[sdiy] There is no fun analogue chips anymore!

Harry Bissell harrybissell at wowway.com
Fri Jun 29 14:26:23 CEST 2012

Good point, Eric

what we are sure to see is that low voltage parts are the norm. You will design your next
synth using no more than 5V. More likely it will be 3.3V supply. Now that's going to make
your discrete circuits a little more challenging

but I'm sure it can be done...

H^) harry  (although I'm not going to do it until I can't use +/-15V anymore... and not while 4000 series CMOS still lives)

----- Original Message -----
From: Eric Brombaugh <ebrombaugh1 at cox.net>
To: synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
Sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:25:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [sdiy] There is no fun analogue chips anymore!

On 06/28/2012 09:39 AM, David G Dixon wrote:
> For me, electronic design is fun; programming is work.  When the analog chips all
> disappear, I will have to find a new hobby.  Full stop.

No argument there - that's what hobbies are for. I doubt you have 
anything to worry about though - while we probably will never again see 
the proliferation of special function analog parts that occurred in the 
70's and 80's, the basic stuff like discrete transistors and generic 
op-amps will likely continue to be available. If anything you'll see 
more and more niche op-amps: low voltage, single supply, smaller and 
smaller packages, etc.

Going forward, I think that analog audio processing will end up looking 
more and more like what Paul Schreiber is doing with his E440 filter design:


4-layer board, lots of tiny discrete SMDs, multiple transistor packages 
plus a bunch of op-amps but no special function chips. It's a lot of 
parts, but it scrunches down fairly well. The big problem is that in 
order to design like this you can't put your brain on automatic and just 
copy from an appnote - you have to start thinking at the device level, 
considering physics, fundamental principles and low-level circuit 
topology. That takes work and technical background that a lot of 
neophytes have trouble with.

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