Build and hack your own open-source MIDI synthesizer to take home
MeeBlip is a unique, fully open-source hardware synth with a
personality all its own, designed for everyone from first-time
hardware synth owners to people who want to get more advanced and
learn about modification. In this workshop, we'll assemble and start
using the MeeBlip micro.
The micro is a compact, affordable version of the board. It has no
knobs or switches, but it can be used with a computer for sequencing.
It's also small enough that it can be built into your own projects.
Unlike general-purpose hardware prototyping boards, though, you get
something that really sounds like a synthesizer right out of the box.
Like other MeeBlips, the micro is a monophonic 2-oscillator virtual
analog synth, capable of making traditional analog subtractive sounds
but also some crunchy digital timbres. It includes an antialiasing
4-pole resonant filter, LFO modulation, envelope controls, full 16-bit
sound, and digital distortion feature, and you can play it with any
MIDI input. You can use it as-is, or build your own projects and
modify the firmware to do what you like.
We'll solder and assemble the micro, then show how you can control it
with MIDI, how to make simple modifications to the firmware and upload
to the board, and how to connect and read sensors and inputs.
In the workshop you will learn:
How to solder together a MeeBlip micro (some previous experience with
soldering - even on a basic project - recommended)
The basics of how the circuit on the MeeBlip works
How AVR code powers the MeeBlip's synthesis
How to use MIDI to control synthesizer parameters and shape the synth's sound
How to use free tools to modify, compile, and upload your own firmware
code for the AVR microprocessor
How switches, pots, and sensors can be read as inputs on the synth
...and we'll make some music slash noises!
Keywords: synthesis, sound, music, Open Design, hardware, synthesizer,
AVR, programming, MIDI
What you should bring:
Laptop (Mac, Windows, or Linux)
A MIDI interface and cable (so you can connect your MeeBlip to a MIDI
source. A MIDI keyboard or iPad with MIDI will also work!)
All other equipment provided