Synthesizers have become an incredibly prominent instrument in modern music; it's difficult to hear a track without one anymore! Unfortunately, many synthesizers are incredibly expensive and hard to acquire, making it rather difficult for the hobbyist or budget musician to get any of those sounds. This instructable won't teach you how to build one of those feature-rich, user friendly synths, but it will start you off with a very simple device that can be used with other units to create interesting and unique sounds.
The following is the simplest and most fundamental piece of a synthesizer - an oscillator. This particular oscillator is a "Square Wave" oscillator, and has limited functions, but can still be used every now and then for fun sounds.
This model is powered either by a 9v battery or an external 9v power supply, has one 1/4" output jack, and has two controls: volume and frequency.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Gather Your Parts
The square wave oscillator is a rather simple device, so not much is needed to construct it.
I've attached a saved shopping cart for Newark.com for all of the components you'll need. The total cost of this shopping cart is $36.54 before shipping, so it's a pretty cheap build!
Here's a (linked!) list of everything you'll need:
- Project Enclosure
- 2x 500kΩ Potentiometers
- Proto/Perf Board
- LED, any color (here's a 10-pack of purple LEDs)
- 741 Op Amp
- 1/4" Audio Jack
- 9v Power Adapter Jack
You will also need a few tools:
- Drill Press
- Drill Bits of Varying Sizes
- Drill Bit Index
- Safety Goggles
- Soldering Iron