A Synth Of Your Own, For Not A Lot

Despite the lingering reality that most of us don’t have what it takes to make it to the upper reaches of the Hit Parade, there remain many who still harbour a secret desire to make music. What better way to realise this dream, than by making [Blog Hoskins’] $20 MIDI synth project!

The write-up goes into a staggering level of detail to ensure that it’s accessible at all levels, to the extent that a complete beginner could probably assemble a working synth by following it. For some of the fancier parts of front panel there’s a reliance on a laser cutter, but even without such wizardry the Average Joe with an electric drill could still do a pretty good job.

Behind the panel though it’s not short on features it’s a surprisingly simple design. At its heart is an Arduino Nano, surrounded by potentiometers and switches for user control, and an opto-coupler for the MIDI lines. Sadly for analogue synth fans there’s not much else in the way of circuitry, but the point of a build such as this one is to create a playable instrument with the shortest path to usability. A video full fo those glorious synth sounds is below the break.

MIDI synthesisers are a frequent feature here at Hackaday. A recent favourite is this four-voice instrument that uses servos as its active element.

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