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Thread: Monolith Digital Synthesizer

  1. #1

    Monolith Digital Synthesizer

    I would like to show a project I've been working on:

    https://youtu.be/Ozs-eSm-QCc

    Monolith is a virtual analog synthesizer based around a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller and an audio adaptor board.

    It has 49 real-time controls, 7 LEDs, 2 rotary encoders and a 2.2" TFT-screen.

    OSCILLATOR SECTION
    Four independent oscillators, each with nine waveforms, semitone adjustment, level control and stereo panning. The oscillators can be detuned via a main detune control. There is a control for adjusting the amount of FM.

    LFO SECTION
    Four LFOs, of which three have six waveforms, dedicated to pitch, filter frequency, amplifier level and pulsewidth. Each LFO has variable delay accessible via the extended parameters screen.

    ENVELOPE SECTION
    Three ADSR envelopes dedicated to pitch, filter frequency and amplitude, each loopable via the extended parameters screen.

    FILTER SECTION
    Filter section with a selection of four types of filters; lowpass, bandpass, highpass and ladder filter. The section also contains controls for selecting frequency source, filter frequency and resonance.

    EXTENDED PARAMETERS SCREEN
    The extended parameters screen is controlled via two rotary encoders, one for selecting parameters and one for changing the values of those parameters.

    The upper part of the screen contains all parameters not accessible via the real-time controls, these are:

    Program
    Pitch
    Controllers
    LFO Delay
    Envelope Loop
    CorteX
    Effects
    Arpeggio

    The lower part of the screen displays the current selected oscillator waveforms, LFO waveforms, filter frequency source and filter type.

    Beneath the rotary encoders there is an assignable potentiometer.

    DATA AND GATE SECTION
    Two serial inputs and two gate inputs for communication directly with the MCU.
    This section is called "CorteX" in the extended parameters screen. CorteX is a 14-bit serial communication protocol developed for a previous project, a digital modular system called the Nucleus Audio Application Framework.
    However, the data input is connected directly to two serial input ports on the MCU, making it possible to control the Monolith from another microcontroller using any custom code.

    The PCB was designed using EasyEDA and manufactured by JLCPCB.
    The 600x200 mm frontplate was designed in Adobe Photoshop and printed directly on aluminium by Elgiganten.
    The TFT-bevel was designed in Adobe Photoshop and manufactured by Brion.
    The envelope icons are created by Marco Galtarossa and sourced free via the Noun Project.

  2. #2
    Senior Member houtson's Avatar
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    Finally got a chance to check the video...
    Looks great ! A lot of work gone into that and sounds good, the front panel looks fantastic - love the real time controls.
    The serial data ports are interesting - any reason why not using midi?

    Cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Hi Paul, I've another Teensy project called Nucleus Audio Application Framework, a modular system using serial data via patch cables as a digital alternative to controlled voltage, and wanted to interface with that. Many MCUs have at least one serial port but doesn't have the ability to send MIDI easily.
    Link to a Nucleus "jam":
    https://youtu.be/a935eS4JhG4

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