Oskitone and OKAY synth at Maker Faire

We are big fans of the OKAY 2 Monophonic Synth Kit and we were excited to see the creator, Tommy at Maker Faire Bay Area 2018.  From the Oskitone newsletter:

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I spent last weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area, an annual event put on by the people behind Make Magazine. My exhibit stall was in between the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the US Patent Office — pretty legit! I had synths out for people to play, gave demos and motivational speeches to kids, traded stickers for email addresses, and had some really great conversations with people.

Over three days, I talked to maybe 500 folks (+/- 100), which is a lot for an introvert! It was exhausting but incredible. I think I’m still processing it.

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I met so many cool people… Makers, musicians, kids, parents, students, teachers, industrial designers, engineers, manufacturers, writers, editors, etc etc!

  • I was happy to find a lesson outside electronics for the younger visitors: the piano keys on the OKAY 2 are actually levers — a mechanical “simple machine” already familiar to a lot of students. It was fun watching it “click” in their minds that the further back they tried to press the key, the more energy it required. (I also noticed a greater appreciation in parents for a more palatable educational takeaway, so I think they liked it too.)

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Evil Mad Scientist stopped by with a 555 recreated with discrete components and swapped it out for the 555 timer in the OKAY 2. It was such a great, uneventful demo. “What will it do?” “Exactly the same thing.” Awesome!

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I got closer to perfecting my marketing. What started as a 5min dissertation talk on Friday became a 30sec elevator pitch by Sunday, saving my throat while seemingly having no negative sales effect. I may write a blog post on this.

There is no greater stress test for a physical product than 100 kids with candy smeared on their faces banging on it. I was relieved that the synths mostly stood up to the fatigue, but, of course, there’s room for improvement, which I now have a good idea on how to design. Thanks, kids! 🙂

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Oskitone and OKAY synth at Maker Faire

Miasma: Classic Dual Voice Eurorack Synthesizer Module

Miasma is a pure analog oscillator module based on the Curtis CEM3340 chips used in legendary ’80s synths, with new & innovative signal patching:Screenshot from 2018-02-17 12-51-02.png

Miasma: Classic Dual Voice Eurorack Synthesizer Module

We designed the Miasma Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) to bring that classic ’80s synthesizer sound back to Eurorack modular systems. We just couldn’t find any currently available oscillators with the sound textures and capabilities that we wanted, so we had to design our own; and now you get to own one as well.  

There are many unique capabilities built into Miasma that you won’t find in any other oscillator module, like the built-in patching and cross modulation structures that make Miasma so flexible in your rack. However, it’s all about the sound – so let’s start with some Miasma audio samples, before we go into the technical details of how we make that sound possible (best listening with Headphones!)

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Miasma: Classic Dual Voice Eurorack Synthesizer Module

OKAY 2 Monophonic Synth Kit

 writes on the Tindie blog:

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OKAY 2 Monophonic Synth Kit

Take a look at Tindie’s thriving sound section and you’ll see there is no shortage of people making their own electronic music. These devices take many forms, and one interesting take on sound creation is the OKAY 2 Synth DIY Kit. At face value it features 2 octaves of keys, a built-in amplifier along with a 1/4″ line out, and knobs to select the octaves that you’d like to play — but it gets more interesting under the hood.

Oskitone OKAY 2 from oskitone on Vimeo.

What makes it unique by today’s standards is that it doesn’t use any sort of computer or microcontroller, but instead produces sound using an LM555 timer along with other discreet components for monophonic sound. Given its small size, you could use two at once, perhaps combining them via the line out to be further modified in your synth setup!

In case you’re wondering, the original—or nearly so as it’s version 1.1.1—OKAY is also available. It works largely the same as the OKAY 2, but features only a single octave of keys, and doesn’t have an audio output jack.

OKAY 2 Monophonic Synth Kit

ADSR Envelope Generator Module

 

What’s an ADSR envelope generator? If you are a big music hacker, you probably know. If you are like the rest of us, you might need to read [Mich’s] post to find out that it is an attack-decay-sustain-release (ADSR) envelope generator. Still confused? It is a circuit used in music synthesis. You can see a…

via The Sound of (Synthesized) Music — Hackaday

ADSR Envelope Generator Module

555 Piano

Alexander Ryzhkov created a small 555 timer-based piano:

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555 piano

Main goal of this project has been creating pretty designed 555 based piano in small form-factor. Many 555 piano are using 9V battery for supply. I use CMOS timer and for timer need only 3V supply.
The design files are available on GitHub:

githubChirnoTech/555Piano

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Here is a video of the board in action:
openidev has shared the board on OSH Park:

piano.toplayer.zip

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Order from OSH Park

555 Piano

The Monolith Brings the Boom to Maker Faire

[Ross Fish], [Darcy Neal], [Ben Davis], and [Paul Stoffregen] created “the Monolith”, an interactive synth sculpture designed to showcase capabilities of the Teensy 3.6 microcontroller. The Monolith consists of a clear acrylic box covered in LED-lit arcade buttons. The forty buttons in front serve as an 8-step sequencer with five different voices, while touch sensors on the left…

via The Monolith Brings the Boom to Maker Faire — Hackaday

The Monolith Brings the Boom to Maker Faire

I/O Expander for LED Arcade Buttons

Teensy creator Paul Stoffregen has shared a new project on OSH Park:

I/O Expander for LED Arcade Buttons

The Monolith Synth Project needed to use a large number of these LED lit arcade buttons.

Dimming of the LEDs was required. Initially I considered using this Adafruit 16 Channel PWM board. But the LEDs in these buttons have integrated resistors which require 12 volts, so 16 transistor circuits and another board for reading the switches would have also been needed.

It uses the same PCA9685 chip for 12 bit PWM control on every LED, with mosfet drivers to handle 12V outputs, and also a MCP23017 chip to read the buttons. Every button has a discrete 1K pullup resistor (rather than using the higher impedance on-chip pullups) to help with use in the same cable bundles cross coupling to 12V PWM signals.

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Order from OSH Park

Monolith Synth

Four of these boards where used in the Monolith Synth project:

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The project is featured in this Tested video:

I/O Expander for LED Arcade Buttons