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Ribbon controllers are a great way to control a synth. They consist of a touch-sensitive strip that lets you control pitch continuously. The electrically conductive strip called ‘velostat’ that responds to changes in voltage or resistance caused by moving your finger along its surface. These changes in voltage can be applied to any number of voltage-controlled oscillators, filters or amplifiers in analog synthesizers.
The basic design of a ribbon controller is fairly simple. It acts as a linear potentiometer that generates different control voltages depending on where it is touched. Think of it as a rotary knob that has been unrolled”. You could also think of it as a striped down slide pot.
Making your own is pretty simple and you’ll only need a few parts to do it. I’ve also included a schematic for a small synth that I have made that will allow you to test and play the ribbon controller. I haven’t explored fully yet what it is capable of but I will definitely be including an output for all the synths i make going forward so I can plug this into them.”

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