I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

Ralf's Weird Sound Generator

The Weird Sound Generator

Ralf's Weird Sound GeneratorSome time ago I promised Ralf and David, the sons of two friends, we would do an electronics DIY soldering project together. They were always drooling over my modular so I wanted to built something with them to get them a little soldering experience. They were very enthusiastic and eventually decided upon “something that makes sounds and has lots of knobs”. If possible also with a lot of lights… 😉

I looked at simple radio circuits at first but decided to go for Ray Wilson’s Weird Sound Generator (WSG). It has a readily available PCB and is not very hard to solder. No special components or complicated calibration procedures. So I ordered the boards and the necessary components for the three of us.

While waiting for everything to arrive I designed a nice front panel for the Musikding case I ordered to house the WSG in. You can download the FPD file below. Feel free to use it or change it for your own project (non commercial use only).

WSG front panel design (fpd format)

When I got everything together we set a date and started the project. All went well although the boys (7 and 8 years old) did not have a long enough attention span to finish the project, so I helped them a little 😉

I designed an additional little headphone amplifier PCB based on the OPA2134 opamp for use with the WSG. The output level of the standard WSG is pretty low and not very audible on headphones. This also allowed me to make a pseudo stereo headphone output by driving both left and right channel with the audio coming from the WSG.

The WSG is capable of a wide range of sounds, from drones to cyclic bleeps and burps. It has two voices, each with 4 oscillators which modulate each other in a controllable way. The output of both voices are fed into a low pass filter with resonance.

A fun project!