Workshop 3: Synthesizer

Make a Synthesizer



Using a few inexpensive components, you can build a simple square wave synthesizer. The basic circuit is not very complicated but there are many ways to expand on it by adding voices, sensors, and amplifiers. First, we’ll build the basic circuit on breadboards and then you can experiment–modifying the circuit until it acts and sounds how you like. Second, you’ll rebuild the circuit on a protoboard so it can be installed in a enclosure/box/sculpture of your design.

Cost: between $5-$15

Materials: provided for $5

  • 1 CMOS Hex Schmitt Trigger Integrated Circuit
  • various capacitors
  • various resistors
  • potentiometers
  • Light dependent resistor – photocell
  • Solidcore hook up wire
  • mono headphone jack
  • battery clip
  • 9 volt battery
  • speaker
  • LM386 amplifier chip

Optional materials: not provided

  • different types of sensors
  • housing/enclosure of some sort

Helpful Resources

Some Examples:

Enclosure Inspiration