Complex Sound Generator IC is Back

Versatile sound effects generator chip is back in stock

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After nearly a 30-year absence from the hobby electronics market, the Texas Instruments SN76477N Complex Sound Generator IC is now for sale at BG Micro. It’s just like 1973 all over again. Bomb blasts, propeller sounds, snare drums, and sci-fi sound effects will all be back in vogue with the return of this super synthesizer chip.

Move over Monome: with just a fist-full of resistors, capacitors, potentiometers, and switches, the SN76477N can produce sounds that a microcontroller could only dream about. Featuring a super low-frequency oscillator, voltage-controlled oscillator, noise generator, and a mixer all on the same chip, the SN76477N can easily outpace most microcontroller-based synthesizers. Throw in a simple 9V power source and you’re talkin’ about a portable synth that can plug into any amp for some serious sound-makin’.

Thoughtfully, BG Micro has unearthed a nifty compilation of circuit data for the SN76477N and glued everything together into one tidy PDF. They even somehow managed to include a clipping from a Forrest M. Mims III engineering notebook featuring the SN76477N. That clipping alone is worth experimenting with this venerable sound generator chip.

Unbelievably, BG Micro is selling this chip for only $8.99. That’s a steal. But wait: there’s more. While you’re loadin’ up on SN76477Ns, take a look at these other components for buildin’ an awesome sound effects synthesizer (we’ll be makin’ our own synth soon — stay tuned):

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the BG Micro tinyCylon Kit for $9.95. This kit is designed by Dale Wheat. And it is sweet. Why waste your valuable circuit design time on blinky lights when Dale Wheat has got you covered with this fab kit? Just add 3 AAA batteries and you can have a sophisticated LED light show without knowing a lick about C programming.

Now if only someone would reintroduce the 3909 LED flasher/oscillator analog IC, we really will be living on Mars.