Welcome to Things Made Simple, where I document my never ending journey of enlightenment as a total electronics novice and enthusiast.
The YM3812 Class In the last article, we built a simple circuit to get our YM3812 up and running on a breadboard. To do that, we used code from the GitHub repo and just kind of glossed over how the it works. In this article, let’s delve into the sea of complexity that is c++ […]
FACE Reveal In the last article we dug into the YM3812 registers and how to manipulate them an electrical level. Today we are going to build up the first part of the schematic—just enough to get sound working through a microcontroller. Whenever building on a new platform, What’s the first thing you implement? Hello World. […]
Introduction In conducting a pretty extensive deep dive into Yamaha’s FM synthesis chips, I’ve come to realize that while these chips produce very unique sounds, they are also largely very similar. In fact, if you compare their register settings (and ignore the level of granular control that you get), you can see just how many […]
How this all started:
In January of 2019, I was reading HackSpace magazine and stumbled across an article on how to build a synthesizer. I’ve always been a tinkerer and love to go deep into the way things work. This project tickled several fancies of mine from technology to music to electronics and even a new kind of “User Experience.”
I’m a UX designer by day, and have been for the last 20 years. In software design, nothing seems to last more than a year or two before it gets thrown out and redesigned. So there is something beautiful about the permanence of building a thing. Electronics, of course, date themselves just as fast as apps and websites. But an instrument that happens to be electronic is still unique and as such, retains its beauty, purpose, and value.
Going back to the HackSpace article, it referenced this Look Mum No Computer guy. And, after watching Sam walk through his massive DIY synth, I knew I had to figure this stuff out.
Of course there is a BIG learning curve. So my goal is to take the time to thoroughly document everything about each project in articles on this site. Hopefully even novice enthusiasts like myself will understand and enjoy them!
If you have a question about how something works, or when I inevitably get something wrong, please feel free to comment! We can all learn together.