MATRIXSYNTH: Bela Mini Multichannel Expander

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Bela Mini Multichannel Expander

"Introducing the latest board in the Bela toolbox: the Bela Mini Multichannel Expander. This expansion board for the Bela Mini brings multichannel audio into your projects to open new frontiers in instrument design, interactivity and sound installations.

The multichannel expander connects to Bela Mini to give you a total of 8 channels of audio in, and 8 channels of audio out while still having all of Bela's high-performance connectivity including analog inputs, digital I/O and plug and play MIDI over USB. All of this in the tiny footprint of the Bela Mini.

Available now at:"

And the press release:

Bela is thrilled to announce the debut of the Bela Mini Multichannel Expander, a new extension for our Bela Mini system that packs multichannel audio to an astonishingly small and powerful interactive package and at a very reasonable price.

The Bela Mini Multichannel Expander is an add-on for the Bela Mini system. It sits right on top of Bela Mini and expands audio I/O from two channels to a whopping eight audio I/O.

The Bela Mini Multichannel Expander gives you all the connectivity that creative digital makers need and love, like 16 digital I/O and 8 high-resolution analog inputs. And it’s still tiny - the fully assembled Bela Mini with Multichannel Expander is only 35 x 64 x 34mm, small enough to fit pretty much anywhere. The whole package comes in at just £160.

Imagine being able to capture and process sound from eight individual strings, and diffuse them through a surround sound system. Or being able to make interactive objects that are sonified from every direction, with a different sonic experience at each angle. Or building spatial sound installations that react to listeners, moving sound through multiple locations in response to presence or human interaction. Or field recording with a multi-directional microphone. Or sampling sound live, and being able to process and play it back over multichannel speakers. Or being able to build interactive ambisonic environments. These are just some of the possibilities with the new expander.

A huge amount of audio channels in combination with powerful interactive processing means that the Bela Mini Multichannel Expander can open up new frontiers in designing sound installations, musical instruments, interactive sonic objects, and more. Program it in a multitude of languages right in your browser using the Bela IDE, Bela’s powerful interface for learning and creating that comes loaded with the tools digital makers need, like a built-in oscilloscope, dozens of examples, and an interactive pin diagram.

The Bela Mini Multichannel Expander is available as:

An add-on for the Bela Mini system (includes 6 audio adapter cables) £60.

A starter kit (includes Bela Mini system, SD card, USB cable, and 8 audio adapter cables) £170, £160 introductory price until November 1.

About Bela

Bela is an open-source maker platform for beautifully interactive sensors and sound. Bela launched on Kickstarter in 2016 and is now used by thousands of makers worldwide to create new musical instruments, interactive installations, wearable technologies and more (see the Bela blog for hundreds of projects created with our products).

Bela is a small team based in London, UK. This month Bela turns 5 years old and we have continually expanded our hardware range to make working with sensors, sound and embedded computing accessible to the widest range of makers and designers.

The Bela family of products includes Bela boards for embeddable, low-latency audio and sensor processing, expander capelets, synthesiser modules and Trill, a range of capacitive touch sensors. Additionally, Bela offers a browser-based development environment that ships with every board with the tools makers need, such as an interactive oscilloscope, dozens of example projects, and extensive educational resources.

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