Osziloscope for tuning old analogue synths like sh-101 etc

Hello Experts…

Im looking for a good graphical osciloscope to tune my roland sh-101 and other analogue snyhts.

Any suggestions?

I saw this one http://ch.farnell.com/tektronix/tds2001c-p2220/kit-oszilloskop-2ch-50mhz-foc-tastkopf/dp/2313879

I know, a lot of money, thats why im asking you. :slight_smile:

Thanks for any inputs and links for cheaper models…

Best, John

Too expensive for casual use. Get a second-hand analog (Hameg, Tek…) they can be found for ~100€. Or one of the “no brand” dual channel DSOs for ~200€.

Hi … Thanks!

I saw also an PicoScope (Software Osci). What do you think about it?

Do you have a link for me? For the no brand? To be honest, i don’t know a lot wich one i need…

No brand scope

Okey… Thanks a lot! Best… :wink:

I have that exact model. Very happy with it.

Oscilloscopes are cool, out of question.

The nature of sound enables us to tune an instrument very accurately with just a reference tone, e.g. from your Shruthi-1 or free software synthesizer. Have you tried mixing the signal in a DAW with a very simple software tone generator? You get the aural feedback you need to tune the instrument precisely, also there is a graphical voltmeter (volume display) showing the total output of the two, giving attenuation and boost until an even energy of the two is reached.

Also I found out that tiny changes in pitch that cannot be seen on my oscilloscope, can easily be picked up by the most amazing instrument that is out on the market, and everybody has a set of them attached to their bodies - the human ear.

I know, the ear’s can be tricked sometimes, and they get tired.


I think john might be referring to “calibration” rather than tuning - things like DC offset or waveform shape. Right?

For simple tuning you can of course using a 5-€-guitar tuner or even the free Android App “gStrings”.


Yes exactly… Calibration of the synth… But static, nice idea! Will give it a try… :wink:

Best, John

@john, I’ll actually try to get a 101 and then do the procedure, seems like one can learn from it
I have a 303 which needs tuning too :wink:

the tektronix is surely a dream machine and the whole topic “which OSC to get” is not an easy one. I’d consider one to connect to a laptop, seems just so much better than the dedicated scope, but again - personal opinion.

Some people even say (hobbyists) get a decent Multimeter rather than an oscilloscope, because you need it so much more often …

Also I know that DC coupled soundcard’s make good scopes (in the sampled range)

A Oscilloscope wont save you from having proper Multimeter…

I dont believe a Scope Adapter for a Laptop is better than a dedicated Scope - as any “lets frickle somehow a function to a multipurpose machine” adapter cant be as good as a dedicated tool. Most Laptop Adapters fall into the 8Bit, low frequency category, while its nice to track some LFOs or look at simple audio Waveforms it wont help you tracking down just a little more sophisticated problems because its either to slow or has not enough resolution (8 Bit is just 256 steps for the whole range on the screen)

If you are limited in budget you are best off with a scope like the one pichenettes pointed to - or if you are lucky you can hunt down an old analog HAMEG, HP or Tektronix with digital Memory, then you have best of both worlds. Personally id prefer anytime my analog 60€ HAMEG over any Laptop adapter because all the nice computer enabled functions like recording hours of measurement, exporting directly a .jpg etc are worthless if it doesnt measure properly, dont you think?

The screen on the uni-t scope has a vertical resolution of less than 256 pixels so I don’t see the big impact of having an 8 bit adc… and some of the usb scope boxes have 12bit or more. The big advantage of the usb scopes is that all data analysis is software running on a relatively prowerful processor, so thing like spectrum analysis, fft, statiistical analysis and pattern based pass/fail testing can be done in a simple and flexible way. That said, I still prefer dedicated boxes to the do-a-bit-of-everything-but nothing-particulary-well gizmowhatsies.

> That said, I still prefer dedicated boxes to the do-a-bit-of-everything-but nothing-particulary-well gizmowhatsies.

that’s what I think, but then you see 16 year old’s having it all sussed out and that makes you think

@static: i build a xoxbox (500 things to mount; wuhaa! :slight_smile: ) and it works fine. To tune the sounds here i think your ear should be enough. I tuned mine with my ears… :slight_smile: hopefullyitwasworking (perhaps it works also with your tb-303) ?!

But next time my sh-101 goes out of tune, i will give it a try… :wink:

hi all,
with an analog osccilloscope, do you know the mods to make it ‘‘stereo’’ alike, for seeing lissajou figures?

That’s using not only the normal channels for x- and y-axis plotting, but also a special X-Y mode. This will give you Lissajous figures. The article in english on Wikipedia describes this. with some luck, the one for your fave language will too. Some (mainly analog) oscilloscopes also have a z-input for blanking the beam.

isnt there an IOS oscilloscope?

There’s some peripheral like Oscium for mixed-signal use. Plus a few different apps if you want to plot some waveform.

Hi Jojjelito and dude,
I will search that on wiki. Now see this tuner I had 20 years ago.
I actually pluged an old ensoniq VFX sd in that and i was capable of doing simple waved music and obtained some beautiful figures to see…:slight_smile: