DIY I did of a touch-control panel for synthesizer, as I don't like menus


A simple concept, to be able to pull up a preset patch, then use that as a starting point for mutating to other sounds while playing. Capacitive touch sensors don’t like electrical noise, and if the noise is near the sensor’s operating frequency, it can cause many bad feelings, and hurt response times.

I wanted controls that are reliable, with fast response times, so i figured out how to cancel out induced noise (even noise at the operating frequency) that is simple, with only a few microseconds delay time. So I built this controller, and stuck it on a notoriously hard to program synth. I’m getting ready to modify the software, so that I can run other synths from it. It uses midi to the instrument, and the brains of it is a few kilobytes of software, written in assembler, running on an old laptop computer.

Crude video, but partway through you can see the mess of boards and chips involved. I went old-school in the design, mostly LSTTL chips. One board for a little bit of signal processing, A/D conversion, and such. Other boards handle some basic digital processing, buffering, midi & computer interface, and display LED control.

I knew it would make it easier to tinker with the sound, but I had no idea how much it changed my approach to the instrument. It takes under a minute to get hooked, and swear off ever touching a menu again


Wow this is incredible, very nice work, the DX7 is definitely a PITA to program, nice work! :+1:

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