PIC based analog synth you can build

  • Dual oscillator mono synth
  • Really easy to build using just 1 custom programmed PIC chip, 4 ICs and single 12v supply
  • All circuits built on veroboard - no printed circuit board making skills needed
  • PIC based dual oscillator and digital keyboard scan
  • Analog VCF/VCA/Envelope
  • Waveforms : stairstep, sawtooth, square (with pulse width adjust), triangle, triangular square, pulse width modulation (depend on wave shaper circuit).
  • Fully adjustable detune
  • Cool Arpeggiator
  • Portamento
  • Expandable, first two modules shown below
  • Total cost estimate $100

YOUTUBE DEMO - Sound bites on Youtube - PICSynth attempts basshunter - Organs and strings

NEW! Noystoise PICSynth

PICSynth bass pedal

downbeat.mp3 (541 kb)
rock.mp3 (489 kb)
train.mp3 (622 kb)

House.wav (351 kb)
Egypt.wav (442 kb)
variation1.wma (865 kb)
Strings Sound (Osc 3 PWM) (404 kb)
spooky.wma (vibrato) (247 kb)
Filter.wav (485 kb)
electguitar.wav (361 kb)
PulseWidthMod.mp3 (Osc 3 PWM) (450 kb)

A real analog synthesizer to build using easy to get components, capable of a wide range of sounds.
The two oscillators can be detuned for that classic synth sound.


The Schematic

Picture of whole circuit

How to build the VCF/VCA step by step

Layout for waveshaper

Layout for picboard

More pictures and descriptions

PICsynth V4 Datasheet

Block Diagram

Aims of the project

Parts List ($100)

Notes on keyboards

BLOG - keep up to date on latest ideas

PIC based midi controller project

How to expand the PICSynth etc for more advanced constructors:

NEW! Three Waveshaper mods
Pulse Width Modulation
Oscillator modulate filter
Synthacon filter
Monotron Delay including resonance mod


Older veroboard layouts and V1 schematics

The custom programmed PIC chip is no longer available but I can supply hex file if you have a PIC programmer, you will need a PIC18F1220 chip.

The PICSynth chip is for non-commercial, home use only. It will not be available for resale.

Email picsynth@yahoo.com for any enquires. Have fun ! Kevin.

Keywords : PIC micro, DCO, synthesizer, analog, VCO, VCF, VCA, Envelope, Modular, Trance, Techno, Outer, DIY synth, Octaves, Tuning, Music, Lab, Studio, Square wave, Sawtooth wave, Triangle wave, Space, Sound, Monotron, Electronics, IC, op-amp, keyboard, Synthacon, Steiner Parker,
MIDI controller, MIDI keyboard controller, MIDI footpedal, MIDI pedal controller, DIY MIDI controller, PIC MIDI controller, DIY organ pedals, Monotron Delay, Monotron Delay Resonance mod
Page last updated 14 January 2015