There’s absolutely too many great posts, pictures, and threads relating to DIY synthesis (and other topics) on Muffwiggler. I’ve highlighted a couple posts below but if you want to kill a few hours or need inspiration while setting up your own work-space the Picture thread under Music Tech DIY kills it.
Take a look at two of my favorites
User Magman shows off his insane magazine and manual collection. According to his post:
You are looking at complete or virtually complete collections of Elektor, ETI, Practical Electronics, Maplin Electronics, E&MM, Sound on Sound, Future Music, The Mix, Computer Music, 45 years worth of Wireless World and a large collection of Everyday Electronics, amongst others. By the way, this is less than half of my collection, which currently stands at over 9000 magazines and counting.
And Slaughterhousesam has a series of great pics of his rig and setup. this is just one of them and you can find the rest here. This one is fun for testing your gear-spotting skills.
Vinnui has a concise site detailing the build of his modular. He has put together some sharp looking modules and although he comments his wiring is a mess I think it looks exactly the way it should… made by hand, at home, with a soldering iron and a lot of patience.
It looks like it mostly consists of YuSynth modules though he also has a pretty cool idea for his own variation on the Moog Voyager’s modulation bus. His expansion on the idea of a modulation bus is comprehensive and has about as many patching options as you could fit before it gets confusing or inconvenient compared to more traditional patch cables. I could see something like this being very useful when you need to quickly dial something up without a handful of patch cables.
The layout consists of two buses, each sporting 12 possible sources, 12 destinations, and 12 shapers. That’s a total of 1,728 patching combinations, per bus, with only the quick turn of three dials. Purists may not like the rotary switch patching of modulators but I think its a brilliantly simple way to manage a large number of patching capabilities in an easy to remember/recall format.
I love the simplicity and classic styling of this DIY vacuum-tube, RIAA EQ curve, phono pre-amp. Bruce Heran via the DIY Audio Projects forums offers up exceptional build notes, pictures, and schematics of the build here. Admittedly I don’t know a thing about valve pre-amps and amps so I can only really comment on how much I like how it looks.
DIY Audio Projects – Hi-Fi Blog for DIY Audiophiles: Groovewatt Tube RIAA Phono Preamp.
An excellent thread detailing a build of the ‘Workshop Oscillator Machine’ (WOM) via Bugbrand. The WOM is a tone generator/oscillator designed around an NXP Hex Inverter and an NXP Hex Schmitt Trigger. What i particularly like about this kit is that it’s designed with the intent of usage in workshop and educational events and includes all required parts. Although i have not personally built this kit, I suspect by looking at it that it’s a nice balance between ease of build and functionality. And if you were so inclined Bugbrand includes the schematic on their site so you could always wire one up on your own, sans pcb, and see what happens.
Spotted this excellent homemade device crafted inside a cardboard box on electro-music
David Ingebretsen has a popular blog that I’m sure many in the synth community and the folks at Electro-Music have heard of, Analog Realities. However, what i prefer is the synth build photos from his personal web pages. Specifically his amazing work on the [Nyle] ‘Steiner Synthasystem’. Absolutely amazing and humbling work. David’s also got some great details of other builds he’s worked on such as Jurgen Haible modules, YuSynth builds, and others. Especially nice are the high resolution photos he provides. A few of my favorites are below. Click through to go to the originals on David’s site.
This is a great shot of the synthasystem. All of the details can be found on David’s site.
JH Tau Phaser
JH Frequency Shifter
Acording to this site site what we have here is ‘A. Magic Pulsewave. Tiny Dazzler – Radstyle.’ Radstyle indeed. I think it needs about a thousand animated gifs to kick it up a notch. Eitherway, what’s pretty cool is this psychedelic and aptly named “Mega Verb“
Cavan Fyans at the time of writing this is a PhD student at the Sonic Arts Research Centre. His personal site along with detailing his extensive academic work also outlines a number of his DIY electronic instruments. My favorite is the “Tape Box 2” which as the name suggests is an updated version of “Tape Box 1″. It’s perfectly simple, does what it should, and doesn’t distract with excessive controls, knobs, and gimmickry. I also have to give him a thumbs-up on his use of high quality pictures documenting his work online. Nothing makes me more disappointed than a thumbnail that leads to a picture of… a thumbnail.
Generally speaking I’m not a fan of Steampunk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it or anything, it just isn’t my thing. But there are always exceptions to the rule and this beautiful DIY amplifier kicks ass in all of its steam-punk glory.
Here’s the completed project found on coppersteam.com
The builder [Ævil Mike] has a thorough post about the amp which is constructed around a k-12g kit from tube depot but is housed in a copper enclosure of his own design. His notes and write up are here