We have a few smaller projects that are still in development, and one that we have already shown to a couple of manufacturers and got quotes on. The one that is almost ready for production is a little costly for our first product due to the cost investment required for the large number of pots. We plan on producing it at a later time, after making some profit from smaller projects.
The Bit Beast is not currently in production. The estimated cost is about $500-$600. Please send us an email if you would like to be notified when more information and availability is known - email@example.com
The Bit Beast utilizes a method of tone generation commonly called 'bit banging'. It turns a digital bit on and off at the frequency of specific notes. This method of creating sounds is typical of old videogame and computer systems.
The processor that reads the MIDI signal and 'bit bangs' the notes is the same one used by the Arduino UNO (ATMEGA328P-PU). All the code is written and compiled in the Arduino software. This means that anyone with an Arduino UNO can edit and tweak the code. This will allow musicians to customize their synth to some degree, and expand upon the base functionality.
The notes are then chopped up and processed using CMOS logic chips. The effects created are common in the DIY realm, but seldom available in commercially available synthesizers.
The sound then passes through two analog voltage controlled filters. Both filters are unique designs that offer very different sounds. Filter 1 is a 12db state variable filter with low-pass and band-pass modes and overdrive control. Filter 2 is a 6db filter with low-pass and high-pass modes and a squelchy distorted resonance. The filters can be configured in parallel or two different serial configurations. Both filters have their own LFO and envelope generator.
The final step that the sound passes through is an analog VCA with a dedicated envelope generator. _________________ JacobWatters.com
Yes the Bit Beast is currently just a handmade prototype, but we plan on releasing it after making some money from lower cost projects first.
The one-pole filter actually sounds really cool. The resonance is very unique. And since it can be used in serial mode, you can essentially turn the two filters into one 18db filter that has two resonance loops. _________________ JacobWatters.com
It sounds really good. I am a little confused about the DIY connection though. Will there be some way to build our own?
It has an Arduino chip doing all the bit banging. Anyone who has an Arduino dev board can pop out the chip and tweak it.
For example, you could change the chords from Major and Minor to Major and Diminished. Or adjust the detune amount beyond the standard specs. Or have it listen for other midi cc controls to adjust things that don't have a pot in the synth.
Some of our future products will be more DIY specific.
a one-pole filter with resonance?
Psyingo pointed out that it isn't actually true resonance. It is more of a controlled feedback. That explains why it sounds so unique and can get very squelchy. _________________ JacobWatters.com
Joined: Nov 20, 2007 Posts: 1608 Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190
Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:46 pm Post subject:
Regarding the filter - it has an unusual topology, and not being a filter guru, I can't analyze it. From my own uneducated perspective, it looks to have a tunable integrator that is a low pass stage, however, there are also possibly two high pass stages. One of the high pass stages is involved in the resonance connection - and what I see is that the pot for "resonance" seems to have some control over the Fc of that high pass stage. This would suggest to me that the passband of this filter may not be entirely simple and that there may actually be more than one pole. Again - I am NOT a filter guru, so this is all conjecture on my part. _________________ FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff
Time flies like a banana. Fruit flies when you're having fun. BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?corruptio optimi pessima
Thanks. The idea was a sort of MIDI controlled APC on steroids. I think I managed to accomplish that goal. The sounds can be very powerful, noisy and rhythmic all at the same time. _________________ JacobWatters.com
After this original post, I was sick for 2 years and never got anything manufactured. Now that my health has returned, I am working for Roland, so I won't be making the Bit Beast now. Scott might still get something done on his own, but I can't be a part of it due to a conflict of interest.
So now you can get all my notes and make a Bit Beast for yourself!
I don't expect anyone to actually make the full thing, but there are come cool tricks and ideas in the schematic that you might want to use for your own projects. Examples:
1. Arduino as a squarewave osc and gate signal for Lunetta synths.
2. Eight-stage waveshaper with a 4017.
3. Chiptune chord arpeggiator.
4. The Lunetta percussion circuit.
5. The modulation circuit.
6. The Schmitt filter.
Here is everything I have on the synth. You need the Arduino MIDI library and the Tone library.
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Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:16 pm Post subject:
Jovian Synth Subject description: Trouble compiling Arduino code
This synth concept looks interesting and fun to experiment with, but I'm having trouble trying to compile the BitBeast_v1.ino file. I have tried several different versions of Arduino IDEs and MIDI/Tone libraries with no success.
These errors were generated with the Arduino 1.0.5 IDE and MIDI library v 4.2
BitBeast_v1.ino: In function 'void setup()':
BitBeast_v1:466: error: 'MIDI' was not declared in this scope
BitBeast_v1.ino: In function 'void loop()':
BitBeast_v1:594: error: 'MIDI' was not declared in this scope
If I try to compile one of the examples in the MIDI library folder it works fine.
Could you mention which IDE works best with the BitBeast and which version of libraries?
Yes it was done with an old version of the MIDI library. They since changed the way that you initiate the MIDI function. I can't recall exactly what they changed, but it was 2 versions ago. I will look into it tomorrow and get back to you when I have an answer. _________________ JacobWatters.com
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