Music Synthesizers – Design and construction

Music Synthesizers – A Manual of Design & Construction, by Delton T. Horn was a book on a DIY synthesizer project, published in 1980.

Although the book seems to be sparsely available in the 2nd hand market, we thought to add a digitial scan of this book to our DIY archives. For the enthousiast that wants to be inspired by retro projects, to rebuild them, or expand them with new design ideas.

Below you’ll find an overview of the contents of this book and some images. Further below is a downloadable PDF version of the scanned pages.

  • Introduction to Synthesizers
    • Popularity—Commercially Available Models—Why Design Your Own? A Recommendation
  • The Power Supply
    • Requirements—Circuits—Variable Power Source—A Synthesizer Power Supply
  • Signal Sources
    • Basic Oscillator Circuits—The Voltage-Controlled Oscillator— Special Oscillator Circuits—external Input Signals
  • Blending Signal Sources
    • Additive Synthesis—Blending Methods—Panning and Cross Fading—Frequency Modulation
  • Filters
    • Subtractive Synthesis—Filter Types—Fixed Filter Banks— The Voltage-Controlled Filter
  • Amplifiers
    • The Sound System —Preamps—The Voltage-Controlled Amplifier
  • Manual Controllers
    • Keyboards—Other Controllers
  • Automatic Controllers
    • Low Frequency Oscillators —Envelope Generators —Sequencers—Pseudorandom Voltage Sources—Sample and Hold—Rhythm Pattern Generator—Other Automatic Controllers Inverter—Difference Amplifier—Signal Clippers—Ring Modulator — Voicing Box — Signal Brighteners — Distortion Boosters— Rotating Speaker Simulator—Synthi-Waa—Delay Circuit—Schmitt Triggers—Frequency Dividers— Frequency Doubler— Digital Gates
    • Hard-Wired Instruments—Modular Synthesizers—The Great Compromise—Control Panels—Patching Ideas Analog and Digital Signals—D/A Converters—A/D Converters
  • Other Useful Circuits
  • Putting It All Together
  • Using a Computer