- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: O′Reilly; 1 edition (4 June 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449345220
- ISBN-13: 978-1449345228
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.7 x 24.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,15,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Make – Analog Synthesizers Paperback – 4 Jun 2013
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Description for Make – Analog Synthesizers
Make Electronic Sounds the Synth-DIY Way
About the Author
Ray has been interested in analog synthesizers since the first time he heard "Switched On Bach" back in 1968. That magic box on the cover of the album with all of the knobs, switches and patch cords grabbed his attention and never let it go. After working at U.S. Steel, Intec Systems, Siemens Pacesetter, and Telectronics, he now runs his popular web site Music From Outer Space full-time. Most of his electronics learning has been hard won and experiential with hundreds of hours devoted to reading, bread-boarding, experimenting and appreciating analog synthesis.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Ray is thrifty with your money, and does not romanticize expensive approaches. If you want to spend more money for sealed pots, you can but he leaves that up to you. However he will spare you the heartbreak of trying to build using a Hobby Lobby craft soldering wand. Ray will tell you flat out that it is futile to proceed without an oscilloscope. One of the other reviewers complained that much of this information is published elsewhere. I would counter that nowhere is so much of it relevant to a jump starter assembled in one place.
In the back of the book is a little cookbook showing some building block circuits, using in-production, inexpensive components. These turn out to be handy when analyzing schematics, and making choices. When you start building, you will be confronted with many decision points, many forks in the road. Be not afraid, you won't start a fire or get baked potatoes on the ends of your arms, and the worst you will deal with is no output. If you fry a chip [hasn't happened to me yet], they are like 79 cents to replace.
The Soundlab Ultimate is not a simple, newbie type of project. It, arguably, approaches a Minimoog in capability. Here is where the book helped me. As with any complex build, you can expect there to be multiple issues to work out once you start testing it, and this was the case with my Ultimate. In the DIY synth world, you may feel somewhat on your own with these problems. Ray's book was something I could return to as I worked through each issue. It does not give you the answers, it gives you a foundation, and confidence to know you will find the answers. And found them I did. You start to look around at all the old broken gear you have, it seems fixable now. Taking such a large leap like the Ultimate is perhaps not the best choice for every new builder. But this book helped me succeed with it, and start fulfilling a lifelong fetish for analog.
Your speakers will not thank you.
Granted, everything you would need to know to build the Noise Toaster is intrinsically valuable for someone interested in a more general application. But you have to tease that information out of the book. It will give you the schematic for a Voltage Controlled Oscillator, or an Envelope Generator, but only in the context of how it is used for the Noise Toaster.
I am not unhappy with the book purchase. I am reading it constantly and finding it very useful. If anything, I fault the author for not writing the book I wanted him to. I'm planning on buying the "Alien Screamer" from MFOS, but what I'd like to do with the information in the book is build something one module at a time. What happens if you plug a VCO into a ARG without a LFO? What if you just start with a White Noise Generator and put it through the Filter? I'd like to tinker around with the components before stampeding to the big package, and the book doesn't make it very easy to do that. The fault could be my lack of ability to understand, but I imagine others are in my situation.