New DIY Audio Platform, Daisy, Lets You Build Synths & More

Synth maker Electrosmith has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of Daisy, a new DIY audio platform.

Daisy is designed to make it easy to create high quality audio hardware devices, supporting 24-bit stereo audio, with 32-bit DSP processing.

Features:

  • Programmability: Daisy supports a number of programming languages including Arduino, Pure Data, Max/MSP, and C++.
  • High Fidelity Audio: Daisy features 24-bit stereo audio hardware with up to 192kHz sample rate and 32-bit floating point DSP processing.
  • Small Form Factor: Smaller than a stick of gum, the Daisy measures in at just 18mm x 51mm.
  • Affordable: Daisy offers a complete audio platform for $29
  • Easy To Use: with five, Daisy-powered evaluation platforms:
    • Petal – Guitar Pedal
    • Patch – Eurorack module
    • Field – Desktop Synth
    • Pod – Breakout Board

Tech Specs:

  • Audio – Daisy features two channels of audio IO through its high fidelity stereo audio codec(AKM) with up to 192kHz sample rate, 24 bit-depth and SNR of 103dB(in), 104dB(out).
  • CPU – The CPU is an ARM Cortex-M7 running at 480MHz, and contains internal 32-bit floating point processing for optimized DSP instructions.
  • Memory – Daisy has 64MB of SDRAM onboard, which is enough for a 10 minute audio buffer. In addition, there is more than 8MB of external flash memory for firmware, or permanent storage of audio files.
  • Power – Daisy can be powered through the micro USB port, or dedicated VIN pin on the header bank. It has an extremely wide input range of 4V to 17V and current consumption is low enough that you can even power it from a battery!
  • GPIO – There are 32 total GPIO pins which can be configured as standard GPIO or one of several alternate functions including 16-bit Analog to Digital Converters(x12), 12-bit Digital to Analog Converters(x2), SD Card interfaces, PWM outputs, and various serial protocols for connecting to external sensors and devices including SPI, UART, I2S, and I2C.

Five preconfigured platforms are available:

Pod – Breakout Board

  • USB Powered
  • 3.5mm stereo jacks for line level audio I/O, headphone output, and TRS MIDI input
  • Built in headphone amplifier with dedicated volume control
  • 2 Buttons, 2 RGB LEDs, and rotary encoder with push button
  • SD card slot, and secondary USB micro port

Petal – Guitar Pedal

  • Instrument or line level audio with setting swtich
  • 1/4” TS jacks with two channels of audio I/O, and expression input
  • Rotary encoder with ring of 8 RGB LEDs
  • 4 footswitches with dedicated LEDs, and 6 Knobs
  • SD card slot, and secondary USB micro port

Patch – Eurorack Module

  • Quad audio I/O at modular level
  • 4 control voltage inputs, 2 control voltage outputs, and TRS MIDI input and output
  • 4 Knobs, 2 Buttons, and a Toggle
  • SD card slot, and secondary USB micro port

Field – Desktop Synthesizer

  • Control voltage interface patch-bay with TRS MIDI input and output
  • Built in headphone amplifier with dedicated volume control
  • 1/4” TS line level inputs and outputs
  • 8 Knobs, 2 Buttons, and Toggle
  • LED Push-button keyboard interface
  • SD card slot, and secondary USB micro port

Pricing and Availability

Electrosmith is funding production of the Daisy via a Kickstarter project. The Daisy is available to backers starting at $29 USD>

14 thoughts on “New DIY Audio Platform, Daisy, Lets You Build Synths & More

    1. You are looking at it wrong. It’s $29 for the platform. That means if I want to make myself a headmounted looper that’s got a lav mic integrated , or I want to make a multieffect unit that’s built into my guitar and the control is in the headstock, or I want to make a usb powered keytar bodied bass. That’s what this is for. It’s a “platform” on which we build. Like a foundation slab where we can build whatever structure will fit on it.

    2. You are correct. The “synth” version is just the addition of a few parts. What is being advertised here is known as a “dev kit.” If you look at the dev kits on Mouser or DigiKey for the STM32 series CPUs, you will see all kinds of stuff like this.

      For €399, I’d expect more than a dev kit and some buttons.

    3. If you pay 29 you are going to need to do your own engineering even to be able to hear a sound. If you pay 79 you get an expander that has MIDI in, line i/o, headphones, and usb power. So you’d actually be able to use out of the box, assuming you are able to program the device yourself. By the time you get to 399 the expander has been expanded to be a desktop module, which you’d still be programming yourself probably.

      This isn’t an instrument, it’s an instrument development platform.

  1. What’s the core benefit compared to the much cheaper and faster ARM Cortex boards I can buy e.g. on Aliexpress? 480 MHz and 64 MB RAM is not that much for audio applications, and 8 MB flash is very little. I guess it runs bare metal (i.e. no OS).

    1. Which ARM Cortex boards are you referring to being equipped with at least 64 MB SDRAM and a 192 kHz 24-bit DAC? Do they provide you with a comprehensive SDK? What type of embedded synth-applications do you have in mind that consume more than 8 MB flash? Samples and the like should be stored on SD-card obviously (since this way they would be easily changeable as well) and the SDK for Daisy seems to be capable of interacting with SD-cards as well…

      And yes – their Kickstarter FAQ states that “due to the bare metal design we don’t have an OS onboard”… I guess you don’t always need all the bloat a full blown OS provides you with when designing embedded audio applications…

  2. So, the base board is 30% slower than teensy 4.0, costs 50% more, and they don’t have the debugged-and-working synth editor that Teensy has had for years? Got it.

    (TBF, their codec seems better)

    1. So you’re saying your Teensy 4.0 “base board” provides you with 64 MB SDRAM and is equipped with a 192kHz 24 bit audio codec (and no – that is not only “better” than what the teensy provides… this would be a vast understatement)? Where did you buy that?

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