Make: Analog Synthesizers Paperback – 27 May 2013
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Make Electronic Sounds the Synth-DIY Way
About the Author
Ray has been interested in analog synthesizers since the first time he heard "Switched On Bach" back in 1968. That magic box on the cover of the album with all of the knobs, switches and patch cords grabbed his attention and never let it go. After working at U.S. Steel, Intec Systems, Siemens Pacesetter, and Telectronics, he now runs his popular web site Music From Outer Space full-time. Most of his electronics learning has been hard won and experiential with hundreds of hours devoted to reading, bread-boarding, experimenting and appreciating analog synthesis.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are a fan of Nicolas Collins book "Handmade Electronic Music" and are looking for something new and more advanced to get into, then this is the perfect book for you. If you want to get into circuits and building electronic music from the ground up then I would read Collins book first:
Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking
I gave 4 stars because at times I thought the layout of the book was poor, it could have done with a little more editing in my opinion to make some concepts easier to grasp.
My only other criticism is that I found Ray's language impenetrable at points, but you shouldn't let that put you off, build the circuits in the book, modify them and adapt them, you will find that they are very flexible!
One more note, I noticed another review here that criticised the book for having a large section on the Noise Toaster instrument, but really, this section is great as Ray explains the instrument part by part, and I will let you in on a secret - you can pull each module out of the Noise Toaster and build it as a stand alone - I have made a standalone active low-pass filter from the notes that runs from a single 9v battery!
(Edit: I decided to bump to 5 stars, there really is nothing else like this book on the market to my knowledge, my negative points don't detract from the useful content in this book)
However, overall I think this book is a missed opportunity. Once past the first couple of chapters the author starts to cover building the one of the Synths from the website, but much of the detail you would want to know about how 'exactly' the modular parts of the synth work you are left wanting.
In fact there is much more information on the website than what you get in the book, so in some ways buying the book is rather a waste. For example you don't even get a copy of the full schematic, for that you need to go an download it.
Also the whole of the synth is built in one fell swoop, surely it would be better to have built this one module at a time to firstly simplify the process and also for the reader to really understand what is going on and to build on their knowledge.
So not a terrible book but certainly not the "bible" on DIY synth building I had hoped for and I will have to continue looking. To any authors with a good knowledge of Synth building, there is a real gap in the market here that is crying out to be filled.
The author has an enjoyable style of writing which I enjoyed and which helped me get through the book. Informative, well written and great value for money.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not got round to building anything yet so can't comment on that, but what I have read seems bright and breezy enough.Published 2 days ago by Mr Mark J Brougham
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