Design/ Testing




MCU Synthesizer

Created by
Franco Cedano(fac24 ) & Min Chen(mc392)

Our final project is a music synthesizer that is capable of producing a variety of musical sounds, by modify, the attack, decay, sustain, release times, and applying special effects such as a low pass filter or a halftone shifter.

Our original interest for this project came from one of our TA’s (Idan Beck) while we were talking about the second lab (Cricket Call Generator). He told us about how just by changing the waveform, we can change the sound created by the generator from a cricket call to something more interesting such a musical instrument. That lead us to a conversation about how a synthesizer work, and how close they are to the cricket call generator. Since both of us play an instrument (Min piano, and Franco guitar) we thought it would be interesting to do a project that aimed at simulating these instruments. It seemed like it would be interesting to learn about why instruments sound the way they do, and how to manipulate waveforms to achieve the desired sound.


Our final design for the synthesizer was a Subtractor Synthesizer with the following properties:

-8 channel polyphony to allow for multiple note presses
-2 Oscillators each capable of producing a Sine, Square, Triangle, and Sawtooth Wave
-Ability to add, subtract, multiply and low pass filter the two oscillators
-4 knobs to control the Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release(ADSR) time
-Interfaces with a midi keyboard control, with the ability to detects pressure of button press on key (i.e. loud for hard strike, quiet for soft strike)
-LCD menu and 3 buttons to scroll through and turn on and off functions.
-Tone shifter capable of shifting in Halftones from an octave below to and octave above the note pressed.
-Capable of playing 3 musical demos (“Canon in D”, “Fur Elise”, “Row Row Row You Boat’ Rounds)