Saturday, 14 December 2013

Xmas Project Status Update

The good news!
I now have a fully working completed model that is ready for production.  I can confirm details for the Atmegatron Complete.
Atmegatron Complete - £255 ex VAT.
(That's only £FF in hexadecimal!)
  • Atmegatron Synthesizer
  • Power Supply
  • Printed colour manual
  • Stickers
The Atmegatron Complete is housed in a screen-printed white aluminium chassis with walnut side panels.  Details about the Atmegatron PCB coming soon.

The bad news
They aren't going to be ready for Christmas as originally hoped.  Numerous issues have come up since I posted the first video in October, which has meant I have had to make a second version of the PCB.  Sonically it is still the same, it just corrects some problems with the first version.  This, plus lead times on manufacturing and components means that I'm now hoping to ship in February.

Other news
Here's a brand new demo of the Atmegatron by DREAMTRAK bizarrely called "Atmegaparty!".  It is created entirely using the Atmegatron and shows off loads of it's features.  The arpeggiator sound towards the end of the track was done in 1 take and starts off as a pure waveform and gradually gets more and more demented!

Below are some preview pics of the Atmegatron.  More photos and demos to come in the new year.

Thanks for your interest in the Atmegatron and your patience too.  I promise to make this 8-bit fantasy a reality in the new year!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Check out this interview with Audioslap!

I did an email interview for Audioslap today.  Read the interview here to find out more about the Atmegatron!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Answering the question "Can't this be done entirely in software?"

The YouTube vid has only been up a day and already I've been blown away by the response.  Thank you to everyone who has been in touch. 

I've seen the same question in a couple places now which is:  "Couldn't this be done entirely in my DAW/soft synth/VST/ etc".    The basic answer is "No".  The more complex answer is best explained by going through how the Atmegatron works.

The Atmegatron is 99% software.  But the 1% hardware is very important.  This is because the Atmega328P processor doesn't actually have an analogue audio output.  It has a Pulse Width Modulation output.   This is one way in which the Atmegatron has a unique sound.  To achieve this sound in software, the 65kHz Pulse Width Modulated output would need to be emulated.  This output is then filtered and gain/bias adjusted using analogue circuitry.  Again this would need emulating in software.
The way the Arduino code works would also need to be emulated in software.  There are 2 loops (a loop and an interrupt to be technically accurate!):  one updates the output waveform, one does everything else.  The way these 2 loops interact is another attribute of the Atmegatron's unique sound.  This would also need emulating in software.
So the long answer is in fact "Yes"!   But you would need to accurately emulate the entire Atmega328P processor and the analogue circuitry to do it.  Atmel (who make the Atmega) hold the secrets of how the Atmega could be emulated and until they release them, software emulation isn't really a possibility.

Oh yeah, and don't forget REAL SYNTHS ARE GREAT!!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

First Look at the Atmegatron PCB

Here's a first look at the Atmegatron PCB.   It covers all the Atmegatron's the main features.  

There's also a brand new demo from DREAMTRAK.  All sounds bar the drums are made on the Atmegatron.
Stay tuned for the unveiling of the Atmegatron Complete - later this month!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

PCB prototype due by the end of September

The PCB prototype is due by the end of the month.  Once testing is complete, a run of 50 will be manufactured and pre-orders will be made available.  This will be for the PCB only version.
The complete version will be available a month or so after this.  There will also be an option to upgrade the PCB version to the complete version at a later date.
Here is a sneak preview of hopefully what the PCB version will look like.  Feet will be provided for it to stand on: