Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Need advice for synth project

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need advice for synth project

    Guys, I have some questions related to the project in my mind. Here we go;

    1. Is preparing a mock-up before the actual unit is okey for showing to people? I saw Waldorf showed its Stromberg. This approach at least give some clues to the people about how it looks like and how controllable it is. Keeping the design far from eyes may have some benefits as well though.
    2. I do not have too much time, so I decided to concentrate on the model in my mind instead of simpler models. So, it will be a big challenge for me. Is starting from the overall design and going into details over time correct? My daily job is actually systems engineering in electronics field. So, a top down approach is the most preferable one as far as I know. Using this approach to an analog synth design makes me concentrate on the feature set first and then dig into finer details as time passes. That's why I will try to visualize every feature on the mock-up model for further planning.
    3. Which keyboard style should I choose? Is it feasible to contact Fatar or a similar vendor to get a couple of 61 key structure or is it a better idea to start with some flesh keybeds from services? Keyboards have changed over years, so I assume many keyboards used today generate digital data (on/off and veloicty) and there is a separate MIDI/CV conversion stage for the analog circuitry. If that is the case, a ready to use MIDI/CV converter circuitry from a vendor and connecting it to the digital keyboard would be a nice a choice.
    4. I plan to use an available power source design as well. Nowadays, power sources are much more stable and reliable compared to 80s, so I don't think it will be an issue.
    5. Do I need a serious operating system development (not by me, but hiring a software guy). I want to keep OS and other software as simple as possible. So, I don't want my synth to be a digital miracle. Only digital would be patch storage, knob/switch/etc MIDI data. BTW, I think toggle switches look very cool like in Juno-60, do you think so?
    6. Analog circuitry doesn't seem a too complicated issue from the point I am at, because there are proven designs and very good circuitry development tools. Turning a circuitry into a PCB takes only hours. I think main issue will be the digital side. Do you share this guess?
    7. I don't want it to sound like a Moog, because the world is tired of this sound already Is there any recommendable chip level vendors like Curtis or some others that are still in the business and provide parts. After so many years of synth listening and trying, I started to think a Curtis characteristics oscillator, followed by a SSM filter type characteristics or a Roland type characteristics would be a nice combo. Are those Juno-106 filter clone manufacturer guys worth considering as potential vendors or should I do my own study on filters?
    8. Is it a good idea to specify a brand name from now and register that name? Or should I leave it to future? I already have some candidate names, is it logical to disclose the name with a mock-up at hand?
    9. What is the correct time to start a company to be matched with the chosen and registered name?
    10. And finally, assuming I prepared a few prototypes in 2-3 years, is there a field test period like in other industrial products or like in beta testing of soft synths? Is it 6 months, 1 year or what? Should an electronic equipment of this type work in desert, in Alaska or in Hawai islands?

    Thanks for any comments and suggestions I will think about every comment in great detail
    Alesis A6 Andromeda SCI Prophet-5 Korg Trident Roland Juno 106/60 DSI PolyEvolver Rack Moog Little Phatty Vermona Synthesizer Yamaha DX-7 Casio CZ-3000 Roland D-50 Nord Lead-3 Roland XV-5080 Korg WaveStation AD Yamaha A5000 Sampler Crumar Orchestrator Roland M480 Presonus Comp16&EQ3B

  • #2
    Guys, I have some questions related to the project in my mind. Here we go;

    1. Is preparing a mock-up before the actual unit is okey for showing to people?

    Depends who you're talking to - investors or customers. If it's the latter, don't.

    2. I do not have too much time

    See if you can get a monophonic prototype working with very basic modulation options. (single envelope, LFO).

    3. Which keyboard style should I choose?

    Build a rack version first.

    5. Do I need a serious operating system development (not by me, but hiring a software guy).

    I think you should be able to do a lot with say, an Arduino board to scan the keyboard and the interface. Should be doable if you keep envelopes and LFOs in hardware.

    6. Analog circuitry doesn't seem a too complicated issue from the point I am at

    Do keep interference in mind, though.

    7. I don't want it to sound like a Moog, because the world is tired of this sound already

    Why not pick an ARP or Synthacon model then? I think to get these chips you have to order 'm in bigger numbers.

    8. Is it a good idea to specify a brand name from now and register that name?

    Do it. Better; pick 5 good-sounding options and register all of 'm; it's the cost of doing business; if not as a brand, then at least the domain name.

    10. And finally, assuming I prepared a few prototypes in 2-3 years, is there a field test period like in other industrial products or like in beta testing of soft synths?

    1) does the OS not crash when you hit several buttons at once or try to do stuff that you're not supposed to?
    2) does anything get hot in the case and does this cause problems? (e.g. leave the synth powered on for a week, playing).
    3) does the prototype survive shipping with United Package Smashers? (I believe I've read about an M3X or M5 having the PSU damaged in shipping; you never want this to happen, ever).
    "Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
    Synthesizer Programming Megathread - add your tips & tricks or ask how to recreate sounds!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Yoozer.

      1. I meant customers. So keeping it secret is the way to go...
      2. Actually monophonic will surely be the first step, but since I plan to implement a whole voice on one PCB, having 6 of them won't be too difficult. I will only need a processor for trigerring each card.
      3. Rack version suggestion is okey, but it will require a completely new electromagnetic interference/compatibility/cooling study. Anyway, a rack version is at least another form that can be sold.
      5. Will look at Arduino. Never heard before. May solve many problems.
      6. I think PCB design tools take good care of interference issues, but I have access to a company that has a serious equipment park and experience on that.
      7. I think ARP is not too different than Moog and not sure how it sounds polyphonically. Will look at Synthacon though. Maybe they can sell their designs
      8. I feel the same way. I have some cool names in mind. The only problem is that mostly some other companies of different sectors have the same names. Anyway, there can be a solution to be different from them. Domain name suggestion is spot on.
      10. Agreed. It must be exposed to temperature, voltage, humidity and other environmental anomalies plus misuses of the control elements.

      Thanks again
      Alesis A6 Andromeda SCI Prophet-5 Korg Trident Roland Juno 106/60 DSI PolyEvolver Rack Moog Little Phatty Vermona Synthesizer Yamaha DX-7 Casio CZ-3000 Roland D-50 Nord Lead-3 Roland XV-5080 Korg WaveStation AD Yamaha A5000 Sampler Crumar Orchestrator Roland M480 Presonus Comp16&EQ3B

      Comment



      Working...
      X