Thursday, 12 July 2018


In this episode we will add an ADSR envelope generator to our synth. We'll also clean up our control panel using Pure Data Sub-patches.

Download the example code HERE

Thursday, 21 June 2018


In this episode we are going to make our synth playable by connecting a USB-Midi keyboard. We'll also look at Key-Buffers, Last Note priority, and code optimization.

Download the example code HERE

Friday, 8 June 2018


Welcome to Part 2 of the TEENSY-Synth project. In this episode we will build a custom control panel with the open source, multimedia programming language Pure Data.

Download the example code HERE

Download Pure Data HERE

Thursday, 31 May 2018


In this series we are going to build a DIY Synth using a Teensy 3.2 microcontroller and a Teensy Audio Adaptor board. The goal of this first episode is to solder up the components and get it to make some noise with a small test program.

Download the Test Program HERE

You can purchase the required parts at




Friday, 8 December 2017

FADR-8 Midi Fader Box - with JLCPCB

JLCPCB is a great place to get custom Printed Circuit Boards. Be sure to take advantage of their incredible 10 Boards for $2 prototyping deal! Visit

The company contacted me with an interesting idea for a collaboration video. They asked me to come up with a project and they would provide the PCB's. I have always wanted to build a Midi Fader box with some high quality - full size faders. So I created the FADR-8.

I decided to use a Teensy LC microcontroller as the brains of the unit since it handles USB Midi very well. I also went with a three digit LED display for that retro vibe. Finally, I added two buttons that allow for setting the values of the faders and switching between eight banks of presets. To top it off, I made some custom 3D printed fader knobs.

The project uses ALPS RS6011SP6003 faders and a Hammond 1590DDBK box for the enclosure. To drive the LED display I used a MAX7219 chip I had in stock and a 74AHCT125 level converter chip to make it play nicely with the 3.3v Teensy board.

Working with faders is much more challenging that working with potentiometers. Instead of a simple drill hole, faders require a accurately cut slot in the enclosure. For this you will need a milling machine. I would hate to try this with hand tools.

Overall this was a very satisfying project. The PCB's from JLCPCB were perfect and everything fit together nicely. Watch the video below to see how everything came together.

Friday, 29 September 2017

WHAM Jammer - Build it!

Here's a cool project for the guitar players out there. The WHAM Jammer is a circuit that connects to a DigiTech Whammy 5 pedal through the Midi port and makes it do things that might be considered....unnatural.

The following video shows you how to quickly build the circuit on a breadboard so you can try it out. I'll get to work on designing a proper enclosed version.

Download the software and schematic HERE

If you want to build a permanent version in a custom enclosure, watch this!

Parts List (with Amazon affiliate links)

1 - Arduino Nano (clone version)
1 - Breadboard
1 - 6N138 Optocoupler
1 - 1n914 Diode
2 -  5 Pin Midi Jack
3 - 220 Ohm Resistor
1 - 1K Ohm Resistor
1 - 470 Ohm Resistor

Parts for Enclosure

1 - Adafruit Perma-Proto 1/2 Sized Breadboard
1 - Chip Socket - 8 Pin
1 - Header - 2 Pin - (or cut from longer Breakaway type)
1 - Jumper - 2 Pin
1 - Hammond 1590BB Aluminum Enclosure - Red preferred
2 - Panel mount MIDI Jacks
1 - DC Barrel Jack - 2.1mm
4 - Rivets - 1/8" Aluminum - 1/4" Grip
2 - M3 PCB Standoffs - 10mm
4 - M3 x 6 - Button Head Bolts
4 - Rubber Feet - Adhesive

Gear used in video

DigiTech Whammy 5 pedal
M-Audio MIDISPORT 2x2 Midi Interface
Hakko FX888D - Soldering Station

Monday, 8 May 2017

Auduino Synth - 3D Enclosure

In my last LIVE from the Lab Youtube stream, I constructed a temporary breadboard version of the Auduino Synth using an Arduino Nano.

But, this is the kind of project that is so much fun, you will most likely want a permanent version to add to your musical toys. So I decided to create a 3D printable enclosure and transfer the circuit to an Adafruit Perma-Proto board.

Watch the video below to see a live demonstration of the circuit board construction. You can download the Arduino Code, Schematics, and STL files for your 3D printer HERE.

Parts List (With Amazon affiliate links)

5 - 10K Ohm Potentiometers - Linear (P160KNP-0EC15B10K - from Digi-Key)
1 - Adafruit Perma-Proto - Half Size PCB
1 - Arduino Nano (clone version)
1 - 6N138 Optocoupler
1 - 1n914 Diode
1 - 1/4" Phone Jack (Mono)
1 -  5 Pin Midi Jack (Panel Mount)
1 - 2.1mm DC Power Jack
1 - 33nF Polyester Film Capacitor
1 - 100uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor (Radial)
1- 4 Position DIP Switch
1 - 220 Ohm Resistor
1 - 1K Ohm Resistor
1 - 2.2K Ohm Resistor
1 - 470 Ohm Resistor

Tools used in video

FlashForge Creator Pro - 3D printer
HATCHBOX - ABS Filament (Black)
Hakki FX888D - Soldering Station
Aven 17010 - Circuit Board Holder
22 Gauge - Solid Wire
22 Gauge - Stranded Wire