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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Anyone else a bit disappointed with Thomas Henry books?
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jackdamery



Joined: Apr 26, 2010
Posts: 73
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:17 am    Post subject: Anyone else a bit disappointed with Thomas Henry books? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So I took the plunge and recently bought 'Making music with the 3080 OTA' and 'An analog synthesizer for the 21st century'. Perhaps I should have read the books description more clearly.

"A collection of schematics for a complete, accurate and versatile analog synthesizer. Designed by well-known synthesizer guru, Thomas Henry, this is a comprehensive set of plans guaranteed to delight and challenge the advanced DIY enthusiast."

I've no doubt that TH has done a lot for the SDIY community. I was expecting a little more from the books though. All of them carry the same foreword and introductory pages. The 21st century synth book is ONLY schematics.

Ok, I'm far from an expert in this field, but I've built VCOs, LFOs, custom MIDI controllers, filter circuits and various other SDIY projects. I'm still left feeling quite confused by a lot of this. A lot of knowledge is assumed, but with the small size of the SDIY community it's not something you can just check in a textbook either.

From my background as a programmer I have the 'study the documentation and teach yourself before asking questions' attitude. I would find it a lot more empowering if maybe in his next book he could outline the theory behind the circuits in more basic terms. perhaps as function blocks, rather than just talking about specific ICs and component values.
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The Real MC



Joined: Jun 20, 2008
Posts: 60
Location: Painted Post NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not every electronic book is intended to teach design theory at the basic level. You'll often find the scope of the book in a nutshell by reading the preface. If you do not know design theory and the preface assumes that the reader already possesses that knowledge, then you will need more than that book alone. When deciding on any technical book, the preface is the first section I will read before I briefly scan the book. Saves a lot of time.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
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Location: Chicago
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The 3080 book (and most of the others aside from 21st Century) makes it clear in the foreword that these are all about getting a concise description of engineering notes and discussions of approaches to the chips in question. I don't think they have ever been presented as "theory" books....

It sounds like maybe you're a candidate to go get a bunch of Electronotes? Smile
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Boogdish



Joined: Sep 21, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: Bloomington, IN

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elmegil wrote:

It sounds like maybe you're a candidate to go get a bunch of Electronotes? Smile


Yeah, Musical Engineer's Handbook and Builder's Guide from Electronotes would maybe be more up your alley. http://electronotes.netfirms.com/PricesShipping.html

I've only read TH's book on making drum sounds and I thought it was great, it introduced concepts one at a time and then showed how to integrate them together to create a voice and didn't feel like it was assuming too much. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer. I'm not sure what the chronology is of his writing, maybe he wrote that one after getting feedback like yours from his earlier books?
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bubzy



Joined: Oct 27, 2010
Posts: 555
Location: United Kingdom
Audio files: 62

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i too had a similar opinion when I first "read" as21c, however, I have used a couple of the designs in it and found them to be excellent. I also have the 3080 book, which has taught me a hell of a lot. the books are what you make of them really, it is true that the as21c book isn't superbly educational at a first glance, but nonetheless I have still managed to learn things from staring blankly at the schematics for hours and pinching little bits of the circuits to try in other places.
in conclusion, stick with it, they really are excellent books! Smile

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RobotDad



Joined: Apr 04, 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

To everyone saying read the forward to see if it's for you or not. Guys, you have to buy the book to do that in this case. That said retreading the description there 21st century description does say collection of schematics. For some reason I also had read over that and was expecting the book to cover theory, so glad I noticed this thread before ordering. Still, the description does seem clear.

Anyone have recommendations for books covering theory of building that are somewhat current (so parts mentioned would likely still be aquirable)?

I have the Nicholas Collins book which I'd recommend for getting going with bread boarding and bending. I'd be interested in something up a level from that.
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1515
Location: Chicago
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There are high hopes for the forthcoming book by Ray Wilson:

http://www.amazon.com/Make-Analog-Synthesizers-Ray-Wilson/dp/1449345220/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1367092507&sr=8-12&keywords=Ray+Wilson
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RobotDad



Joined: Apr 04, 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Awesome! I saw the post about this but didn't realize it had a publication date set. I think I'll preorder that one. Good timing for me as well. That's probably right when I'll dust off my pcbs, get NV's Klee kit delivered and start building my case.

Lovely! Very Happy
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