Sound Art
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My MFOS Links
Save project, song or catalog links. Just click the yellow star!
Alien Screamer
The MFOS Alien Screamer is a simple 9V powered noise box that will keep you and anyone in earshot entertained for days. This project is along the lines of the WSG in complexity and capability.
MFOS VC Echo Module
The new MFOS Voltage Controlled Echo Module is here! Learn to use the PT2399 Echo Processor Chip, one of the coolest chips going.
Synth Interfacing
Learn how to safely connect your MFOS gear to your synth without letting the magic smoke out of either one. Go...
Bipolar 10uF 50V (5 Pack)
Bipolar 1uF 50V (5 Pack)
Mini Mixer & 1W Amp
This 9V battery powered 3 input mixer and 1W amplifier will let you take your battery powered noise boxes anywhere you want without worrying about whether you'll have power or not. Whether you're going camping, mountain climbing, or on a Peruvian meditation retreat now you can hear your battery powered synth wherever you are. Just remember to bring along a few 9V batteries.
My Electronic Compositions
When the last component is soldered and the last bug is found and fixed, it's time to realize the purpose of all your hard work and actually produce "electronic sound" with your gear. I'm not going to call it "music" because music is a very subjective term. Birds chirping might be music to someone. A jet going over in the distance might evoke a feeling for someone else. These are some of my "sounds". Some atonal, some musical others more environmental in nature. If you click an image you can download individual tracks for 99¢. Great for yoga and meditation. Namaste.
Pocket Protectors Back!
All scientists, physicists and engineers know that after the degree from a prestegious university a pocket protector is standard equipment. Be ready to record your next idea by having a - protected - pocket full of pens and pencils.
Pay with PayPal
MFOS recommends PayPal for all your synth-diy purchases. It's secure and sign-up is free. How to purchase from MFOS...
PayPal Logo
Ray's Op-Amp Webcast
Thanks to everyone that attended the TL07X op amp webcast. Maker Media was kind enough to provide me with an MP4 of the webcast which I have posted on YouTube. You can also download the presentation PDF below.
Poster Campaign
If your school or university has a place where they allow you to put commercial posters I would appreciate it if you printed this one out and hung it up. MFOS' mission is to bring synth diy to the masses. Thanks!
Get the MFOS poster (pdf)
MFOS Oct-Attenuator
Build an Oct-Attenuator for your MFOS modular. This module adds 8 generic attenuators to your modular for adjusting voltage outputs and modulation levels. A super simple project.
JRC 13600 Sale!
We bought a BUNCH of JRC 13600D DIP16 chips. These chips are the equivalent of the LM13600 and LM13700. As far as MFOS projects go they work the same. The catalog pages list them as "Add-Ons" for projects that require them so you can easily add them to your cart if you like.
Fairchild 2N5457s
While many distributors have discontinued selling the 2N5457 N-Channel JFET, MFOS went out and found a truckload of brand new Fairchild parts. MFOS has your back when it comes to your synth-diy component needs. The catalog pages list them as "Add-Ons" for projects that require them so you can easily add them to your cart if you like.
NEW MFOS T-Shirts!
These new MFOS t-shirts are really comfortable. Our logo on a sports gray GILDAN Softstyle 90% cotton and 10% polyester t-shirt. Let the world know you're a synth-diy jedi master.
MFOS Wave Freaker
The MFOS Wave Freaker PCBs have been flying off of the shelves. The MFOS Wave Freaker is making itself at home in a wide variety of commercial and diy synths. Sounds from subtle to "IN YO FACE" phat. Thanks to all of the customers that are helping to make this module a success.
Brackets Anyone?
These universal brackets are very useful when mounting a PC board to your front panel.
There are several articles and applications on the MFOS site useful to electronics educators. Here is a list of links.
  • Virtual Op-Amp Lab
  • Reading Resistors
  • Capacitors
  • Resistors in Parallel
  • Analog Synthesizers 101
  • Electronic Components
    Virtual Op Amp Lab
    I made this tool to help me when I need the results of an op amp setup quickly. You may find it useful. It is idealized and simple but gives a decent approximation. Check it out!
    Sawtooth to Triangle
    Convert your Sound Lab (Mini-Synth, Mark II, and ULTIMATE) synthesizer ramp or sawtooth waves to triangle waves. Great way to prepare ramp or sawtooth waves to use the Wave Freaker. Check it out!
    Bend Your WSG
    Some simple mods for the WSG that will keep you making weird sounds into the next century.
    MFOS on YouTube
    There are a ton of YouTube videos featuring MFOS projects.
    Click here to check them out!
    This galaxy's coolest synth-diy site. If you're into electronics, can solder and trouble-shoot, we have tons of cool analog synthesizer projects for you. Spend some time browsing and you'll probably find a project of interest.

    MFOS' mission is to help people realize their analog synthesizer dreams by providing: complete schematics, assembly drawings, professionally manufactured PC boards, and hard to find electronic parts. Check out these links to learn more:

  • Getting the Most Out of the MFOS Website
  • From Getting Started To Your Very Own Modular
  • Introduction to Analog Synths
  • Start learning about electronics
  • Electronics and Analog Synthesizers Books

    Keep imagining, keep inventing, stay ingenious!

    Sound Lab Mark II 17 x 7 Inch Panels Are Here
    The Sound Lab Mark II Faceplates are ready for prime time. These plates work well with BUD Box AC-423 as a ready made case. They are .09" thick which is nice and sturdy even at 17 inches wide. These are perfect for building your next rack mount Sound Lab Mark II analog synthesizer. Check it out...
    MFOS Announces Two New Kits!

    Two new kits to build! Now people new to synth-DIY can buy the MFOS Echo Rockit kit or Battery Powered Mini-Function Generator kit and get straight to building instead of having to go through the time consuming and often confusing component buying process. Believe me, buying your own components gets easier with experience and it's always more economical. Starting with kits is a good way to learn about components.

    As usual these projects don't come with cases or faceplates - this is still DIY remember. However, I'll most likely get plates made for both of them down the road. I have a few too many projects on the burner right now to get to it and I think folks are going to like them too. Good building.

    MFOS Seven Segment Linear Envelope Generator
    The Seven Segment Linear Envelope Generator is the latest module to come out of MFOS. It was a long journey to get this thing going but I really think its a great addition to any modular synth. The project page covers the functionality in detail. This module adds a lot of versatility to your rig. An idea I've got is to use my sample and hold to sample the output of the linear envelope generator with a relatively slow and interesting envelope. Then I'll put the sample and hold voltage output through the voltage quantizer, route the quantizer output to some VCOs and see what type of random half tone or whole tone melodies emerge. Sadly... Niels and Al could never see eye to eye regarding their synth's atomic structure.
    Build the Sound Lab Mini-Synth Mark II Analog Synthesizer
    The Sound Lab Mark II will surprise you with its array of sound shaping modules. Check out the sound samples below which were made with the Sound Lab Mark II. SONAR X1's effects used for reverb, never for pitch correction. The VCOs and VCF in the Mark II track very well after thorough calibration. Check out these YouTubes!
    Mark II - Module Tour
    Mark II - Sound Sample
    MFOS Stocks the harder to find components for this project which you can order at the time you order your PC board and professionally machined front panel.
    Check out music by musician Quincas Moreira from Mexico City. These amazing songs were done entirely using his hand-made Sound Lab Mark II. Very cool & creative works of art.

  • ElectroCumbia
  • Woody Groove
    For these samples I used SONAR Producer Edition for recording, mix down, and addition of reverb. All sounds are directly from the Sound Lab Mark II driven via a MIDI to CV convertor or MFOS Single Buss Keyboard Controller (the last was recorded real time).

    Prelude and Fugue in C No. 2 - J.S. Bach

    Three Part Invention in C No. 1 - J.S. Bach

    Sound Lab Mark II Symphony - RJW

    Song tail w/the SLMS Mark II - RJW

    Laurentide SynthWorks Sound Lab Mark II YouTube
    Laurentide SynthWorks published an excellent example of what can be done with the Sound Lab Mark II. It explores a lot of the Mark II's sound nuances. In a blind test it would be interesting to learn which analog synth people thought they were listening too if they didn't know this was an MFOS Sound Lab Mark II. Effects are added but the synth comes through loud and clear.

    Thank you Laurentide SynthWorks.

    The MFOS NOISE TOASTER is way more fun than you thought was possible with a 9V battery! It's an awesome little 9V powered noise box that's like carrying around a miniature synth. This project is a bit more complex than the WSG but has far more sound shaping and producing capability. This is going to be one of your favorite portable toys (amp and speaker built in). PCBs and PLATEs IN STOCK!
    The Sound Lab ULTIMATE. Our most advanced synthesizer project.
    The Sound Lab ULTIMATE packs: Three Musically Accurate VCOs, a White Noise Generator, an Active Mixer, a Voltage Controlled LP Filter, a Voltage Controlled Amplifier, an Attack Release Envelope Generator, two Low Frequency Oscillators, a Repeat Gate Generator, Sample & Hold, Attenuator Bank and Patch Panel into one totally cool synth-DIY project.

    The following songs played by Arielle Wilson on the ULTIMATE.

    Original Star Trek Theme
    Star Trek Next Generation Theme
    bchris1776's Sound Lab ULTIMATE/EXPANDER YouTube
    bchris1776 published an excellent example of what can be done with the Sound Lab ULTIMATE and EXPANDER. Just a totally cool sound exploration. Effects are added but the synth comes through loud and clear.
    A driving sequence is accompanied by Pink Floyd sounding runs. A totally cool watch.

    Thank you bchris1776.

    MFOS Delayed Modulation Module
    The MFOS delayed modulation module includes an Attack Release envelope generator, Low Frequency Oscillator with square and sine waveforms, and a Voltage Controlled Amplifier. These separate elements are connected in the classic delayed modulation patch such that the LFO is fed to the input of the VCA and the AR generator is connected to the VCA's control input. When you apply a gate to the circuit the AR generator is gated on and the VCA responds to the applied envelope and the LFO comes through the VCA. You use the output of the module to modulate other voltage controlled modules. Since there is a complete AR generator built into the module you have some really excellent flexibility.

    Check out the Delayed Modulation Module project

    The venerable Sound Lab Mini-Synth. Old school analog and still going strong.
    The Sound Lab Mini-Synth is a great project. It is a complete mini analog synth on one PC board. It has two VCOs, one LFO, one Mixer, one State Variable Low-Pass/Band-Pass Filter, one AR Envelope Generator with repeat, and one VCA. It runs off of two nine volt batteries for a long time due to its low current design. Check out the MINI-SYNTH!
     COOL PROJECTS for your Mini-Synth
  • Sound Lab Mini-Synth Sample & Hold!
  • Sound Lab Mini-Synth Drum Trigger!
  • Sound Lab Mini-Synth Guitar Trigger!
  • Sound Lab Mini-Synth Parts Kits!
  • SLMS Windows WAVs!
    Listen to a multi-track Sound Lab demo!
    Contribute a Composition to the Art of Electronic Sound Project
    You've put blood, sweat and tears into building your very own analog synthesizer. Show the world what it can do. Contribute a composition to "The Art of Electronic Sound" project so other creative synth-diyers can be inspired. Whether you create: traditional, twelve tone, noise, soundscapes, dreamscapes, space music or something further out, as long as it's electronic and you built some of the gear, we want to hear it. The duration of your piece can be short or long and the content simple or incredibly textured. Whether you're a newbie or someone who's been building for years submit a composition. Your composition might be the one heard by a famous filmmaker looking for an obscure electronic sound track.
    16 Step Sequencer Quantized Vari-Clock Module
    Quantized duration adjustment literally adds a new dimension to your MFOS 16 Step Sequencer.

    Check out our new project. It gives the MFOS 16 Step Sequencer the ability to have settable duration per step in 16 quantized increments as well as multiple gate modes. It is definitely an advanced and challenging project but I tried to document it thoroughly. Thank you for your thoughtful comments on this project.

    I think you'll really like the functionality provided by this circuit.

    Click here to go to the project.

    Check out the YouTube...

    Make: Analog Synthesizers is now available for sale!
    The "Make: Analog Synthesizers" Book Story
    A former editor (and published author) at the O'Reilly Publishing Company who was working with O'Reilly's Maker wing, prior to the reorganization that saw Maker Media become its own entity, called me one day. He introduced himself and mentioned that he frequented the MFOS site and enjoyed his time there. He asked if I would be interested in writing a book about Synth-DIY for O'Reilly/Make. I was amazed, excited and down right flabbergasted by the idea. He made no promises but suggested I write up a book proposal and send it to him, indicating he would present it at an upcoming meeting. Two or three months after sending the proposal I emailed to ask if the proposal had gotten rejected and to thank him for his consideration. To my amazement he said: "we just talked about it today and it looks like a go."... I was even more amazed, excited and yes... flabbergasted.
    It took two more nail biting months to hear that I had gotten the contract. After a private but thorough victory dance of excitement I started writing. The chance to document in actual book form many of the things I'd been learning over the years came as an incredible opportunity! It was a pleasure working with the top shelf editors, project managers and artistic directors at O'Reilly Media and Maker Media.
    This book was a full year in the writing, editing, and reviewing process. I believe it will take your synth-diy passion further and higher. It will answer a lot of your questions about analog synths, synth-diy, tools for your shop, soldering tips. The book contains trouble shooting advice, and assorted information about using ICs I consider to be essential to synth-diy. The explanations about op-amps, negative feedback and integrators may finally clear up a few things about those black boxes.
    I decided to make the NOISE TOASTER (a relatively simple project) the project synth of the book in order to allow more new people to be able to access synth-diy. There are two chapters on the NOISE TOASTER (making one and how it works). However there is also plenty of good information for the hardened DIYer. The appendices contain info on CMOS, Op-Amps and Feedback Theory, the LM13700 Dual Transconductance Op Amp and more. When all is said and done you can move on to electronic music creativity exercises using your NOISE TOASTER and Audacity (or your favorite DAW).
    No one can put everything into one book but I poured my heart and tons of what I've learned over the years into this one. May it be a useful tool for your current and future synth-diy work. Make: Analog Synthesizers is available at these fine book sellers:
    New Flexible Synth-DIY Experimenter PCB
    Synth-DIY Experimenter PCB
    This project helps creative electronics hobbyists who have successfully completed the WSG learn more about synth-diy. You make "patches" with the Sound Effects project by patching the various "modules" together, and adjusting knobs and switches.


    Multi-track demonstration of sounds you can expect (reverb has been added during mixdown):
    SDIY Experimenter Board Opus 1 Wilson

    A *.sfz compatible soft-synth and samples of sounds made with the MFOS Synth-DIY Experimenter PCB were used to create this cool multi-track version of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy".
    Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy Tchaikovsky
    The Synth-DIY Experimenter PCB contains some of the first synth circuits I started experimenting with when I first got into synth-diy. You don't have to build all of the modules. You can just build what you want to make a specific sound. You want wind... just build the White Noise Generator and one VCF. You want better wind build the White Noise Generator both VCFs and the output mixer. How about birds or bell sounds... just build the Sound Effect Oscillators an AR Envelope Generator and an LFO. You can go as far as you like with this project.

    This project will NOT result in a 1V/octave Moog like instrument but it will provide you with a lot of sound making fun. In any case it will be a fun learning experience and the finished project will keep you and anyone else within earshot very entertained.

    Reading really is fundamental. Have you read any good books lately?
    Do you want to become a vintage synth expert. These books will give you the knowledge to become a true analog synth guru. Growing your hair and beard long and moving to a mountain top is optional. Any would make an exceptionally thoughtful gift. See more books...

    The MFOS Mini-Controller. This is too cool not to have so what are you waiting for?
    The MFOS Mini-Controller

    The MFOS Mini-Controller has a twenty nine note stylus keyboard (C - C - C to E) built right into the PCB. It can be used to play your Sound Lab Mini-Synth or 1V/Oct modular. The PCB supports four CV outputs (2 with portamento 2 without portamento). There is one trigger output and one gate output. This and a Sound Lab Mini-Synth would make a great combination for your first forray into synth-diy.

    Will MFOS circuits work with a +/-15V power supply?
    All MFOS circuits will work with +/- 15 volts with from none to minor value changes. All of the chips I recommend are rated for the higher voltages so you should be good to go. One small consequence is that the peak voltage of things will be a bit higher. Oscillator P-to-P outputs will be higher at higher supply voltages and AR or ADSR voltage peaks will be higher also. Filters and amplifiers will have more headroom and may need a bit of re-biasing if you find that the output is not sitting at ground when the input is at ground. For any circuit to which you want to apply higher supply voltage examine the schematic and you'll find its not difficult to reduce the output voltage to what you want. Where bias levels are set with resistor dividers you may need to tweak values. If it absolutely, positively has to be there with a different supply voltage; breadboard it, apply the voltage you want, and tweak as necessary.
    My Open Source Synth-DIY Philosophy
    Everything on Music From Outer Space is free for non-commercial use.

    Please feel free to use the information presented on the MFOS website to the fullest extent for non-commercial uses. You can make your own PCBs from the layouts and drawings we provide or design your own if you prefer. We appreciate a link to us (http://www.musicfromouterspace.com) if you blog or YouTube your work. MFOS sells professionally made glass epoxy, double sided, plated through PC boards, electronic parts, parts kits and faceplates for many of the projects found here. Please keep in mind that although I use these circuits in my synth I recommend that you review them thoroughly and/or breadboard them before relying on them to make sure they'll meet your expectations. If you find errors or omissions in the project documentation please email the details to info@musicfromouterspace.com so we can correct them and continue to improve the website.

    Commercial Use

    MFOS LLC has entered into mutually beneficial commercial arrangements with individuals and companies selling MFOS LLC designs and/or products containing MFOS LLC designs and PC boards. MFOS LLC does not grant blanket permission to use MFOS LLC designs or PC patterns for unauthorized commercial use which includes using MFOS LLC designs to produce products for mass production and sale. If you would like to use MFOS LLC designs or products commercially (i.e. to sell and make a profit), please inquire via email detailing the mutually beneficial aspects of the plan first to: info@musicfromouterspace.com so we can discuss the idea. More information...

    Thank you, The MFOS LLC Team.

    Where in the world is MFOS located?
    Music From Outer Space is located in beautiful Parker, CO, USA. We're blessed with miles and miles of bike and hiking trails, mesas, mountains and canyons. We try our best to provide all project information on the project pages but if we missed something we want to hear from you so we can fix it. I check email frequently and respond to people within a reasonable period of time.

    You can always contact us at info@musicfromouterspace.com.

    Music From Outer Space
    c/o Ray Wilson
    7311 Meadow View
    Parker, CO 80134
    The Fine Print...
    This website assumes a basic level of electronics proficiency and knowledge. To build the projects found here you must be able to understand schematics, be familiar with electronic components, solder, do panel wiring, case building, and troubleshoot. MFOS projects do not have step by step instructions. There are; schematics, circuit descriptions, pc board layouts, suggested panel layouts, and suggested modifications. Please read any project's information in its entirety before buying products. Just getting started? Read this:
    Getting Started...
    All information presented on the Music From Outer Space website is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. MFOS product prices are subject to change without notice. The information provided by this website is only intended to be general summary information to the public. Please study carefully or breadboard circuits to be sure you will be happy with the results before you purchase MFOS project PC boards, Parts or Kits. Thank you - have fun.

    MFOS On Facebook
    MFOS Echo Rockit

    The 9V battery powered Echo Rockit makes some of the most unusual sounds I've heard. Any seasoned electronics diyer could build one. Hey what was that... a modular or... an Echo Rockit?
    Cool Function Generator
    Build this cool little battery powered function generator. Low current design will keep this thing going for a long time. Keep one in your toolbox.

    Go check out the project...

    MFOS Vocoder
    Trouble Shooting Tips
    When everything doesn't go just right with your project you may need to consider some of these trouble shooting tips. Chin up, don't panic, you'll get... whatever it is... working!
    Mobile Device Users
    You may experience difficulties navigating MFOS using a mobile device. The site is designed for a mouse equipped web browser. Some touch functions are not reliably mapped to mouse click functions. We have our top people working on this.
    First Time Here?
    Welcome to the site. Here's a short YouTube video to help you get the most out of it.
    Substitute Op-Amps
    In the table that follows I show op amps that can be used to sub others shown in some older schematics. Note however that the LF44XCN can be replaced only when not used in sample and hold applications. All op amps must be in DIP format.
    Twitter me this Batman!
    Synth Cabinet Ideas!
    Anyone with a few tools and some good old ingenuity can do it. Find out how. Show me!
    Prebuilt MFOS Modules
    Soundtronics carries a beautiful line of prebuilt MFOS analog synth modules. If you've been wanting to put MFOS analog synth modules into your setup but aren't into building them yourself yet - Soundtronics.
    MFOS Product Fabricators
    MFOS designs are available from the following sites: (If you are not listed let me know and I'll list you)

    Buyers! Please contact anyone you intend to buy a module from to make sure you know what you are getting first and what if any return policy they may or may not have in place. Please remember that the sale is between you and the seller.

    Get the MFOS SCOOP
    Stay in the loop with the MFOS SCOOP. I send a newsletter slash promotional email a few times yearly. It's free to sign up.

    Subscribe to The MFOS Scoop

    Or... unsubscribe.

    Previous issues:
    Got Parts & Equipment?
    Jameco Electronics has been serving electronic hobbyists and pros for 35 years. It's a great place to buy parts, tools and equipment. Click an item to go to Jameco's catalog page.
    Power Supply Kits
    MFOS is offering parts kits for the LM317/LM337 and Wall Wart power supply boards.
    CV & Gate Distributor
    The MFOS Control Voltage & Gate Distributor is a great addition to your modular system. Expand the outputs of a MIDI to CV convertor. Add zipperless analog portamento to your MIDI to CV convertor's CV output.
    NEW! V/Oct Calibrator
    This circuit makes calibration of your volt per octave equipment way easier. Build one today and get in tune. Read more...
    The MFOS Multi-Function Module (MFM). Two DC voltage mixers, a linear lag processor, an RC lag processor and a LED voltage level meter make this a great all around module. Read more...
    Designed as a companion for the Sound Lab ULTIMATE the EXPANDER has become the favorite "Swiss Army Knife" module of many advanced synth builders. Read More...
    The electro-music.com website is an awesome place to visit. You can find a lot of helpful advice in the MFOS forum there. electro-music.com MFOS projects forum.
    Share MFOS on Facebook
    We really appreciate it when people spread the word about the MFOS synth-diy website. If possible please share MFOS on Facebook or your favorite social site to help more people discover Synth-DIY. Thanks!
    Matched 2N3904s & Tempco
    Hand matched pair of 2N3904 transistors (Vbe of pair within 2mV) and a 2K 1/4 watt 2% +3300 ppm metal film tempco. Great for VCO or VCF expo convertors like those in the:

    • Sound Lab Mini-Synth...
    • Sound Lab ULTIMATE...

    Great deal at a great price!

    Swiss OpAmp Knife
    Three (3) pack of great quad op amp kludge boards for when you need some extra op amp related circuitry and you want a quality pc board to put it on. Glass epoxy, plated through holes, solder masked it's the creme de la creme of op amp kludge boards.
    MFOS uses DIP
    Always order DIP package chips for MFOS boards. No offense SOP packages but gentlemen prefer chips with longer legs. You can also buy type adapters.

    DIP Spec. vs. SOP Spec.
       info@musicfromouterspace.com Copyright © Music From Outer Space LLC 2014 Keep imagining, keep inventing, stay ingenious!