[sdiy] Low voltage synthesis?

cheater cheater cheater00social at gmail.com
Thu Jan 13 17:20:33 CET 2022

Synths generally run off 15V or 12V power rails, which among others
helps with SNR. However, it creates a bunch of power dissipation, plus
you can't use some of the tiniest components. Does it make sense to
build synthesizer circuits that run on much lower voltages than that?
Say, 1.5V rails? Are there techniques of suppressing noise that are
better than just ramping up the voltage rails? Have the parts
progressed enough nowadays that we can do this?

Never mind stuff like interfacing with existing modular synthesizer
parts etc. Let's say you're building a modern 8-voice polysynth with 4
VCO, VCF, VCA, ENV, LFO per voice. Obviously that would generate loads
of heat and possibly tuning issues given the constraints of a
keyboard, plus it would be huge, especially given the size of
capacitors vs their rated voltage.

Where would noise creep in first if you started lowering rail voltage
in your synthesizer designs? What other disadvantages in terms of
signal integrity come from using low voltage rails for synths?


More information about the Synth-diy mailing list