Create Digital Music has introduced the MeeBlip, a digital MIDI mono synthesizer designed by James Grahame of Reflex Audio and Retro Thing.
It’s designed to be affordable, hackable, and most of all, playable. It’s an open source hardware instrument, but it isn’t just for hackers. You can unpack it, do some very basic assembly of the complete kit, and be making sounds from a MIDI keyboard or other controller within minutes.
And if you are interested in hacking it, from simple modifications to reprogramming the sound, we’ll be putting up lots of resources that help you learn how to do that. That said, the reason we’re excited to have our own MeeBlips is simple: we have fun playing them.
Out of the box, a monophonic virtual analog synth.
Eight user-definable knobs and sixteen slide switches, for hands-on control with the immediacy of a classic monosynth.
Tasty digital synth sounds.
Use it as-is, or use the source code to remap controls or completely redefine the instrument’s architecture.
Available ready for simple, solder-free assembly with a case, or as a kit, all on a single board. Build your own, or make a different project with the MeeBlip sound engine.
8-bit digital brain.
4-pole active low-pass antialising filter.
Open source hardware. Modify anything, buy some kits and sell your own builds, or make new projects.
Complete kits ship with a custom front panel illustrated by Nathanael Jeanneret.
A MeeBlip Quick Build Kit (includes an assembled board, case, and everything you need – no soldering required) ships internationally for $129 USD. A full board kit and bare PC board (with programmed MCU and DAC) are also available at $79 and $39 USD respectively.
Justin Windle at Soulwire posted a nice particle node sequencer created in Flash using the Tonfall Audio Engine, the new open source AS3 audio engine produced by Andre Michelle.
This sequencer is based around physical nodes, which connect to produce a variety of tones. There are two types of node, a neuron and a receptor, which are connected by synapses (apologies for the trite analogies). Neurons fire periodically, and if within a certain proximity of a receptor, this message is sent at a fixed speed along the bridging synapse. When the message arrives, the receptor is activated and responds by queuing it’s individual tone within the audio engine. Each receptor owns a randomly assigned note, and each neuron a randomly assigned octave; therefor a receptor will play it’s note in several different octaves depending on which neuron causes it to fire.
The Particle Sequencer is available to download from Soulwire.
Open Music Labs has introduced MICrODEC, a new kit for an open source reprogrammable digital signal processor.
Have you ever been frustrated with the low audio quality you get when doing microcontroller audio stuff? Don’t get me wrong, the 1-bit groovebox has its place, as do all the fun 8-bit nintendo sounds; but what about a nice clean reverb? or sinewave generator? The MICrODEC is 16-bit, 44.1kHz, stereo, and can be anything from a guitar effects box to a nice piece of test equipment. With plenty of ins, outs, and what-have-yous, it can be converted into whatever your heart desires. Run MIDI into it and make a monophonic synthesizer, or use the 6 seconds of sample time to capture found sounds for a pseudo-convolver.
The MICrODEC has a high quality front end which can take microphones, guitars, or line level, and an output stage which can drive headphones (although we recommend the TLC074 opamp upgrade for this). It comes pre-programmed with 16 functions, from reverb and delays, to VCOs and pitch shifters. With the optional laser etched case, it makes a road-worthy addition to any musician’s arsenal.
MICrODEC is available to purchase in a Basic Kit (board w/ smt + through-hole parts) for $129 USD. Additional parts are available from the MICrODEC online store.
Togu Audio Line has released NoiseMaker, a free synthesizer instrument plug-in for Windows and Mac.
TAL-NoiseMaker is an improved version of TAL-Elek7ro and has a completely new synth engine and a lot of improvements in sound and usability. The synth also includes a small effect section with a reverb, chorus and a simple bit crusher effect.
A display shows the knob and slider values. This allows more control over the synth. A ringmodulator and a syncable triangle are also part of this synth. TAL-NoiseMaker includes new filter types as the self resonating 6dB low pass and a notch filter. Its improved amplitude ADSR is very suitable for slow pads as for really fast envelopes. 128 factory presets included, 80 made by Frank “Xenox” Neumann / Particular – Sound.
Osc 1, +- 24 semitones, fine tune, phase control (saw, pulse, noise).
Osc 2, +- 24 semitones, fine tune, phase control (saw, rectangle, triangle, sine).
Sub Osc (rectangle).
Osc 1 PM for pulse waveform.
Osc 2 FM controled by Osc 1.
Osc 1 & Osc 2 sync to sub osc (saw, pulse, rectangle, triangle(bipolar sync)).
Adjustable master tune and transpose.
Up to 6 voices.
Portamento in mono and poly mode (off, auto, on).
Ringmod modulates Osc 1 with Osc 2
Self resonating 4x oversampled filters (24 dB LP, 18 dB LP, 12 dB LP, 6 dB LP, 12 dB HP, 12 dB BP, Notch)
Filter ADSR (negative and positive)
Routable ADSR, modulates Filter, Osc 1, Osc 2, PW, FM (negative and positive)
2 LFO’s with different running modes: free, sync to host, triggered by note.
Teru Kamogashira has released version 2.5.4 of reverb impulse response processor Freeverb3.
Freeverb3 library includes high quality freeverb, nreverb, impulse response reverb, FIR filter constructor, band splitter, hardknee/softknee compressor, stereo enhancer and lookahead soft limiter. Oversampling feature provides high quality of audio processing. The compressor provides mastering quality audio processing. This library includes XMMS plugins, audacious plugins, BMP beep media player plugins and sample programs, which enable you to test the audio effects easily.
Changes in Freeverb3 v2.5.4
The new optimized SSE algorithm was added.
The new experimental SSE3 algorithm was added.
Some small structure changes were added.
The Freeverb3 library is available to download as open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
This is my MIDI piano instructor. This thing (top left in the picture) drives a bar of LEDs placed on top of a piano keyboard (electronic or regular). MIDI messages play a MIDI melody through the electronic piano or a MIDI box and also drive the MIDI piano instructor which turns on and off the LEDs according to the notes played.
The new episode of Electric Independence documents a rare look inside Devo’s studio. Mark Mothersbaugh himself gives us a tour through the space and shows us some of his favorite (and strangest) synths and circuit bending noisemakers. The guys even tell us some funny stories of their early Akron days, like the large girls (or “mother hens” as they like to call them) who would circle their equipment to warm it up before playing on those cold Ohio nights.
When the x0xb0x first came out in 2005 it was a exciting and unusual for a few reasons. First it was the first synth that really sounded like a TB-303, Second it was a Kit that you had to build yourself. Due to the cult status of the 303 a lot of musicians started getting into DIY just so they could get there hands on a x0xb0x. This was a boom to the DIY synthesizer community. After 5 years Adafruit has had a wildly successful run with the x0xb0x. Adafruit Industries shipped out 1,000 kits and there are countless others who self sourced there own. My goal is to keep the x0xb0x alive and relevant to the DIY community for years to come. We have an amazing project that was given to us by Adafruit Industries. I plan to keep the original spirit of sharing. In the coming months you will see more open source project’s that are derived from the x0xb0x but not necessary tb-303 related. Transistorize the World!
Or at least that’s the conclusion you might reach after watching a new Japanese campaign for Nike’s Free Run+ running shoes. Apparently wishing to tout the bendable qualities of its new footwear, Nike enlisted sound artists to transform its product into a musical instrument. The shoes get plugged in, switched on, and mixed up, battle-style, as they sense when the shoe is flexed or moved in space. And yes, everything you see in the video is real: the shoes really are controlling digital sound live. We even have the Max patch to prove it.
Transient shapers are processors that adjust the dynamics of a sound. Rather than changing the dynamic range like a compressor, transient shapers operate only on the initial onset of the sound – the transient. The initial smack of a drum. The plink of a piano. The pick of a guitar or bass. They don’t work with sounds that don’t have a sudden start, such as vocals, violins, or synth pads. Transient shapers can either bring out the transient – making it louder, sharper and more prominent. They can also reduce the transient – making it softer and duller.
The tricky aspect to consider here is that the psychoacoustic (perceived) effects of a transient shaper can be similar to those of other tools.
# Xdrum, a sample based rhythm composer for Native Instruments Reaktor 5.
Xdrum for Reaktor 5
It has 800 audio samples (75MB) from 49 vintage rhythm composers, and then 11 additional soundsets. Besides that it has around 92 preset classic and electronica preset patterns.
Fired up the ol' Roland Dimension D today, because I was working on a track that needed something different. It's the Omega 8 that you're hearing here – more specifically – I've selected certain patches that I think work well with any sort of chorus. No particular order here in terms of the SDD-320's setting. I used every combination possible, going from each individual number all the way to 1+2, 1+3, etc. etc.
This audio spectrum analyzer utilizes an ARM7 LPC2138 microcontroller to create an FFT algorithm while performing digital signal processing without the use of special DSP processor.
# NitroTracker, Fasttracker II style tracker for the Nintendo DS goes open source.
I’m very excited to announce that NitroTracker is now completely open source!
What does this mean? Well, for starters you can now have a look at the source code. More importantly, you can now help develop it! Together we can make the development of NitroTracker go faster (which would be a very good thing considering current development speed) and finally add long-awaited features I promised ages ago.
Peter Kirn takes a look at the future of multi-touch:
For a long time, technologists have described a world of in which computing experiences naturally incorporate touch and gesture. The question is, how do we bridge the intuitive desire for those interactions and the actual technologies that get us there?
Few activities test the expressive potential of interaction quite like music. It’s in our cultural DNA; musical activity may even predate written language. So it’s fitting that the story of touch in computing and digital music would be intertwined, as they are with touch pioneer JazzMutant. Years before well-known Apple products, the Lemur, prototyped in 2003 and shown as a musical multi-touch screen, suggested the importance of fusing display and touch, and of tracking more than a finger or two at a time.
The history, and products like Apple’s iPad and iPhone, you may know well, though. The question on everyone’s mind now is, what’s next? (And for some impatient futurists, the question may even be, what’s taking so long?)