Super Simple Oscillator LED and load

I’m building a “half century” of 50 “Super Simple Oscillators” and I’ve read though the other threads on issues and problems with it (I discovered on my own that the transistor in the schematic was backwards but that’s an important find!) but I still have two questions:

  1. The LED does not actually do anything to the sound itself, correct? It’s just a pretty light as far as the circuit is concerned if I understand correctly. In my breadboarded versions nothings sounds very different even without the LED in the circuit.

  2. Loading: I presume there is a drop in signal is when attaching two oscillators’ output together. Then a similar drop with 4 oscillators, then 8, 16, 32, and 64. For the complete instrument that might not be intolerable, but it also might be better to have a buffer of some sort. Or are most people just putting all the oscillators together on the same bus and going into an amplifier from there?

Thanks!

1 Like

It’s drawn from the bottom. Emitter towards plus (see here).

The LED does not actually do anything to the sound itself, correct? It’s just a pretty light as far as the circuit is concerned if I understand correctly.

Well, it shows that the oscillator is oscillating. If the transistor doesn’t do anything, it won’t light up.

For the complete instrument that might not be intolerable, but it also might be better to have a buffer of some sort.

You can add a simple summing mixer, see e.g. here for a 6-input mixer that you can expand to any number of inputs (mute switches and potentiometers are optional, the 100k summing resistors are required).

1 Like

The LED isn’t needed to make the oscillator work, but it does drop some voltage so affects the oscillator pitch, I believe. You can try breadboarding with and without the LED to see what the effect is.

1 Like

I’m not really worried about anything other than unity gain between all the oscillators.

1 Like

First five oscillators work! https://youtu.be/cpKwU7R6qoI :wink:

2 Likes

:wink:

2 Likes