OWL Programmable FX Pedal

Have you seen this? It is a kickstarter project and I think It is a bit expensive.

OWL Programmable FX Pedal

yes that was my first thought too. especially if you think that you can DIY a lot of pedals for a fraction of the cost. It’s certainly an interesting project…
Probably you can only run one program at the time, and you have to code… which means more sitting in front of the computer :slight_smile:
hmm not really for me I guess…

I have Zoom MS-50G which has 55 FX on board and you can create chain of fx

It just cost me 80 EUR

Yea but all the zoom effects sound terrible. This is a real chicken or egg thing… it will be much cooler once everyone has one and starts deving.

Hmm the Owl is an interesting idea but I agree that having to program it using normal programming languages is going to make it inaccessible to most potential users. Or at least the users who might be willing to pay for an easy to use box. The more DIY oriented folks probably would just use something like an Arduino or series of discrete effects.

People who don’t know how to program it will use the stock firmware or grab someone else’s code, how is that a problem? The number of people who have messed with the Shruthi code is below 10, but I have certainly sold more than 10 units!

The way I see it is this: You buy pedals for their immediate, direct and discrete nature.

If it does multiple things, and you need to code, you buy a laptop.

It would be like making a Eurorack module that you can code into multiple other modules…you end up with a rack mounted computer that you need to code for in another computer. A modular system should be modular.

On the other hand, many big pedal manufacturers are currently having many pedals with the same digital innards and different software. This would be an open source of this.

A lower price would make me consider this.

Also with such a simple framework, a motivated team or individual could easily make a nord modular gui editor for connecting a number of stock modules, right? Plus it could very well be a synth as well as a pedal, and i think the price point is pretty fair with all that.

Have you seen iStomp from Digitech?

Don’t get me wrong, I hope it does well and I think its a great idea, I am just concerned that with a product that is a lot more open ended than the Shruthi, say, it seems that it would depend more heavily on those programmers adopting it as a platform to create a wide range of effects for others who are less inclined to program to use.

But that also strongly depends on what sort of patches the Owl folks release themselves.

A GUI editor would definitely make me more likely to use it, at least. I use Audulus and Plogue Bidule and love them and would love to be able to easily translate some of those types of ideas to sturdy open hardware.

Im not a fan of the istomp becuase I can just get a line 6 m5 and have 70 models instead of having to pay apple $.99 each for them.

Martin has been discussing this on the SDIY forum for a number of weeks. his Rebel Technology modules are right up my street.

> It would be like making a Eurorack module that you can code into multiple other modules…you end up with a rack mounted computer that you need to code for in another computer. A modular system should be modular.

What you describe here is Braids, but nobody seems to be complaining about that! That’s because my angle is “if you’re not happy with all the good stuff I’ve put there, there’s still this open door about coding your own” rather than “here! a new platform ready for you to write history on! take it!”.

This might indicate a communication problem from the OWL team - insisting on the benefits of their system for developers without communicating much about its advantages for musicians. I parallel that with the way new gaming platforms are introduced before any serious game can be presented - just technical specs and use cases. It seems to work for hardcore gamers…

Im totally happy with Braids. I would be a bit more happy with 2 Braids but i guess it would not a linear happiness function :wink:

Personally i dont care if a FX Box is good to program or to program at all - i want it to sound the right way, else i wouldnt invest a penny. And as Pichenettes pointed right only a tinytinytiny fraction of the customers will ever event try to code for it.

@pichenettes: yeah I think the main difference is in the communication. You are not advertising your modules as a “load up your own software” product. It’s more as you said, you get a fully working and nicely sounding oscillator, and if you’re up to it and like tinkering with the firmware you can mess with the code.
The OWL is being advertised as something that comes blank and you code your own software for it.
In the end it’s probably the same thing, but the differences in communication make them two completely different products, since the OWL right now really sounds like something for developers who like to play guitar.
As I said, they are probably the same thing, but what counts in the end is how you communicate and market the product. Because nobody really cares for the essence of things. :slight_smile:

“This might indicate a communication problem from the OWL team”…@pichenettes I think this is exactly right. To me it seems very open ended and bordering on unusable without programming knowledge, but maybe that’s because it only exists as a prototype and there’s not a community around it yet developing ideas, proving concepts, and showing imaginative examples.

Regarding the programmable Euro module concept: that of course is the idea behind the Ardcore, also, obviously in a different approach from Braids.

Personally, I am very into open ended, adaptable projects but my thought is still that it only really appeals to me as a user if I can understand how to program it. I personally don’t have interest in learning C++ so the project doesn’t appeal to me until there are acute examples of how I could use it as a non-C++ programmer. I can figure out how to chain together modules or pedals or GUI-based systems, though, and there are existing options for those methods so that’s where I am coming from and I imagine that’s what many users would be thinking, also. For someone more interested in coding than soldering, I can see more appeal.

I mean all this constructively; the more open-source hardware, software, and firmware in the world, the better! :slight_smile: I feel like I’m being a naysayer, which I don’t mean at all! I think something like this has lots of potential and I think that appealing to the widest number of users would make that potential more likely to be realized. Seeing examples of really unique, complex, imaginative effects would help that a lot. On that note, I hope for everyone’s sake that if the project is a success, that they hit the mark to make it a stereo version, because there’s obviously just so much more you can do with two channels.

@fcd72 do you mean to say that 2 Braids wouldn’t be a linear happiness function because it would be exponentially increasing? :wink:

The problem with the OWL is most of the Guys i know just want to have some FX to throw on their Signal - next to nobody is interested in coding and or loading some PlugIns. The ones i know that are capable of coding an interestinf FX are doing their own Hardware.

It really divides in people whose main goal is making music or making musical instruments and for the later the OWL Platform will look a bit underfeatured with just 4 Knobs, no Display, no Stereo, 12Bits and overpriced. Hell for 220GBP ill get a MX-300…

I think as a good Engineer i will have to do some measurements here…

They seemed to have reached double their goal so they must be doing something right…

and we are the wrong target for their project I guess :smiley:

@shiftr excellent point :slight_smile: