All Articles News
This DIY Semi-Modular Monophonic Analog Synth Sounds As Good As It Looks
Rounik Sethi on Thu, February 2nd 0 comments
Every now and then a DIY synth project comes along that just bowls us over. The Guenther Chiptune is one such homemade synthesizer.

Dave Guenther has created a semi-modular anlog synth as a real labour of love. It took him the best part of one year to make this Arduino controlled MIDI capable synthesizer and it really does look lovely and sound great.

The Guenther Chiptune wasn't made from kits, but 100% on protoboards with passion and love mixed in.

Here's the full details from Guenther himself. Hope you find this as inspiring as we do!

I'm pleased to post about a project I just finished and worked on over the last year. It's a monophonic, MIDI capable, Arduino controlled semi-modular analog synth -- 100% build on protoboards! The VCOs, VCA and VCF are all built around LM13700 OTA datasheet circuits tailored down to +-9V. The Expo converter seems to be a pretty standard design that I've seen in several places (Thomas Henry, Aaron Lanterman lectures, Hal Chamberlain). The envelopes were based on a pretty simple op-amp/diode RC circuit. The keyboard was extracted from an old broken casio. I "un-matrixed" the keyboard input and fed each key through a set of parallel-serial input shift registers. This approach allowed me to use three pins on the Arduino to capture the entire set of keys as well as the Arppegiator controls and octave selectors. It also registers each key independently so you have have any number of keys pressed at once - though the arppegiator only registers up to the lowest four keys pressed. I built the project as a Christmas present for my two boys.

Here is a youtube video with a demo of the synth to include music and some pictures of the build. Jump in at 2:30 to see Guenther explaining and demonstrating the synth itself.


This wasn't built from any kits, and I got a LOT of help from people in this group (Synth DIY) over the last year, whether it was pointing out learning resources/tools to go at it myself, circuit debug help, or simply encouragement/positive/helpful responses to questions. 



[Via: David Guenther on Facebook]

This synth is most probably not for sale. Want one? Contact David... but be prepared to make one yourself ;)

Learn all about synths and synthesis in the AskAudio Academy


Related Videos
Comments (0)

You must be logged in to comment.

The VCA & Other Tools
The Foundation Of Synthesis 105
Dream It. Do It.
Do you want to learn The VCA & Other Tools?
Yes, I want to learn!
No Thanks, I just want to read the article.
Course Advisor
Don't Know Where To Start?
Ask A Course Advisor
Ask Us!
Copy the link below and paste it into an email, forum, or Facebook to share this with your friends.
Make money when you share our links
Become a Affiliate!
The current affiliate rate is: 50%
Classes Start Next Week!
Live 8-week Online Certification Classes for: