Free Build Your Own Synthesiser kit (only available to children in Cornwall)


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SKU: BYO-001 Category: Tags: ,


We are delighted to offer children (aged 9-16) in Cornwall a FREE Build Your Own Synthesiser kit. This is thanks to support from Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery, and with donations from Rapid Electronics and kind pledges to our crowdfunding campaign,

A synthesiser is an electronic musical instrument that creates sound. A keyboard is a type of synthesiser which is controlled by a set of keys. The synthesiser in this kit is not controlled by a keyboard, but instead by a dial, and plays one note at a time that goes up or down in in pitch when the dial is turned. It is a ‘square wave oscillator’. We are also including a set of components which the oscillator will feed into to make some other cool sounds, and some components that can modify the sound of the instrument.

Using an electronic breadboard (a prototyping board that requires no soldering), children will begin by building a square wave oscillator’, and then be able to have a go at building a simple drum sequencer and a sub-harmonic generator (this adds lower octaves to the note produced by the square wave oscillator).

An amplifier will be pre-built on the breadboard, and a speaker will provided ready to attach. We will be providing tutorials for building or personalising the synthesiser.

You will need your own 9V battery.

You can choose to pick up your order, or for it to be posted to you (posting may cause part of the amplifier to fall off). It may take up to two weeks for us to have your order for collection or posting.

This fun kit is available for children from 9-16 living in Cornwall. We will not be able to post kits to anyone without a Cornwall postcode. You can only order one kit at a time, however we welcome families to make more than one order for more than one child.

Please note that the product requires assembly (other than the amplifier), and that while building with electronics is fun, it can be fiddly and requires some patience. There are a number of reasons it might not work the first time you make it: static electricity damaging the microchips; dead battery; attaching the battery wires the wrong way round or to the wrong parts of the breadboard; putting components in the wrong place; not connecting all wires; working on the circuit while the battery is connected; putting components the wrong way round. Electronics can be fiddly and requires a little bit of patience. You might want to make this with an adult, and we recommend reading the tutorials through first to understand how it will work (particularly the breadboard and the microchips), practicing by building different variations of the oscillator before advancing to the drum sequencer / subharmonic generator.

If you have tried to get it working and are stuck, you are welcome to contact us, however we might not have the capacity to respond to everyone quickly. Without being there in person, it may be hard to help. Before contacting us, please make sure you have checked the tutorials and troubleshooting, and rebuilt it (this is good practice anyway!). If you contact us, please include a photo of the breadboard, and what you think the issue is.

This kit has small loose parts – please keep it away from small children or pets. If there are small children or pets in the house, please use a tray on a flat surface to build on, and loose components in a container with a lid, so that loose parts don’t fall on the floor or surface. Only use a 9V battery, do not attach to a mains.

Additional information

Weight 0.2 kg
Dimensions 11 × 7 × 7 cm


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