Subtractive Synthesizer

During this past winter, I along with two other Thayer students Graeme Gengras and Tyler Albarran, built a subtractive mixed analog/digital synthesizer as a final project for ENGS 32 (Intro to linear and digital circuits). A short demo of some of the functions we achieved can be seen here.

The basic flowchart for our design is as follows:

Screenshot (46)

Below you can see some of the more detailed elements of the above block diagram:


And finally, a you can see a few of the different outputs we were able to achieve. The individual waves are zoomed in images of the oscillator before the signal went through other processing. The first image shows how the key press triggers the envelope, which in turn triggers and shapes the final sound wave.



This project was a ton of fun to complete. Our final product made super funky and weird noises, and was great to play with. I think that all of us in the group were left with many ideas on how to reimagine or expand upon our current prototype. I hope to incorporate either the same or similar geometry in future projects involving sound art and engineering.

Published by nadavhendel

Born in Santa Cruz, CA, raised in Ithaca, NY. Currently studying Physics and Mathematics at Vassar College and Engineering at Dartmouth College. My interests include sculpture, digital music composition, bicycles, and sustainable design.

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