In this instructable, I will show you how to make a synthesizer with common components. It uses capacitors, though you could easily modify the circuit to use resistors instead. There are many things that you can do with the synthesizer, but for me, and probably you, this is more of an introduction to making these instruments. Once the project is finished you will have a working simple synthesizer that can produce a variety of tones and annoy siblings (it seems it can do this better than anything else).
Step 1: Materials
- 8 pin IC socket (optional)
- NE555 (or any 555 chip)
- 10 k resistor
- 10 - 100k potentiometers
- 4.7 electrolytic capacitor
- 0.1 uf ceramic disk capacitor ( it will say 104 on it)
- 0.01 uf ceramic disk capacitor (will say 103 on it
- (x3) .001 ceramic disk capacitors ( will say 102 on them)
- 3 push buttons
- one small speaker
- battery case for 4 AA bateries
- printed circuit board
soldering iron (plus solder (60/40 is recommended))
helping hands (optional but useful)
other soldering tools
Step 2: Build the Circuit
Connect the IC socket or IC (if you are not using a socket) to the board. Connect pin 2 and 6, 4 and 8. connect pin 1 to ground, and pin 8 to power supply. connect pin 7 and 6 with a 10k resistor. connect the ground end of the 4.7 uf capacitor to pin 3.
Step 3: Connect the Buttons and Capacitors
solder the buttons and capacitors to the board. connect one lead of the capacitor to one lead of the button. connect the other end on the cap to ground. connect the other end to the button to pin 6 of the 555.
Step 4: Attach the Speaker and Potentiometer
connect one end of the speaker to the positive end of the 4.7 uf cap. attach the other end of the speaker to Vcc. connect the Wiper pin of the pot to Vcc, and one of the outside pins to pin 7. Don't do anything with the second outside pin on the pot.
Step 5: Play
Connect a 6 - 9v power supply, and press the buttons. pressing the different combinations produces different tones. moving the pot also changes the tones. Have fun!