These $70 DIY synthesizers are a hobbyist's dream

These $70 DIY synthesizers are a hobbyist's dream

For me, one of the crucial fascinating elements of Moogfest is the Circuit Bending Problem. Positive, the performances and tech demos are nice, however it’s all the time a deal with to see what a group of tinkerers can provide you with on a decent price range of $70. I’ve seen every little thing from a wearable helmet instrument to creations that look extra like a compact analog machine. This yr’s finalists supply a few of the most polished exterior designs I’ve seen over the previous few competitions and all three have distinctive sounds to match.

Gallery: Moog Circuit Bending Problem finalists | sixteen Photographs

The Vola V-System Sequencer features very similar to a recreation console, permitting the consumer to insert cartridges based mostly on the sorts of sounds they need to make. Constructed by Vola Noisy Stuff from Finland, the instrument could be a beat machine or a extra conventional sampler relying on which cartridge is getting used on the time. As a result of its capacity to simply add new sounds, the V-System is probably probably the most versatile of the bunch, pulling noises and results from totally different youngsters’s toys. It does not skimp on the normal synth controls both, as there is a patch bay and two low-frequency oscillators.

What are you able to do with a $9 Yamaha PSS-one hundred forty keyboard from a thrift retailer? Properly, Mike Sisk added a LTC1799 oscillator to regulate the pitch and velocity of the unique instrument’s sound financial institution. He then tacked on echo results from a $5 Barbie karaoke machine and a low-move filter and a major panel that gives knobs and switches for pitch, results and voltage. All of that matches inside a wooden body harking back to basic synths, together with the lately revived Minimoog Mannequin D.

Final, however definitely not least, there’s one other modified Yamaha PSS-one hundred forty from Chicago-based mostly artist Mike Tewz. For this DIY instrument although, the keys and the management panel have been separated to make room for a patch bay and extra controls. Tewz additionally added an LED sequencer for the PSS-one hundred forty’s constructed-in drum sounds, a further management panel and an LTC1799 oscillator module for these pitch and velocity tweaks. This hacked PSS-one hundred forty rests inside a $5 poker chip case — you realize, if he must take it on the street to a music pageant.

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