The Mega Percussion Synth.

  • Circuit designed by Thomas Henry (of Nuts & Volts monthly)
  • Fully analog design
  • +/- 15VDC operation


Thomas Henry is a legend in the DIY synthesizer community. Thomas’ has been designing synthesizers for well over 40 years. I doubt there is a DIY modular anywhere that does not contain at least one TH VCO, VCF or circuit board. A few years back, Thomas designed a kick ass percussion synth and the printed circuit board can be had for about $15. All you have to do is source the components and solder it up and you can also build this fabulous sound machine.The MPS can produce percussions sounds anywhere from a kick drum, snare and tom to a triangle, clap, wood block and even a cowbell. For more information, check out Scott Stites page “Birth of a Synth” for the original project of this synth.

For this build, I wanted it to look like something somewhat dangerous, almost like the top of a missile firing button. Hell, a cowbell can be damn well dangerous to any rock musician’s career… images of Christopher Walken ( The box was a beat up thing that had a mirror in it. The panel is made from 1/16″ sheet aluminum and covered with a vinyl sticker that I had printed locally for $7 to provide the artwork.

The build is fairly straight forward, and did not require much debugging to get the sounds I wanted. Components are all easy to find and there is also tons of room for experimentation through changing capacitor and pot values. For the latest build notes, mods and additions, check out the forum at electro-music:

  • MPS-1
  • MPS-3
  • MPS-6