We’re partnering with a company that specializes in quick-turn low tooling cost plastic enclosures, because we want to offer up flexibility for when you eventually want to make some changes to the synth and want a pretty way of packaging it up.
Currently, plastic injection is the best per-unit price, but then the design is fixed. We considered going with laser-cut acrylic, but a lot of people complain of this looking amateurish. As if being an amateur was anything besides exciting ;). We’re still going to use laser-cut acrylic for concept synths, low run, or just for making something fun.
This new approach, on the other hand, is a great compromise between wanting to make 10 of something, without needing a $7000+ mold. I’m really excited what this is opening up and I can’t wait to see what people do with the concept.
We’re still in the engineering phase, I’ll let you know how things look after we get a prototype. I’m really eager to start sharing videos, because this synth sounds amazing.
What I’m most excited about is working on the actual synth models. A couple weeks ago, we made a 16xN step sequencer. It featured four simultaneous 16-step sequencers, with the ability to scale to N number of sequences. It needs a lot more work to make jumping pages, copy, paste, edit, and all of the menu-sugar to make it lovable, but at this point you can save and load sequences, and in case I sound like a broken record, these synths sound great.
I’m not even doing anything that exotic. Simple sine oscillators with an ADSR filter, step-volume, step-pitch already give the synth some amazing sounds, especially when combined with polyphony. I can’t wait to hear it with more complex oscillator models.
After getting the basics of the step sequencer ready, we’ve started a beatbox, analog drum machine. Think of live drum pads with knobs to control and tune the instruments (which could be anything, sine, sax, strings, or I guess a snare, if you’re a slave to the rhythm).
We started with four osc polyphony and have been optimizing the code to eight channel simultaneous triggering. I’m not sure if we’ll get up to 16, but we’re going to make this module as small as possible, so you get as much room on the chip to add your own flair. We’ve got basic play and saving/loading working. After it’s optimized, we’ll be adding menu-sugar, but also a pattern mode where you can turn on and off notes for triggering. Live record / playback might require a hardware change, but we might be able to squeeze that much functionality into the system. We should at least be able to shoehorn in a rigid 16 step recording function.
PCB1003 Piano update
The new PCB is in, parts are soldered on and we will be testing shortly. We had to break bit order (Pad0-Bit0) in order to get the signals far enough away from each other, so we shall see if physics has prevailed!
Pricing / Ordering / Shipdate
We are postponing pricing to April 15th, and ordering until May 15th. We’re likely to be able to start shipping out before then, but