[module | tutorial] squaresynth

Squaresynth is a module of a costumized simple synthesizer based on quad oscillator on my earlier post here. It uses the same chip, 4093 and modified it as a touch/moist sensor. I developed Squaresynth for workshop purpose, to invite the participants learning the basic electronics through introductions of electronics logis such as oscillator, introduction in reading schematics, and also introduction on electronic components. The demo showed how it sound above. Documentation, schematic, PCB  design bellow.

squaresynth layout

Layout for Squaresynth

Squaresynth is designed for the for the participants to put the components on top of the copper surface PCB, copying the SMD style with DIP components. The method is chosen so it’s easier for the participants to solder and follow workshop instructions. The Layout above is the general component placement on the PCB. Bend the leads of the components and soldered it closely to the PCB as you can.

Components soldered on top of Squaresynth PCB

Components soldered on top of Squaresynth PCB

Some standards in making a Squaresynth:

  1. Use 4 different capacitors in C1, C2, C3, C4 with range values from 470pF to 4.7uF. My favourite will be C1 = 1uF, C2 = 100nF, C3 = 470nF, C4 = 47 nF.
  2. Use 2 pairs of Resistors with the same value, R1 = R4 and R2 = R3. Range should be 10R – 470R.
  3. Use either Potentiometer or other sensors such as Light Sensor, Humidity Sensor, Bio-sensor, Touch Sensor on VR1 and VR2. Solder 2 piece of cable (middle and any side of the pin for Potentiometer) to the PCB. Potentiometer range should be 100K – 500K.



Squaresynth PCB, 5x5 cm

Squaresynth PCB, 5×5 cm. Reverse horizontally to print!

Above is the PCB design for the Squaresynth. Several guidelines for creating custom Squaresynth:

  1. Use 1N914 / 1N4148 fast switching diodes on R1 and R4. Make sure the direction of the diodes goes to the output. This will result a different sounds texture on the output.
  2. Cut the copper line between 9V+ and VCC, and add a 1K Potentiometer. This will give a Voltage Control on Squaresynth.
  3. Stereo Output is possible by not using R1 and R4. Solder the R1 and R4 (which is connected to the IC) as the right and left output of the jack.
  4. To add a volume pot, solder output cable to 1st pin of a 10K potentiometer, then middle pin to the output (+) jack, and the 3rd pin to the ground.
  5. To add a reactive LED, solder another cable from the output copper to the anode (+) LED any colour, and solder the cathode (-) of the LED to the ground.

Documentation [prototype]

squaresynth prototype

Documentation [workshop]

Several Squaresynths workshop and output that was made and designed by the workshop participants:


Design Source

– All design is in http://github.com/Squaresolid/squaresynth

– Documentation in Lifepatch site: http://lifepatch.org/Squaresynth

One thought on “[module | tutorial] squaresynth

  1. Pingback: [project] Conveniencely Yours in Interactivos?’16 at Medialab Prado, Madrid, Spain | andreas siagian

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