whiteanode

We’re really proud of our MeeBlip anode synthesizer. It’s gotten some great reviews, and you’ve made some terrific music with it in a bunch of genres. It’s fully open source hardware, but you can get it out and play it right away even if it’s your first synth – as far as we know, it’s the first widely-available synthesizer hardware that can say that.

So, to celebrate anode, we’re bringing out a special limited edition for summer. As you’ve no doubt noticed, it comes in a new creamy white case. But the controls have been updated, too. People liked the wavetable mode so much, we’ve made that the default, so you can dial in a wide range of sounds from the front panel. And to give you blindingly-quick access to envelopes, there’s one knob for amplitude and one knob for decay. Sound performance has also been fine-tuned, so it’s even more responsive.

We’re only making 250 of these, hand numbering them, so once they’re gone, they’re gone. (The original anode will remain available, both direct and at worldwide dealers.)

Get yours here (ships worldwide, free shipping for the limited edition launch in North America):
MeeBlip anode limited edition

Or in Europe, via our dealer network.

I got to jam on dual anodes with the legendary Andreas Schneider and had an obscene amount of fun. (Thanks to the ever-prolific Synthtopia for featuring this video.) That’s Andreas on Jomox Xbase09 drum machine. I used a Future Retro Zillion as sequencer, which worked delightfully well once I learned to let go and embrace the Zillion’s generative way of thinking. Here’s the result:

Meeblip at SchneidersBuero from Andreas Schneider on Vimeo.

anodeangle

I’ll say this, too: I’ve been taking my anode wherever I play, even syncing it to Traktor and playing atop DJ sets. Because it’s so small, there’s never a second thought about whether you’ll have room. And while it seems like there aren’t a lot of knobs, we worked really hard to make sure the knobs you want are there. It’s been terrific to work with James Grahame the engineer/designer on this. And to our existing MeeBlip owners, do keep sending us music and videos and so on on our MeeBlip Facebook page or @meeblip on Twitter.

We’re fixing a whole bunch of stuff with MeeBlip and CDM’s webpages this summer, so thanks for your patience on that – I think you’ll really like what happens when it’s done, and you won’t have to wait too much longer. My apologies for having broken some things, but don’t hesitate to get in touch with James and me for anything you might need.

meeblip.com

  • Adam Jay

    Interesting changes of specification. Forgive me ignorance, but are other parameters available “under the hood” via midi CC#?
    For instance, now that there are two decay envelope knobs, is there access to the attack parameters via midi?

    • Yes; MIDI mappings remain as before. See also: filter envelope amount.

      As before, the only thing you can’t control is analog filter resonance (because it isn’t actually digitally controlled).

      • just passing

        On that… is there a spare PWM line going? If so, why not use an LDR/LED combination to control the resonance, rather than a pot? It’s going to be pretty dark inside an Anode, so in terms of stray light, it should be fairly isolated; and resonance doesn’t need the same level of envelope sensitivity as cutoff.

        • James Grahame

          Direct analog control of resonance was the simplest approach. We were fighting to keep costs down, which meant things had to be as simple as possible.

      • Blee

        Hi Peter. Is it just mine, or does the “filter envelope amount” not actually control the amount the envelope controls the filter cutoff (like for a simple filter sweep tracking the decay setting when AEG set to sustain). It seems to actually behave as an amount setting for how much the velocity affects the filter cutoff. Hope I’m just being dumb, but I can’t seem to get any kind of filter sweep, whether a long decaying one, or a short one for some funky basslines.

  • Adam Jay

    Interesting changes of specification. Forgive me ignorance, but are other parameters available “under the hood” via midi CC#?
    For instance, now that there are two decay envelope knobs, is there access to the attack parameters via midi?

    • Yes; MIDI mappings remain as before. See also: filter envelope amount.

      As before, the only thing you can’t control is analog filter resonance (because it isn’t actually digitally controlled).

      • Blee

        Hi Peter. Is it just mine, or does the “filter envelope amount” not actually control the amount the envelope controls the filter cutoff (like for a simple filter sweep tracking the decay setting when AEG set to sustain). It seems to actually behave as an amount setting for how much the velocity affects the filter cutoff. Hope I’m just being dumb, but I can’t seem to get any kind of filter sweep, whether a long decaying one, or a short one for some funky basslines.

  • Adam Jay

    Interesting changes of specification. Forgive me ignorance, but are other parameters available “under the hood” via midi CC#?
    For instance, now that there are two decay envelope knobs, is there access to the attack parameters via midi?

    • Yes; MIDI mappings remain as before. See also: filter envelope amount.

      As before, the only thing you can’t control is analog filter resonance (because it isn’t actually digitally controlled).

      • Blee

        Hi Peter. Is it just mine, or does the “filter envelope amount” not actually control the amount the envelope controls the filter cutoff (like for a simple filter sweep tracking the decay setting when AEG set to sustain). It seems to actually behave as an amount setting for how much the velocity affects the filter cutoff. Hope I’m just being dumb, but I can’t seem to get any kind of filter sweep, whether a long decaying one, or a short one for some funky basslines.

  • foljs

    @peterkirn:disqus Just chanced into these: http://palettegear.com/

    They promote them for photography editing work, but looks like it would work for music / DAW just as well…

  • foljs

    @peterkirn:disqus Just chanced into these: http://palettegear.com/

    They promote them for photography editing work, but looks like it would work for music / DAW just as well…

  • foljs

    @peterkirn:disqus Just chanced into these: http://palettegear.com/

    They promote them for photography editing work, but looks like it would work for music / DAW just as well…

  • Will

    There’s a comment on the Synthtopia post about this release from user Walter that said:

    I have e-mailed a bit with the creators and they said it was envisioned as a voice unit for a polysynth, which may come in the future.

    Figured I’d cross post my reply here, closer to home, because I’m hoping @peterkirn:disqus and/or @jamesgrahame:disqus will a) talk about the possibility of an actual poly and b) actually make this hack version since they have the units:

    Me:
    Since almost* every parameter of these are MIDI controllable, someone could hack up a poly version of this pretty easily using one of the poly->mono distributors out there and a single MIDI knob controller thing that was sent simultaneously to each unit (to say, control the filter of all of them at once). The controller would need to be able to send a single message to multiple channel numbers at once since the mono->poly distributor would need them all to be on different channels.

    * The resonance is the kink in this plan. It’s the only thing that isn’t MIDI controllable so would have to be hacked physically to single control (or expose 6 knobs!).

    James? Peter? You guys have the units. Make a video to inspire our collective drool?

    • James Grahame

      A hybrid polysynth would be fun to build using a similar voice architecture. The problem is one of economies of scale. To get decent prices, we need to purchase parts and assemble synths in fairly large quantities.

      A good case is expensive – we paid thousands of dollars to get the plastic mold made for anode and it took months of anxious waiting before we received the final result. We’d be forced to use metal for a polysynth, simply because we couldn’t afford a large plastic mold and a production run of 500 or so units.

      So, yeah. It would be interesting. I’m just not sure how big the market is for another 8 voice synth in the $1000 range.

      • Will

        Thanks for the reply, James. Always interesting to hear the ‘thoughts behind’ story.

        I’d still love to see/hear you guys cook up a 4-6 voice hackblip with a midi controller, poly-switcher and a mini-mixer. Or send me a few loaners and I’ll hook it up. 🙂

        • Jaybeeg

          Heh. I should grab four anodes off the test bench and hook them up to a MIDI thru box to create a four voice polysynth. I’d need some software to remap each note to a different channel, but apart from that it’s simple.

          And I won’t say never to releasing a polysynth – it might happen eventually.

          • Will

            Yes, please! http://polymer-app.com will do the mono-poly switching. There’s an iPad app too. Or maybe Peter could get his hands on a http://www.future-retro.com/products.html#!/Mondovox-Poly-MIDI-router/p/50667591/category=0

            Might also be useful to have a MIDI controller than can send the same CC on more than one channel simultaneously. Or send a generic controller via MIDI Yoke/OX/Blah.

            The dreamy bit for me in doing the hack version instead of a ‘proper’ poly is that you can use the multi-channel CC thing to make it behave like a normal poly but also have the freedom to address each OSC separately. Because, SEM. Yum. At $130 per voice, this isn’t actually crazy talk.

  • Will

    There’s a comment on the Synthtopia post about this release from user Walter that said:

    I have e-mailed a bit with the creators and they said it was envisioned as a voice unit for a polysynth, which may come in the future.

    Figured I’d cross post my reply here, closer to home, because I’m hoping @peterkirn:disqus and/or @jamesgrahame:disqus will a) talk about the possibility of a poly and b) actually make this hack version since they have the units:

    Me:
    Since almost* every parameter of these are MIDI controllable, someone could hack up a poly version of this pretty easily using one of the poly->mono distributors out there and a single MIDI knob controller thing that was sent simultaneously to each unit (to say, control the filter of all of them at once). The controller would need to be able to send a single message to multiple channel numbers at once since the mono->poly distributor would need them all to be on different channels.

    * The resonance is the kink in this plan. It’s the only thing that isn’t MIDI controllable so would have to be hacked physically to single control (or expose 6 knobs!).

    James? Peter? You guys have the units. Make a video to inspire our collective drool?

    • James Grahame

      A hybrid polysynth would be fun to build using a similar voice architecture. The problem is one of economies of scale. To get decent prices, we need to purchase parts and assemble synths in fairly large quantities.

      A good case is expensive – we paid thousands of dollars to get the plastic mold made for anode and it took months of anxious waiting before we received the final result. We’d be forced to use metal for a polysynth, simply because we couldn’t afford a large plastic mold and a production run of 500 or so units.

      So, yeah. It would be interesting. I’m just not sure how big the market is for another 8 voice synth in the $1000 range.

      • Will

        Thanks for the reply, James. Always interesting to hear the ‘thoughts behind’ story.

        I’d still love to see/hear you guys cook up a 4-6 voice hackblip with a midi controller, poly-switcher and a mini-mixer. Or send me a few loaners and I’ll hook it up. 🙂

        • Jaybeeg

          Heh. I should grab four anodes off the test bench and hook them up to a MIDI thru box to create a four voice polysynth. I’d need some software to remap each note to a different channel, but apart from that it’s simple.

          And I won’t say never to releasing a polysynth – it might happen eventually.

          • Will

            Yes, please! http://polymer-app.com will do the mono-poly switching. There’s an iPad app too. Or maybe Peter could get his hands on a http://www.future-retro.com/products.html#!/Mondovox-Poly-MIDI-router/p/50667591/category=0

            Might also be useful to have a MIDI controller than can send the same CC on more than one channel simultaneously. Or send a generic controller via MIDI Yoke/OX/Blah.

            The dreamy bit for me in doing the hack version instead of a ‘proper’ poly is that you can use the multi-channel CC thing to make it behave like a normal poly but also have the freedom to address each OSC separately. Because, SEM. Yum. At $130 per voice, this isn’t actually crazy talk.

  • Will

    There’s a comment on the Synthtopia post about this release from user Walter that said:

    I have e-mailed a bit with the creators and they said it was envisioned as a voice unit for a polysynth, which may come in the future.

    Figured I’d cross post my reply here, closer to home, because I’m hoping @peterkirn:disqus and/or @jamesgrahame:disqus will a) talk about the possibility of a poly and b) actually make this hack version since they have the units:

    Me:
    Since almost* every parameter of these are MIDI controllable, someone could hack up a poly version of this pretty easily using one of the poly->mono distributors out there and a single MIDI knob controller thing that was sent simultaneously to each unit (to say, control the filter of all of them at once). The controller would need to be able to send a single message to multiple channel numbers at once since the mono->poly distributor would need them all to be on different channels.

    * The resonance is the kink in this plan. It’s the only thing that isn’t MIDI controllable so would have to be hacked physically to single control (or expose 6 knobs!).

    James? Peter? You guys have the units. Make a video to inspire our collective drool?

    • James Grahame

      A hybrid polysynth would be fun to build using a similar voice architecture. The problem is one of economies of scale. To get decent prices, we need to purchase parts and assemble synths in fairly large quantities.

      A good case is expensive – we paid thousands of dollars to get the plastic mold made for anode and it took months of anxious waiting before we received the final result. We’d be forced to use metal for a polysynth, simply because we couldn’t afford a large plastic mold and a production run of 500 or so units.

      So, yeah. It would be interesting. I’m just not sure how big the market is for another 8 voice synth in the $1000 range.

      • Will

        Thanks for the reply, James. Always interesting to hear the ‘thoughts behind’ story.

        I’d still love to see/hear you guys cook up a 4-6 voice hackblip with a midi controller, poly-switcher and a mini-mixer. Or send me a few loaners and I’ll hook it up. 🙂

        • Jaybeeg

          Heh. I should grab four anodes off the test bench and hook them up to a MIDI thru box to create a four voice polysynth. I’d need some software to remap each note to a different channel, but apart from that it’s simple.

          And I won’t say never to releasing a polysynth – it might happen eventually.

          • Will

            Yes, please! http://polymer-app.com will do the mono-poly switching. There’s an iPad app too. Or maybe Peter could get his hands on a http://www.future-retro.com/products.html#!/Mondovox-Poly-MIDI-router/p/50667591/category=0

            Might also be useful to have a MIDI controller than can send the same CC on more than one channel simultaneously. Or send a generic controller via MIDI Yoke/OX/Blah.

            The dreamy bit for me in doing the hack version instead of a ‘proper’ poly is that you can use the multi-channel CC thing to make it behave like a normal poly but also have the freedom to address each OSC separately. Because, SEM. Yum. At $130 per voice, this isn’t actually crazy talk.

  • Konic

    Are the schematics/code for this going to be put up so that existing owners/hackers can improve their units?

  • Konic

    Are the schematics/code for this going to be put up so that existing owners/hackers can improve their units?

  • Konic

    Are the schematics/code for this going to be put up so that existing owners/hackers can improve their units?

  • Armando

    something about that white… =) so sexy makes me smile.

  • Armando

    something about that white… =) so sexy makes me smile.

  • Armando

    something about that white… =) so sexy makes me smile.