SAR-D1 FREQUENCY MODULATED SYNTHESIZER

Innovation and ease on a new generation of synthesizers. 

Welcome to SAR-D1’s official website. We’re here to offer you a comprehensive interactive site to our digital synthesizer. 

 

THE COMPONENTS

  • FPGA Development Board: Used for Signal Generation and Signal Modulation

  • Digital to Analog Converter

  • MIDI Keyboard with 5-din connector

  • Modular pieces

  • Simple hardware interface

  • Arduino controlled memory bank

  • Fifth order low pass filter

  • Compact design and inexpensive components

 

SAR-D1 FREQUENCY MODULATED SYNTHESIZER

The Inspiration

Starting in September of 2019, SAR-D1 was formed to create a new generation of synthesizers. Today’s synthesizer market is saturated with very complex and very expensive equipment. Modern synthesizers can reach prices of upwards of $1,000. Our goal is to design a digital synthesizer that has all the capabilities of a modern synthesizer. 

This year-long project is a manifestation of our efforts to break down financial and comprehension barriers in the music production industry: the access to synthesizers. We understood that this goal neatly aligned with our career goals and our outside interests, by incorporating rich software and hardware design, as well as a delving into frequency manipulation, in conjunction to our love of music. 

Sleek, easy to use, and portable, this inexpensive digital synthesizer is a great tool for beginners and for experienced musicians. We hope this website can illustrate the features, facets, and design of our product.

 
 
fpga block diagram.jpg

FPGA DESIGN

The internal structure of the FPGA, what shapes the sound.

SAR-D1 FREQUENCY MODULATED SYNTHESIZER TIMELINE

A guide to how this project came to fruition

 
Code on Laptop Computer

FALL SEMESTER 2019

The Inception of the Portable Synth

SAR-D1 is a team of two electrical and one computer engineer, who all have a passion for music production and electronic creativity. 

The project concept was to create a financially viable and easily understandable synthesizer. From the practical standpoint of our coursework, we had to maintain our academic rigor in forming, from the ground up, a functioning, economical, and easy to reproduce plan for this.


The initial stages took many management and business tactics to problem solve issues, but by using managerial techniques from the industry, and by parsing out the research and development efforts amongst the group, we deftly crafted and tested the foundation and modular units for this digital synthesizer.

SPRING SEMESTER 2020

The Hands on and the Hardware

Spring semester brought forth new challenges, bringing the designs and simulations to life. The team ran into some roadblocks but solved them with relative ease. The FPGA was done being tested, the models for the Printed Circuit Board filter were working, and the Arduino had been debugged. All that was left was to create a housing unit and attach some hardware connections, such as a 5-Pin DIN, power ports, and buttons.

Recording Equipment
COVID.jpg

MOVING FORWARD FROM COVID-19

A New Online Workspace

The closure of schools across the nation in March due to the novel coronavirus caused efforts to be temporary halted for the SAR-D1 team. But even as the COVID-19 roadblock wedged its way in between our face-to-face meetings, we regrouped online and across the state of California to individually craft and hone our unique parts of the project. The inherent resilience and commitment of the group was apparent as we have worked around the social isolation problem to provide digital simulations and models of how our individual portions would fit together.

WHERE WE GO FROM HERE

The Future of the SAR-D1 Synthesizer

Due to the inevitable online-only nature of the end of this semester, the end of our team's efforts on this synthesizer result in more simulations than complete hardware. But the hardware foundation is there. The software foundation is there. We are excited to share just how far we have come in crafting this device, and we hope in the more distant future, this project can be built upon by future Senior Design students, to elevate it to levels we have yet to imagine.

SYNTH.jpg
Electronic Circuit

GET IN TOUCH

E 217 Engineering Building, San Diego State University, 6621 Montezuma Rd, San Diego, CA 92115

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