My current most useful or inspirational books

Just some of the many books I’m fond of.
There are many more. These days mostly in ebook or PDF format on a tablet but nothing beats being able to scribble in a margin.
Shown here are;

  • Loadbang. A hardcopy of Johannes Kreidler’s online manual for pure data.
  • Handmade Electronic Music by Nicolas Collins (an absolute bible for DIY sound making)
  • Arduino for Musicians by Brent Edstrom (everything, and I do mean everything you need to make music with Arduino or Teensy mcu all laid out in a great learning format)
  • Teach yourself electronics by Malcolm Plant. (Electronics explained in excruciating detail and at times overly complex…until you get stuck and it’s all there)
  • IC 555 projects by E.A.Parr (my late 70’s goldmine - I was very late discovering Forrest Mimms)
  • Make: Analog Synthesizers. (Testament to the sheer brilliance of Ray Wilson. You need this)
  • D.I.Y. Projects for guitarists by Craig Anderton (one of several guitar/amp electronic books I own. Some so old the parts no longer exist. But unlike web site repositories the projects are “verified” and generally reliable)
    So, a few to start with. What’s on your shelf?

This is my collection right now. Slowly growing. Just got R.M marston Integrated circuit and waveform generator Hand Book.


I love the Make: Analog Synthesizers! Got a copy a while ago together with one on
electronics. They’ re very playful but clear and well explained, highly recommended!


I read through the sample that you can get on the Kindle, but the sample stops somewhere in the tools needed section.
From the summary:

With this book, you’ll learn:

  • The differences between analog and digital synthesizers
  • Analog synthesizer building blocks, including VCOs, VCFs, VCAs, and LFOs
  • How to tool up for synth-DIY, including electronic instruments and suggestions for home-made equipment
  • Foundational circuits for amplification, biasing, and signal mixing
  • How to work with the MFOS Noise Toaster kit
  • Setting up a synth-DIY electronic music studio on a budget

My goal is to learn specifically about synth circuits and I’m not sure it will be useful to me:

  • I know the different parts of a synth
  • I know how to solder
  • I know how to use my PC as a music studio

Do you think I’d still get something out of this book?

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I know I did. Many of the fundamental modular circuits are there.

Thanks, I’ll give it a try then.
Handmade Electronic Music is “only” 24€ (Kindle) on or fr, maybe I’ll try that too

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Handmade electronic music is another brilliant book. Loads of background and stuffed with circuits to try. I have both. (Plus several others)

My current three favs are;

Ignition! An informal history of liquid rocket propellants
Alastair Reynolds: Revelation space
‘Welcome’ Photographic calculator handbook and diary 1931.

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I used to have to ditch my dad at the Edinburgh central library to go peek and take notes from that wonderful book. Such tomes of disaster were banned by my parents after such minor incidents as the shed that blew up all by itself, the 2 meter hole in the garage roof that appeared all by itself and the toffee rocket bicycle vs police car collision that appeared … to be totally my fault. Read more in my never to be published “Pyro Diary ages 6-10”


Really glad I searched in the forum for ‘‘books’’.

I started my diy/electronics maybe a year ago and had then very basic knowledge. Now I can say I started to understand quite a lot more. Yet now its also the moment I felt the need of a next step, more proper learning than internet surfing.

Great to double check my wish-listed Make Analog Synth, Project for Guitarists, Arduino for Musicians !
And great new additional books i didn’t know about. Hopefully findable on Abebooks.

Does anyone have an opinion on the following?

Complete Electronics Self-Teaching Guide with Projects
Earl Boysen & Harry-Kybett


Make: Electronics, 2e
Charles Platt

Not so much a book but great reading/inspiration/coffee table fillers - I read a lot of Hackspace magazine from the folks at Raspberry Pi. Each issue is available for free download at

There’s an issue on synths somewhere where I first discovered modular/Sam.

I got a bunch of good old books from my gf’s dad a while back =)

Ive not built anything out of them yet but full of good projects. Got a bunch more at Gfs patents too.


Do you keep them locked in a safe?




I do now! O_o holy crap!

Who needs bitcoin anyway? Im all about vintage papers of vintage silicon.
Ill post up the many others… will trade for 3 Bitcoin. (Though not actually)

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And the other bunch =) got a lot to get through here since im not much of a ‘reader’


Ow ow ow - someone has a goldmine …
Maybe share some good finds from those :pleading_face:

@lookmumnocomputer do you have any (besides the ton of magazines) ? and will there be a tiny library place to consult such stuff in the museum ? :face_with_monocle:


hey up!! alas I dont have any of those actually! I have a few books here and there, I have em in a book case with the magazines I have. and yeah obviously if someone wants to have a browse im sure itll be fine! to be honest I need to gauge how the first season goes wether its going to just be in the museum or behind key, need to gauge how many plonkers are out and about hahaha

plus a lot of the old mags have not fared super well over time, pretty fragile so yeah pretty sure they will be an ask about em, and wee can pull out a few to peruse kinda thingy.


You could always get a few select copies reprinted by a commercial printer from the PDFs available online. Then you could sell them/have them for people to take away with them(not sure about copyright etc there though).

So far ive only really gone through the 555 and the speaker enclosure book just to see what there was.
I keep meaning to go through the filters one =)

Ill post anything I make im sure =D


I was about to joke about all of them being written by R. A. Penfold who wrote a book every week or something, but seems most of them are written by B. B. Babani whose publishing company is still around (well, they last updated their twitter in 2018 so only moderately active, I guess).

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