[sdiy] Super cheap synthisizers

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Sun Jun 16 05:02:02 CEST 2002

Y-ellow Ernest 'n' all.

At 07:10 PM 6/15/02 -0700, Ernest Meyer wrote:
>Hmm. There's a local company selling entire 100MHz 486s computers for $100,
>case and everything. What about making a daughtercard with the analog
>filters for one of those and using good old x86 assembly?
>(steeling oneself for a blast of criticism....)

No that's exactly the kind of thing I've been advocating. Although 100 bux 
for a 486 these days sounds a bit excessive. All of mine, (The ones I 
haven't already given away to needy homes.) were either one's I've replaced 
and stockpiled, or ones that have been diverted on the way to the land 
fill. One of which is still used in musical applications belive it or not. 
It supports a Total Bitch, Err I mean Turtle Beach sound card and that's 
all it does. It's not much but it does it admirably.

One of the things I've always wanted to do was get hold of 8 or so of those 
OPL3 FM sound chips. Wack them on a board together with 8 filters. Each one 
being a single voice but combined into a polyphonic/polytimbral instrument. 
You could then do things like 20 partial additive synthesis using 4 
operator FM per partial. Scary hu?

And of course you whack that through a half decent filter and you've got it 

The other idea I messed with was as above but instead of a filter as such, 
use a SID chip. It has an external input + a filter. It would probably be 
better with some really rinky SVF filters or something but it would be very 
cheap and and nasty and offer a lot of potential. IN theory at least.

But if you wanted to do it more rapidly and you were prepared to only have 
4 voices, then start accumulating old SB16 sound cards or something. They 
have OPL3s on them and the IRQs are on jumpers. (None of this plug 'n' prey 
shit!) You would still have to write drivers or modify something to get 
them all to work and that's way out of my league right now but what it 
proves is that this old obsolete gear is probably worth more to us than a 
whole mountain of the latest crap.

These are great ideas Ernest and I can only wish I was as much a consummate 
programmer as I am a chronic procrastinator.


Be absolutely Icebox.

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