Bela Mini, An Open Hardware Platform For Audio, Now Available

The creators of Bela, an open-source embedded hardware platform for creating high-performance audio and interactive projects, have launched Bela Mini, a smaller, streamlined version.

The original Bela was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2016. The Bela Mini packs the most popular features of the original into a third the size.

Because of Bela’s high-resolution sensor inputs and ultra low-latency audio, it is a great platform for creating musical instruments, standalone synthesizers, sound installations and other audio projects.

“Compared to the first time Synthtopia posted about Bela, there are lots of community projects documented (for the Bela platform), on our blog and elsewhere around the web,” project co-founder Andrew McPherson told us. “The software continues to expand, to support more languages (SuperCollider being the most recent addition) and add new features to the browser-based IDE and oscilloscope.”

Bela Mini keeps the most popular features of the original Bela, including a 1GHz ARM processor, stereo audio I/O, 8x 16-bit analog inputs, and 16 digital I/Os. Also like the original Bela, it features a browser-based IDE, and support for popular programming languages like C/C++, Pd, SuperCollider and more.

Bela Mini is based on the new PocketBeagle single-board computer. At 55x35x21mm, it can be embedded in portable and wearable projects.

To use, you program the board using the browser-based IDE, power Bela Mini from a battery and embed it in a project, where it runs standalone, without a computer.

Bela Mini tech specs:


  • Based on the PocketBeagle, with a custom hardware cape and low-latency operating system
  • 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB RAM (based on Octavo Systems OSD335x system-in-package)
  • Stereo audio I/O with integrated headphone amplifier (16 bit, 44.1kHz)
  • 8x 16-bit analog inputs for sensors (DC-coupled; up to 44.1kHz for 4 inputs or 22.05kHz for 8 inputs)
  • 16x digital I/Os (3.3V level)
  • USB host and device ports
  • Dimensions 55 x 35 x 21mm (including PocketBeagle)


  • Latency as low as 0.5ms (analog/digital input to audio output) or 1.0ms (audio input to audio output)
  • Browser-based IDE including oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, interactive pin diagram and onboard documentation
  • Support for C, C++, Pd and SuperCollider languages. Community-contributed support for FAUST, Python and others.

A collection of examples of Bela-based projects is available at the Bela blog.

Pricing and Availability

Bela Mini is available to pre-order now, for £110.00 for a starter kit, or £55 for the Bela Mini Cape (for use with the PocketBeagle). Design materials and documentation are available on github.

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