I put the answer on a web page.
DIY Eurorack Synth: https://lenp.net/synth/
 


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