Step 29: How to use

Roll over the text boxes on the graphics to see what each part is

The metal power cord pull turns the synthesizer on and off.

The speaker is where the sound comes out of.

The volume slider adjusts the loudness of the volume.

The sequencer LEDs show which of the sequencer knobs is currently making audio. The color LED that is lit up is the same color as the knob currently controlling the audio.

The colorful piano buttons allows you to interrupt the sequencer and play your own notes. By toggling the sequencer toggle switch, you can turn off the sequencer and play only the piano buttons.

The top row of switches controls the internal mixer and the comparator. Flicking them changes the sound the synthesizer makes.

Note about the mixer: When all of the mixer switches are in the down position, the synth will stop making noise. To fix this, flick one up. Different combinations of these switches may disable pulsed-tone mode and the noise control.

The bottom row of switches does the follow (from left to right):

1) The sequencer toggle turns of the sequencer for piano button-only mode
2) The note repeat switch stops the sequencer in the first position, and lets you control the sound with the blue knob.
3) The one-shot switch toggles one-shot mode on and off. This is the difference between long discreet notes from the sequencer and short staccato notes.
4) The pulse-tone knob toggles the pulse-tone knob on and off. This only works in certain configurations of the mixer switches.

The bottom group of knobs does the following (by color):

Purple) The rate knob controls the speed of the sequencer.
Red) The pulse-tone control knob adjusts the amount of pulses played per note when the mixer is in pulse-tone mode.
yellow) The noise control knob adjusts the amount of noise overlaid on top of the musical note.
Green) The pitch control knob adjusts the octave of the audio to make it higher and lower.
Blue) The filter knob changes the character of the sound and makes it dull or sharp.
It's a great toy! We love to play with it! Thanks Randy!
<p>Just a thought, could you bring your connections to a central PCB, say with an old computer or floppy IDE cable and save a little on space?</p>
<p>That's a good suggestion. That would keep things cleaner.</p>
so... is Instructables going to sell a kit for this? :)
Unlikely. It would cost a bit too much and be very hard for the average person to assemble.
This is awesome!!! You got my vote! I wish I could vote for this ible twice. <br>-BLUEBLOBS2
This is, indeed, the world's most complicated children's toy. <br>-BLUEBLOBS2
Question: besides soldering the 76477 to the breakout board, should one also solder the male header pins to the board? This is not mentioned in the tutorial; a press fit would not seem to assure electrical contact.
Why the yelling? When I get some time I will draw out a diagram. You can get an idea of what the switches do by looking up the 76477 datasheet.
thank you for your answer. sorry about caps. wasn't paying attention when typing. will look up data sheet.
Congratulations on your 200th project! <br /> <br />Your exhaustive yet focused write-up allows me to understand this project just as I would a romance novel at the grocery check out counter. So approachable, so pretty, such nice white balance. <br /> <br />Having heard the synth is person, it's certainly impressive. It beeps and bops with a slight tone of crazy to it, but more of in a way that seems to inspire some kind of artistic genius rather than institutionalization. <br /> <br />I see this as the mozart toy for the 21st century and I think that it's full effects are excitingly not yet known.
Thanks Noah!
Great idea! I built almost exactly the same thing, I think using the very same chip, when I was a kid in the 80s. I was using whatever surplus switches I had, so it wasn't quite as pretty. I used white acrylic for the box--sort of a macbook look back when the beige mac desktop was just coming out. It was endless fun. My only regret was that after I figured out how to make a great end-of-the-world explosion/earthquake sound I nearly gave my mom a heart attack with it.
Very cool. Yes... this thing can make endless amounts of sound. I've been having a ton of fun playing with it.
This is super cool. It definitely looks very kid friendly. Any chance you'll post a video of your nephew playing with it?
If my mom or sister send me one. I actually have not mailed it quite yet... tomorrow perhaps.
I am really impressed with the amount of thought and energy you have put into this. Do you think a person with average electronic skills could build this?
Yes... with enough patience and breadboarding (before trying to build the circuit)
I just had the pleasure recently of a hand's-on experience with this lovely toy. If Randy ever parts with it, his nephew will most certainly enjoy it! If that day comes, I personally will take a picture of him playing with it, send it to Randy to post! Nice job, Randy! <br> <br>Love, The Grandmother. :-)
Working on it.
what is the price of this <br>and would you sell parts <br> <br>i live in England
I didn't keep track of costs, but if I had to guess, the parts alone are probably in the $200 - $300 range. I didn't really have any plans to sell them.
I didn't keep track of costs, but if I had to guess, the parts alone are probably in the $200 - $300 range. I didn't really have any plans to sell them.
This is so awesome! Wish I could build this for my son with cerebral palsy, he would love this. You are very good at explaining but I'm not at all electronically inclined. Maybe I can find something comparable at the store that is not a baby toy as he is a young adult. Any ideas?
The <a href="http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1">Op-1</a> is pretty cool, but it is a bit pricey. I am not sure there is anything that comes readily to mind beyond that. There was a thing with a lot of buttons I saw a while back, but it is not coming readily to mind. I will ask some friends. They will know.
Awsome instructable! I have all of the stuff in my basement somewhere, and am planning on building it soon.
Cool. Let me know how it goes!
While I think it's beyond my abilities with electronics to build this, I would absolutely buy one! I have some nephews and nieces who would love playing with it.
You are not the first person to say this, but between parts and labor, the cost of actually making one is more than most reasonable people would be willing to pay.
I loved this one. And if we put one arduino e one lcd here, what we can get?
Once I get some free time I will answer this question... that was sort of what I was actually doing before I got distracted making this.
Simply brilliant - the concept is great and the colours, brilliant. My granddaughter will love this. Off to the electronics shop I go .....
If you do make one, let me know how it goes!
And I think that would be &quot;heed the warning&quot;, not &quot;head the warning&quot; <br> <br>Nit picking, I know. The 'ible is simply brilliant.
Cool. I wondered why you needed to make it easy to change the &quot;batter&quot;, until I realized that you meant &quot;battery&quot;
Great Scott !!! Too cool w/ the video game arcade system buttons! <br> <br>(ps) almost &quot;just in time&quot; for Moog's birthday!
Yep, his 78th. Did you see the Google doodle for it?<br> <a href="http://www.google.com/doodles/robert-moogs-78th-birthday" rel="nofollow">http://www.google.com/doodles/robert-moogs-78th-birthday</a><br> -BLUEBLOBS2
This seems really cool, but it's a bit too daunting for me. Suggestion, though, maybe make an instructable 'bout electronics and music. I'm confused about how to set up these sound chips and what not.

About This Instructable


400 favorites


Bio: My name is Randy and I run the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
More by randofo: Hard Candy Recipe 2-Ingredient Candy Teeth Candy
Add instructable to: