Csound Blog: Touch-Tone DTMF Generator

The Csound Blog
Issue #13

Most people would never think of a touch-tone phone as being an additive synthesizer. Though it may be primitive, a phone does generate tones using two sine wave oscillators, which in my humble opinion, qualifies it as such.

However, I’m not here to debate the semantics of whether or not a phone is a synthesizer. Instead, I’m here to demonstrate how easy it is to emulate the sounds of the touch-tone phone.


  • DTMF
  • macros
  • additive

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Shinola Low-Pass

Shinola Low-Pass

“It works okay, I guess.”

I’ve recently taken a detour from the alien world of circuit-bending into the greater cosmos of electronics. And what better thing is there to do with my new found hobby than to build modules for my Doepfer Modular? If you answered “why nothing,” you deserve a cookie.

Shinola Low-Pass Inside

Inside the box

Above you’ll see the result of my entire Saturday, the Shinola Low-Pass. It is a simple, passive knob-controllable low-pass filter. Its constructed from an old GBA-SP box, two capacitors, wire, two 3.5mm jacks and a 50k potentiometer.

It works okay, I guess. I intentionally crowded the jacks and pot into the corner, giving me room to expand it’s functionality later. The cutoff only goes so low, which could have been fixed with higher capacitance capacitors. Still, not bad for a first try. Despite being mostly useless, I’m quite proud of it.