Dirtywave M8 Mobile Tracker Now Available To Pre-Order

Dirtywave has announced that the M8 – a portable tracker sequencer and synthesizer – is now available to pre-order.

The M8 is powered by the Teensy micro-controller and inspired by the Gameboy tracker Little Sound DJ. It features 8 tracks of freely assignable instruments; waveform, FM and virtual analog synthesis; sample playback; and MIDI output.

Sequencer Specifications:

  • 8 Monophonic Tracks/Voices
  • 255 Patterns/Phrases & chains
  • 256 Instrument Tables for advanced modulation
  • 128 Instruments per song
  • Song Arranger with Live mode
  • Instantaneous song recall
  • Full MIDI input & Output support

Instruments & Effects:

  • Wavsynth – Classic console & computer chip emulation.
  • Macrosynth – Based on Mutable Instruments Braids
  • FM – 4 OP 12 algorithm with feedback per operator.
  • Sampler – 8/16/24 bit mono and full stereo wav format.
  • MIDI Instruments with 10 user definable CCs.
  • Global reverb, chorus, delay and a master bus limiter.
  • Sample recording and song rendering/bouncing.
  • No sample memory or length limitation.

Hardware Specifications:

  • 3.5mm TRS MIDI (Type A or Type B) input and output.
  • Stereo audio input and Headphone/main output
  • USB MIDI and Audio compliant
  • SDHC Micro SD slot for storage
  • 1200mAh USB rechargeable battery – up to 6 hours use.
  • High quality 2.8″ IPS display with capacitive touch
  • Dimensions: 96mm x 133mm x 18~20mm

Here’s a video demo, via mikey303:

Pricing and Availability

The M8 is available to pre-order for $450.00. Shipping is expected to start in July 2021.

40 thoughts on “Dirtywave M8 Mobile Tracker Now Available To Pre-Order

  1. This looks very cool and I love the futuristic gameboyesque feel. The showstopper is that I no longer have good enough eyesight to use a tracker on a 2.8-inch display.

  2. this is cool… its the perfect platform for trackers, imho

    seems a bit expensive but im unable to grasp how fully-featured it is simply from the spec list, so it may be a good value but id like to see some demo videos first

    1. i think the price is pretty good if you compare it with hte poly end tracker or even the nerdseq [though that one is a CV thing more than anything]. its kinda like a portable digitakt to me but with synths instead of a sampling only groove box. but still expensive for my lower class ass though :'(

    2. There’s also this standalone nanoloop fm device, available for less than half that price.


      I don’t know why it hasn’t gotten more attention on these websites. I backed it on kickstarter, and I think it’s pretty cool. The firmware is still in beta, but as far as I can tell it doesn’t have any bugs at this point, and the creator is still updating it.

      The nanoloop fm is four tracks, with a specific instrument type on each track, so it’s a little more limited than the m8, but it has tons of pattern memory, and a really cool interface for switching patterns, it’s like a lo-fi novation circuit.

  3. I don’t get these things. To use a tracker at full speed (one of a trackers best qualities) you learn all the shortcuts and basically command the thing from a keyboard. It’s an *insanely* fast way to compose one you learn the flow and some tricks.
    But these just seem like hipster toys. I mean, they are neat and all, but as someone whose used many different trackers over the years, I’m telling you a need a [pc] keyboard to really use it with an sort of speed.

    I could be mistaken, and they already have, but the devs should consider adding USB keyboard support!

    1. There’s a whole paradigm of trackers that use these kind of condensed controls – most notable being LSDJ for the Game Boy. I feel like they are insanely fast too, and so nice to use in their own way. Personally not so into trackers using keyboards but love LSDJ and M8 etc.

    2. Can’t tell if you’re trolling or not tbh if you’re calling a classic LSDJ control-scheme a “hipster toy”. How can you talk from an area of ‘tracker expertise’ and then say something so dumb?

      1. how can they do it?

        from inexperience – either due to lack of age (i.e. its a child) or due to ignorance (i.e. ignoring things that dont fit their narrative because they “cant handle the truth”)

        its all very very very common stuff

        1. Just a quick note here, while the poster above may have been gruff in their tone, they are also accurate in the origins of trackers. LSDJ appeared for the first time in the early 2000’s. It comes from a much later era then the original trackers that were keyboard driven. Trackers first appeared in the late 80’s (1987 to be exact, on the Commodore Amiga). Using a game pad type control scheme for a tracker was novel at the time that LSDJ first arrived and is not quite as fast as a keyboard. I imagine the poster above is quite far from being a child. Also, in the comment they did not say that LSDJ is a hipster toy, they said that products like the M8 and other portable trackers are. Say what you want about the Polyend Tracker, but it is not a toy.

          Now, to debate his point on the interface. If there are dedicated buttons for the full functionality of the tracker, I don’t see how a PC keyboard with hot key combos would be faster. Of course that is the poster above’s opinion. LSDJ made trackers cool and more importantly portable. So, it is responsible for the existence of little gadgets like this.

          1. I mean, you said it all in your first sentence, “I don’t get these things”. The interface of this device is heavily influenced by LSDj, which is quite fast and easy to use with the gameboy’s buttons. This device has the same layout, but can do so much more than LSDj.

            So, if you don’t “get” something, maybe do a little research instead of making a derisive comment mocking this device and anything else similar to it as “hipster toys”.

    3. There are always other ways of doing things, and even if your way seems the best for you, it may not be the best for someone else.

    4. So… comparing this device to lsdj, which it is obviously derived from, makes it more of a hipster toy imo, simply because you can get up and running on lsdj for less than $100?

      I mean, buy what you love. A good friend of mine has already preordered one of these. But I don’t think he would get bent out of shape if it was described that way.

      Trackers started out as free software in DOS. I mean from that perspective, lsdj could be considered hipster in it’s own right. I’m saying that and I use lsdj, and nanoloop. I mean who cares. I don’t get the sense the op was trolling, they made good points.

      1. “hipster toy’ sounds very derisive and I’m thinking you are meaning both “hipster” and “toy” as a compliment!??? … because it just seems really ignorant and disrespectful to a device that is amazing for people who like LSDj style trackers.

  4. I love the power you can get from left-field platforms, but I end up plugging more realistic controllers into them. I can’t live with jabbing at something with a stylus to perform basic functions. Anti-DAW players who still need a main brain for things will take to this, though. I’d like to see it in a real-world rig, even with only 8 mono tracks. Its got MIDI I/O, so its a weird Eno-mix of forced limitations and open-endedness.

  5. I think there is high demand for devices like this. This doesn’t sound that good to me but it is a really good first effort i’m impressed even do there is a lot of opensource in there.
    I’m excited to see what the future brings hoping for more power-full deep synths in small portable groove-boxes like this.

  6. the demo is amazing, sound fantastic (the acid sounds at 4:18ish? nuts), and it looks really slick. My biggest hangup is the cost, especially given the polyend tracker – it’s a rather short stretch to grab polyend’s tracker with a much more comprehensive hardware interface, which can also be used in a portable fashion with a basic phone-charger-type of battery. going to check out more demos of the M8 though, it’s quite a special tidbit.

  7. yes, the demo is good from an end results standpoint – also i like the music here

    something to keep an eye on for sure

    1. The new Teensy 4.0 and 4.1 have lots of horsepower (500MHz M7 with floating point DSP instructions). 8 voices of VA effects is completely possible.

  8. I recently got the PE tracker and I think the product design/interface is a bit better on it than how this looks.. this looks tiny and kinda fiddle-y.. that said it seems like it deals w samples better (stereo, no length limit) and having little FM synths and more fx are awesome.. hope similar gets implemented in updated firmware for polyend

  9. I am the creator of this project. It stemmed from my use of LSDJ for MIDI output, as I also developed “Arduinoboy” which allows MIDI communication to the Gameboy. This was originally intended to be a MIDI sequencer back in 2014, and in 2019 I dusted it off and realized the potential. I have also used and love trackers most of my life- Starting from an Amiga as a child in the early 90s. I am also a proud owner of many of the synths and sequencers we know and love.

    To say that it is a hipster toy, or comparing it to a Gameboy is very surface level.
    In essence it is a hardware sequencer with full MIDI capability, synthesis, stereo sample playback, effects (with actually decent reverb), sampling, sample editing, and live performance / MIDI mapping capabilities that rival most hardware in its category at a lower price point while made and fully assembled in Los Angeles.

    As mentioned there is a difference between traditional trackers and portable trackers like LSDJ, Piggytracker, and M8- Which are very fast to compose on, and have the added benefit to having each track act like an independent sequencer if one wishes, they are very flexible without needing to remembering crazy shortcuts or looking up the manual or cheatsheet for fx commands.

    1. Trash80, I meant no disrespect. I don’t know what ‘hipster toy’ technically means, I just figure if some dude who has stuck with trackers since the early 90s wants to call newer stuff hipster, it doesn’t offend me, just like some dude who played moogs in the 70s might look down on newer capable synths that aren’t ‘fully analog’ or something. I try to respect the experience of an ol timer, haha.

      So I didn’t realize you made arduinoboy, I’ve gotten some stuff from catskull electronics, is that you as well?

      1. I think people are having a hard time grasping the power of this unit. For me, this is a total game changer. I recently sold my set up of synth boxes that circled me on 3 sides. This little powerhouse is basically replacing pretty much all of it, except for some tape machines and an omnichord that have specific analog workflows that I enjoy and can’t really be replicated otherwise.

        Trash80, this is genius work and I can’t wait to explore it more.

      1. Yes. A song is constructed by 8 tracks having a list of “chains”, a single chain contains a list of up to 16 “phrases”, and a phrase contains 16 rows for notes, velocities, instrument numbers, and 3 effects commands. Phrases can use a HOP command to shorten them, and a “groove” command to set the ticks per step. Each tracks playhead is independent from each other.

  10. good luck with that i tried and got a maybe there will be some he wont take pay pal credit cuz it wont payout first still hope there will be some

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