DIY Project Recommendations


#1

Hey all,

I just wanted to see what kits you guys recommend. I was going to buy a Shruthi kit, but they are discontinued! Just wanted to see what other options there are. It can be tabletop, or eurorack… doesn’t matter to me. I’d prefer kits, but I’ll take cool schematics as well. Thanks.


#2

try the open source stuff from Mutable Instruments. PCBs are available at muffwigglers.
Or Radio Music from Music Thing Modular. This module is a killer and very easy to build


#3

I’ve started experimenting with TEENSY. It’s a programmable board that if you know a bit of C you can easily program from your Mac/PC. https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/ It has digital and analogue ins and outs, and the microprocessor is powerful enough to do DSP, so it’s flexible enough to make lots of different audio projects. I’m currently making a little USB MIDI controller, which is pretty straightforward. I’ve started blogging about it here www.cutlasses.co.uk . I know it’s not a kit, which is what you were asking for, but I’m having fun with it, so thought I’d share…


#4

sonic potions lxr drum synth (http://www.sonic-potions.com/lxr) with trigger io add on is a nice one, able to interact with eurorack as well

Another vote for music thing modular stuff, did his radio music module, turing machine with pulses and voltages. Both are pretty fun modules.


#5

Also worth looking at the Teensy Audio Board - which lets you build DSP code in a GUI editor and then process audio using it; it’s a handy thing to have.


#6

The Sonic Potions LXR, as previously mentioned, looks like an interesting drum synthesizer - there’s a surprising amount you can do with it synthesis engine, as this video proves:

I was also interested in the Audiothingies P6 for a bit - a six-voice, DSP VA.

However: those are basically moderately complicated DSP-based kits. If you’re interested in much simpler, rawer, and totally analogue things, I cannot recommend enough getting stuck into the world of DIY guitar effects pedals. There is so much out there to build and tinker with, and many of them are dirt, dirt cheap. Also, because of the analogue signal path and low component count, they lend themselves to experimentation and learning what’s going on much more simply than a DSP-based box.

To that end, Tagboard Effects has long been a useful source - it’s now getting a bit ‘completist’ in some of the pedals they’re trying to layout, but the archive has all manner of fuzzes, distortion boxes, overdrives, even simple IC-based delays and choruses. Lots of fun to be had here.

And, to wrap it all up, I can’t recommend Nicolas’ Collins Handmade Electronic Music enough: a book on making electronic music from first principles, starting with mics and contact mics and then onwards to simple capacitor-oscillators and so forth. It’s wonderful.

Build contact mics. They’re brilliant fun.


#7

http://blog.narrat1ve.com/wtpa2/


#8

I’m already planning on making a few teensy projects… I like your blog though. I guess I never thought about buying the chips and experimenting with what I have on hand.


#9

in case you didn’t hear of it : http://www.thonk.co.uk


#10

Also see http://erthenvar.com


#11

+1 on Handmade Electronic Music! Brilliant book


#12

Cheers! Yeah, wish I have more time, there’s lots of things I’d like to try and make. I’m more comfortable writing software than I am with electronics, hence why I find Teensy appealing.


#13

Those are some really good prices…


#14

I’ve been putting off the contact mic building for a while now. Most of the time I just forget its an option. I finally got a few more types of components to at least start bread boarding some effects. I’m still waiting on my io connections and switches.

The reason I want kits mostly to start practicing soldering without having to worry about layout and stuff at the moment. I don’t have a drill press so its hard to conceptualize finishing a project from scratch.

I like how Tagboard effects lays it out in veriboard for you. It makes it much faster. I might try to bust out a few of these and just alligator clip the wires onto a quarter inch


#15

anyone try making ther own dsp synth ?


#16

I’ve just built a Thonk Music Thing Mikrophonie kit, successfully but perhaps not beautifully, and I’m wondering what to tackle next. Another full kit I think.

Any suggestions? I’ve wavering between a Turing Machine V2 or a Radio Music.


#17

Turing Machine mk2 seems to be pretty great module to have, and not very complex build as well. I got a bundle with Volts and Pulses mk2 expanders recently and managed to build Turing Machine in one evening without any issues. Thonk’s build instructions are great for this module, btw.

But be aware that Pulses mk2 has SMT parts, and IC used is pretty small for me to solder. Lucky for me, a friend working for company that does some PCB manufacturing helped me with that :slight_smile: I would probably recommend to skip Pulses mk2 expander and go with only Turing Machine for now.

Also, checkout Synthrotek DIY kits, maybe you’ll find something for you there.


#18

On a slightly similar vein to the Turing Machine is the DU-RDT. I’ve not built mine just yet, but it looks like a relatively easy build (and in terms of calibration, I’ve only built two modules thus far, a Maker.ie LFO, and the Mikrophonie).


#19

Personally:

  • Pulses mk2 is bloody marvellous. I acquired one as a gift to expand my Turing and god, it leads to all manner of interesting things. So I’d strongly recommend it as opening up lots of fun stuff the Turing can do. (I’ve found Volts less eye-opening).
  • I will happily chant you can totally do SMD! at people until I’m hoarse. It’s a little challenging, but a pair of tweezers and take your time and it’s all fine. Bear in mind that the Turing mk2 was designed to be done by human hands - it’s SMD componentry, but it’s as large as you can get it and designed to be done with tweezers. As opposed to, say, trying to DIY something designed for a machine to build, like a Mutable Instruments module, which is properly hard. (Disclaimer: I am designing a small range of DIY kits, mainly 1U tiles, that are all simple SMD builds designed for people, so I have a vested interest in said enthusiasm).

The Radio Music is also a great project, though. I have both, and they’re fun builds, well documented and laid out, and they don’t have many rivals in the “built modules” space, so I’d say go for either/both. The RM is a slightly quicker build - fewer parts - but you can totally do it! I guess I’d say: pick the one you think would be most interesting to add to your setup.


#20

Just started DIY-ing - and my eyes are not so good anymore - with Music Thing Mikrophonie, Synthrotek DLY and just finished Turing Machine MK2 with Pulses and Volts expanders. All great modules and not too difficult. I will definitely get another Synthrotek DLY!