Raspberry Pi Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

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The Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer, developed in the UK for teaching basic computer science, released in Feb 2012. It’s priced at about US $35, so it’s rapidly becoming a platform for experimentation, including electronic music experimentation.

This video, via Pi Synth, takes a quick look at a Raspberry Pi synthesizer:

Here’s an indication of quite how rich a single-oscillator synth can be (as in, I left OSC B cranked down to zero throughout). OSC A is set to a ‘sin’ wave (which does actually have a *little* bit of harmonic content as it’s not really a sin, it’s a short power series), but all the amazing richness comes from manipulating the phase of the oscillator during each cycle of the waveform. An EG is used to stretch and squash the phase over the lifetime of each note, then the LFO is pulled in to add a warbly, squishy immenseness.

And no explicit frequency manipulation – everything here is being induced by messing with the phase within each cycle of the waveform, the fundamental is not being manipulated, at all. Things get beyond awesome when you add in pitch modulation at the same time as Phase Distortion.

No release date is set for this yet as it’s still under development.

If you know of other music projects for the Raspberry Pi, let us know in the comments!


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