Good Modulations

Let's build percussion Synthesizer

Good Modulations
naked version of Good Modulations

This project named "Good Modulations" is designed for beginners for electricity. Hit it and get the sound. I intend it as just electric percussions. You can get sound making by tweeking knobs.
It's based on simple analog synthesizer circuits. It's so simplified and have some defect, but it's enogh to enjoy to sound making. Build it with your friends and connect some of then each other and get more wired sound.
Next, add mod onto Good Modulations to get more complex sounds.

it's all included in this kits except enclosure but speaker and pots are in the package. you just only need some wire and battery only to get sound.
there is 40 parts on the board. it not for easy for very first experience, may be. but try it. it should be fun for you. solder the 4 pots with lead is most hart part for this project, may be.
you may also want to get it into some of enclosure. it's the very first step for mod. try them. There is no battery switch. remove it when you finish to play them

What kind of sound you get?

demonstration for GoodModulations(youtube)

Never mind, Just check it out this video. I build it, getting into enclosure and adding some jack to get modulations. Adding output jack and modulation jack is default mod. please try that.
it's fun for only one. but hit them two in different tune is more fun. and connect them, you can get another kind of sound. you can also connect them each other and get x-modulations. it's getting more wired sound. tweek knobs to make it more strenge.

this kit is based on analog synthesizer circuits. there is simple VCO and VCA. (there is no filter but you can add it later) if you add something mod then it getting be CV+GATE base noise machine. In this video, I connect it to my homemde ribbon controller to play melodies.

this kit is intented as the minimam elements for sound gadget or noise macine. adding something onto it and make it your original sound gadgets. you may found some fun around it.

Check schematic and the parts

schematics for Good Modulations
all the schematics of Good Modulations

the main parts is LMC555 and LM386. LMC555 is timer IC. it's very famous IC for beginners. I add some tweek on the circuit.
LMC555 is cmos version of NE555. And almost all NE555 circuit generate pulse wave. but this circuit gets saw wave to make it easy to get another wave shape. you may found so many variations fo wave shaper schematic in the net. find them and do someting around it. you can get more variation in sound making.
for power amp, I add simple voltage controled attenuator to make it simple VCA.

there is "out" at right downer side of schematic. it put just wave don't have non modulated ound as the source for modulate another "GoodModukations". it have pich modulation for itself. this is for modlation source and can't drive speakers.
if you want to output of the sound for recording or something, add another jack at the end of LM386 or so.

Parts List
LMC555 1 U1 timer IC
LM386 1 U2 power amp IC
2SA1015 3 Q1,Q2,Q5 PNP transistor
2SK30 1 Q3 N-ch FET
2SC1815 3 Q4,Q6,Q7 NPN transistor
1N4148 3 D1switching diode
10Ω 1 R15 1/4W, Brown,Black,Black
1kΩ 4 R5, R7, R8, R13 , 1/4W, Brown,Black, Red
4.7kΩ 2 R9, R121/4W, Yellow, Perple, Red
10kΩ 3 R6, R14, R17 1/4W, Brown,Black, Orenge
22kΩ 1 R4 1/4W, Red, Red, Orenge
33kΩ 3 R1, R2, R3 1/4W, Orenge, Oreng, Orenge
470kΩ 1 R11 1/4W, Yellow, Perple, Yellow
1MΩ 2 R10, R16 1/4W, Brown,Black, Green
2.2nF 1 C1 (222)film
10nF 1 C3 (103)Ceramic
47nF 1 C7 (473)film
100nF 3 C2, C9, C11 (104)Ceramic
10μF/16V 2 C4, C6 chemical
100μF/16V 2 C5, C10 Chemical
220μF/10V 1 C8 Chemical
10kΩ(A) 2 Sweep<( Width for modulatons ), Volume
100kΩ(A) 1 Decay
100kΩ(B) 1 Pitch
Speaker 1 SP1 8Ω/0.5W
piezo speaker 1 BZ1for shock sencer
battery snap 1for battery 006P

And you need this kit and battery. You can use any kind of 9V type. Wire and solder are also needed. cut your wire 80mm around. if you get new wire, get some color to make it easy to check after build.

Let's build

Good Modulations compornents layout
Good Modulations compornents layout

Well methods for soldering, this "ChipTrick the Kit" page also help you.

80% of beginner of soldering don't care their soldering iron. There is no maintenance for several years, and the tip of iron get rust from disuse.
When you put iron to solder, is it looks like wet?. if it getting balls then, you should better to maintenance your iron.
10% of beginner of soldering don't use right kind of solder. use sorder for electric circuit type. there is some kind of solders for another use. please, check it out. from 1mm to 0.8mm may good for use. for The rest of 10%, there is no road for kings and Queens. Just practice.

this picture is compornents layout. you can enlarge it by clicking. check the list and put conpornents cearfuly.
reform lead of the parts if you need before put it onto PCB. use longnose pliers and meke it looks nice. If you are beginner, not only solering irons, but also longnose pliers is important.
There is 3 kinds for transistors. it's NPN、PNP,JFET. each one has different behaviors. chemical capacitor has polarities. minus pin have the something mark. And plus pin hass longer leads.
resister has no direction. You can put it in any way. But you should better to turn up it's directions to make it easy to check its values after soldered. R9,R10,R14,R16、R17 is not easy to remove after soldered because of transistors are covered over it. check them closely.
kit has no socket for IC's. if you use it, then Q2 may be hard to solder.

It's not only this kit but also any electric circuit had been designed to work fine by right parts in right place. If you forget to put some parts or put them in wrong place then, it will not work right. Do it as its had designed. Put battery when you have finished. if you connect battery in the middle of building, then the circuit should be burn.

Connect VRs to PCB

Good Modulations board layout
Good Modulations board layout

Actually, soldering parts on to PCB is not so hard. because of there is so many points to be needed almost same actions, You may get used to soldering soon. But soldering wires, is not easy. there's so many kind of situations, any length any positions or so on. In any case, if it goes well then it's ok. So it's not easy to repeat experience of wiring.
In the case of this kit, the lengeth of pot to PCB is almost same distance. so cut your wire in same lengeth. and put solder its tips. it will make it more easy to do it.

This picture shows how to connect pots and PCB. you can enlarge it by click. it's just a example. there is no need to do as same as this completely. check the schematic and do it right way. If you are beginner or you feel hard to read schematics then do same as the example. tTof pots here) is diode. Cathode is pot side.

Gland lines at the pots may be hard for every one. Try and get experience to do this. it's better to solder 2 lines at a time.
When you build something in barrack style, pots will always roll like stones in the river. So use clothes-peg for pot, or put down it with Scotch tape on paper board . Especially you intend to put them into enclosure, but there is no room to do something in your small enclosure, solder up everything outside of it. And check it works fine or not, When you get ok then remove from paper board and put them into enclosure.
there are tips. You should better to solder power line first. The last wire have more chance to be mistaken.

Let's mod(Put them into enclosure)

Good Modulations with enclosure
Good Modulations with enclosure

Do you get the sound? Ok. that's not goal. it's the start for next step. How about enclosure? I have some tips to put them into enclosure.
I have used the SW-100 (W65 X H35 X D100) released from Takachi that Japanese famouse enclosure maker. I have omitted the Volume knob. If you use it in recording, then you may need it. But you just play it, there is no need for volume because your volume knob is always full up. I think that it's not only adding something but also omitting something may good to draw out its oroginality.

Data format is 'SVG'. You can edit it by InkSpace that free software for windows. orint it out and cui it in size, tape it onto enclosure, and drill it.
Digging hole onto enclosure needs another kind of skill. there is so many kind of skills are needed for building something. you may need another kind of tools. Anyway tools are important. Get good one, if you can. More good tools may help you more.
check out the lettering on enclosure. Mr seko who is my friend living in tokyo did it by sylk screen methods. it completely another kind of techniques from soldering.
I can do it well yet. so I use stecker sheets. I can use some more colors. and easy to handle.

Good Modulations MOD
power switch and indecator

This is power switch and indecator for power. There is no values for resister.

This register works as current limitter. LED needs currents to light. and the brightness is fixed by it amount of currents. every LED has its forward voltage (some time call it as 'Vf'). Red one is around 2V. Some blue one is over 3V. check them its data sheets. now a days, LED is so bright. so 5mA is enough in every use. prease check them on your bread board or something first. if it too much, then decrease current values. You should bette check your LED's Vf when it get light.
if VCC is 9V and Vf is 2V, then registor get 9(V)-2(V)=7V. and you intend to put 5nA on to LED then the value of register is ...


make its valie to easy to get. 1.5kΩ or 1.2kΩis good for this case.

Let's get more mod onto Good Modulations

Good Modulations with enclosure 2
Good Modulations with enclosure

this is the list of what kind of mod should be.

  • To adding variations for tone: Wave converter (Pulse pr Sqere
  • To adding variations for tone: Wave converter (Triangle)
  • To adding variations for tone: Wave converter (Triangle)
  • To recprd it: line outut
  • To play more : EXT inpu jack
  • Two GoodModulations make one ecnlosure
  • Put another input triger
  • Connect with trigger sequencer
  • Play melody with external CV and gate
  • Connect with MIDI-CV converter and Play it from MIDI keyboards