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vintageSynt

Electronic musical instruments are fun for Makers. With some cheap tools, know-how and passion, anyone can become a real synth geek. Just ask software developer Liam Lacey, who happens to also be a sound coder and freelance hacker. He recently won element14’s Open Source Music Tech design challenge for his Vintage Toy Synthesizer project — it’s an acoustic wooden toy piano converted into an open-source, standalone polyphonic digital synthesizer running on a BeagleBone Black and an Arduino Pro Mini.

Playing an instrument is about a lot more than just the sound you create – the way you play it; the physical feedback; and the overall feel and aesthetics of the instrument also play a big role in the overall experience, with these elements also helping to nurture inspiration, and can even affect your perception of the sound created.

Lacey developed the voice engine using the C++ audio DSP library Maximilian, and the keyboard mechanism uses homemade pressure sensors made out of Velostat. The instrument has 18 keys, though players able to alter scales using the knobs on top of the mini piano’s lid. Other dials are used to toggle dedicated waveform oscillators, filters and onboard distortion effects, and there’s even vintage parameters for replicating old or broken analog synth voices. What’s neat is that the converted toy can also act as a MIDI controller to send velocity-sensitive note messages and polyphonic aftertouch to Logic Pro, Ableton Live and various music software programs.

Here’s a diagram of the software architecture of the synth:

software_architecture_diagram

You can read more about the hack here, as well as listen to some quick and rough sound/patch demos:

The project took three and a half months to bring to fruition, and let us just say, the final result is quite impressive! Check out the video below to learn more about its specs and explore the complete documentation on GitHub.

 

Even the most die-hard Arduino fan boys have to admit that the Arduino development environment isn’t the world’s greatest text editor (they’d probably argue that its simplicity is its strength, but let’s ignore that for now). If you are used to using a real code editor, you’ll probably switch to doing your Arduino coding in that and then use the external editor integration in the IDE.

That works pretty well, but there are other options. One we noticed, PlatformIO, extends GitHub’s Atom editor. That makes it cross-platform, powerful, and with plenty of custom plug ins. It also supports a range of platforms including Arduino, many ARM platforms, MSP430, and even desktop computers running Linux or Windows.

The author claims the plug in will generate code for over 200 embedded boards. It handles all the common development tasks and even includes a terminal window. There are command line tools if you want to build scripts or make files and bypass the GUI.

You can install Platform.io on Windows, Linux, or Mac. It uses Python, so porting it elsewhere might be easy, too. The feature list is broad: code completion, linting, multiple projects, and library management. It can even import projects from the Arduino IDE. There are plenty of plug ins to add features (like Emacs keybindings, although that took a little troubleshooting).

There is also something attractive about having a single IDE that targets different platforms if you switch back and forth a lot. In all fairness, the Arduino IDE isn’t as bad as it used to be, and they both have significantly improved versions in the works (Arduino Create and Arduino Studio). We’ve seen plenty of other IDE hacks for Arudino in the past.

Thanks for the tip [Martin]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Screenshot 2015-11-03 12.27.18

Today we are very proud to release Arduino IDE 1.6.6 and updated cores for all supported platforms (AVR 1.6.9, SAM 1.6.5, SAMD 1.6.2)

This update brings an impressive 723 closed issues and 147 pull requests merged.

Most intriguing features are:

  • Long-awaited new arduino-builder: this is a pure command-line tool which takes care of mangling the code, resolving library dependencies and setting up the compilation units. It can also be used as a standalone program in a continuous-integration environment
  • Pluggable USB core: your Arduino can finally act as a lot of different USB devices without any need to change the core, thanks to the new modular architecture. Libraries based on the new subsystem are already being developed!
  • Serial plotter: you can now plot your data in realtime, as easy as writing Serial.println(analogRead(A0)) inside your loop

serial_plotter_with_ide

 

(altro…)

Mag
10

Embroidered Nyan Cat Brings a Meme to the Real World

adafruit, arduino, arduino hacks, audio, audiofx, cat, embroidery, Github, LED, meme, nyan, nyan cat, Sewing Commenti disabilitati su Embroidered Nyan Cat Brings a Meme to the Real World 

Have you ever come across an Internet meme and just thought to yourself, “I have to bring this into the physical world!” Well [0xb3nn] and [Knit Knit] did. They decided to take the classic nyan cat meme and bring it to life.

The frame is 24″ x 36″. Many hours went into the knitting process, but the result obviously turned out very well. The stars include 24 LED sequins to add a sparkling animation effect. These were sewn onto the back of the work using conductive thread. They are bright enough to shine through to the front where needed. These connect back to an Arduino Pro Mini 5V board.

The Arduino is also connected to a capacitive touch sensor. This allows the user to simply place their hand over the nyan cat image to start the animation. No need for physical buttons or switches to take away from the visual design. An Adafruit AudioFX sound board was used to play back a saved nyan cat theme song over a couple of speakers. The source code for this project is available on github. Be sure to watch the demo video below.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Apr
30

A Simple And Inexpensive GPS Navigation Device

arduino, arduino hacks, bitmap, BMP, display, geotiff, Github, gps, LCD, navigation, TFT, uno Commenti disabilitati su A Simple And Inexpensive GPS Navigation Device 

There are plenty of GPS navigation units on the market today, but it’s always fun to build something yourself. That’s what [middelbeek] did with his $25 GPS device. He managed to find a few good deals on electronics components online, including and Arduino Uno, a GPS module, and a TFT display.

In order to get the map images on the device, [middelbeek] has to go through a manual process. First he has to download a GEOTIFF of the area he wants mapped. A GEOTIFF is a metadata standard that allows georeferencing information to be embedded into a TIFF image file.  [middelbeek] then has to convert the GEOTIFF into an 8-bit BMP image file. The BMP images get stored on an SD card along with a .dat file that describes the boundaries of each BMP. The .dat file was also manually created.

The Arduino loads this data and displays the correct map onto the 320×240 TFT display. [middelbeek] explains on his github page that he is currently unable to display data from two map files at once, which can lead to problems when the position moves to the edge of the map. We suspect that with some more work and tuning this system could be improved and made easier to use, of course for under $25 you can’t expect too much.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Feb
06

MicroGame – Custom Arduino Compatible Gamming Platform

arduino, atmega32u4, Github, Microcontroller, OLED Commenti disabilitati su MicroGame – Custom Arduino Compatible Gamming Platform 

ee5fe36e-a105-11e4-9ca0-8aaffabbccef

Oscar Gonzalez writes:

The MicroGame is an experiment of making a custom portable platform for gamming compatible with Arduino. It’s based on a small monochrome 128×64 pixels OLED from Adafruit and a ATmega32U4 8-bits microcontroller running at 8MHz. All hardware design and game source code is writed from scratch by me and you can find all the files in my Github repository if you want to build your own. You can modify, share and make improvements as you like but do not forget to shoot me and email and show me your work!

MicroGame – Custom Arduino Compatible Gamming Platform - [Link]

 

Ott
01

Strobe Remote

If you want to take a photograph with a professional look, proper lighting is going to be critical. [Richard] has been using a commercial lighting solution in his studio. His Lencarta UltraPro 300 studio strobes provide adequate lighting and also have the ability to have various settings adjusted remotely. A single remote can control different lights setting each to its own parameters. [Richard] likes to automate as much as possible in his studio, so he thought that maybe he would be able to reverse engineer the remote control so he can more easily control his lighting.

[Richard] started by opening up the remote and taking a look at the radio circuitry. He discovered the circuit uses a nRF24L01+ chip. He had previously picked up a couple of these on eBay, so his first thought was to just promiscuously snoop on the communications over the air. Unfortunately the chips can only listen in on up to six addresses at a time, and with a 40-bit address, this approach may have taken a while.

Not one to give up easily, [Richard] chose a new method of attack. First, he knew that the radio chip communicates to a master microcontroller via SPI. Second, he knew that the radio chip had no built-in memory. Therefore, the microcontroller must save the address in its own memory and then send it to the radio chip via the SPI bus. [Richard] figured if he could snoop on the SPI bus, he could find the address of the remote. With that information, he would be able to build another radio circuit to listen in over the air.

Using an Open Logic Sniffer, [Richard] was able to capture some of the SPI communications. Then, using the datasheet as a reference, he was able to isolate the communications that stored information int the radio chip’s address register. This same technique was used to decipher the radio channel. There was a bit more trial and error involved, as [Richard] later discovered that there were a few other important registers. He also discovered that the remote changed the address when actually transmitting data, so he had to update his receiver code to reflect this.

The receiver was built using another nRF24L01+ chip and an Arduino. Once the address and other registers were configured properly, [Richard's] custom radio was able to pick up the radio commands being sent from the lighting remote. All [Richard] had to do at this point was press each button and record the communications data which resulted. The Arduino code for the receiver is available on the project page.

[Richard] took it an extra step and wrote his own library to talk to the flashes. He has made his library available on github for anyone who is interested.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, radio hacks

Strobe Remote

If you want to take a photograph with a professional look, proper lighting is going to be critical. [Richard] has been using a commercial lighting solution in his studio. His Lencarta UltraPro 300 studio strobes provide adequate lighting and also have the ability to have various settings adjusted remotely. A single remote can control different lights setting each to its own parameters. [Richard] likes to automate as much as possible in his studio, so he thought that maybe he would be able to reverse engineer the remote control so he can more easily control his lighting.

[Richard] started by opening up the remote and taking a look at the radio circuitry. He discovered the circuit uses a nRF24L01+ chip. He had previously picked up a couple of these on eBay, so his first thought was to just promiscuously snoop on the communications over the air. Unfortunately the chips can only listen in on up to six addresses at a time, and with a 40-bit address, this approach may have taken a while.

Not one to give up easily, [Richard] chose a new method of attack. First, he knew that the radio chip communicates to a master microcontroller via SPI. Second, he knew that the radio chip had no built-in memory. Therefore, the microcontroller must save the address in its own memory and then send it to the radio chip via the SPI bus. [Richard] figured if he could snoop on the SPI bus, he could find the address of the remote. With that information, he would be able to build another radio circuit to listen in over the air.

Using an Open Logic Sniffer, [Richard] was able to capture some of the SPI communications. Then, using the datasheet as a reference, he was able to isolate the communications that stored information int the radio chip’s address register. This same technique was used to decipher the radio channel. There was a bit more trial and error involved, as [Richard] later discovered that there were a few other important registers. He also discovered that the remote changed the address when actually transmitting data, so he had to update his receiver code to reflect this.

The receiver was built using another nRF24L01+ chip and an Arduino. Once the address and other registers were configured properly, [Richard's] custom radio was able to pick up the radio commands being sent from the lighting remote. All [Richard] had to do at this point was press each button and record the communications data which resulted. The Arduino code for the receiver is available on the project page.

[Richard] took it an extra step and wrote his own library to talk to the flashes. He has made his library available on github for anyone who is interested.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, radio hacks
Gen
08

Arduino Yún at Open Thesis Fabrication

architecture, arduino, barcelona, Fablab, Github, IAAC, Yun Commenti disabilitati su Arduino Yún at Open Thesis Fabrication 

OTF at Iaac

 

The Arduino Yún has been used by IAAC‘s  Open Thesis Fabrication student Marisa Charusilawong to make an interactive toolkit for developing interactive facade elements using shape-memory alloy. During the 16-week intensive research program based in Barcelona:

We developed a modular system where several Arduino Uno’s can be networked over I2C and finally connect them to an Arduino Yun where a simple REST API is exposed allowing application to interface the system to manually actuate on the structure and to set the different behavior modes. Because Yun’s rich API capabilities we will be able to connect to other API’s to retrieve real time weather and environmental data on a near future.

The electronics were assisted by Physical Computing expert Guillem Camprodon based at IAAC – Fab Lab Barcelona who also wrote us:

 It was amazing how easy and nice it is to connect things to the internet with Yún. We are planning a workshop on IoT at Fab Lab Barcelona by mid-winter and Yun will be the default platform. For the first time we will be able to teach IoT projects to non Arduino experts.

Stay tuned on FablabBCN website for news about the workshop and now take a look at the code published on Github and  pictures with some more details about this project:

iaac arduino web7 arduino web8 arduino web5 arduino web6 arduino web4 arduino web3 arduino web2 arduino web1


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