Five Arturia MiniBrute & MicroBrute Mods That Will Totally Void Your Warranty

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French synth guru Yves Usson, above, knows his way around the insides of the MiniBrute and MicroBrute synthesizers – he collaborated with Arturia to design them.

He’s shared a series of mods and hacks for the MiniBrute and MicroBrute at his site. He notes that making any of these mods to your synth ‘will immediately void its warranty.’ So consider yourself warned. Continue reading

Arcano MIDI NES Chiptune Synthesizer Now Available Via Kickstarter

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The Arcano MIDI NES Chiptune Synthesizer is a minimalistic, microcontroller-based synth, designed to emulate the classic chiptune sound of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s APU (audio processing unit.)

The synthesizer’s MIDI input allows musicains create NES-video-game-style chiptune music using a MIDI keyboard or other MIDI device.

It’s being made available via a Kickstarter project, which is already fully funded. Here is the official intro video:

The Arcano is being made available prebuild and as a DIY project.

Each Arcano MIDI NES Chiptune Synthesizer includes a preprogrammed microcontroller; however, each synth also features a 6-pin AVR programming header, allowing programmers to flash the embedded ATmega328 microcontroller with their own custom software. The programming header enables hackers to create their own custom waveforms, envelopes, software low-frequency oscillators, and PCM samples.

Unlike many other microcontroller-based synthesizers which use internal PWM peripherals to generate weak, scratchy, low-quality audio signals, the Arcano MIDI NES Chiptune Synthesizer uses an auxiliary digital-to-analog converter chip to create a clear, high-quality audio signal.

Specifications:

  • 3-note polyphony
  • 1/8” (3.5mm) jack mono audio output
  • MIDI input through standard MIDI DIN connector
  • 7-segment LED waveform mode indicator
  • simple two-button interface
  • embedded ATmega328 microcontroller

The Arcano is available to Kickstarter backers, prebuilt or as a DIY kit, starting at US $65.

OWL Modular Programmable Eurorack Module Available August 1

owl-modular-eurorack-moduleRebel Technology has announced that the OWL Modular programmable digital audio Eurorack module will be released Aug 1 in London:

We’ll be holding a little launch event for the OWL Modular at the London Music Hackspace, this Saturday 1 August at 5pm. Come down to see us and get hands on with the new arrival!

We’ll be showing off the sonic capabilities of the patch library as well as demonstrating how to load up Faust, C++ and Pure Data patches. Bring your own code!

Based on the OWL Pedal, the Modular adds CV control and DC-coupled inputs and outputs, while retaining full patch compatibility. The platform is open source and a community of patch developers has created a diverse library of more than 70 effects for it, including phasers, flangers, delays, reverbs, distortion, compression and filters.

The OWL features an ARM Cortex M4 processor and, according to the developers, “it delivers outstanding performance and audio quality”. Continue reading

Noise Kitchen Synth Fest Coming June 12-16 In Brno, CZ

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Organizers have announced that the Noise Kitchen Synth Fest will be held June 12-16 in Brno, CZ.

Confirmed participants include: Elektron, Koma, MeeBlip, Erica Synths, Burnkit2600, Soulsby, Ginko Synthese, Error Instruments, Din Sync, BR Laser, LEP, LOM Instruments, Bastl Instruments, BuranElektrix, Audiolab and others.

Here’s the official announcement:

Continue reading

New DIY Synth, The Crowminius, Inspired By Minimoog & CS-80

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DIY synth guru Scott Rider, aka the Old Crow, has announced a new DIY project, inspired by the circuits of the Moog Minimoog and the Yamaha CS-80.

The two main goals for the ‘Crowminius‘ project were:

  • to make a new synth in the style of a Minimoog 204D (“model D”) for a good friend, who lost his circa 1974 original Mini to hurricane Katrina; and
  • to create a synth that would fit in a compact aluminum attache case.

Here’s an audio demo of the Crowminius in action: Continue reading