Synth DIY books
- 1 Books
- 1.1 Electronic Music Circuits, Barry Klein
- 1.2 Electronic Music IC Databook, Barry Klein
- 1.3 Electronotes, ed. Bernie Hutchins
- 1.4 Making Music with the 3080 OTA, Thomas Henry
- 1.5 Musical Applications of Microprocessors, Hal Chamberlin
- 1.6 Op-Amp Cookbook, Walter G. Jung
- 1.7 Small Signal Audio Design, Douglas Self
- 2 Magazines
Electronic Music Circuits, Barry Klein
Originally published by Howard Sams, 1982, 302 pages. Now available direct from the author, Electronic Music Circuits in a comb-bound form, updated in 1996.
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!)
Electronic Music IC Databook, 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
Electronotes, 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 comb-binds into 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. There is a fairly simple index of Electronotes here, which may give an indication of the totality of subjects covered. (The index covers up to August 2003.)
Making Music with the 3080 OTA, 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.
Musical Applications of Microprocessors, 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.
Op-Amp Cookbook, Walter G. Jung
<add desc> 1st edition good too..
Small Signal Audio Design, Douglas Self