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Simplified Educational Music Synthesizer Concept

A small group of students from the School of Music at Ohio University initiated an experiment of fabricating a very simple music synthesizer device. Their purpose was to learn something about electronic music techniques prior to installation of a studio synthesizer. Related engineering experience was gained while fabricating an experimental keyboard instrument using digital tone synthesis techniques. By combining the enthusiasm of the students and the electrical engineering interest, a device was produced which the students choose to call a Microsynthesizer. This was used as an educational tool to generate a style of electronic sounds. It also served to illustrate some of the problems of tuning and programming the more complex studio devices as well as to initiate the students in the use of soldering irons. Music, of a crude sort, could be performed with the device but the Microsynthesizer left much to be desired in the way of control capability. Another version has been fabricated using open breadboard modules. The device is presently called a Simplified Sound Synthesizer. The general ideas followed here are: keep it simple, use low cost assembly techniques, and if possible use electronics that are -idiot proof- in terms of making a wrong connection when patching modules together. Of lesser interest were considerations of frequency responses, noise level, stability, or attempts to duplicate studio sound synthesizer performance.

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