Before I start this project

Hi everyone,
ever since I learned about Mutable Instruments I’ve been so excited to build my own synth. This open project is so fascinating. Before I begin this adventure though, I have some questions which I hope you guys can help me with.

  • is the Ambika project suited to build into my own custom case ? Can I reposition leds, buttons, knobs, screen, etc … As well as the output/midi connectors, sd card slot (although these are all on the back and can prolly stay there when fitting in a case) Won’t rewiring them to the main board cause problems like noise etc … ?

  • if I source my own components, say at Mouser, based on the Mouser part numbers, do I get exactly the right components. Or could minute differences in (alternative/replacement) parts cause problems ?

  • can I easily add extra controller knobs to control other synth functions. Is this option already in the code or would I need to alter it ?

  • how easy is it to reprogram this synth ? I’m a coder and I know c++, I have some, but not a lot of experience with these kind of hardware projects I must admit.

  • is it possible, and how difficult would it be to use a different screen to view more parameters (more lines or maybe a graphical lcd in the future) and adapt the code ?

thanx

Why dont you take a look to the Sourceode yourselves, its all in the Github Repository, Link is in the DIY Resources Section of the Instrument on the MI SIte.

If you are wondering about custom builds, check out this custom Anushri build by resident Russian Evil Genius schrab. ( Hint, for the thread, click on the word this )

And at this point I’d like to point out that the ambika shouldn’t be your first DIY synth, it’s a much better idea to get a shruthi-1 first, since you can still use it later on when you build your ambika, and you can put the coding you did on the shruthi to good use on the ambika as well :slight_smile:

Can you mount the ambika in a custom case? Absolutely, it will however require late nights & blood sweat and tears (+research… lots of it)

Extra controller knobs? Not to my knowledge, can’t tell if there is space in the code for adding it, or even a unused pin left somewhere that you could tap for this… Again, the ambika is a bit of a monster to start experimenting with.

Easyness of reprogramming? Well, flashing firmwares to atmel chips is easy enough, but making a working firmware? Not sure, ask pichenettes… But I’d imagine that C++ isn’t the greatest for a poor little 8bit chip… then again, I am talking out of my a** on this one…

Adapting the code - possible, with the same constraints as the extra controller knobs, but difficult for several reasons, for instance : it will be difficult to find a bigger LCD, you could maybe find a 4x40 lines display, but they don’t get much bigger than that (+4x40 is expensive, and difficult to find information for, compared to the more common displays). Still, with enough willpower I’m sure it could be done & be awesome :slight_smile:

Welcome aboard by the way :slight_smile:

That Anushri was build by Nicoo!
:wink:

Has anybody said to start on a Shruthi first? It’s great start en experimentation kit for the Ambika… I think all the things you want can be done… But not easily… If you know the Ambika you also may find a lot of the things you want unnecessary.
And maybe somebody is already working on a programmer?? I said PROGRAMMER!

Jaja… hetz mich nicht™

> is the Ambika project suited to build into my own custom case ?

All Mutable Instruments projects are “no-wiring” - parts are directly fitted on the PCB to make assembly faster, easier, and more compact. But if you don’t mind wiring, you can panel-mount every control and link them with wires to the PCB.

> if I source my own components, say at Mouser, based on the Mouser part numbers, do I get exactly the right components. Or could minute differences in (alternative/replacement) parts cause problems ?

There are minor differences but they are mostly cosmetic.

> can I easily add extra controller knobs to control other synth functions. Is this option already in the code or would I need to alter it ?

You will need to alter the code, roll your own multiplexer board, add some code to writes addresses to the multiplexer etc. Doable, but you need to know what you are doing.

> how easy is it to reprogram this synth ? I’m a coder and I know c++, I have some, but not a lot of experience with these kind of hardware projects I must admit.

Look at the code. It will be trivial if you have already written a synth operating system :slight_smile: It won’t if you have only made a computer print “hello world!”.

> is it possible, and how difficult would it be to use a different screen to view more parameters (more lines or maybe a graphical lcd in the future) and adapt the code ?

You’ll have to edit the code. Again, it depends on your programming skills! One thing is sure: a graphical UI is going to slow things down. Text is a much better option.

Damn do I feel stupid and owe nicoo a massive apology as both that and the ambika were his hand wired beasts of glory! I was thinking of schrab’s caveman etched anushri-drum synth unit. I’ll call it bandwidth-bandwidth™ for now.

I think we ought to make shimoda stand in the corner for a few hours - what does everyone else think?

Martin

Make him sit on the naughty stool!

Or on the SilentStairs™

With an I Heart Rocket t-shirt on

Now you are getting vile and vicious supercollider…

Thanx a lot guys ! For the nice welcome and answering my questions. I think I’m gonna take the plunge.

Btw, I asked about adding knobs and customizing the code etc … more to find out what’s possible and how flexible the Ambika is. I would do the knobs thru midi cc/nrpn anyway if thats possible, so basically doing a programmer. But I better try to get one voice going first hehe.

Found the code, had a quick browse thru, it’s euhm … a challenge :slight_smile: but bloody interesting. A great place to learn about synthesis.