• Yeah! Another tiny digital synth!
    http://meeblip.noisepages.com/

  • Interesting. I’m sort of tempted to get one to play about with (especially given the price), but I’m not sure what it could do for me that a Shruthi can’t. It seems mostly geared towards “bleepy” sounds, which I’m definitely a fan of, but I’ve already got synths that can do that, and the sound clips there don’t seem to offer much more variety. The lack of a screen is a pity but I guess they’ve made up for it with knobs and switches. The digital nature of the build is interesting – I think that it’s probably why the current sounds seem quite limited but when unleashed on the hacking public it could be a platform for some really interesting stuff in the future. Personally, if I want to do that much programming for a synth I’d just build a virtual one on a PC and take advantage of the extra power. I’ve written full soft-synths for limited hardware platforms before, and it’s a pain :)

    If this had been around at the time I got interested in building hardware synths, I would have jumped at the chance of having one. Now I’ve got a couple of nice hand-built synths, I’m not sure if I need one of these.

  • Regarding hackability, I hope some guy will rewrite the firmware in C. The hackability potential of assembly is very limited I think… It’s not sure whether the chips come with a MIDI-enabled bootloader, which would make it way easier for sharing firmware mods.

    I predict this thing will have a massive success – from a sales/marketing point of view it has all the well-needed ingredients I’m struggling to get.

  • What does it have that you don’t have? I can see two main advantages – namely the price, and the fact that so much of it is done in software that it’s a more hackable platform than yours, given that programming ability is likely to be more common than electrical engineering ability, which is what’s needed for making new filter boards for the Shruthi. But if the firmware is in assembly then that removes a lot of the accessibility of the software. So… Price?

    I’m not dissing the Meeblip, in fact I think it looks really cool and I’m sure it will do well. But I’m not sure what ingredients it has that Mutable Instruments lack.

  • I like especially point 9 of the meeblip-manifesto

    “Quality Sound is overrated”

    As far as i can tell from the demos, the Meeblip can only produce lowfi Sounds what’s rather limited compared to the Shruthi, that also can generate lowfi sounds but its definitely not limited to that. The Meeblip – as it is – seems to be a very limited Synth with only 2 Waveforms to the OSCs, the square even without PWM, one LFO, no Modulation Matrix, no Wavetables, no ARP, no Stepsequencer and i dont know about the MIDI implementation ….... so its very basic. Maybe nice to learn how a subtractive synth works. Oh yeah and it has a nice Case and a few more pots (which is a thing im working on for the shruthi…). And they do a very good job an markting. The whole MeeBlip package is quite nice but i think the main ingredience, the synth itself lacks to much as it could be really interesting to me, even at a 79$ Pricetag.

    So if you look at that yeah, its cheaper than a Shruthi. Thats about all.

  • Yeah, I was excited about this as well until I heard the demo. This is not even in the same league

  • the sounds are pretty weak if you ask me. I’ll be passing on this…

  • I would of course have to hold one in my hands but so far if I had to compare the Shruthi to the Meeblip I would say:

    Sound and features
    The most important part of a synth is probably the filter, being the analogue ones the best. That’s why instruments like the ms-20 became so popular and why people still pay a lot of money for them. Even the fuzziest oscillator can sound fat and warm with a good filter. The Shruthi-1 not only has (as far as I can tell) more features soundwise (it has wavetables, step sequencer, XOR modulation and so on), it also has a pretty good analogue filter, and that’s why I would say that it wins this round hands down. Though I must admit, the features of the meeblip are not really clear to me, the website is a bit light on that side… I am only deducing from the sound examples and from the faceplate sceme.
    Also the Shruthi-1 can act as just a filter (audio in) and has midi through. Both very useful features.

    Ease of use
    To me the Shruthi-1 has the most intuitive and easy to use interface ever! It stays easy and quick while packing a lot of features. It only has one disadvantage: you can’t access all the features at once, but then, it’s pretty much impossible to do that on a device of that size. The Meeblip seems to have more hardware controls, but lacks a display which may make it more difficult to program precise values. I think one would have to use both for some time to really know which one has the advantage.

    Hackability
    For the Shruthi-1 you need to be an electronics expert, for the Meeblip you need to know assebly… both are not easily learned disciplines, so hackability remains an options for the more advanced users. I think none has the advantage here, it simply is targeted to different usergroups… maybe the Shruti-1 offers more options (you can modify the filter, or the firmware, or both) but still…

    Openness
    The Meeblip is open source, the Shruthi is not, i.e. it is not from a strictly legal point of view, but it’s still as open as we all need it to be, so I wouldn’t make a difference here

    Price
    The Meeblip costs slightly less, but that’s also beacuse it has no screen and no analogue filter… and the Shruthi is still in the “absolutely affordable” sektor, so I would not make that a point.

    Coolness
    I would say the Shruti-1 wins this one hand down! :D

  • Once I heard the demo, my excitement waned considerably. Perhaps if they do more demos that show off a better sound, I would reconsider, especially at a $79 price. Regardless, I’m happy to see it and wish them good luck with it!

    But for me, the Shrut(h)i sounds much more like a real and frequently usable synth, and well worth the additional expense.

  • Hey, thanks for noticing the MeeBlip everyone. Olivier already made some good comments over on CDM.

    I agree that we need some better demos. I just need to find the time to do it. In the meantime, here's a link to a bassline that I recorded this afternoon: http://retrothing.typepad.com/files/meeblip%20bassline%20demo.mp3

    I agree with pichenettes that a SysEx bootloader would be a good idea, and if there's enough interest I might migrate the firmware to C.

    The goal of the MeeBlip project was somewhat different (and less ambitious) than the Shruti-1, which is a really solid hybrid synth platform that deserves to hold a special niche in the marketplace. I just hope that more people get excited about hacking little hardware boxes in the future (and I'm itching to buy a PolyShruti, hint... hint).
  • Yes, thats way better, more musical and points out that it can reach a musical usefull range besides all those Bleeps. The filter sounds quite good (for a digital one limited to this platform) at the end when it gets looowwww.

  • I agree, the two synths have separate goals and really shouldn't be compared. And one is half the price of the other. The creators of the MeeBlip want it to be hacked and mutated into something completely different. It's about adding the features you want and getting creative with the hard/software end.

    Both are completely awesome and I think they can complement each other quite nicely.
  • Looks like, sounds like ( I have one) AVRsynth!

    http://www.elby-designs.com/avrsynth/avrsyn-about.htm
  • @flplsx:

    “The creators of the MeeBlip want it to be hacked and mutated into something completely different. It’s about adding the features you want and getting creative with the hard/software end.”

    Could you please tell me why it’s different from what’s happening here?

  • The new demo sound quite good indeed. Very 8bittish and chiptuneish, but interesting nonetheless.
    So far I would say that I would buy one if I had some money… but I just ordered a Shruthi-1 kit so that’s it for now :)

  • If there’s that much demand for it, I could port the Meeblip code to the Shruthi-1 platform (and provide an option to route the VCF controls either to digital or analog)...

    It would already have been done today if the original code was in C :)

  • To earnest I would never switch to a digital filter if I had an analogue one… so I don’t really see the point in doing this… but I admit that I’m s sucker for analogue!

  • Just for the sake of providing an exact superset of the Meeblip features – the only thing it can do that the Shruthi doesn’t is this burpy filter, which somehow reminds me of the last Korg hybrids.

  • pichenettes: If there’s that much demand for it, I could port the Meeblip code to the Shruthi-1 platform (and provide an option to route the VCF controls either to digital or analog)...

    How much polyphonic voices would you get ?? ;-)

  • 1 :) The Meeblip filter code itself seems to take around 250 cycles (out of a budget of 400).

  • Does the whole thing fit in the 900 Bytes left? ;-)

  • I hesitate between an oscillator mode (in which case 500 or 600 bytes is reasonable) or a whole firmware…

  • If I remember right we already have saw and rect the later even with PWM.... will the MeeBlib/AVR sound that different?

  • Looking again at the specs, the only thing that would be really new is the digital filter.

  • Attention Sacrilege!!!!

    Would the filter Code fit in? It would be fun having an icy sounding filter just in case you wanted to emulate a VA *rotfl

    edit: I then will do a “VA filter board” just with an OP-Amp to buffer the output . . .

  • OH MY. What about this… A filter board with a CV-controlled DIGITAL filter (running on an ATMega328p) + bitcrusher (controlled by CV-1) + an overdrive or something controlled by CV-2.

    This would give you the ability to send external signals through the filter, and under the Shruthi CV control this could even allow some nice Biscuit-like effects.

    That would be perverse.

  • oliver: i like it when you talk dirty!!! =D

  • Im thinking more of some kind of granular rearangement in the Filter Stage….. and while you are at it you could add some delay lines for phasing/chorus…

    Are there Plaground – Boards left?

  • All the ATMega328ps of the world are gone in Arduinos, but a 168p should be enough. Added to my next Farnell order :)

  • I would surely not change my shruthi for a meeblip, it can saves my patches and arps and the sound !!! what a sound !!
    please open your ears, shruti is way more musical.

    The sound of a meeblip is awesome but how to use it for music ? it’s just a sound-fx box for me.

  • "@flplsx:

    “The creators of the MeeBlip want it to be hacked and mutated into something completely different. It’s about adding the features you want and getting creative with the hard/software end.”

    Could you please tell me why it’s different from what’s happening here?"

    @pichenettes
    What I meant was that the ShrutHi is incredible out of the box, yet still openly hackable if you'd like. I feel like the MeeBlip almost needs to be hacked into something else for it to be as useful (not a bad thing at all). It's not a distinct, solid line between the two and there's lots of crossover, but they're different enough in approach.

    I didn't mean any offense, my apologies for putting words in your (and the MeeBlip guys') mouth.


    Some wicked ideas floating around here, these are exciting times!
  • "A filter board with a CV-controlled DIGITAL filter (running on an ATMega328p) + bitcrusher (controlled by CV-1) + an overdrive or something controlled by CV-2."

    That would be the reason for a 2nd Shruthi :D
  • Thinking again about it: there should be some wild amount of filtering on the PWM outputs to avoid awful aliasing. Straight out of the Shruthi digital board the signals are a bit wild to be directly sampled. It’s doable with some steep filters, and who cares about the ripple?

    TODO: – Breadboard the filter and amp section to test it (not much experience with single supply world) – Route it (easy) – Write code!

    CV1 will be effect type ({bitcrush, bit reduction, biscuiting, fuzz} x {pre-filter, post-filter}) ; CV2 will be effect amount. It’s not meant to be a complete effect processor, just something stupid and fun…

  • Hmmm.. shall i include these parts in my current Reichelt Order ???

    Oh, i just checked, i think you dont need the Voltage Divider for 1/2 VCC as the TLV2474 has no need for it (an no PIN . . ).

  • @fcd72: not sure I get this. The op-amp is supplied by 0-5V so it doesn’t swing to negative voltages. The signals in the amplification stage have to be biased/referenced to 2.5V, not 0V. This is not a problem though in the filter stages since they have a gain at DC of 1. This is also why the audio output is AC-coupled. But yeah I have not tested this so don’t build it!

  • Ah, i see, you connect Vcc/2 to the positve in of OpAmp A from IC 3 to do this offset thing and the same to IC5B. OK, got it…. i was to stupid and just looked at the datasheet….

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