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Old 10th April 2003, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default oscillator recommendation

hello guys...i want to build a synth.
for a start let it be a monophonic one [i have no idea as yet of how to implement the polyphony/multitimbre etc.]

so the source of the synth should be some kind of osc.
probably a VCO.

i would like to have recommendations on VCOs chips and why do you recommend them...

thanks in advance.

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Old 10th April 2003, 07:30 PM   #2
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Should this not be in the "music instruments" thread?

Look for something like a XR8038, max038, XR2206 for an analog one or the ML2035 for a digital one.

If you can find them, Curtis made great stuff for that, long long ago.

Or build it discrete. I know there is an example in one of Walter G. Jung opamp books. Probably more in the Linear Semiconductor Linear databooks.
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Old 10th April 2003, 08:19 PM   #3
OliverD is offline OliverD  Germany
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If you want to build a monophonic synth, the name "Moog" springs to my mind...

Those were modularized synthesizers "programmed" by patch cords... Elektor published an implementation of this idea back in 1977 - I still have the articles. It was called "Formant". There was also a book available. Maybe this is a starting point, although absolutely outdated (they were using 741 and the likes).
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Old 10th April 2003, 11:55 PM   #4
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Somewhere I have a service manual for one. Op-amps and some OTAs. I can dig it up if you ask nice.

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Old 11th April 2003, 12:34 AM   #5
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Default MOOG.


Mellotron ring a bell?

Ciao bambini,
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Old 11th April 2003, 10:26 AM   #6
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Mellotron ring a bell?
Yep, but AFAIK, it does not have an oscillator.

Check out the linear applications handbook from National Semiconductor. Everything you need: oscillators, filters whatever.
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Old 11th April 2003, 10:43 AM   #7
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Ther was once a book published by the German publisher "Franzis" that was dealing with electronic pianos and analog synthesizers.



BTW: They used a sawtooth VCA
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Old 14th April 2003, 10:43 PM   #8
mlloyd1 is offline mlloyd1  United States
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Default Re: oscillator recommendation

There are some GREAT sites on the web doing DIY synth stuff already. Try google ...

I think the days of single chip VCO are pretty much gone unless you find some SSM or Curtis ICs for sale on ebay. Even then, the devices would be pretty expensive (I have some SSM VCOs and VCFs, but they are not for sale ).

There are LOTS of discrete oscillator designs floating around. Some of them are pretty good and they range from very simple to pretty complex. The tricky part is solving the log converter temperature stability problem. Years ago, there was a pretty device for this (I think they were UA726 - matched, high performance transistors in an oven) but those devices haven't been built for years and are even more rare than than the SSM ICs! Many designs now use a cheap CA3045 or CA3046 transistor array in a sort of makeshift oven arrangement or use a special tempco resistor in the V to I converter.

I bought some PCBs based on designs from Electronics For Music here.

There is also some good info on the ASM-1 synth that may be of interest to you here.

This link may help you search further.

And here

Good luck and have fun. DIY synth stuff is fun, even if you can't play a keyboard (like me )


And Jocko, you've got Moog manuals around there too? My god man, what don't you have?

Originally posted by bilbobagginz
[B]hello guys...i want to build a synth.
for a start let it be a monophonic one....
so the source of the synth should be some kind of osc.
probably a VCO.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 08:41 PM   #9
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thanks for you all,
about the asm-1 i have already got that pointer, and thanks
for the names of the chips.
i was thinking analog, not digital (except midi, o'course)
if someone has moog schematics - i would like to get them!!!
[in any format]
it will be a pleasure.

THANKS again,
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