Scott Stites Synth DIY

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Kits, Modules and Systems

On this page you can find links to manufacturers who put out kits, completed modules, and entire systems.

Remember, these are great sources of information. Also, be aware that there are links on the Synth DIY Links page where you can also get PC Boards - for example, Ken Stone's wonderful CGS system. Since Ken publishes all of his schematics freely, I've given him a home on the Synth DIY Links page. But, don't forget that he sells PCB's for his projects as well.

On the other hand, Thomas Henry's Midwest Analog Products sells a lot of excellent kits and books, but there are also schematics posted there that can freely be used for non-commercial applications. The same applies to PAiA. So, check *everything* out, it's all good =0).

Thomas Henry - Midwest Analog Products

The names Thomas Henry, John Simonton, and Craig Anderton go 'way back' for me. Thomas Henry has been published in several sources for good synth information. In particular, I've got a book Thomas Henry published in 1987 titled "Build a Better Music Synthesizer". This book drew me into the idea of building a synthesizer, and ultimately into electronics itself. This actually inspired me to pursue electronics as a career! From this book, I've used the Digital Keyboard design and also the Quadrature Function Generator. It's long out of print, but if you see it somewhere, buy it! The Digital Keyboard design is also available in :

"Low-Key Digital Keyboard," Electronotes, Volume 14, Number 138, June
1982, pp. 2-10.

The Quadrature Function Generator debuted in Polyphony magazine, back issues of which are still available at PAIA. There are other designs of Thomas Henry that I've tried and also plan to try (the Supercontroller for one). Thomas's work is still available in various books, along with a prolific selection of music and synth electronics at Midwest Analog Products.

Midwest Analog Products

PAiA

PAiA is one of my all time favorites - it's a bang-for-your buck bonanza of synth and electronic music devices. It's been around since 1967, and I can certainly vouch for at least the mid to late seventies, when I used to drool over their catalogs. Home of the Fatman Synth, 9700 Synth Modules, the Theremax, the PAiA vocoder, the venerable FracRak, and much, much more, this is the perfect place to get into DIY - everything is supplied as a kit that is easily put together. For very little investment, you'll be jamming in style. They've been great to do business with as long as I can remember, and certainly longer. In fact, last year I called them to order a back-issue of Polyphony, and found myself talking to John Simonton himself!

Click the logo....and you're there!

PAiA!!!

Blacet Research

The modules available at Blacet research in both kit and assembled form will both form the backbone of an excellent synthesizer and take it to the very edge. John Blacet is an excellent engineer who designs something special into each module and has rendered an excellent collection of modules that'll transform your synth into something truly awesome. I myself have the Blacet Dark Star Chaos 2000, and it has left me with a thirst for more of these modules. Especially that Time Machine. Man, what I wouldn't give.... Anyway, they're in the compact FracRak format, which gives you a lot of power in a small area. If you use a different format, John supplies an adapter panel for the MOTM style, or check out the Wise Guy Synth link for more ideas.

Blacet Research

Modcan

The Lineup of Modcan modules is stunning. Modcan, created by Bruce Duncan, utilizes a format that uses banana connectors. There is a very large selection of high quality modules that must be seen to be believed. The Modcan site is also famous for the excellent sound demos of its products. I'm a 'delay' freak, so of course I must mention here that Modcan has an awesome BBD delay that employs not one, but two MN3005 BBD's.

Modcan

Cyndustries

The Cyndustries product line goes into very exotic territory with very high quality build standards. Cynthia Webster has created a line of modules, power supplies and accessories that expand on the excellent Modcan line. Built in the Modcan format, these modules not only draw from the unique designs of Ken Stone, Juergen Haible, Paul Schreiber, and John Blacet, but designs by Cynthia Webster herself. Cyndustries also features the Milton Sequencer designed by Peter Grenader.

Cyndustries

Synthesizers.com

If you love Moog modular synthesizers, and want to build your modular synth out of high quality modules and beautiful cabinets without going bankrupt, check out Synthesizers.Com. Roger Arrick has faithfully kept his format in the Moog style, both sonically and visually. A wide selection of modules (including a ladder filter that is to die for) and even a beautiful keyboard controller can be found here!

Synthesizers.com

Oakley Sound Systems

Oakley Sound Systems supplies fully built analog synthesizer modules as well as partial kits that you can build yourself. There are some really cool modules here. Among them is the Equinox Voltage Controlled Phase Shifter and the Super Ladder-3, an extremely cool ladder filter that you have to check out. Tony Allgood, proprieter, makes some excellent music, links of which can be found in my Synth DIY Music Links page.

Oakley Sound Systems

MOTM (Synthesis Technology)

MOTM (Synthesis Technology) provides kits or pre-assembled modules for synthesizers. They are famous for being extremely high quality devices designed for stability and precision, with an eye to outlasting the lifespan of the owner. The 'MOTM panel format' has been adopted by many home DIY enthusiasts, and I myself am going to use the same panel dimensions. The QFG/Tri-Phase LFO I built is in the 'MOTM Format'. If you want to get right down to building a synth without worrying about how to build that panel, where to buy the parts, and what to use for a PCB, this is a very good place to start.

MOTM (Synthesis Technology)

Wise Guy Synth

Larry Hendry, one of the original stooges, has one heckuva nice site here. If you're looking for front panels, PCB brackets, parts information, or some other synth information, you're more than likely to find it here. He even has a design of his own, the JLH-822 voltage switch, a very precise interval switch for V/Oct VCO's that will put you in VCO heaven.

Wise Guy Synth