Patchblocks: Digital Programmable Modular Synthesizer/Processor

Here is a link to the Kickstarter.

I am mainly posting this because this seems to be right up the alley of everyone here as you can program your own effects/synths with it. The programming is also done visually, but you can edit the low-level DSP code in C as well.
I am excited for these for one reason - emulating a K5000 filter.

I won’t say much else, you can make your own opinion about them.

I don’t think programming is my thing, but that does look very cool indeed! I hope he does well with his idea :slight_smile:
I imagine that even for those like me who don’t know squat about programming, there will potentially still be lots of pre-made files to download for them…

Looks like a hardware plouge bidule!

10-bit 20kHz sample rate :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

Yuk - that’s stone age resolution!

Great concept though.


I pledged for one. It will arrive in December if project funded on time.

Hey, a little Ensoniq Mirage module to add a bit of “shit” to your otherwise glossy, shining production.

I was ready to dismiss this right away as “toyish”, but the programmability aspect is really cool. So far, the sound demos sound good (to me) as well. If I had more hours in the day, I’d re-learn programming. One of these days, I suppose. At any rate, I backed for a January module, as I think it could be really useful as a sound processing / stereo effects device.

Low res is hardly a show stopper this days. Quite the opposite if anything, no?
And at only £30 a pop, it’s a bargain for something so clever and entirely customisable.

Looks like the chap has already exceeded his funding target by quite some way too :slight_smile:

Yeah, I figured that I wouldn’t bring up the bits and kHz at first. Again, these would be perfect for recreating an aliasing digital filter. Also, I found a Radica UCreateMusic at the thrift a while back and love it - it goes with the SK5 to bring the high tones back out. Having a programmable version would be interesting.

@cold_fashioned: The main programming interface is “visual” it is just like patching a synthesizer.

@herrprof: Program wise, yes. I am not sure if it could route sequencer information, but that would be great if it could. I also wish there was a MIDI block, or at least information as to whether it was Plug-N-Play Midi compatible.

@cereyanlimusiki: Let us know how it goes. I was considering getting one, but then I realized that I really only wanted to do one thing with it. Emulate a K5000 filter. I’m sure they will have more interesting things than that.

Finally, the Ensoniq Mirage can sound HiFi. I’m sure this can too. Of course, they didn’t really push the high frequencies in the demos. The LP filter did sound very natural.

I see that it’s a visual programming interface, but on the kickstarter page, it says you can also dive into code if you so chose. As someone who hasn’t coded in a billion years, but remembers it fondly (enough), I like the ability to try my hand at both methods.

Also, I wasn’t knocking the lo-fi aspect of these blocks. It can be quite useful, as you mentioned. In the very least, I’m curious. The portability is really nice too. You could patch your phone through it, and mangle up your playlist, or just toy around with creating different sounds. Hell, with apps like “Tape”, etc. you could record directly to your iphone, if you stumbled across something really great.

Yes, it is just C code, and that is the best feature of the product in my opinion. I like how open they are about the user modifying the codebase. I just mentioned the “visual” aspect because it is very easy compared to low-level DSP C coding. This should be a great learning curve for beginners and experts alike.
I am also impressed with the portability and the battery per unit they included. They are squarely aimed at the mobile market. I would be surprised if they didn’t have a visual programmer app on iOS and Android in under six months.

I think these are darn cute.

Audiohoarder, of all the synth collections and studio set ups I could see, I want to see yours.

I imagine a mad scientist’s lair with fog machines and walls of blinking lights like every spaceship had in movies and TV from 1950-2000.

Fog machines can cause moisture build up in the circuit boards of synthesizers… Same issue if you live by the ocean, only you have to worry about salt crystals as well. Basically, you’d be asking for rust - so much rust.

In short, no fog machines here. :wink:

I just moved away from the ocean! Luckily the atmosphere around Santa Monica is such that there is almost no salt spray from the ocean (they call it the “Marine Layer”).

Then you know exactly what I am talking about. Every time I go to the ocean I have to remember to take a spray bottle and a small squeegee to clean off the windows and mirrors. Otherwise you can’t see!

The only people who opted for the “undercoating” option on older cars were beach-folk- turns sheet metal into dust in about 5 years without maintenance.

Argh! I just bought a fog machine, and it does strobe lights through the fog too!

I think I need to emerge from a foggy studio with strobe lights once a week and yell “It’s ALIVVEE!”