My brother is getting into electronic sythensizer music (which is what I think it’s called). I mentioned that I was trying to get back to learning electronics (yet again) and he suggested I look at some of the music stuff that he’s been reading/watching. He wasn’t sure what to buy to get started. I wasn’t sure either, but this seemed like a relatively simple way for me to get back to learning electronics. He gave me a bunch of youtube videos to watch. One guy who seems really good has a bunch of videos for making different boards. So I decided to start with his Synth Voltage Controlled Oscillator.

I ordered all the parts for it, which I think cost me less than $100, even with all the extras I ordered. While waiting for those, I ordered parts to build a power supply. Then found that we could get a simple eurorack-style rack and power supply for less than $150. I thought it would be best to have a known-working power supply before I tried to make one myself. Once we had a rack and power supply, my brother had some ideas for boards he wanted, so he bought a basic oscillator. This was great, so now I had something that actually worked and I could try to duplicate that. And now that I understand synth music a little more, you usually want to have multiple oscillators and racks. So my bro could also possibly add whatever I build to his setup.

For my first attempt, I decided to just assemble all the parts for the oscillator on a breadboard to see if I could get any sound out of it at all. As a present for myself, I bought a new bench power supply, so I also got to try using that as well.

I plugged all the parts in, plugged the wire into the amp/speaker thing I got from my bro and turned on the power and I got nothing. So I took another look at the wires and quickly saw that one of the wires on the potentiometer got disconnected. I plugged it back in and I got sound. I know that it should work that way, but I’m always amazed when things I build actually work.

Here’s a very quick video I made showing it work. The sound is not very loud because a baby was sleeping in the next room. And the hum from the speaker is a problem with the speaker, which is why my bro let me have it for testing stuff.

Either way, I’m very happy this worked. And the next step will be to solder everything together more permanently.