Digital designs?

Soundwave [Chad Gould] cgould at
Tue Dec 30 05:47:01 CET 1997

I know I really shouldn't think really far ahead until I've completed
that ASM-1, but, well, I am. (: 

I'm a coder by nature, so the idea of a synthesizer styled system that
would be more coding than hardware attracts me. My thought is to take
either on-the-fly generated waveforms (not wavetables to avoid aliasing)
or samples, and perform various math transforms on them (more than just
the analog modelling theories that the Nord Lead etc. has!) to acheive
neat results (in summary). This can be done on computer, but sound card
quality is horrid, not to mention you either have to deal with Win95
sound card crap (ugh) or custom sound card assembly code (specialized
and even more ugh). Besides, running the output through an analog filter
section might be neat. 

However, I see surprisingly little in the DIY synth archives on DSP
circuits, control circuits, etc. These type of circuits are critical for
any of these very fast math->audio deals. Anything I have seen on the
subject seems not geared for DIY folks. The only digital stuff I've seen
that seems geared for hobbyists is stuff like the BASIC stamp, which is
quite easy (seems like it might work well for simple patch storage?) but
very slow and limited. 

The questions I have:

1) Is it insanely difficult to DIY DSP (or digital in general)? 
2) If not, what would be some good DIY starter projects in it?
(Preferably audio processing related)

Chad Gould aka Soundwave                 |studio: 9 real synths
internet: cgould at                |and a cheap Casio
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