Building a simple synth? (Super simple, basic electrical question)
So I want to make a little synth just as a project. I'm talking super simple.. two knobs, a speaker and a battery (I think?) I don't really know how a sound is made. I'm assuming if I attach a battery to a (little cheap two dollar radioshak) speaker, it will make a tone. So I need to put a knob in the circuit that changes the volume of that tone.. so do I need to change resistance? Voltage? what? Also.. to change the pitch of the tone, what do I need to do?
A battery provides a constant voltage - DC - and a speaker moves back and forth; it needs an alternating voltage - AC.
To build an oscillator that makes a simple waveform, you need a few resistors, a capacitor, an opamp, a battery and a small speaker. Then you might get something that produces a beep.
If you really want to learn this, forget about building anything resembling a synth in the first two years or so.
Start with basic circuits, get books, breadboard and parts, and learn to build a simple stompbox first. You will make mistakes and debugging a small, simple circuit teaches you some valuable lessons about parts values, the importance of directions (diodes) and frying stuff when you hook it up to the mains.
If it was that simple as you think nobody here would ever buy complete synths, ever.
Yeah I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. I just wanted to try something really simple. Any suggestions for an electronics super-noob? For example, I know what a capacitor is, but not why I would need one for a simple beeping machine. I have no idea what an opamp is, or why/how to us eone. =P Thanks
i highly recommend this CD book.
it has a section in it on how to build a simple synthesiser.
it is designed for artists, but it's good for anyone who wants to make interesting things and has no knowledge of electronics !
If you want to do something really simple, use a 555 clock chip in A-stable mode. The 555 is a clock generator which outputs a square/pulse wave and is also used in the (slightly more complex) atari punk console.