Help me populate my parts bin!

Recently switched from a physical organization system comprised entirely of various cardboard boxes to storage tubs with compartments that stack together. It’s done wonders for setting up a workshop and I’ve got tons of leftover cardboard to work with!

So I’m going to build some paper circuits. Also maybe some simple mixer and amplifier circuits. I’ve glanced over the ciat-lombarde sheets and a few BOMs for common DIY projects but wanted to get some second opinions:

What op-amps/multiplexers/transistors/resistors/capacitors/etc should I stock up on? What should I buy “as needed” and what should I avoid? I DO have the “Joe Knows Electronics” basic resistor and capacitor sets from years back. Mostly intact. I just know that there are gonna be some things that those kits miss.

Final note: not explicitly looking for anyone to type up a list. Just looking for some solid leads and best practices for maintaining a little toolbox full of useful things.


Have you got the recent (and perhaps not so recent) hobby books on synths and related projects?

I do not! What would you recommend?

In terms of ‘having on the shelf’ I like ‘Practical Electronics for Inventors’ which I think is now in 4th edition.

Ray Wilson’s Mak: Analog Synthesizers (yes, it is the late Ray Wilson of MFOS ( )

I also have Nic Collins’ Handmade Electronic Music but haven’t really looked at it.

A good reference if you can find it is Chamberlin’s Musical Applications of Microprocessors but it is 1980 so… old school only.

I’m no expert, hopefully people will chime in with better suggestions!


Anything by Forrest Simms, The electronics “Make” series has a few that are decent, the one called "Make: More Electronics, covers Logic IC’s, OpAmps, sensors, etc; and depending how deep you wanna go, there is also one about AVR programming. When I started building my first synths I made a checklist that was literally everything in Synthrotek’s online store of components :wink: https://www.modularaddict.comhas tons of pcb’s and just browsing them and their related BOM’s/schematics you will start to notice patterns and similarities. Reed Ghazala the Godfather of circuitbending has one out that, although antiquated, is still useful for general principles. In the end I would have to say finding a well documented project and just building it can be very rewarding.