[sdiy] Understanding 80s Synth Architectures

Jared Anderson jarander at gmail.com
Fri Feb 4 11:31:30 CET 2022


You might like to try to get a hold of a copy of "Musical Applications of
Microprocessors" by Hal Chamberlin.
There may be PDFs floating around on the net somewhere...


On Fri, 4 Feb 2022 at 11:25, ackolonges fds via Synth-diy <
synth-diy at synth-diy.org> wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> As the local SDIYer I sometimes get asked to try and fix synths from the
> 80s like various Rolands, Korgs, Oberheims etc. and I generally just try to
> pinpoint the rough area of the issue and replace logic chips until the
> issue is resolved...
> Most of these synths have a CPU connected to everything via a parallel
> address bus and a parallel data bus, with all sorts of glue logic chips
> doing various things. They also usually just have 1 DAC, time-domain
> multiplexed to all of the different parameters via more logic chips.
> Obviously this is very different to the modern ways that microcontrollers
> and DACs are used in synths, and since I wasn't around in the 80s, these
> older architectures are very foreign to me. To aid in my troubleshooting
> efforts, I would love to better understand the details of how these
> architectures work, so I was wondering if anyone on here would be able to
> point me to any resources that could explain these types of systems to me,
> be they websites, articles, or books?
> Thanks a lot for any advice you might have.
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