Scott Stites Synth DIY

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Synth DIY Links

Here are some links to excellent Synth DIY sites, created by a great group of people flung across the globe. Without the work and sheer brain power of these people, my dream of building a synthesizer would surely be unrealized.

There will be more links added as time goes on.

René Schmitz

René Schmitz has an extraordinary collection of circuits of his own design, an excellent tutorial on exponential converters and temperature compensation and much more. His VCO3 design is my main VCO of choice. His VCO4069 is an excellent 'starter' VCO, and an excellent VCO in its own right. I'm also sold on his MS-20 Clone filter, and of course his Tri-Phase VCLFO. There are many more circuits of his I plan to try and use. This site is a 'must' for anyone planning on going into Synth DIY!

Rene Schmitz Synth DIY

Motohiko Takeda

Motohiko Takeda has been rocking Japan for some time now. His output is so phenomonal, both in music and synth building, I seriously suspect him as being one of those people who has discovered the secret to living without the bother of sleep. A lot of this designs will definitely be in my synth! There's a lot of stuff in Japanese, and also a lot of stuff in English. Check out his Farm Synthesizer and his circuits here.

Motohiko Takeda Synth DIY

Ray Wilson AKA "ADHD Boy"

Rumour has it that there is only one Ray Wilson, but looking at his site, you'll soon have the sneaking suspicion that he's managed to clone himself a few times. Stumbling onto Ray's site was the epiphany that got me back into synth DIY. There is so much to be had here, plus the fact that he is a prolific songwriter/recording artist. I've breadboarded almost all of his circuits, and they do deliver. Schematics for every component of a synth can be found here, as well as numerous PCB patterns for making your own boards. Check'em out, breadboard'em, and build'em! You won't be disappointed with "Music From Outer Space".

Music From Outer Space

Ken Stone Catgirl Synth (CGS)

One look at Ken Stone's site, and you realize that he is a powerful force in today's analog synthesizer movement. Here you'll find some of the coolest modules anyone has ever dreamed up. I'd describe them here, but I wouldn't do them justice. I will say that after putting together his CGS Wave Multiplier module, I couldn't imagine my synth not having at least one. Ken's site provides the schematics to all of his creations, but he also sells boards for a very fair price. I highly recommend getting the boards - do the math, a home built board won't be much cheaper and the quality of these boards can't be beat.

Ken Stone CGS

Juergen Haible

Juergen Haible and his site, are both quite amazing. JH is another one of those guys that you can't imagine ever wastes any time sleeping. He not only comes up with some fantastic original ideas, but he clones entire classic synthesizers and effects at a time. Not only that, but he uses the equipment to produce some truly fantastic electronic music. IMO, visiting this site is a requirement if you're into Synth DIY =0).

Juergen Haible

Scott Bernardi

Scott Bernardi's site is a rich treasure trove of schematics, ideas and information. Here you'll find, among many other wonderful things, a schematic for a voltage controlled delay using the PT2399 Digtial Delay chip (one of my favorite chips). On this site, you'll find the story of his first synth Ogee, and its later incarnations Ogee 2 and Ogee 3. Also, Scott has created a wonderful synthesizer housed within a lock box, called, appropriately, the Lockbox Synth.

Scott Bernardi

Ian Fritz's Electronic Music Site

Ian Fritz's site is an excellent resource on the intricacies of analog synthesis. Here you can study physical modeling, breath controllers, and VCO tempco theory. You can also peruse the schematics to various original projects such as sawtooth and triangle VCO's, the Double-Pulse Waveform Generator and the "Wavolver" Waveshaper. Don't forget to check out his sound samples of his wind controller and synthesizer - they are excellent examples of the expressiveness of wind controllers.

Ian Fritz's Electronic Music Site

Magnus Danielson

Magnus Danielson is a regular contributor to the Synth DIY list, and his site is chock full of fascinating stuff. He's got some of his own designs, information on books and companies, and plenty links (just to name a few things that can be found there). In particular, Magnus has amassed an admirable collection of Buchla schematics. You can't go there and not learn something.

This is the top of Magnus' site:

Magnus

His Synth stuff in particular:

Magnus Synth

And, a quick hop to his Buchla collection. Thanks Magnus!

Buchla Schematic Collection

Jim Patchell's Synthesizer D.I.Y. Web Page

Jim Patchell is an engineer who has been into synthesizer design for a long time. His site is a rich trove of schematics and education on many subjects concerning building and designing synthisizer's. His meticulous projects are great way to learn how to build something right! Another great thing I enjoy about Jim's site are his design notes about 'ideal diodes' - fascinating and well worth checking out! If you're looking for parts and can't find them - try Jim's site.

Jim Patchell's Synthesizer D.I.Y. Web Page

Resonant Frequency

Dave Magnuson's Resonant Frequency site is a regular stop for me on the internet. Resonant Frequency is chock full of great information for all facets of building a synthesizer. Here you can read Harry Bissell's capacitor article, look up hard-to-find datasheets, learn about PCB etching, and much more. Also, you can check out Dave's synth projects!

Resonant Frequency

Brice Hornback

Here's a site to keep your eye on - Brice is working on some original, wonderful stuff to add to the synth world. Check out his Theremin C, too. Brice has just come out with a Programmable Synth Interface module that is pretty cool.

Brice Hornback - Synthmodules.com

Mark Verbos

I owe a lot to Mark Verbos - he made the Buchla 291 filter more accessible with his replacement of the hard to find FET buffers with op amp buffers. I also use his Vactrol fader in my 291 adaptation, and also have plans of implementing his Vactrol panner. Mark is well known for his Buchla adaptations, as well as other projects. Mark is also a gifted synthesis - a visit to his site is a *must*.

Mark Verbos, Simple-Answer

Roman Sowa

Roman Sowa has built/is building a wonderful synth. He kindly shares his schematics on his site, and includes some great samples of it. I plan on using his ring modulator implementation, and whatever other design of his I can squeeze into my synth. One thing Roman does is puts the SSM2164 to use, something I'd really like to try myself. Check out his site!

Roman Sowa - Romcio's Home Page

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams has taken the PT2395 delay to new heights! His page is a must-see if you have any interest at all in the Princeton series of delay chips. He's also done some work on the Neural Agonizer and has samples of it in action. Check it out!

Ryan Williams