Simple modular DIY

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This page is intended as a format-agnostic (so, can be built for Eurorack, 4U, 5U etc.) list of simple but useful components that can be built for a modular synth.

If you're new to DIY electronics, please read the synthesizer do it yourself page first.

For more complex all-in-one synthesizer projects, see Category:Projects.

Entry level projects

Designed more for simplicity than high performance. Good enough to get an introduction to some basic principles of Synth DIY. Using just a handful of components and easily built on stripboard.

Passive circuits

Passive circuits don't require powering.

  • CGS real ring modulator and CGS real ring modem -
  • Moog passive filters -
  • Passive mult - Probably the easiest module to possibly build, all you need is some jacks, some wire, and a soldering iron. This module allows you to split a signal to be sent to multiple destinations. Passive mults are not suitable for V/octave CV control, because the voltage may drop when split, due to varying impedances in the destinations
  • Vactrol VCF - This can do interesting things right away unlike a VCO which doesn't do much interesting on it's own.

Active circuits

Active circuits need some Volts for power.

See also


This page has been split to Passive mult on 3 July 2019. The history of this page serves as the attribution history for the contents of that page, before then.

Further reading

  • Electronic Synthesiser Construction by R.A. Penfold, Bernard Babani, 1986, ISBN 0-85934-159-3 - Typical Babani pocket-book. 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. Online at E-Music DIY Archive.
  • Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking by Nicolas Collins, Routledge, 2009, ISBN 0-415-99873-5. A guide to the lowest tech electronic music possible; circuit-bending existing toys, moving on to building simple oscillators, filters, amplifiers using CMOS circuits. Simple, inspiring projects that work and will get you started in music DIY.
  • Make: Analog Synthesizers by Ray Wilson, Maker Media Inc., 2013, ISBN 1-4493-4522-0 - easy to read, contains a lot of practical advice about soldering and construction. A more accurate title would be How to build the MFOS Noise Toaster.

External links

General sources of schematics and layouts

Kits, PCBs and panels