The ESP32 WROOM Educational Modular Synth Thing

The Simple DIY Electronic Music Projects blog, for a while, wondered if it was possible to find something that could be used to learn about the basics of analog synthesis. The Educational DIY Synth Thing is the result.

There are several educational synths on the market – just searching for “educational synthesizer” brings up many such hits, such as the Tangible Waves Synth Explorers or Erica Synth’s Bullfrog. And whilst these aren’t ridiculously priced when you consider the build quality and functionality, they are not really the kind of thing I had in mind.

So this has got me wondering what it would take to produce something that could support the absolute basics of an analog synth in a cheap (so 100x100mm) PCB with through-hole components that would be suitable to linking up to a solderless breadboard for further experiments.

It also has to be cheap and relatively easy to get hold of and DIY build. This is more important than quality of output I feel. It also means it won’t be an issue if something gets fried whilst experimenting – just build a new one.

The original ESP32 microcontroller was chosen for the heart of the board.

There are six parts to the tutorial:

  • Part 1 – This introduction and high-level design principles.
  • Part 2 – Detailed design of an ESP32 based PCB.
  • Part 3 – Software design.
  • Part 4 – Mechanical assembly and final use.
  • Part 5 – Six simple experiments to try.

Check it out starting here.

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