Sound Lab ULTIMATE Home
Article by Ray Wilson
This is an advanced project and I do not recommend it to beginning electronics or synth-diy enthusiasts. You need advanced trouble shooting skills and equipment. Without a good oscilloscope, DVM, bench power supply with current limited output you will not be able to trouble shoot the circuit should you run into a problem. This project is about 3 times more difficult than the Sound Lab Mini-Synth. If you have successfully built that and found it almost too easy then I would estimate that you have the necessary skills to successfully complete this project. It is assumed that you will know how to provide a bipolar power supply for the project that delivers +/-12 volts with capacity to deliver at least 200 to 300 mA. The circuit draws between 90 and 100 mA but the 200% to 300% current capacity padding is always a good idea. The MFOS Wall Wart supply using LM7812 and LM7912 would be a good choice but the power supply is left to the discretion of the builder.

Prototype board support page: ULTIMATE_PROTOTYPE_PCB

The MFOS Sound Lab ULTIMATE is simply put, one of the coolest things you will ever build with your own two hands. If you've always wanted to build your own analog electronic music synthesizer, the MFOS Sound Lab ULTIMATE may well be exactly what you've been waiting for. The MFOS Sound Lab ULTIMATE is the completely new single board mono-synth from MFOS with the sickest set of features you'll find on one PC board:

  • Three Musically Accurate VCOs (sawtooth and variable width rectangular wave forms, pulse width modulation, hard-sync, log and linear CV inputs)
  • VCOs provide plenty of tracking range. Listen to the samples below.
  • White Noise Generator
  • Active Mixer (for VCOs, noise and external input)
  • Voltage Controlled LP Filter (12db/Oct doubles as a sine wave oscillator)
  • Voltage Controlled Amplifier (log response)
  • Attack Release Envelope Generator
  • Two Low Frequency Oscillators (square, ramp, tri and sawtooth waveforms)
  • Repeat Gate Generator (doubles as another square wave LFO)
  • Sample & Hold (with variable sample rate and glide)
  • Attenuator Bank (for an infinite variety of modulation patches)
  • Patch Panel Design (provides infinitely variable combinations of sounds)
  • Professionally machined panels and PC Boards available from MFOS
  • Sound Lab ULTIMATE "Expander" also available for added flexibility.

Picture yourself playing the new "Sound Lab ULTIMATE". This is Debra laying down some tracks.
These samples demonstrate the musical accuracy of the Sound Lab ULTIMATE. Of course it can go way into the realm of space music, performance art, sound effects, whatever you can imagine with it's flexible patch cord front panel and general purpose attenuators. The only effect added is reverb to sweeten the mix.
Original Star Trek Theme by Gene Roddenberry and Alexander Courage
Star Trek Next Generation Theme by Alexander Courage, Gene Roddenberry and Jerry Goldsmith
Minuet For Clavichord by Jean Philippe Rameau
Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Harold Arlen (Karaoke Track and Sound Lab ULTIMATE)
Vagabond's Song by Bela Bartok
Whatever your musical goals the MFOS Sound Lab ULTIMATE can help you achieve them. Whether you're mastering music production, sound effects, or performance art the MFOS Sound Lab ULTIMATE is sure to become one of the most versatile tools in your bag (and people will freak when you tell them you built it yourself). Whether you are an avid synth-diy hobbyist or a senior level electrical engineering student you will find this a very satisfying project (can you spell MAJOR EXTRA CREDIT). Perhaps your university's music department and engineering department can team up to add a totally cool piece of analog synth gear to the electronic music lab. DIYers, this project could become the heart of your very own hand made analog synthesizer. Two of these babies and who knows what could happen. Take the "ULTIMATE" step into synth-diy.