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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » MusicFromOuterSpace.com designs by Ray Wilson
When Is a oscilloscope needed?
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Joebob1717



Joined: Dec 19, 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:30 pm    Post subject: When Is a oscilloscope needed? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I plan on building the noise toaster as my first project,
But I also would like to build something that is able to be played In tune with a keyboard. I was thinking of building a soundlab as a second project. This I just hypothetical because I should probably build the noise toaster first, But
Would I really need a oscilloscope in order to build the sound lab mkii?
What about the original sound lab mini? Or the 10 step sequencer?
I don't have one and they are a bit expensive so I don't want to start building something I can't finish because I need a oscilliscope.

Overall my questions are:
Is the noise toaster a good first synth build?
Thinking ahead will I need a oscilloscope for future synth builds?
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capicoso



Joined: Nov 19, 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: When Is a oscilloscope needed? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Joebob1717 wrote:
I plan on building the noise toaster as my first project,
But I also would like to build something that is able to be played In tune with a keyboard. I was thinking of building a soundlab as a second project. This I just hypothetical because I should probably build the noise toaster first, But
Would I really need a oscilloscope in order to build the sound lab mkii?
What about the original sound lab mini? Or the 10 step sequencer?
I don't have one and they are a bit expensive so I don't want to start building something I can't finish because I need a oscilliscope.

Overall my questions are:
Is the noise toaster a good first synth build?
Thinking ahead will I need a oscilloscope for future synth builds?

It depends. To tune the oscillators on the mkii or on any vco, you just need a frequency counter or a tuner(doesn't need to be an expensive one). Others just tune it by ear. The other thing to calibrate are the waveforms, having an oscilloscope will make it very easy, fast, and accurate. Again, if you know what a sine, tri, sqr waveforms sound like, you can do it by ear. Oscilloscopes are also good to calibrate VCF and VCAs( a double channel if possible) . All of this though, can be calibrated by ear without problems, maybe it'll take longer, but the result will be the same, as long as it sounds tuned to your ears...

Need ... Now that i have an oscilloscope i think it's essential, for me. It'll help you understand(if interested) what happens in the circuit.
The oscilloscope real use is for troubleshooting. It's good to see real fast things with detail, the trigger in the 10 step sequencer for example, it's a pulse so fast(1ms) that your eye will hardly see it in the led, and the DVM will be so slow that it won't be able to show the max voltage, if the trigger ouput was 10v, your DVM will see something like 0,4v.
It's good to detect digital signals too, like midi messages.
Btw, a DVM is more essential than the oscilloscope. Without one, you're lost.

If all you're going to build is the noise toaster, soundlabs and sequencer, i don't think it'll be a good buy... But if you're like most of us, you won't stop building things, and then, it'll be a good investment... Again, if you'll be a casual builder, i wouldn't buy it.
Btw, i have this one, it's cheap (good thing about audio is that we don't need high end oscilloscopes)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Siglent-SDS1022DL-Digital-Oscilloscope-25MHz-500MSa-s-7-2-Channel-/321126025702?pt=BI_Oscilloscopes&hash=item4ac49a49e6

or you can build this
http://musicfromouterspace.com/forums.html?CATPARTNO=NONE&PROJARG=HOT_TIPS%2Fampsignaltracer.html&MAINTAB=SYNTHDIY&SONGID=NONE&VPW=1024&VPH=550

The noise toaster is a good start. I think it's a step above the WSG.
If you plan to build lot of things, buy one.
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Joebob1717



Joined: Dec 19, 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks!
So I should be able to get through the soundlab mini without one,
If you have built the soundlab mini, how much did it cost you to buy all the parts? What about the noise toaster also?

Also I was just wondering if the front panel needs to be made of metal or can It be wood?
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bubzy



Joined: Oct 27, 2010
Posts: 552
Location: United Kingdom
Audio files: 61

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it can be anything Very Happy just make sure your pots etc. are grounded
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capicoso



Joined: Nov 19, 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I couldn't tell you... i'm from Argentina and everything is expensive here, alpha pots for example, are 4usd each. so...
The most expensive things are pots, jacks, knobs and the box(depends how you do it tho)
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