NAND-Gate Oscillator Synth

Posted on April 28th, 2012

While casually searching for simple oscillator designs, I came across this design. It’s just a simple NAND-gate! It couldn’t get any simpler than that :)

There are other simple designs: 555 Timer Oscillator, Twin-T network, Wien bridge oscillator and the perhaps simplest, just 1/6th of a 40106 Hex inverting Schmitt trigger.

Since I didn’t have any 40106 chips laying around, but did have some logic gates, I decided to make a small noise maker based around a 4011 Quad Nand Gate…

Behold, the NANDSynth:

At first it was surprisingly glitchy, but after a few adjustments, it stabilized and produced a steady oscillation. But how fun is that? I spent the next few hours just poking around with capacitors, LED’s, resistors and wires… Not knowing what you’re doing is half the fun :)

Anyways, I wrapped it all up in a little cardboard box and called it NANDSynth..

And this is how it sounds with a huge reverb and some delay
(because honestly, it sounds annoying as hell on its own)