Joe Paradiso is a Electrical Engineer who wrote a report about “Design, construction and operation of an Electronic Music Synthesizer, in 1977 to get course credits for his Electrical Engineering senior year. This report is an interesting description of electronic circuits for building a modular synthesizer: very useful for designing and building your own system. A digital scan of the report can be found below the pictures and text.
This is a nice video of Joe Paradiso discussing and showing his (huge) modular synthesizer.
This is the text accompanying the video: “MIT News – March 14, 2012 In 1973, Media Lab associate professor Joe Paradiso was an undergraduate at Tufts University, and didn’t know anyone who had built an analog music synthesizer, or “synth,” from scratch. It was a time, he says, when information and parts for do-it-yourself projects were scarce, and digital synthesizer production was on the rise. But, he decided to tackle the project -without any formal training- and sought out advice from local college professors, including his now-colleague in the Media Lab, Barry Vercoe. Paradiso gathered information from manufacturers’ data sheets and hobbyist magazines he found in public libraries. He taught himself basic electronics, scrounged for parts from surplus stores and spent a decade and a half building modules and hacking consumer keyboards to create the synth, which he completed in the 1980s. That synthesizer, probably the world’s largest with more than 125 modules , is now on display in the MIT Museum. Every few weeks, Paradiso changes the complex configurations of wires connecting the synthesizer’s modules, called “patches,” to create a new sonic environment.“