How to Hack Your Wired Heart: A DIY Guide to Making a Synth-Wave Synthesizer
If you love synth-wave music and DIY electronics, you might want to check out the Wired Heart, a heart-shaped synthesizer that uses six Schmitt trigger oscillators and touch sensors to create retro-futuristic sounds. The Wired Heart was originally designed by tobi tubbutec as a companion to a special edition synth-wave record by Hyboid, but you can also make your own version with some basic components and a soldering iron.
In this article, we will show you how to hack your wired heart and customize it with your own sensors, LEDs, potentiometers and more. You will learn how the circuit works, how to modify it and how to play with it. Let's get started!
What You Need
To make your own Wired Heart, you will need the following components:
A 74HCT14 hex inverting Schmitt trigger chip
A 9V battery and a battery holder
A 3.5mm stereo jack
A speaker or headphones
Six 100k ohm resistors
Six 10nF capacitors
Eight gold touch pads or coins
Some wires and a breadboard
A heart-shaped PCB (optional)
Some extra components for experimentation (such as LEDs, photoresistors, potentiometers, etc.)
How It Works
The Wired Heart is based on the principle of Schmitt trigger oscillators, which are simple circuits that produce square waves of different frequencies depending on the values of resistors and capacitors connected to them. The 74HCT14 chip has six such oscillators inside, each with an input and an output pin. By connecting a resistor and a capacitor between the input and ground, you can set the frequency of the oscillator. By connecting the output to a speaker or headphones, you can hear the sound.
The fun part comes when you add touch sensors to the circuit. By connecting a touch pad or a coin to the input of an oscillator, you can change the frequency by touching it with your finger or a conductive object. This creates a pitch-bend effect that adds expression to your sound. You can also connect two or more touch pads in series or parallel to create different combinations of sounds.
The Wired Heart has eight touch pads arranged in two rows of four. The top row controls four oscillators that are hard-synced to each other, meaning that one oscillator resets the others when it reaches its peak voltage. This creates a harmonic relationship between the sounds and makes them sound more musical. The bottom row controls two independent oscillators that are not synced to anything. This adds some randomness and noise to the mix.
How to Make It
To make your own Wired Heart, you can follow these steps:
Solder the 74HCT14 chip to the heart-shaped PCB or place it on a breadboard.
Connect the VCC pin (pin 14) of the chip to the positive terminal of the battery holder and the GND pin (pin 7) to the negative terminal.
Connect the 3.5mm stereo jack to the output pins (pins 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12) of the chip using six wires. The tip of the jack should be connected to pins 2 and 4, the ring to pins 6 and 8, and the sleeve to pins 10 and 12.
Connect six 100k ohm resistors between the input pins (pins 1, 3, 5, 9, 11 and 13) of the chip and ground.
Connect six 10nF capacitors between the input pins of the chip and ground.
Solder or tape eight gold touch pads or coins to eight wires and connect them to the input pins of the chip as follows: pin 1 - pad A1, pin 3 - pad A2, pin 5 - pad A3 ec8f644aee