Bloggers Peter Kirn and James Grahame have come up with the MeeBlip, an open source virtual analog monophonic synthesizer. How can a hardware synthesizer be a community thing? For starters you have to put it together. No soldering required but you still have to put the stuff into the enclosure. The whole idea is that the story doesn’t end when you get the synthesizer. It’s a community synth, meaning that you get help from the Create Digital Music and the Noisepages communities to use and alter the MeeBlip and create new instruments or music projects based on it.
There are some problems though, like the fact that there is no way to power the synthesizer from batteries. You need a USB cable for that to either power it from a computer or from a USB wall wart. There is however a DIY kit available which apparently let’s you put other sockets on the MeeBlip, such as a standard 9V power jack. Of course this means a lot of soldering and all that.
The DIY version will set you back $79 while the basic kit will cost you $129.
- Virtual analog monosynth running on an Atmega32A microcontroller at 16 MHz
- Dual digital oscillators with filter, LFO, ADSR envelope, FM (Frequency Modulation) and distortion
- 2-pole resonant low pass filter in software (with high-pass mode)
- DDS (“Direct Digital Synthesizer“) oscillator waveforms (sawtooth / square / noise) at 40 kHz sample rate
- Dual 8-bit weighted DAC audio output (approximates a 16-bit parallel DAC)
- 8 potentiometers for continuous input (bank shift function allows two parameters per pot)
- 16 software-defined parameter switches
- 4-pole active lowpass anti-aliasing filter
- Opto-isolated MIDI input
- USB power connector (optional USB wall wart available)
The DIY board version adds:
- Sockets for 1/4″ or 1/8″ audio output jacks
- Sockets for 5VDC USB or 9VDC power jacks
- On-board headers for external switches, potentiometers/sliders, MIDI jack, 5V or 9V power, audio jacks.