[themonkeybars] recently uploaded a time-lapse video of his DIY synthesizer build. First off the video itself is a pretty neat hack. An iPhone time-lapse app was used to capture one frame every 5 seconds. By the time the build was complete, approximately 46,000 frames had been snapped. This boiled down to over 43 minutes of youtube footage. [themonkeybars] didn’t work full time on the project, so the video covers about a year’s worth of work which we think makes it even cooler. The synth is also featured in much of the video’s soundtrack.
The synthesizer itself would be classified as an analog modular synth, a type we’ve seen before. Modular synthesizers are one of the earlier forms of electronic music. The synthesizer is composed of discrete modules such as oscillators, modulators, and filters. The modules may be housed in the same box, but they are not internally connected. All connections are made via front panel patch cables. This is where the term “Patch” came from.
As you can probably imagine, all these cables, switches, and dials make for quite a bit of metal work in the building of the synthesizer front panel, and even more wiring. [themonkeybars] takes us through every step of that journey, from the bare metal front panel to the finished instrument. Much of the internals are based upon Music From Outer Space kits, with the Sound Lab ULTIMATE kit forming the heart of the project.
We really enjoyed his novel tilt mount for the printed circuit boards. The tilt mount allows both sides of the PCB and nearly all of the front panel to be accessed for modifications or repairs. Some of the other interesting features include a lucite window on the bottom of the case, and red LED strip on the inside. The red LEDs create a dull glow that can be seen through the patch connectors, yet doesn’t overpower the panel mounted indicators. All in all this is a beautiful build!