If you hate modern samplers with all their supposed fidelity, longing instead for the glitchy digital distortion of samplers past, a DIY project has brought you the sounds you love. “Where’s the Party At?” has been inspiring tingly sensations in digital lovers since I first wrote about it in September.

Now, the kit version is shipping. It’s a unique-looking combination of reliability and sonic unreliability, good open source design engineering and, as the creator puts it, a certain “crustiness.”

Apocryphal Feature List and General Horn-Tooting:

  • 8-bit max sample depth, 1-bit minimum.
  • 20kHz (or so, user adjustable) max sample rate, no minimum.
  • 512k SRAM, about 26 seconds (minimum) or sample time.
  • Big, versatile 6 button, 7 knob, 8 LED user interface. For Cavemen.
  • Even more big and versatile full MIDI control in and out capability. Fully sequenceable. For people who use Live and general bespectacled electronic music nerds.
  • Sample banking — multi-timbral recording, playback and audio processing across all banks.
  • Sample multiplication, XOR, ABS, and all sorts of other weird sample processing and cross-modulation.
  • Real time overdubbing.
  • Preferences saved in permanent memory.
  • Hackable analog clock source which can be syncronized to other synths.
  • Non-Hackable crystal clock source which will always do Exactly What You Tell it.
  • Programmable clock jitter, bit rate reduction, aliasing, and sample clock errors all adjustable in real time.
  • All the normal backwards masking and half time and typical sampling features common to many commercial samplers.
  • On-The-Fly Granular reconstruction of samples.
  • Full pitch control of samples.
  • Self test mode for debugging.
  • 2.8Hz-357kHz frequency response (measured).
  • Sub-audible noise floor.
  • Looks nerdy and attracts people with stringy hair. Possibly bad skin.

Details on this kit, plus a video sampler version made for a specific party here in NYC, at creator Todd Bailey’s site:


Updated: Complete information on the kit itself, at US$75 – Some Assembly Required (read: you’d better have a soldering iron handy and know how to use it!)

Where’s the Party At, Hardware Version 1.01

I also love the bag of shiny hardware for aiding in making yours nice!