planet cb

New project: small, portable, self-contained square/digital/noise/logic synth! I'll be using mostly cmos logic chips to generate weird sounds and rhythms using square/pulse waves. this kind of synth is called a "Lunetta"

progress so far: got a small box to contain it; got a power jack, power switch, LED power indicator installed; small speaker with holes drilled for more sound; and an arduino for midi control and more square/logic generation

next up: LM386 power amp to power the speaker, then some square wave oscillators

@cb I am building a similar thing :)

@nintegge oh yeah? awesome! tell me more!

@cb the first iteration combines a 40106 and an LM386. The next one is 40106, 4051, and LM556 to be a sequenced Atari punk console.

@nintegge awesome! so cool. I'll be using those IC's too. Also a few 4046's for quick and easy VCO's. I also like to add XOR and NAND IC's for cool ring-modulation-like sounds

@cb maybe we should sit down and compare schematics on the next project :D

@nintegge totally

@cb ok. I will get back to you in march then. February is really packed right now.

some more updates

@cb Cool!

@cb I'm a simple man. I see a button box, I like :D

coming along - got a trio of oscillators, some more wiring, and some other stuff. It makes sounds now!
a light wood box with a bunch of bolts and LEDs coming out of it, plus some buttons and a row of knobs the inside of the box, lots of wires, some electrical tape

@metasyn without patching they dont, I'm working on a diode modulation thingy that is sort of like hard sync. (it's sending voltage through a diode to the input of a 40106 inverter)

@metasyn they will be driving lots of different circuits like shift registers, dividers, multiplexers, and stuff

@cb Woohoo! Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

I built something similar with a 4040, a 40106 and a 4077, patchable with banana jacks. It was the prototype for the ILL-LOGIC sound texture generator:

@pangrus @cb well that looks amazing. How does it sound?

@sprkwd @cb
You may listen to the ill-logic demos, it sounds very very similar

@pangrus whoa that is so cool!

That's really awesome, damn


I do NOT keep a tidy work area!

here are some updates.. added a shift register for cool blinky lights (and some interesting gate outputs); almost done with a dual 40106 VCO
a very messy desk with an open wood box, wires everywhere, a small stripboard with a chip on it in the foreground Inside the wooden box, wires and alligator clips everywhere the box closed, blinky lights and knobs visible. behind it: an incredibly messy pile of electronic components

PSA for electronics tinkerers: if you smell something sort of like burning, immediately disconnect the power! 🔋🔋🔋🔥

If you accidentally short power and ground together, stuff will get really hot

2 voltage controlled oscillators and 3 other oscillators + a shift register! making progress. I 💜blinky lights

hey check out my 4-bit digital to analog converter
some resistors twisted together

@cb If you hear boiling, pull the power and back away.

Built: 3 oscillators, 2 voltage controlled oscillators, a 4 input R/2R ladder (a 4-bit digital to analog converter), and a clock divider. Here's a short clip playing it with my Volca Modular

I need some sort of name for this synthesizer, like a pun based on the words "logic," "cmos / sea moss," "analog computer" or something

logic/cmos synth update: while I wait for a shipment of LED's and hookup wire I'm working on the code for the #arduino . Planning to use it as a clocked binary noise generator, a gate sequencer, and maybe a VCO
A box with its lid open, and inside is a mess of wires and LED's, connected to an arduino microcontroller

Incorporating an #arduino into my new synth. One of the features that I got working (yay!!) is a random 16 step gate sequencer.
The arduino listens for a clock pulse (like a square wave) and on each pulse it plays a step of the gate sequence (on or off). If you press a button, a new sequence is generated. The sound is quiet because I haven't built an amp for the speaker yet

@cb At the risk of repeating myself: Cool! 😁👍

Just a quick demo (not great sound) of my new small modular synth. My big modular is generating a sequence using a shift register and an R/2R ladder DAC, and that voltage is going into the small modular to modulate the pitch of a VCO. Also: some diode mixing, XOR mixing, dividers, and manipulating the "voltage sag" knob to lower how much voltage the entire synth is getting. I hope to do some better audio-quality videos soon

@cb it's like a scout from the mothership.

@wakyct haha yes!!

a really short clip: made some updates and adjustments. this patch is sort of chip tune-y

added a light dependent resistor (play with light), attenuator knob (control how much things affect other things, and a button

pro tip: if you add a "power sag" knob for your synthesizer, where you can change control how much power all the chips get (from full power to no power), be sure to remember that you did this if your synthesizer starts acting all weird. It's probably because you bumped the power sag pot (and the whole point of that is to make things weird!)

update: double four-step shift register built, installed, and working!! I decided to go with random multicolor lights instead of the same for each because FUN and RAINBOWS

getting close to filling this box up! it's really becoming a rat's nest of wires inside. if I were more organized maybe I could avoid that.. but everything works so... 🤷

added 3 more chips yesterday (AND, OR, and a 4069 hex inverter), with 16 connections coming off the board and going to the panel. amazingly, everything worked the first time I powered it up. I think my soldering is improving!
a rectangular box covered in silver bolts, alligator clips, and knobs inside the box, a huge mess of multicolored wires. it looks like pure chaos!

@cb what a horror show.

keep posting 🤓

a quick trip to the hardware store and I have enough 1/2" #6 machine screws to finish all the patch points on this little beast
a pale wood box covered in little screws, knobs, and multicolored cables

At last, some sounds! Here's 20 minutes of different patches on my new synth. I'm still learning to play it, here are some sounds that aren't too difficult to create with it. I'm sure there are a billion more, just waiting to be discovered.

#lunetta #synthdiy #cmos #analog #synthjam

and here it is with the volca drum

@cb You have built a thing of beauty, and you have made art with it!

@laemeur thank you very much 🙏🏻

here's a patch on my new modular synthesizer. What I'm going for is something like listening to slowed down ethernet/network data played by 8-bit robots whose chips have been slightly overloaded with too much electricity

I've never heard anything quite like this, but if you have, please let me know!! I really want to hear more music like this

thinking of some names for my new synthesizer... something like "Interstellar Boolean Logic Exploration Device" (IB-LED). I also keep thinking of the phrase "Not east coast or west coast synthesis, more like Data Coast™

@cb it reminds me of chiptune stuff I've heard from Disasterpiece and Laurie Speigel. Both are more traditionally melodic, but have the same general electronic vibe.

@derek awesome thank you!! I I'm familiar with Laurie Spiegel but not Disasterpiece - thanks for the rec!!

almost done with the main circuits! around 90 patch points, maybe 15 or so integrated circuits (chips), probably miles of wiring, added a handle salvaged from another old box, tons of LEDs. Once I finish the circuits, it will be time to paint it BRIGHT ORANGE

#synthdiy #lofi #electronics #analog #experimental

@cb Go go go! 😄

WARNING: Loud noisy sounds

another patch on my new synth... getting closer to that "the matrix is self-destructing and the dot-matrix printers are rising up to take control" sound that I'm looking for

it's amazing to me how much the sound can change by turning a few knobs. In these sound clips I'm not patching anything, I'm only changing the speeds/frequencies of the different square waves. The magic of modular synthesis!!

@cb Bit Coast

@cb I DL'd and had an entertaining time modding the playback speed

@wakyct ooooh yeah good one

@wakyct nice!

@cb This thing sounds fantastic. And it's really inspiring me to get back to my own projects, so thanks very much for that!

@laemeur thank you very much for the kind words! my plan is to document all the modules and circuits I used (all of which are very simple, I don't think any of them use more than about 15 components total) so that others could build similar machines. honestly the hardest part for me is the soldering and wiring!

@wakyct thought of another one... "Datawave"

@cb gives me Tron vibes for some reason, seems appropriate!

build update: added a few "bend" points (inspired by Bastl's "Bit Ranger" which is an inspiration to and very similar to my synth) where I can insert things like capacitors or diodes directly into the circuits to change the sound. also, I can get some more sounds from each oscillator without having a million more bolts. nearing the finish line on this!
a rectangular box covered in knobs, LED's, and small bolts. there are a few tiny black rectangles scattered throughout

it's painting time!!
a wood box covered in metal bolts, half painted bright pale orange

it's (more or less) done!! pretty happy with how it turned out, may paint over a few things. It sounds pretty cool and I'll post more sounds soon. Now to think of the right name for it...

#synthdiy #modular #analog #digital #synthesis #noise #lunetta
a rectangular orange box with knobs and tons of small bolts, many old-school black labels with white text, and some red flip switches and a red button the same box but covered in alligator clips connecting various bolts

@cb looks great! inspiring work.

@wakyct thanks!