Todd Bailey’s “Where’s the Party At?” wants to return to a simpler, glitchier era of sampling. When CDM spoke to Hank Shocklee, Public Enemy’s legendary producer, he talked about how those artists really preferred earlier samplers because of, not in spite of, their flaws. And because lo-fi is a little easier to pull off, this makes a great project.

WTPA is an open source 8-bit digital sampler kit, designed to be hacker and bender friendly. Inspired by the preponderance of wack samplers proliferating in music today, WTPA brings back the fun, the danger, and the aliasing errors.

Todd tells CDM more:

There’s a video of me fiddling with a Bach piece with WTPA on the website: (direct link)

It’s an older version of the firmware that doesn’t support MIDI yet — lately I tend to control it a lot from my MPK49 rather than messing with the tact switches and small pots on the kit’s PCB.

My plans are to go into production on the kit pretty soon. Short story:

I built a prototype run for Bent 2008 [circuit bending festival] and a few people built them and gave me feedback. I also played out with it a lot and found some things I’d like to change. Right now I’ve finished designing the next hardware revision and am laying out the PCB. Once I get it back I’ll have firmware to rewrite, and I’ll probably send it to some people to build and use and get feedback, and then the real thing will come out.

So far the only practical release is in kit form, but I’d sort of like to sell a finished version, too, because I really think this sampler will kick the ass of many other SRAM (loop) based samplers out there (I’m talking to you, Line 6) and I think a lot of people who are musically savvy but not technically savvy would be interested in using it. And not just guitar players.

Todd also says he’s into others hacking away / modifying his design, so enjoy! I hope to catch up with Todd soon in either Chicago or New York and get a closer look.

This project was also part of Make Magazine’s recent American Maker event in Chicago, which featured various other excellent musical (and non-musical) projects. Hmmm… New York, anyone?