Difference between revisions of "SDIY books"

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'''Books''' related to synths, analog design, and anything else of interest.
 
'''Books''' related to synths, analog design, and anything else of interest.
 
== Electronics for electronic music, theory and practical ==
 
== Electronics for electronic music, theory and practical ==
=== 49 Easy Electronic Projects for Transconductance and Norton Op Amps, Delton T. Horn ===
+
=== ''49 Easy Electronic Projects for Transconductance and Norton Op Amps'' by Delton T. Horn ===
 
TAB, 1990, ISBN 0830674551, 216 pages
 
TAB, 1990, ISBN 0830674551, 216 pages
  
 
This book is spoilt by one thing - mistakes, and there are lots of them, some of which are glaringly obvious, others are likely to be less so. This is a shame, as decent quantities of material on transconductance and Norton amps is hard to come by. Slightly more than the first half of the book covers OTAs, with practical circuits couched around the CA3080 and the LM13600. There are many standard circuits of potential interest to the DIY synthesist: VCAs, sample-and-holds, ring mods, VCOs and VCFs. The latter part of the book covers Norton amps, and is based around the LM3900 - there are probably slightly fewer circuits of interest here though. Those less-well equipped to spot the errors (i.e. beginners) probably ought to steer clear of this one.<ref name="ts">[[Tim Stinchcombe]]</ref>
 
This book is spoilt by one thing - mistakes, and there are lots of them, some of which are glaringly obvious, others are likely to be less so. This is a shame, as decent quantities of material on transconductance and Norton amps is hard to come by. Slightly more than the first half of the book covers OTAs, with practical circuits couched around the CA3080 and the LM13600. There are many standard circuits of potential interest to the DIY synthesist: VCAs, sample-and-holds, ring mods, VCOs and VCFs. The latter part of the book covers Norton amps, and is based around the LM3900 - there are probably slightly fewer circuits of interest here though. Those less-well equipped to spot the errors (i.e. beginners) probably ought to steer clear of this one.<ref name="ts">[[Tim Stinchcombe]]</ref>
  
=== Advanced Projects for the Electric Guitar, J. Chatwin ===
+
=== ''Advanced Projects for the Electric Guitar'' by J. Chatwin ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1996, ISBN 0859343804, 'BP380', 87 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1996, ISBN 0859343804, 'BP380', 87 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. Whilst primarily aimed at the guitarist (wah wah, distortion, tremelo etc.), there are comprehensive treatments of two delay cicuits in here: an analogue BBD one (MN3102/MN3207); and a digital one (HT8955).<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. Whilst primarily aimed at the guitarist (wah wah, distortion, tremelo etc.), there are comprehensive treatments of two delay cicuits in here: an analogue BBD one (MN3102/MN3207); and a digital one (HT8955).<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== An Analog Synthesizer for the 21st Century, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''An Analog Synthesizer for the 21st Century'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
[http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics], 2006, v+32 pages
 
[http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics], 2006, v+32 pages
  
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This is a collection of schematics to build a complete simple synthesizer, containing two VCOs, a VCF and VCA, LFO etc. Be warned however it is literally the schematics and parts lists - there are no descriptions of the circuits, nor how to set them up etc., and hence should be considered only suitable for the seasoned synth DIYer, and so is clearly ''NOT'' aimed at beginners!<ref name="ts"/>
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This is a collection of schematics to build a complete simple synthesizer, containing two VCOs, a VCF and VCA, LFO etc. Be warned however it is literally the schematics and parts lists - there are no descriptions of the circuits, nor how to set them up etc., and hence should be considered only suitable for the seasoned synth DIYer, and so is clearly ''NOT'' aimed at beginners!<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Build a Better Music Synthesizer, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Build a Better Music Synthesizer'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Tab Books, 1987, ISBN 0830602550, vii+167 pages
 
Tab Books, 1987, ISBN 0830602550, vii+167 pages
  
 
A proper hardbound book by Thomas Henry. Perhaps understandably there is some commonality with the information in this book and many other of Thomas Henry's smaller booklets. The book explains how to put together a complete snythesizer, including things like the PSU and the case. It contains circuits for most usual synth components, VCO, VCA, VCF etc., but unfortunately is a little dated in that many of them are based around hard-to-get chips, like the CEM3330, CEM3340, SSM2056, SN76477 etc. There is also an introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is and what the major components of one are.<ref name="ts"/>
 
A proper hardbound book by Thomas Henry. Perhaps understandably there is some commonality with the information in this book and many other of Thomas Henry's smaller booklets. The book explains how to put together a complete snythesizer, including things like the PSU and the case. It contains circuits for most usual synth components, VCO, VCA, VCF etc., but unfortunately is a little dated in that many of them are based around hard-to-get chips, like the CEM3330, CEM3340, SSM2056, SN76477 etc. There is also an introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is and what the major components of one are.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Drum Cookbook, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Electronic Drum Cookbook'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2002, v+50 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2002, v+50 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
  
 
This booklet from Thomas Henry is about twice the size of the smaller ones. It contains a lot of basic information about how to synthesize drums, and as well as several filters/tone generation circuits, it also includes a simple VCA, PSU, white noise generator, percussive-type envelope generator, and even how to build a simple drum pad using conductive foam.<ref name="ts"/>
 
This booklet from Thomas Henry is about twice the size of the smaller ones. It contains a lot of basic information about how to synthesize drums, and as well as several filters/tone generation circuits, it also includes a simple VCA, PSU, white noise generator, percussive-type envelope generator, and even how to build a simple drum pad using conductive foam.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Musical Instruments, Norman Crowhurst ===
+
=== ''Electronic Musical Instruments'' by Norman Crowhurst ===
 
Foulsham-Tab, 1975, ISBN 0704201445, viii+188 pages.
 
Foulsham-Tab, 1975, ISBN 0704201445, viii+188 pages.
  
 
This book explains in fairly general terms what electronic musical instruments are and do, but does cover some technical aspects of how traditional instruments make their sound, and how synthesizers replicate these. Most of the circuits given are more 'representative' rather than practical, and only a few have sufficient component values given so that they might actually work if constructed.<ref name="ts"/>
 
This book explains in fairly general terms what electronic musical instruments are and do, but does cover some technical aspects of how traditional instruments make their sound, and how synthesizers replicate these. Most of the circuits given are more 'representative' rather than practical, and only a few have sufficient component values given so that they might actually work if constructed.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music and Creative Tape Recording, M.K. Berry ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music and Creative Tape Recording'' by M.K. Berry ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162724, 'BP51', 87 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162724, 'BP51', 87 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. About half this book is about recording on tape, and splicing etc. to manipulate the sound, but there are also lots of very simple circuits of a VCO, VCA (MC3340), and other effects like fuzz etc. One of the more complicated circuits seems quite out of place, a diode ladder filter - this book is the source of the circuit found in several places on the net: [http://www.syntiac.com/ext/modulus5.pdf Modulus newsletter] and [http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=329 The Free Information Society]<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. About half this book is about recording on tape, and splicing etc. to manipulate the sound, but there are also lots of very simple circuits of a VCO, VCA (MC3340), and other effects like fuzz etc. One of the more complicated circuits seems quite out of place, a diode ladder filter - this book is the source of the circuit found in several places on the net: [http://www.syntiac.com/ext/modulus5.pdf Modulus newsletter] and [http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=329 The Free Information Society]<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music Circuit Guidebook, Brice Ward ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music Circuit Guidebook'' by Brice Ward ===
 
TAB Books, 1975, ISBN 0830657436, 222 pages.
 
TAB Books, 1975, ISBN 0830657436, 222 pages.
  
 
In the preface the author states he wrote the book because at the time he couldn't find other books with details of synth circuits in them. There are quite a lot of circuits in here, covering a variety of oscillators, filters, a 'function generator', VCAs, etc., and there are also circuits less often covered, like a spring reverb, ring modulator, envelope follower etc.<ref name="ts"/>
 
In the preface the author states he wrote the book because at the time he couldn't find other books with details of synth circuits in them. There are quite a lot of circuits in here, covering a variety of oscillators, filters, a 'function generator', VCAs, etc., and there are also circuits less often covered, like a spring reverb, ring modulator, envelope follower etc.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music Circuits, Barry Klein ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music Circuits'' by Barry Klein ===
 
ISBN 067221833X. Originally published by Howard Sams, 1982, 302 pages. Updated in 1996. Now available from the author in comb-bound form, [mailto:barry.l.klein@wdc.com barry.l.klein@wdc.com]
 
ISBN 067221833X. Originally published by Howard Sams, 1982, 302 pages. Updated in 1996. Now available from the author in comb-bound form, [mailto:barry.l.klein@wdc.com barry.l.klein@wdc.com]
  
 
This is probably one of the better books explaining synthesizer circuits in some detail, covering not only oscillators, filters, envelope generators, voltage-controlled amplifiers etc., but also things like the PSU and keyboard controllers. Though some of the circuits are based around now-obsolete CEM and SSM synthesizer chips, there is much to be learned from this book. It also contains quite a lot of circuits taken from ''Electronotes'', q.v. (And if you intend to get serious about all this stuff and are contemplating buying a copy of this book, getting a copy of the ''Electronic Music IC Databook'' at the same time is thoroughly recommended!)<ref name="ts"/>
 
This is probably one of the better books explaining synthesizer circuits in some detail, covering not only oscillators, filters, envelope generators, voltage-controlled amplifiers etc., but also things like the PSU and keyboard controllers. Though some of the circuits are based around now-obsolete CEM and SSM synthesizer chips, there is much to be learned from this book. It also contains quite a lot of circuits taken from ''Electronotes'', q.v. (And if you intend to get serious about all this stuff and are contemplating buying a copy of this book, getting a copy of the ''Electronic Music IC Databook'' at the same time is thoroughly recommended!)<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music Circuits: The Reprints Vol 1, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music Circuits: The Reprints Vol 1'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Midwest Analog Products, 2002, 162 pages.
 
Midwest Analog Products, 2002, 162 pages.
  
 
This is a larger comb-bound book from Thomas Henry, and consists of reprints of 38 articles from old newsletters of the 70s and 80s, such as [[Electronotes]], [[Polyphony]] and [[Electronic Musician]]. It has circuits of many components familiar in synths, e.g. VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, envelope generators, and also less usual ones like BBD delays, drum circuits etc. (It is not believed that a 'Volume 2' has ever been produced.)<ref name="ts"/>
 
This is a larger comb-bound book from Thomas Henry, and consists of reprints of 38 articles from old newsletters of the 70s and 80s, such as [[Electronotes]], [[Polyphony]] and [[Electronic Musician]]. It has circuits of many components familiar in synths, e.g. VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, envelope generators, and also less usual ones like BBD delays, drum circuits etc. (It is not believed that a 'Volume 2' has ever been produced.)<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== The Electronic Musical Instrument Manual, A. Douglas ===
+
=== ''The Electronic Musical Instrument Manual'' by A. Douglas ===
 
Tab Books, 1976, ISBN 0830658327, 205 pages
 
Tab Books, 1976, ISBN 0830658327, 205 pages
  
 
The preface warns that 'this is not a constructional book', and indeed it is not; it is also subtitled 'A comprehensive guidebook on the theory and design of electronic musical instruments, with special emphasis on the organ'. Thus it is not about synthesizers ''per se'', but there are many circuits of oscillators, tone controls, noise generators and vibrato circuits etc., and seemingly a large number from actual commercial organs, and many of these employ all manner of electro-mechanical devices (motors driving toothed wheels), photo-electric devices (slotted discs etc.), and other such curiosities (with many older circuits using valves as well as more 'modern' ones using transistors!). Potentially useful if you are trying to find out how some old organ achieved some particular effect or other.<ref name="ts"/>
 
The preface warns that 'this is not a constructional book', and indeed it is not; it is also subtitled 'A comprehensive guidebook on the theory and design of electronic musical instruments, with special emphasis on the organ'. Thus it is not about synthesizers ''per se'', but there are many circuits of oscillators, tone controls, noise generators and vibrato circuits etc., and seemingly a large number from actual commercial organs, and many of these employ all manner of electro-mechanical devices (motors driving toothed wheels), photo-electric devices (slotted discs etc.), and other such curiosities (with many older circuits using valves as well as more 'modern' ones using transistors!). Potentially useful if you are trying to find out how some old organ achieved some particular effect or other.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music Learning Projects, R. Bebbington ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music Learning Projects'' by R. Bebbington ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1993, ISBN 0859343294, 'BP329', 114 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1993, ISBN 0859343294, 'BP329', 114 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in here are at a very introductory (e.g. schoolboy) level. They include several oscillator circuits (including a very Stylophone-like one), and others like a metronome etc. It is clearly not intended as a book of serious synthesizer circuits, though doubtless one or two ''could'' be adapted for such.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in here are at a very introductory (e.g. schoolboy) level. They include several oscillator circuits (including a very Stylophone-like one), and others like a metronome etc. It is clearly not intended as a book of serious synthesizer circuits, though doubtless one or two ''could'' be adapted for such.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Music Projects, R.A. Penfold ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music Projects'' by R.A. Penfold ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1980, ISBN 0900162945, 'BP74', 106 pages
 
Bernard Babani, 1980, ISBN 0900162945, 'BP74', 106 pages
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in this book are mostly fairly simple, and many are aimed at the guitarist: wah wah, fuzz, sustain etc.; there is actually a circuit for a spring reverb unit (though there doesn't appear to be anything like a specification for the spring tank itself); a Stylophone-like 'Stylus Organ'; the most synth-like circuit is a 555-based oscillator, but it isn't voltage-controlled.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in this book are mostly fairly simple, and many are aimed at the guitarist: wah wah, fuzz, sustain etc.; there is actually a circuit for a spring reverb unit (though there doesn't appear to be anything like a specification for the spring tank itself); a Stylophone-like 'Stylus Organ'; the most synth-like circuit is a 555-based oscillator, but it isn't voltage-controlled.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Projects in Music, A.J. Flind ===
+
=== ''Electronic Projects in Music'' by A.J. Flind ===
 
Newnes, 1979, ISBN 040800391X, 81 pages.
 
Newnes, 1979, ISBN 040800391X, 81 pages.
  
 
(Similar in size and type to the Babani books, but better print quality.) Contains details for building quite a few simple circuits, such as waa-waa, fuzz, a couple of pre-amps etc. Probably the most complex circuit is for a Stylophone-type mini-organ.<ref name="ts"/>
 
(Similar in size and type to the Babani books, but better print quality.) Contains details for building quite a few simple circuits, such as waa-waa, fuzz, a couple of pre-amps etc. Probably the most complex circuit is for a Stylophone-type mini-organ.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Synthesiser Construction, R.A. Penfold ===
+
=== ''Electronic Synthesiser Construction'' by R.A. Penfold ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341593, 'BP185', 99 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341593, 'BP185', 99 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for making a basic synthesizer with the usual VCO-VCA-VCF voice, including an ADSR envelope generator, and several simple sequencer circuits. There is also a pseudo-stereo circuit using a simple phase-shift circuit.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for making a basic synthesizer with the usual VCO-VCA-VCF voice, including an ADSR envelope generator, and several simple sequencer circuits. There is also a pseudo-stereo circuit using a simple phase-shift circuit.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronic Synthesiser Projects, M.K. Berry ===
+
=== ''Electronic Synthesiser Projects'' by M.K. Berry ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1981, ISBN 0859340562, 'BP81', 81 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1981, ISBN 0859340562, 'BP81', 81 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for a basic synth, but again uses some now hard-to-get chips, namely the SN76477 'single chip synth' and a TDA1022 BBD delay. Other circuits include a 4017-based sequencer, 8038 and 555 VCOs, and a logic-based ADSR.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for a basic synth, but again uses some now hard-to-get chips, namely the SN76477 'single chip synth' and a TDA1022 BBD delay. Other circuits include a 4017-based sequencer, 8038 and 555 VCOs, and a logic-based ADSR.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Electronotes, ed. Bernie Hutchins ===
+
=== ''Electronotes'' by ed. Bernie Hutchins ===
 
[http://electronotes.netfirms.com Electronotes] is a newsletter-like publication produced by Bernie Hutchins, covering technical details of music synthesis and sound processing: back-issues up to the very first issue in 1972 are available, and the complete set is a rich repository of circuits, techniques and ideas. The ''everything'' package is a huge amount of information - it amounts to about 30 useful-sized volumes, and occupies over 18 inches of shelf space! For those not wanting to go to the expense of getting everything, the ''Musical Engineer's Handbook'' and the ''Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection'' is a good compromise. Tim Stinchcombe has compiled an [http://www.timstinchcombe.co.uk/synth/Electronotes_EN_index.txt index of Electronotes], which may give an indication of the totality of subjects covered. (The index covers up to August 2003.)<ref name="ts"/> It features commented historical designs by pioneers like Robert Moog and others.<ref name="sdiy-may-13">The Synth-diy Archive, [http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/pipermail/synth-diy/2013-May/thread.html Hello, and some questions], May 2013</ref>
 
[http://electronotes.netfirms.com Electronotes] is a newsletter-like publication produced by Bernie Hutchins, covering technical details of music synthesis and sound processing: back-issues up to the very first issue in 1972 are available, and the complete set is a rich repository of circuits, techniques and ideas. The ''everything'' package is a huge amount of information - it amounts to about 30 useful-sized volumes, and occupies over 18 inches of shelf space! For those not wanting to go to the expense of getting everything, the ''Musical Engineer's Handbook'' and the ''Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection'' is a good compromise. Tim Stinchcombe has compiled an [http://www.timstinchcombe.co.uk/synth/Electronotes_EN_index.txt index of Electronotes], which may give an indication of the totality of subjects covered. (The index covers up to August 2003.)<ref name="ts"/> It features commented historical designs by pioneers like Robert Moog and others.<ref name="sdiy-may-13">The Synth-diy Archive, [http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/pipermail/synth-diy/2013-May/thread.html Hello, and some questions], May 2013</ref>
  
=== IC LM3900 Projects, H. Kybett ===
+
=== ''IC LM3900 Projects'' by H. Kybett ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162732, 'BP50', 119 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162732, 'BP50', 119 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. Many older synthesizer circuits made use of the LM3900 chip, which is slightly harder to figure than an op amp. Finding books that even mention this chip is hard, never mind one dedicated to it. This is a nice, tractable introduction to the chip, what it is and what it does, and contains dozens of simple utilitarian circuits.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. Many older synthesizer circuits made use of the LM3900 chip, which is slightly harder to figure than an op amp. Finding books that even mention this chip is hard, never mind one dedicated to it. This is a nice, tractable introduction to the chip, what it is and what it does, and contains dozens of simple utilitarian circuits.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Making Music with the 3080 OTA, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Making Music with the 3080 OTA'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
  
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains an easily-digestable introduction to the CA3080 Operational Transconductance Amplifier, including circuits for a simple VCA, VCO and a ring modulator.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains an easily-digestable introduction to the CA3080 Operational Transconductance Amplifier, including circuits for a simple VCA, VCO and a ring modulator.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Making Music with the 566, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Making Music with the 566'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
  
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one has lots of circuits and detail around the 566, a 'function generator'-type chip (which unfortunately was made obsolete ages ago I suspect). The booklet shows how to hook one up as a VCO which gives all the major waveforms, sine, tri, ramp, square etc., and also others like a noise circuit.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one has lots of circuits and detail around the 566, a 'function generator'-type chip (which unfortunately was made obsolete ages ago I suspect). The booklet shows how to hook one up as a VCO which gives all the major waveforms, sine, tri, ramp, square etc., and also others like a noise circuit.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Making Music with the NE570 Compander, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Making Music with the NE570 Compander'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 1998, viii+19 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
 
Originally Midwest Analog Products, 1998, viii+19 pages; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics]
  
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one shows how to use the NE570 chip not only as a compressor/expander, but includes other circuits such as an envelope follower and a VCA.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one shows how to use the NE570 chip not only as a compressor/expander, but includes other circuits such as an envelope follower and a VCA.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== More Advanced Electronic Music Projects, R.A. Penfold ===
+
=== ''More Advanced Electronic Music Projects'' by R.A. Penfold ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341488, 'BP174', 78 pages.
 
Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341488, 'BP174', 78 pages.
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. This contains slightly more advanced/complex circuits than its predecessor, ''Electronic Music Projects'', BP74 (q.v). Amongst the circuits here: a simple phase shifter; BBD-based flanger/chorus/vibrato unit; a ring modulator; and the latter part of the book details a 'percussion synthesizer', though this doesn't appear to use the more traditional method of 'pinging' a resonant filter, so heaven knows what it would actually sound like... Many of the circuits make use of the now obsolete LM13600 OTA, and so presumably would need some small adjustments to use the LM13700 instead.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. This contains slightly more advanced/complex circuits than its predecessor, ''Electronic Music Projects'', BP74 (q.v). Amongst the circuits here: a simple phase shifter; BBD-based flanger/chorus/vibrato unit; a ring modulator; and the latter part of the book details a 'percussion synthesizer', though this doesn't appear to use the more traditional method of 'pinging' a resonant filter, so heaven knows what it would actually sound like... Many of the circuits make use of the now obsolete LM13600 OTA, and so presumably would need some small adjustments to use the LM13700 instead.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Musical Applications of Microprocessors, Hal Chamberlin ===
+
=== ''Musical Applications of Microprocessors'' by Hal Chamberlin ===
 
Hayden, 1985 ISBN 0810457687, 802 pages (2nd edn)
 
Hayden, 1985 ISBN 0810457687, 802 pages (2nd edn)
  
 
Although primarily concerned with microprocessors and their use within sound and music synthesis, early chapters have introductory material on synthesis in general, including methods using tape, voltage control etc. There is also a nice chapter giving typical examples of basic analogue circuits such as VCOs, VCFs, VCAs etc., with good explanations of how they work.<ref name="ts"/> If you get just one book, this is the book to get. Although it has "microprocessors" in the title, it has a superb section on analog circuits.<ref>Electronics for Music Synthesis, [http://users.ece.gatech.edu/lanterma/ems10/ References], 2010 by Aaron Lanterman</ref><ref name="sd">[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30715&start=all&postdays=0&postorder=asc synthesizer design]</ref>
 
Although primarily concerned with microprocessors and their use within sound and music synthesis, early chapters have introductory material on synthesis in general, including methods using tape, voltage control etc. There is also a nice chapter giving typical examples of basic analogue circuits such as VCOs, VCFs, VCAs etc., with good explanations of how they work.<ref name="ts"/> If you get just one book, this is the book to get. Although it has "microprocessors" in the title, it has a superb section on analog circuits.<ref>Electronics for Music Synthesis, [http://users.ece.gatech.edu/lanterma/ems10/ References], 2010 by Aaron Lanterman</ref><ref name="sd">[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30715&start=all&postdays=0&postorder=asc synthesizer design]</ref>
  
=== Music Synthesizers: A Manual of Design & Construction, Delton T. Horn ===
+
=== ''Music Synthesizers: A Manual of Design & Construction'' by Delton T. Horn ===
 
TAB Books, 1984, ISBN 0830615652, viii+343 pages.
 
TAB Books, 1984, ISBN 0830615652, viii+343 pages.
  
 
There are lots of schematics in this book, but it is assumed the reader can take the schematics and turn them into practical circuits. Many of the designs utilize some of the older synth chips: CEMs, SSMs, the MM5837 (digital noise) and the SN76477 effects chip. There is also a large section on patching ideas.<ref name="ts"/>
 
There are lots of schematics in this book, but it is assumed the reader can take the schematics and turn them into practical circuits. Many of the designs utilize some of the older synth chips: CEMs, SSMs, the MM5837 (digital noise) and the SN76477 effects chip. There is also a large section on patching ideas.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Noise Generator Cookbook, Thomas Henry ===
+
=== ''Noise Generator Cookbook'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
Original probably Midwest Analog Products, 2003; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics], 2009, vi+27 pages
 
Original probably Midwest Analog Products, 2003; now available from [http://www.magsmoke.com/thomas_henry_books.asp Magic Smoke Electronics], 2009, vi+27 pages
  
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains circuits for most of the basic ways to generate and filter noise, including : reverse-biased p-n junction; pseudo-random shift register sequence; multi-oscillator bank, pink noise filter, etc.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains circuits for most of the basic ways to generate and filter noise, including : reverse-biased p-n junction; pseudo-random shift register sequence; multi-oscillator bank, pink noise filter, etc.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Practical Electronic Music Projects ===
+
=== ''Practical Electronic Music Projects'' by R. A. Penfold ===
 
Bernard Babani, 1994, ISBN 0859343634, 'BP363', 122 pages
 
Bernard Babani, 1994, ISBN 0859343634, 'BP363', 122 pages
  
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. There are many circuits to interest the guitarist: distortion units; a guitar tuner; pseudo echo etc. More general circuits include: a metronome; a pseudo stereo unit; mixers etc. There are also some interesting MIDI circuits, including: a MIDI comparator, which looks for a specific bit pattern; a simple MIDI tester; a MIDI controller pedal; a MIDI lead tester etc.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Typical Babani pocket-book. There are many circuits to interest the guitarist: distortion units; a guitar tuner; pseudo echo etc. More general circuits include: a metronome; a pseudo stereo unit; mixers etc. There are also some interesting MIDI circuits, including: a MIDI comparator, which looks for a specific bit pattern; a simple MIDI tester; a MIDI controller pedal; a MIDI lead tester etc.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Small Signal Audio Design, Douglas Self ===
+
=== ''Small Signal Audio Design'' by Douglas Self ===
 
ISBN 0240521773
 
ISBN 0240521773
  
 
For building complete audio systems it'a very valuable resource.<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/><ref>Review in [http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun11/articles/small-signal-audio-design.htm SOS, June 2011]</ref>
 
For building complete audio systems it'a very valuable resource.<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/><ref>Review in [http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun11/articles/small-signal-audio-design.htm SOS, June 2011]</ref>
  
=== Sound Synthesis: Analog and Digital Techniques, Terence Thomas ===
+
=== ''Sound Synthesis: Analog and Digital Techniques'' by Terence Thomas ===
 
TAB Books, ISBN 083063276X, x+166 pages.
 
TAB Books, ISBN 083063276X, x+166 pages.
  
 
Contains circuits and details for building a complete synthesizer, from the PSU, through VCO, VCA, VCF etc., and including a simple sequencer, though some of the circuits are perhaps a little unorthodox. There's also a strange circuit that produces trigger pulses from MIDI data, with scant regard for what the data actually is.<ref name="ts"/>
 
Contains circuits and details for building a complete synthesizer, from the PSU, through VCO, VCA, VCF etc., and including a simple sequencer, though some of the circuits are perhaps a little unorthodox. There's also a strange circuit that produces trigger pulses from MIDI data, with scant regard for what the data actually is.<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== Troubleshooting and Repairing Electronic Music Synthesizers, Delton T. Horn ===
+
=== ''Troubleshooting and Repairing Electronic Music Synthesizers'' by Delton T. Horn ===
 
TAB, 1992, ISBN 0830639217, x+206 pages.
 
TAB, 1992, ISBN 0830639217, x+206 pages.
  
 
This is a very odd kind of book, which probably has a very narrow readership. There are very few schematics in here, yet it is trying to help people to troubleshoot synthesizer-based circuits. After a basic introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is, there is a chapter of general troubleshooting techniques, which mostly looks like good, sound advice. Then there are five chapters entitled 'Problems with XXX', where 'XXX' = VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, etc. There are also chapters on digital synths, software and hardware problems, and MIDI. At the back are three schematics: an SCR-based VCO; a FET-controlled multi-feedback single op amp VCF; and a VCA circuit using three transistors and an op amp, and running off 9V and 18V supplies (which looks like it might owe something to a Korg circuit) - none of these look anything like 'standard' synth circuits!<ref name="ts"/>
 
This is a very odd kind of book, which probably has a very narrow readership. There are very few schematics in here, yet it is trying to help people to troubleshoot synthesizer-based circuits. After a basic introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is, there is a chapter of general troubleshooting techniques, which mostly looks like good, sound advice. Then there are five chapters entitled 'Problems with XXX', where 'XXX' = VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, etc. There are also chapters on digital synths, software and hardware problems, and MIDI. At the back are three schematics: an SCR-based VCO; a FET-controlled multi-feedback single op amp VCF; and a VCA circuit using three transistors and an op amp, and running off 9V and 18V supplies (which looks like it might owe something to a Korg circuit) - none of these look anything like 'standard' synth circuits!<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== VCO Chip Cookbook ===
+
=== ''The VCO Chip Cookbook'' by Thomas Henry ===
 
SMS Electronics, 2007, vi+118 pages. According to this [http://www.electro-music.com/forum/topic-18659.html&highlight= electro-music.com thread] (pay attention to the dates!), it looks as though Magic Smoke/Lulu will make this book available again at sometime in the future.
 
SMS Electronics, 2007, vi+118 pages. According to this [http://www.electro-music.com/forum/topic-18659.html&highlight= electro-music.com thread] (pay attention to the dates!), it looks as though Magic Smoke/Lulu will make this book available again at sometime in the future.
  
Line 150: Line 150:
  
 
== Electronics more in general ==
 
== Electronics more in general ==
=== IC Op-Amp Cookbook, Walter G. Jung ===
+
=== ''IC Op-Amp Cookbook'' by Walter G. Jung ===
 
3rd edition, Prentice Hall, 1997, ISBN 0138896011, xviii+581 pages. 1st edition, Sams, 1977, ISBN 0672209691, 591 pages.
 
3rd edition, Prentice Hall, 1997, ISBN 0138896011, xviii+581 pages. 1st edition, Sams, 1977, ISBN 0672209691, 591 pages.
  
Line 159: Line 159:
 
(The Prentice Hall third edition appears to be little more than a photocopy of the Sams book, and some readers have noted that the print quality is not so good in some places in the book.)<ref name="ts"/>
 
(The Prentice Hall third edition appears to be little more than a photocopy of the Sams book, and some readers have noted that the print quality is not so good in some places in the book.)<ref name="ts"/>
  
=== The Art of Electronics, Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill ===
+
=== ''The Art of Electronics'' by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill ===
 
ISBN 0521370957
 
ISBN 0521370957
  
Line 166: Line 166:
 
Start with The Art of Electronics, at least the first few chapters, and then dig into Musical Applications of Microprocessors<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
 
Start with The Art of Electronics, at least the first few chapters, and then dig into Musical Applications of Microprocessors<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
  
=== The Art of Electronics Student Manual, Thomas C. Hayes and Paul Horowitz ===
+
=== ''The Art of Electronics Student Manual'' by Thomas C. Hayes and Paul Horowitz ===
 
ISBN 0521377099
 
ISBN 0521377099
  
 
The projects described in the first few chapters help to experience how transistors, FETs and op-amps actually in circuits.<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
 
The projects described in the first few chapters help to experience how transistors, FETs and op-amps actually in circuits.<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
  
=== Troubleshooting Analog Circuits, Robert A. Pease ===
+
=== ''Troubleshooting Analog Circuits'' by Robert A. Pease ===
 
Elsevier, 1991, ISBN 0750694998
 
Elsevier, 1991, ISBN 0750694998
  
 
Entertaining pearls of wisdom and experience, right down to the passive component level.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13">The Synth-diy Archive, [http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/pipermail/synth-diy/2013-April/thread.html SDIY Wiki - books], April 2013</ref>
 
Entertaining pearls of wisdom and experience, right down to the passive component level.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13">The Synth-diy Archive, [http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/pipermail/synth-diy/2013-April/thread.html SDIY Wiki - books], April 2013</ref>
  
=== CMOS Cookbook, Don Lancaster and Howard M. Berlin ===
+
=== ''CMOS Cookbook'' by Don Lancaster and Howard M. Berlin ===
 
Butterworth Heinemann, 2nd edition, 1997, ISBN 0750699434<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
 
Butterworth Heinemann, 2nd edition, 1997, ISBN 0750699434<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
  
=== Design with Operational Amplifiers & Analog Integrated Circuits, Sergio Franco ===
+
=== ''Design with Operational Amplifiers & Analog Integrated Circuits'' by Sergio Franco ===
 
ISBN 0070530440
 
ISBN 0070530440
  
 
It's got some stuff directly relevant to synth DIY but should be considered as geared more towards the mathematically inclined person in sharp contrast the The Art of Electronics<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
 
It's got some stuff directly relevant to synth DIY but should be considered as geared more towards the mathematically inclined person in sharp contrast the The Art of Electronics<ref name="sdiy-may-13"/>
  
=== Op Amps for Everyone, Bruce Carter and Ron Mancini ===
+
=== ''Op Amps for Everyone'' by Bruce Carter and Ron Mancini ===
 
ISBN 1856175057
 
ISBN 1856175057
  
Line 190: Line 190:
  
 
== Data books ==
 
== Data books ==
=== Electronic Music IC Databook, Barry Klein ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music IC Databook'' by Barry Klein ===
 
Published by the author, Barry Klein, along with [http://members.cox.net/barryklein/em.htm Electronic Music Circuits] (if you are serious about this stuff and are buying that book, buy this one too!).
 
Published by the author, Barry Klein, along with [http://members.cox.net/barryklein/em.htm Electronic Music Circuits] (if you are serious about this stuff and are buying that book, buy this one too!).
  
Line 200: Line 200:
  
 
== Usage ==
 
== Usage ==
=== Synthesizer Basics, edited by Brent Hurtig ===
+
=== ''Synthesizer Basics'' by, edited by Brent Hurtig ===
 
GPI Publications (Hal Leonard Pubs), 1984, ISBN 0881887145
 
GPI Publications (Hal Leonard Pubs), 1984, ISBN 0881887145
  
 
Brilliant collection of articles that first appeared in Keyboard Magazine, most of them are by [[Robert Moog]] from the late 70s giving  lucid explanations on topics such as Loudness and Attack Shaping,  Principles Of Voltage Control, Phasers etc.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
 
Brilliant collection of articles that first appeared in Keyboard Magazine, most of them are by [[Robert Moog]] from the late 70s giving  lucid explanations on topics such as Loudness and Attack Shaping,  Principles Of Voltage Control, Phasers etc.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
  
=== Midi For Musicians, Craig Anderton ===
+
=== ''Midi For Musicians'' by Craig Anderton ===
 
AMSCO Pubs, 1986, ISBN 0825610508
 
AMSCO Pubs, 1986, ISBN 0825610508
  
 
May be  considered a bit dated now. The full [[MIDI]] spec is in the  back of the book.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
 
May be  considered a bit dated now. The full [[MIDI]] spec is in the  back of the book.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
  
=== Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, Controls by Allen Strange ===
+
=== ''Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, Controls'' by Allen Strange ===
 
If you're really hard core, this book is by far the best text dealing with modular synthesis.<ref>The Womb Forums:[http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?12273-What-do-all-the-controls-on-synths-and-keyboards-mean What do all the controls on synths and keyboards mean?]</ref>
 
If you're really hard core, this book is by far the best text dealing with modular synthesis.<ref>The Womb Forums:[http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?12273-What-do-all-the-controls-on-synths-and-keyboards-mean What do all the controls on synths and keyboards mean?]</ref>
  
 
== Non-technical ==
 
== Non-technical ==
=== Keyfax Omnibus, Julian Colbeck ===
+
=== ''Keyfax Omnibus'' by Julian Colbeck ===
 
MixBooks, 1996, ISBN 0918371082
 
MixBooks, 1996, ISBN 0918371082
  
 
Fairly comprehensive  compendium of reviews of synths, samplers, organs and key controllers, from the Farfisa Compact circa mid-sixties, to the mid-nineties. Easy  and fun to read, and a great reference. Nearly every entry has a B&W  photo. Also look out for earlier editions from the eighties, where  more obscure stuff is included.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
 
Fairly comprehensive  compendium of reviews of synths, samplers, organs and key controllers, from the Farfisa Compact circa mid-sixties, to the mid-nineties. Easy  and fun to read, and a great reference. Nearly every entry has a B&W  photo. Also look out for earlier editions from the eighties, where  more obscure stuff is included.<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
  
=== Vintage Synthesizers, Mark Vail ===
+
=== ''Vintage Synthesizers'' by Mark Vail ===
 
Miller Freeman, 1993, ISBN 0879306033<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
 
Miller Freeman, 1993, ISBN 0879306033<ref name="sdiy-apr-13"/>
  
Line 253: Line 253:
 
* [http://www.synthesizers.com/books.html Books worth reading] at Synthesizers.com
 
* [http://www.synthesizers.com/books.html Books worth reading] at Synthesizers.com
 
* Muff Wiggler forum:[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=102064&start=all&postdays=0&postorder=asc BOOKS? audio electronics basics? please help.]
 
* Muff Wiggler forum:[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=102064&start=all&postdays=0&postorder=asc BOOKS? audio electronics basics? please help.]
* Muff Wiggler forum:[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12812&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing]  
+
* Muff Wiggler forum:[http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12812&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 Newb looking for 'Patching for dummies' kind of thing]
 
* [http://www.snap-dragon.com/synth_books.htm Synth Books] at www.snap-dragon.com
 
* [http://www.snap-dragon.com/synth_books.htm Synth Books] at www.snap-dragon.com
 
* [http://m.matrixsynth.com/2006/12/synth-books.html Synth Books] at MATRIXSYNTH
 
* [http://m.matrixsynth.com/2006/12/synth-books.html Synth Books] at MATRIXSYNTH
Line 262: Line 262:
 
* Doepfer Musikelektronik [http://www.doepfer.de/a100_man/a100b_e.htm A-100 Further Reading]
 
* Doepfer Musikelektronik [http://www.doepfer.de/a100_man/a100b_e.htm A-100 Further Reading]
 
* Detachment 3 Laboratories, [http://labs.det3.net/diy/synthbook.html The Master Synthesizer Book List r1.1]
 
* Detachment 3 Laboratories, [http://labs.det3.net/diy/synthbook.html The Master Synthesizer Book List r1.1]
* Fred Wilder's [http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/synthreading.html Reading List]  
+
* Fred Wilder's [http://www.stcroixstudios.com/wilder/music/synthreading.html Reading List]
  
 
[[Category:References]]
 
[[Category:References]]

Revision as of 23:07, 24 October 2014

Books related to synths, analog design, and anything else of interest.

Contents

Electronics for electronic music, theory and practical

49 Easy Electronic Projects for Transconductance and Norton Op Amps by Delton T. Horn

TAB, 1990, ISBN 0830674551, 216 pages

This book is spoilt by one thing - mistakes, and there are lots of them, some of which are glaringly obvious, others are likely to be less so. This is a shame, as decent quantities of material on transconductance and Norton amps is hard to come by. Slightly more than the first half of the book covers OTAs, with practical circuits couched around the CA3080 and the LM13600. There are many standard circuits of potential interest to the DIY synthesist: VCAs, sample-and-holds, ring mods, VCOs and VCFs. The latter part of the book covers Norton amps, and is based around the LM3900 - there are probably slightly fewer circuits of interest here though. Those less-well equipped to spot the errors (i.e. beginners) probably ought to steer clear of this one.[1]

Advanced Projects for the Electric Guitar by J. Chatwin

Bernard Babani, 1996, ISBN 0859343804, 'BP380', 87 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book. Whilst primarily aimed at the guitarist (wah wah, distortion, tremelo etc.), there are comprehensive treatments of two delay cicuits in here: an analogue BBD one (MN3102/MN3207); and a digital one (HT8955).[1]

An Analog Synthesizer for the 21st Century by Thomas Henry

Magic Smoke Electronics, 2006, v+32 pages

Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This is a collection of schematics to build a complete simple synthesizer, containing two VCOs, a VCF and VCA, LFO etc. Be warned however it is literally the schematics and parts lists - there are no descriptions of the circuits, nor how to set them up etc., and hence should be considered only suitable for the seasoned synth DIYer, and so is clearly NOT aimed at beginners![1]

Build a Better Music Synthesizer by Thomas Henry

Tab Books, 1987, ISBN 0830602550, vii+167 pages

A proper hardbound book by Thomas Henry. Perhaps understandably there is some commonality with the information in this book and many other of Thomas Henry's smaller booklets. The book explains how to put together a complete snythesizer, including things like the PSU and the case. It contains circuits for most usual synth components, VCO, VCA, VCF etc., but unfortunately is a little dated in that many of them are based around hard-to-get chips, like the CEM3330, CEM3340, SSM2056, SN76477 etc. There is also an introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is and what the major components of one are.[1]

Electronic Drum Cookbook by Thomas Henry

Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2002, v+50 pages; now available from Magic Smoke Electronics

This booklet from Thomas Henry is about twice the size of the smaller ones. It contains a lot of basic information about how to synthesize drums, and as well as several filters/tone generation circuits, it also includes a simple VCA, PSU, white noise generator, percussive-type envelope generator, and even how to build a simple drum pad using conductive foam.[1]

Electronic Musical Instruments by Norman Crowhurst

Foulsham-Tab, 1975, ISBN 0704201445, viii+188 pages.

This book explains in fairly general terms what electronic musical instruments are and do, but does cover some technical aspects of how traditional instruments make their sound, and how synthesizers replicate these. Most of the circuits given are more 'representative' rather than practical, and only a few have sufficient component values given so that they might actually work if constructed.[1]

Electronic Music and Creative Tape Recording by M.K. Berry

Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162724, 'BP51', 87 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book. About half this book is about recording on tape, and splicing etc. to manipulate the sound, but there are also lots of very simple circuits of a VCO, VCA (MC3340), and other effects like fuzz etc. One of the more complicated circuits seems quite out of place, a diode ladder filter - this book is the source of the circuit found in several places on the net: Modulus newsletter and The Free Information Society[1]

Electronic Music Circuit Guidebook by Brice Ward

TAB Books, 1975, ISBN 0830657436, 222 pages.

In the preface the author states he wrote the book because at the time he couldn't find other books with details of synth circuits in them. There are quite a lot of circuits in here, covering a variety of oscillators, filters, a 'function generator', VCAs, etc., and there are also circuits less often covered, like a spring reverb, ring modulator, envelope follower etc.[1]

Electronic Music Circuits by Barry Klein

ISBN 067221833X. Originally published by Howard Sams, 1982, 302 pages. Updated in 1996. Now available from the author in comb-bound form, barry.l.klein@wdc.com

This is probably one of the better books explaining synthesizer circuits in some detail, covering not only oscillators, filters, envelope generators, voltage-controlled amplifiers etc., but also things like the PSU and keyboard controllers. Though some of the circuits are based around now-obsolete CEM and SSM synthesizer chips, there is much to be learned from this book. It also contains quite a lot of circuits taken from Electronotes, q.v. (And if you intend to get serious about all this stuff and are contemplating buying a copy of this book, getting a copy of the Electronic Music IC Databook at the same time is thoroughly recommended!)[1]

Electronic Music Circuits: The Reprints Vol 1 by Thomas Henry

Midwest Analog Products, 2002, 162 pages.

This is a larger comb-bound book from Thomas Henry, and consists of reprints of 38 articles from old newsletters of the 70s and 80s, such as Electronotes, Polyphony and Electronic Musician. It has circuits of many components familiar in synths, e.g. VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, envelope generators, and also less usual ones like BBD delays, drum circuits etc. (It is not believed that a 'Volume 2' has ever been produced.)[1]

The Electronic Musical Instrument Manual by A. Douglas

Tab Books, 1976, ISBN 0830658327, 205 pages

The preface warns that 'this is not a constructional book', and indeed it is not; it is also subtitled 'A comprehensive guidebook on the theory and design of electronic musical instruments, with special emphasis on the organ'. Thus it is not about synthesizers per se, but there are many circuits of oscillators, tone controls, noise generators and vibrato circuits etc., and seemingly a large number from actual commercial organs, and many of these employ all manner of electro-mechanical devices (motors driving toothed wheels), photo-electric devices (slotted discs etc.), and other such curiosities (with many older circuits using valves as well as more 'modern' ones using transistors!). Potentially useful if you are trying to find out how some old organ achieved some particular effect or other.[1]

Electronic Music Learning Projects by R. Bebbington

Bernard Babani, 1993, ISBN 0859343294, 'BP329', 114 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in here are at a very introductory (e.g. schoolboy) level. They include several oscillator circuits (including a very Stylophone-like one), and others like a metronome etc. It is clearly not intended as a book of serious synthesizer circuits, though doubtless one or two could be adapted for such.[1]

Electronic Music Projects by R.A. Penfold

Bernard Babani, 1980, ISBN 0900162945, 'BP74', 106 pages

Typical Babani pocket-book. The circuits in this book are mostly fairly simple, and many are aimed at the guitarist: wah wah, fuzz, sustain etc.; there is actually a circuit for a spring reverb unit (though there doesn't appear to be anything like a specification for the spring tank itself); a Stylophone-like 'Stylus Organ'; the most synth-like circuit is a 555-based oscillator, but it isn't voltage-controlled.[1]

Electronic Projects in Music by A.J. Flind

Newnes, 1979, ISBN 040800391X, 81 pages.

(Similar in size and type to the Babani books, but better print quality.) Contains details for building quite a few simple circuits, such as waa-waa, fuzz, a couple of pre-amps etc. Probably the most complex circuit is for a Stylophone-type mini-organ.[1]

Electronic Synthesiser Construction by R.A. Penfold

Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341593, 'BP185', 99 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for making a basic synthesizer with the usual VCO-VCA-VCF voice, including an ADSR envelope generator, and several simple sequencer circuits. There is also a pseudo-stereo circuit using a simple phase-shift circuit.[1]

Electronic Synthesiser Projects by M.K. Berry

Bernard Babani, 1981, ISBN 0859340562, 'BP81', 81 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book (note the non-conventional spelling in the title). It contains details for a basic synth, but again uses some now hard-to-get chips, namely the SN76477 'single chip synth' and a TDA1022 BBD delay. Other circuits include a 4017-based sequencer, 8038 and 555 VCOs, and a logic-based ADSR.[1]

Electronotes by ed. Bernie Hutchins

Electronotes is a newsletter-like publication produced by Bernie Hutchins, covering technical details of music synthesis and sound processing: back-issues up to the very first issue in 1972 are available, and the complete set is a rich repository of circuits, techniques and ideas. The everything package is a huge amount of information - it amounts to about 30 useful-sized volumes, and occupies over 18 inches of shelf space! For those not wanting to go to the expense of getting everything, the Musical Engineer's Handbook and the Builder's Guide and Preferred Circuits Collection is a good compromise. Tim Stinchcombe has compiled an index of Electronotes, which may give an indication of the totality of subjects covered. (The index covers up to August 2003.)[1] It features commented historical designs by pioneers like Robert Moog and others.[2]

IC LM3900 Projects by H. Kybett

Bernard Babani, 1978, ISBN 0900162732, 'BP50', 119 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book. Many older synthesizer circuits made use of the LM3900 chip, which is slightly harder to figure than an op amp. Finding books that even mention this chip is hard, never mind one dedicated to it. This is a nice, tractable introduction to the chip, what it is and what it does, and contains dozens of simple utilitarian circuits.[1]

Making Music with the 3080 OTA by Thomas Henry

Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from Magic Smoke Electronics

Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains an easily-digestable introduction to the CA3080 Operational Transconductance Amplifier, including circuits for a simple VCA, VCO and a ring modulator.[1]

Making Music with the 566 by Thomas Henry

Originally Midwest Analog Products, 2003, vi+26 pages; now available from Magic Smoke Electronics

Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one has lots of circuits and detail around the 566, a 'function generator'-type chip (which unfortunately was made obsolete ages ago I suspect). The booklet shows how to hook one up as a VCO which gives all the major waveforms, sine, tri, ramp, square etc., and also others like a noise circuit.[1]

Making Music with the NE570 Compander by Thomas Henry

Originally Midwest Analog Products, 1998, viii+19 pages; now available from Magic Smoke Electronics

Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one shows how to use the NE570 chip not only as a compressor/expander, but includes other circuits such as an envelope follower and a VCA.[1]

More Advanced Electronic Music Projects by R.A. Penfold

Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0859341488, 'BP174', 78 pages.

Typical Babani pocket-book. This contains slightly more advanced/complex circuits than its predecessor, Electronic Music Projects, BP74 (q.v). Amongst the circuits here: a simple phase shifter; BBD-based flanger/chorus/vibrato unit; a ring modulator; and the latter part of the book details a 'percussion synthesizer', though this doesn't appear to use the more traditional method of 'pinging' a resonant filter, so heaven knows what it would actually sound like... Many of the circuits make use of the now obsolete LM13600 OTA, and so presumably would need some small adjustments to use the LM13700 instead.[1]

Musical Applications of Microprocessors by Hal Chamberlin

Hayden, 1985 ISBN 0810457687, 802 pages (2nd edn)

Although primarily concerned with microprocessors and their use within sound and music synthesis, early chapters have introductory material on synthesis in general, including methods using tape, voltage control etc. There is also a nice chapter giving typical examples of basic analogue circuits such as VCOs, VCFs, VCAs etc., with good explanations of how they work.[1] If you get just one book, this is the book to get. Although it has "microprocessors" in the title, it has a superb section on analog circuits.[3][4]

Music Synthesizers: A Manual of Design & Construction by Delton T. Horn

TAB Books, 1984, ISBN 0830615652, viii+343 pages.

There are lots of schematics in this book, but it is assumed the reader can take the schematics and turn them into practical circuits. Many of the designs utilize some of the older synth chips: CEMs, SSMs, the MM5837 (digital noise) and the SN76477 effects chip. There is also a large section on patching ideas.[1]

Noise Generator Cookbook by Thomas Henry

Original probably Midwest Analog Products, 2003; now available from Magic Smoke Electronics, 2009, vi+27 pages

Another small booklet by Thomas Henry. This one contains circuits for most of the basic ways to generate and filter noise, including : reverse-biased p-n junction; pseudo-random shift register sequence; multi-oscillator bank, pink noise filter, etc.[1]

Practical Electronic Music Projects by R. A. Penfold

Bernard Babani, 1994, ISBN 0859343634, 'BP363', 122 pages

Typical Babani pocket-book. There are many circuits to interest the guitarist: distortion units; a guitar tuner; pseudo echo etc. More general circuits include: a metronome; a pseudo stereo unit; mixers etc. There are also some interesting MIDI circuits, including: a MIDI comparator, which looks for a specific bit pattern; a simple MIDI tester; a MIDI controller pedal; a MIDI lead tester etc.[1]

Small Signal Audio Design by Douglas Self

ISBN 0240521773

For building complete audio systems it'a very valuable resource.[2][5]

Sound Synthesis: Analog and Digital Techniques by Terence Thomas

TAB Books, ISBN 083063276X, x+166 pages.

Contains circuits and details for building a complete synthesizer, from the PSU, through VCO, VCA, VCF etc., and including a simple sequencer, though some of the circuits are perhaps a little unorthodox. There's also a strange circuit that produces trigger pulses from MIDI data, with scant regard for what the data actually is.[1]

Troubleshooting and Repairing Electronic Music Synthesizers by Delton T. Horn

TAB, 1992, ISBN 0830639217, x+206 pages.

This is a very odd kind of book, which probably has a very narrow readership. There are very few schematics in here, yet it is trying to help people to troubleshoot synthesizer-based circuits. After a basic introductory chapter on what a synthesizer is, there is a chapter of general troubleshooting techniques, which mostly looks like good, sound advice. Then there are five chapters entitled 'Problems with XXX', where 'XXX' = VCOs, VCAs, VCFs, etc. There are also chapters on digital synths, software and hardware problems, and MIDI. At the back are three schematics: an SCR-based VCO; a FET-controlled multi-feedback single op amp VCF; and a VCA circuit using three transistors and an op amp, and running off 9V and 18V supplies (which looks like it might owe something to a Korg circuit) - none of these look anything like 'standard' synth circuits![1]

The VCO Chip Cookbook by Thomas Henry

SMS Electronics, 2007, vi+118 pages. According to this electro-music.com thread (pay attention to the dates!), it looks as though Magic Smoke/Lulu will make this book available again at sometime in the future.

A larger-than-usual offering from Thomas Henry. It includes detail on how to use three VCO chips: the 566, 8038 and XR-2206. Some of the information is taken from Making Music with the 566 (q.v.), but there is much more here besides, including exponential conversion, triangle-to-sine waveshaping etc.[1]

Electronics more in general

IC Op-Amp Cookbook by Walter G. Jung

3rd edition, Prentice Hall, 1997, ISBN 0138896011, xviii+581 pages. 1st edition, Sams, 1977, ISBN 0672209691, 591 pages.

This book is frequently recommended as a good reference for op amps. Part 1 starts with the basic principles of ideal op amps, and then goes on to catalogue many of the non-idealities of real op amps, how they affect a circuit's operation, and how to deal with them. Part 2 is a large selection of application circuits, covering many of the standard op amp circuits seen in practice, both linear and non-linear. (Notably there is nothing about active filters in the book though.)

The first edition of the book is also worth checking out, as there is some material which is not present in later editions which may be of interest for synth DIY readers: chapter 6 (approx. 90 pages) covers op amp use in audio circuits (mainly amplifiers and pre-amplifiers etc., but also a small section on active filters); chapter 8 (approx. 100 pages) covers progammable op amps, including operational transconductance amplifiers (OTAs) such as the CA3080, and also current differencing amplifiers, such as the LM3900, both of which find wide application within synthesizer circuits.

(The Prentice Hall third edition appears to be little more than a photocopy of the Sams book, and some readers have noted that the print quality is not so good in some places in the book.)[1]

The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill

ISBN 0521370957

Praised all across the internet for being the absolute bible. Easy enough to be understood and enticing to a beginner but precise enough to be a reference for actually engineers.

Start with The Art of Electronics, at least the first few chapters, and then dig into Musical Applications of Microprocessors[2]

The Art of Electronics Student Manual by Thomas C. Hayes and Paul Horowitz

ISBN 0521377099

The projects described in the first few chapters help to experience how transistors, FETs and op-amps actually in circuits.[2]

Troubleshooting Analog Circuits by Robert A. Pease

Elsevier, 1991, ISBN 0750694998

Entertaining pearls of wisdom and experience, right down to the passive component level.[6]

CMOS Cookbook by Don Lancaster and Howard M. Berlin

Butterworth Heinemann, 2nd edition, 1997, ISBN 0750699434[6]

Design with Operational Amplifiers & Analog Integrated Circuits by Sergio Franco

ISBN 0070530440

It's got some stuff directly relevant to synth DIY but should be considered as geared more towards the mathematically inclined person in sharp contrast the The Art of Electronics[2]

Op Amps for Everyone by Bruce Carter and Ron Mancini

ISBN 1856175057

is something more along the lines of practical applications.[2]

Data books

Electronic Music IC Databook by Barry Klein

Published by the author, Barry Klein, along with Electronic Music Circuits (if you are serious about this stuff and are buying that book, buy this one too!).

This is a large (more than 300 pages) compendium of datasheets of old (generally) synthesizer-dedicated ICs. Some of the information is available online, most notably Synthesis Technology's CEM chip page, but for many of the chips, this is likely to be the only place you will find the data.

Chips covered are: CEM: 3310, 3312, 3320, 3328, 3330/3335, 3340/3345, 3350, 3360, 3371, 3372, 3374, 3378/3379, 3387, 3389, 3391, 3394, 3396, PA381/382 (CEM3381/2), PD508, SAM8905. SSM: 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2030, 2033, 2038, 2040, 2044, 2045, 2047, 2050, 2055, 2056, 2100, 2110, 2120/22, 2125, 2134, 2200, 2210, 2220, 2300, 2402/12[1]

Usage

Synthesizer Basics by, edited by Brent Hurtig

GPI Publications (Hal Leonard Pubs), 1984, ISBN 0881887145

Brilliant collection of articles that first appeared in Keyboard Magazine, most of them are by Robert Moog from the late 70s giving lucid explanations on topics such as Loudness and Attack Shaping, Principles Of Voltage Control, Phasers etc.[6]

Midi For Musicians by Craig Anderton

AMSCO Pubs, 1986, ISBN 0825610508

May be considered a bit dated now. The full MIDI spec is in the back of the book.[6]

Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, Controls by Allen Strange

If you're really hard core, this book is by far the best text dealing with modular synthesis.[7]

Non-technical

Keyfax Omnibus by Julian Colbeck

MixBooks, 1996, ISBN 0918371082

Fairly comprehensive compendium of reviews of synths, samplers, organs and key controllers, from the Farfisa Compact circa mid-sixties, to the mid-nineties. Easy and fun to read, and a great reference. Nearly every entry has a B&W photo. Also look out for earlier editions from the eighties, where more obscure stuff is included.[6]

Vintage Synthesizers by Mark Vail

Miller Freeman, 1993, ISBN 0879306033[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Tim Stinchcombe
  2. ^ a b c d e f The Synth-diy Archive, Hello, and some questions, May 2013
  3. ^ Electronics for Music Synthesis, References, 2010 by Aaron Lanterman
  4. ^ synthesizer design
  5. ^ Review in SOS, June 2011
  6. ^ a b c d e f The Synth-diy Archive, SDIY Wiki - books, April 2013
  7. ^ The Womb Forums:What do all the controls on synths and keyboards mean?

External links

Electronics

  • Electronotes, application notes of interest in the areas of analog and digital music synthesis, audio, and general signal processing.
  • Op Amps for Everyone by Bruce Carter and Ron Mancini, Texas Instruments, 2002

Sound and synthesizer theory

Anything in-depth, longer than a page or two.

Music technology

Lists of books on other sites