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Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred by David Erik Nelson

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Chapter 17. Cigar-Box Synthesizer

The Cigar-Box Synthesizer is an honest-to-God analog monosynth, not unlike the early synthesizers from Korg, Roland, and Robert Moog. Our simple little synthesizer is analog in that it abuses plain old integrated circuits into directly producing continuously variable musical notes and a monosynth because it makes one note at a time and thus can play melodies and bass lines but not chords. The Cigar-Box Synthesizer builds its thick tone by layering three octaves of each note and offers a musically useful range of about two-and-a-half octaves, with raw punky squeals above the high end and thunky mellow clicks below the low end. The resulting space-age theremin sound is harnessed with a dial-based pitch controller, ...

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