MATRIXSYNTH: The Peeps Music Box / Handmade synthesizer.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Peeps Music Box / Handmade synthesizer.

Published on Dec 15, 2019 suis-je fou

Like a little mini wooden Buchla Music Easel. Also see the PEEPS / Handmade synthesizer.

The Peeps Music Box (Full turorial)

Published on Dec 15, 2019 suis-je fou

"The Peeps Music Box is a battery powered digital handmade synthesizer.

It’s a micro version of the «Buchla Music Easel», one of the best synthesizer ever made, designed by Don Buchla in 1972.

Some features were deleted but others were added. It is not a modular synthesizer like the original Buchla, but all the switch buttons act like pre-patched possibilities that I felt like the most interesting patchs to use with the original Music Easel.

The Peeps Music Box have all these functions :
(* features added)

2 Oscillators :
- First the «Mod-Osc» is a triangle-wave just a bit sinefolded
- Second the Complex-Osc is a sine-wave with a powerful Wavefolder
- Mod-Osc can modulate the Complex-Osc and switch between FM & AM with depth for both.
- Both Oscillators can be Hard-sync for FM synthesis*
- The Mod-Osc Pitch is bipolar & can go really low to act like an LFO
- The Complex Pitch is unipolar
- Both have Finetune for AM and not-synced FM harmonic research or perfectly tuning them together.

1 LFO* :
- Sine-wave or random sample&hold
- Can act to the pitch of each oscillators & as the clock master for the sequencer and arpeggiator

2 Lowpass gate :
- One for the Mod Osc & second one for the Complex osc

2 Lowpass filter :
- One for the mod Osc & second one for the Complex osc

1 Attack :
- Applied to both Osc.

4 Step sequencer :
- Can be set to each Osc & to the Wavefolder.
- Can run up or up&down*
- All step can be switched off

2 Channel mixer :
- One channel per oscillators

1 Reverb :
- With mix & time

1 Touch sensitive keyboard :
- 13 keys with octave switch up & down*
- can act on each oscillators.

3 Touch plates :
- With their own adjustable pitch

1 Arpeggiator :
- In order mode
- Can be sustained, even on several switched octaves*
- Can be sync to the sequencer or have his own clock for doing Polyrythmic things

1 glide :
- With a decay value can be really long

1 Main volume

Each oscillators can choose their own controller between Keyboards, Touch plates or sequencer, and sequencer and plates can be transposed by the keyboard. The Complex-Osc have one more option to only recive the gate from the sequencer and not the pitch.

As you can see in this video, there is a black switch button next to an audio input. I’m still working on some features. The goal is to get stereo audio input signal going trough the reverb, or switch to the most important, recive a clock from Eurorack, PO-sync, Volca etc… to sync the internal sequencer and arpeggiator with external devices.
Also, because on my studio/live config I don’t use midi connection, I didn’t placed a midi input connection, but this is totally possible. You can also control the Peeps music box from any DAW with a simple micro USB connection.

The Peeps Music Box is made with 1 Axoloti-core, 1 Teensy 3.2, 1 Adafruit MPR121 and a lot of wires...

Important things : I will never pretend to find the exact same sounds as an original Buchla Music Easel. Day after day I’m going deeper in the sound synthesis, after some years of work and understanding electronic music concepts, I can easily pretend today that most of the « classics » analog synths can be reproduce pretty well on a computer. But a few units and brand still cannot be reproduced exactly well. Rare synths like Synthi, and of course Buchla synthesizers are the perfect exemple. If you want the sound of a Buchla system, the only way to get it is to buy a Buchla system.

What I've tried were to make a digital synth work with same functions as a Music Easel, but in the smallest possible size, and get deep into digital synthesis to understand how I can approach that type of sound.

This is not a commercial product, I'm not a factory and I don't want to be. But I will start to make some units in April 2020, I'll take my time to do it at home. If you want to buy one of these, the only way is to write your email adress in the waiting list on my website, all prices in € and options are there :"

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