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PaperSynth was developed as an introductory-level project for makers interested in learning about circuits, microcontrollers, programming and music synthesizers.

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Electronics, Arduino, physical computing, creative coding, papercraft, workshops


PaperSynth is a open-source hardware project for creating 8-bit synthesizers with ubiquitous craft materials. These include paper, copper foil tape, and inexpensive electronics components.

PaperSynth was designed as an introductory workshop in electronics. Through building it, students explore electronic circuit prototyping, coding in c++, and surface-mount soldering techniques.

In 2016, paperSynth kits were manufactured in conjunction with the S.N.A.G. Zoom Symposium. These kits were made available again in 2017 for workshop event during Maker Faire Milwaukee.

Read more about paperSynth on its open-source project website, here.

It uses low-cost electronics components such as the ATTINY85 IC, and ubiquitous construction materials such as paper, cardstock and copper foil.

PaperSynth can be assembled and programmed in less than two hours by a beginner. It features several synth modes, including percussion and a square wave instrument. 

Hardware kits were made available in 2016 and 2017. Blueprints, firmware and a bill of materials in still available at

A demonstration of each of the synth functions: Single mode, double mode, triads, four-note scales and percussion.

Workshop participants participating in a "jam session" after completing their paperSynth builds.

PaperSynth is compatible with LittleBits™. Their Korg Synthesizer components can extend the functionality of PaperSynth for research in analog and digital synthesis.

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