OK, folks, let's get started! Welcome to the first Hack Chat of 2019. Looks like we have a good turnout for Matt Bradshaw, who's here to discuss all things open-source synthesizer.
@Matt Bradshaw, can you give us a little bit of your background?
Sure - I have a degree in physics, but then spent quite a few years as a web developer. I've always played in bands and enjoyed music technology, so it was natural to merge my music interests with my programming interests. This led my to Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Teensy projects, and my last few projects have all been based around Teensy audio.
So I now make digital musical instruments, often with the aim of using them in my band (Robot Swans).
Great, thanks. That actually ties right into the first question, from Andrew Bakhit: why did you go with a Teensy for your PolyMod project?
Actually, the full question was: "For your PolyMod project, why the choice to use a Teensy to detect modules and cables to set module configuration? This seems it would result in less hardware but in much more coding"
And for anyone who hasn't seen the PolyMod: https://hackaday.io/project/160626-polymod-modular-digital-synthesizer
It is a common thing to trade off between hardware and software.
But once I realised the Teensy could actually do everything, I switched to using that, because I really liked the idea of building an instrument that didn't require a PC
Okay, so when I say "detect connection", here's what I mean:
I think thats cool man !
and web api!
In a regular analog modular synth, the audio flows from one module to another, as actual, analog audio (or control voltages). I really liked the idea of creating a signal chain in this way, but I wanted to do it virtually
So, I built a physical synth that looks very similar to an analog modular synth, and you still connect the modules to each other with physical cables
(3.5mm patch cables)
But instead of audio flowing down the cables, it's just a sort of matrix, where the Arduino or Teensy sends a "test voltage" to each module in turn, and then "listens" for that test voltage from each module in turn
Ah, ok - just about to ask what's on the patch cables. That's pretty neat!
At one point I had hoped to make the project as an interface to VCV Rack
(Open source modular software synth)
But a) I really wanted the whole instrument to exist in a single box without a PC and b) I didn't have the right skills :)
Interesting approach, would it be possible to make this anyhow interoperable with other synths built like this, or even with separate modules?
Or is the whole "patch" on principle contained within the one box / synth?
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