Drum Synth Kit Tutorial

Thanks for purchasing our Drum Synth kit! Before we begin, let's do an inventory. Your kit should include:

  • A circuit board
  • Three Chips:
    • LM324 Op Amp (14 Pin)
    • CD 4046 Voltage Controlled Oscillator (16 Pin)
    • LM386 Amplifier (8 Pin)
  • 10 Resistors:
    • 1x 10 ohm resistor (brown-black-black)
    • 3x 1K resistors (brown-black-red)
    • 1x 10k resistor (brown-black-orange)
    • 1x 22k resistor (red-red-orange)
    • 1x 820k resistor (the blue one, grey-red-black-orange)
    • 1x 100k resistor (brown-black-yellow)
    • 1x 330k resistor (orange-orange-yellow)
    • 1x 1M resistor (brown-black-green)
  • 6 Ceramic Capacitors (little yellow ones, 0.1 uF)
  • 3 Electrolytic Capacitors (these look identical except for the value):
    • 1x 4.7 uF
    • 1x 10 uF
    • 1x 220 uF
  • 3 Diodes (note the black stripe on one side)
  • 1 Transistor
  • 1 LED
  • 1 On/Off Switch
  • 3 Potentiometers (Knobs)
  • 2 Input/Output Jacks
  • 1 Speaker
  • 1 Battery Clip
  • 1 Battery
  • 1 Piezo Disk
  • Tools you'll need:
    • Soldering Iron
    • Solder
    • Diagonal Cutters (simple wire cutters will also be okay)

If you've got all that, we're ready to go!

Step 1

Let's start with the chips. Take note of the orientation! Be sure the notch (or dot) on the chip is aligned with the silkscreen on the board. The LM324 should be facing to the right, and the CD4046 and LM386 are facing to the left. Triple check before you solder! These are hard to undo.

Step 2

Next, the resistors. Take the 10-ohm resistor (brown-black-black) and bend the legs. Insert it into the holes labeled "10." On the backside, solder each leg and clip off the excess. It doesn't matter which orientation you place the resistors.

Step 3

Now solder the three 1K resistors (brown-black-red) shown here.

Step 4

Solder the 10k resistor (brown-black-orange).

Step 5

Solder the 22k resistor (red-red-orange).

Step 6

Solder the 820k resistor (grey-red-yellow). 

Step 7

Solder the 100k resistor (brown-black-yellow).

Step 8

Solder the 330k resistor (orange-orange-yellow).

Step 9

Solder the 1M resistor (brown-black-green).

Step 10

Now let's move on to capacitors. There should be 6 small yellow ceramic capacitors. For these, again, orientation doesn't matter. Solder them into the rectangles labeled 0.1 uF.

Step 11

Take a look at the 4.7uF electrolytic capacitor - notice the grey stripe? This capacitor is polarized. Be sure to orient this stripe above the negative (-) sign on the round hole. Solder it in place.

Step 12

Repeat for the 10 uF capacitor. Be mindful of orientation.

Step 13

Repeat for the 220 uF capacitor. This is actually labeled "250 uF" on the board mistakenly.

Step 14

Take a look at the small 1N4148 orange diodes. These look like resistors, but have a small black stripe on one side. This stripe must align with the stripe on the silkscreen. See photo for reference.

Step 15

Solder the transistor. This has a flat side and a round side, which is reflected on the silkscreen.

Step 16

Solder the LED. The LED has a short leg and a long leg. The short leg is oriented toward the left side of the board, on the flat side of the silkscreen.

Step 17

Solder the power switch. Orientation does not matter, but it's tricky to keep it in place. You may want to tape it on the top side while you solder.

Step 18

Solder the DC power jack to the board.

Step 19

Solder the three potentiometers. These all have different values, so be sure to match them to their correct placements.

Step 20

Solder the two input/output jacks.

Step 21

Solder the speaker. Orientation doesn't matter.

Step 22

Flip the board over and examine your solder joints. Are any of them touching? If so, use your iron to melt the joint and separate them. You should not be able to see the copper pad underneath the solder. If you can, re-melt the joint.

Solder the battery clip to the board, black is ground and red gets power.

Step 23

Piezo Transducers are amazing components. There is a small layer of crystal attached to a thin layer of copper. When the crystal is vibrated, it produces a small amount of voltage. Using this in conjunction with our DrumSynth, you can make any surface an electronic drum.

Solder the Piezo to the board, black is ground and red gets power.