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Anyone here play with 555 timer chips to make music? Kind of experimenting with this schematic now. What do you think?


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Not sure if using 555s is feasable at all now - they aren't really good as oscillators.
I would recommmend using oscillators based on logical ICs these days. For example, CD4093, Quad NAND gate with Schmidt trigger inputs. You could wire up up to four oscillators using single chip. Pic related.

That being said, there is not much to listen in a simple square wave osc. Add frequency divider, bit counter, integrator for triangle wave, add filter and you get some fat synth.


Thanks. I'll look into that.
Really my favorite thing to do with oscillators is control them with real world elements, such as the photocells function in my earlier schematic.


In this case, try placing resistor and LED at the output of first chip and place it on photocell of the second chip to achieve frequency modulation.


I love synths and have always wanted to know how their innards work and come together to make they end up being. What should I read to learn all this?


I'm yet to find a decent book on synths, though I've seen a dozen or so. If you are still motivated, I would suggest you to study some basic electronics book and then search for schematics of some synth. Most of them have same building blocks - one or more oscillators, one or more filters, lfo and waveshaping amplifier, each of those have some functional building blocks any analog device consists of - op amps, RC-chains, diodes, voltage followers. It's not terribly hard, to be honest.


Never thought about that.
Definitely will do this, too.


I would also say get your hands on a book or website about circuit bending. It doesn't require much electriconics knowledge. Basically buying a keyboard from a kid's toy store and screwing with solder joints can produce some amazing sounds.


I'm uploading two books.
- "Op Amp Engineers Notebook" - this one is entry-level surface book with circuits and description. No reason not to skim through even if you're not into electronics.
- "Fundamental electronic circuits" - electronics textbook, quite big.


File: 1484396460288-0.png (1.72 MB, 200x200, Forrest Mims-Engineer's Mini-Notebook Op Amp Ic Circuits (Radio Shack Electronics)(1)_text.pdf)

File: 1484396460288-1.png (18.6 MB, 200x200, fundamental of electric circuits - alexander sadiku.pdf)

Here. For some reason, files did not attach.


Thank you!


File: 1484432189079.png (4.64 MB, 200x200, Handmade Electronic Music.pdf)

Please contribute books if you can! I've got a really good book for this topic. It's about electronics and how it can be incorporated into music.

There's also an article in the Spring 2016 issue of 2600 Magazine about circuit bending called "Musical Monstrosities" that you can find if you buy the online mag.


What a cool style for a book! (looking at the OpAmp one)

I just wish the compression wasn't so bad but what a cool book!


File: 1484478216445.png (4.25 MB, 200x200, [Forrest Mims] Engineer's Mini-Notebook of Op-Amp Circuits (Radio Shack Electronics).pdf)

Here's the same book but less-compressed PDF

It's still more compressed than I'd like but it's quite readable.


File: 1484479334001.png (3.91 MB, 200x200, The Forrest Mims Engineers Notebook.pdf)

Sorry for the quality, when I skimmed it on a tablet it looked kinda alright.

Here is another book from that series. It focuses less on op amps and more on logical ICs - NAND gates, inverters, dividers, counters, etc., and their use. It has a ton of musical circuits too; triangle generators, pulse generators, rythm machines and so forth.


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>Sorry for the quality
No prob, now you can download the slightly-higher-res one too if you want :)

Also, since that book was released in 1992, I just wonder, can't you do most of the logical stuff on $2 Arduino clones? (disclaimer: other than fiddling with them from time to time, I don't know what I'm talking about)


File: 1484479917326.png (9.92 MB, 200x200, Circuit_Bending_Build_Your_Own_Alien_Instrument.pdf)

Circuit bending book by a person who coined the term himself. Illustrations are easy to understand and it has some real nice beginners projects.


> can't you do most of the logical stuff on $2 Arduino clones?
You can, it's just entirely different approach - more promming than electronics. And most logic ICs are real cheap - around 25ยข per package and usually there are 2-4-6 logical units in a single package.

Advantage of microcontrollers is that you can do most of the tweaking programmatically without having to change physical stuff. There are also both digital and analog inputs, so it can be connected to other circuitry and all sorts of sensors. Many instruments were made from arduino, electronic flutes, violins, drums, sequencers.


>You can, it's just entirely different approach - more promming than electronics
That's good to know - for some reason I find programming to be easier than basic circuit design.


I'd also say in terms of money it's definitely cheaper to buy a $.50 ic.


That's a classic. Really good projects as well as clear illustrations and explanations.