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MusicTech

18 Posts authored by: liamtmlacey
So this is my 18th and final blogpost for my music tech design challenge project, and for it I have created three new videos talking about and demoing the end result of the project: A specification overview video, outlining all the features of the synth as well as briefly discussing the overall development of it and how it works A complete walkthrough video, demoing in detail each control and parameter of the synthesiser A video on how the device can be used as a MIDI controller   I've a ...
In order to undertake this project I had to completely take-apart the toy piano, unfortunately slightly damaging it in the process due to the way it was originally connected together. As all the electronics for the project are now finished, I spent this week putting the piano back together as well as adding some small extra touches, some to make the synth easier to use though some just to improve the aesthetics of the design.   The finished enclosure of the vintage toy synthesiser, propped ...
At the start of this project I wasn't planning on having any kind of sound/patch storage or management within the vintage toy synthesiser, however as the project progressed I was more and more finding the need to quickly save and recall patches for both testing and demoing the functionality of the sound synthesis engine. In the end I decided to implement an external desktop application to handle this.   Approach  Synthesiser patch management allows the user to save the sound parameter ...
Just over a month ago I posted about the implementation of the audio synthesis engine for the vintage toy synthesiser, however since then I've got the synths front panel developed and fully working which has allowed me to rapidly complete the main features of the synth. Here I'm going to follow on from that blogpost and talk about the final few features I've implemented since then, however it's worth mentioning that there are still a few refinements I need to make before I can settle on a final ...
Last week I posted about the design and construction of the front panel for the vintage toy synthesiser, however another thing I had been doing alongside that is putting together the electronics and software for allowing the synthesis engine to be controlled by the panel controls. This ended up being a bit of a nightmare to get working well as I'll talk about below, but I think I've finally got it into a stable state. A lot of the electronics and software for the panel is very similar to that of ...
Even though I ended up constructing a brand new front panel for the toy piano for this project, the rest of the enclosure of the vintage toy synth will be using the existing piano enclosure. Apart from the front panel, the other part of the piano that needs modifying for the project is the back section where I need to add a set of sockets and controls so that the synth can be easily connected to a power source, an audio output, and external MIDI gear. A second part to this task was connecting th ...
The front panel of my vintage toy synthesiser is the place where all the dials and buttons for controlling the sound parameters will be attached to the toy piano. While the final design of the panel has turned out very similar to how I had originally planned it to look, the construction of the panel compared to my initial plan has changed dramatically. In this blogpost I'm going to cover the process of both designing and constructing the front panel for the vintage toy synthesiser, which has bee ...
Over the past week I've been working on various parts of my project - designing the front panel, starting on the panel electronics, as well as optimising the sound engine software. All of these things are only half-finished so I don't want to document them in a blog post yet, however one small yet important thing I have completed this week is the wiring and soldering of the BeagleBone Proto Cape, so I thought I'd do a quick and short (for a change!) blog post on how I've used the proto shield. & ...
Since my blogpost a couple of weeks back where I highlighted the design for my audio synthesis engine I've been hard at work attempting to implement it using the C++ audio synthesis library Maximilian. I'm now at a stage where I have a working and controllable synthesis engine, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about how I've done it. I've managed to implement most of my original design plus a few extra parameters, however I've still got a few small things to implement as well as some ...
Over the past couple of weeks I have been dipping in and out of various parts of my project - developing the MIDI I/O interface (as seen in my last couple of blogposts), as well as starting to implement my audio synthesis engine design into a working entity (which I will probably talk about it my next blogpost). However both of these elements have required me to develop a general structure of software on the BeagleBone Black board that allow the keyboard, MIDI interface, and eventually the panel ...
In my last blogpost I talked about the implementation of the electronics needed for adding a MIDI interface to my vintage toy synthesiser. As a suitable follow-on, within this post I thought I'd talk in-depth about MIDI message processing; specifically about five factors of the MIDI message format that make processing MIDI messages more complicated than it appears, or at least in regards to allowing full compatibility with all MIDI gear. As I'm not using any MIDI library (which would typically b ...
MIDI is an essential part of any serious piece of electronic music equipment. In a nutshell, MIDI is "a technical standard that describes a protocol, digital interface and connectors and allows a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers and other related devices to connect and communicate with one another". For example, it allows a consumer musical keyboard from one company to trigger notes or control audio within a piece of software developed by a completely different company, ...
I’ve spent the past 10 days in sunny Anaheim, California at The NAMM Show 2016 exhibiting with Modal Electronics, so I haven’t had much time to work on my project. However it’s given me a chance to think a lot about my synthesis engine design, so I thought I’d use this weeks (well, a late last weeks) update to give a brief overview of audio synthesis types, the essential components, as well as outlining my current design ideas and how they have changed over the project so ...
This week, for my design challenge project, I've been attempting to get started on the sound synthesis engine for my synth, as well as setting up an audio output on my BeagleBone Black. There have been quite a few frustrating evenings in doing this, and while I now finally have synthesised sound coming out of my BBB, it looks like I may need to rethink what library I'm going to use to make my synthesis engine, or redesign and simplify my original idea for the synthesis engine.   USB audio o ...
After completing the majority of the key mechanism for my vintage toy synthesiser, which I covered in my last blog post, I thought it was about time I cracked open the BeagleBone Black board and attempted to connect the key mech to it. Setting up the BBB for my preferred development language and environment, as well as getting the Arduino-to-BBB comms working, was a bit more complex than I thought it would be, nevertheless I have now got the BBB receiving key interaction data from the keyboard. ...