Kits and enclosures are now available in the store!
The Groovesizer (pronounced groove-a-sizer) is a DIY 8-bit audio platform. It’s a musical chameleon that can take on a number of different roles from sequencer to synth, drum machine, or midi controller. Exactly what the Groovesizer is at a given moment depends on the firmware it’s running. Existing firmware can be freely hacked, or new firmware developed using the beginner friendly Arduino IDE. Firmware is loaded to the board directly from the Arduino IDE, either via an AVR ISP programmer, or by flashing the Atmega chip on an Arduino board and swapping it out.
The Groovesizer is based around a custom PCB (multiboard) that features 6 potentiometers and 5 rows of 8 tactile switches and leds (4 rows for the sequencer / trigger buttons and 1 row dedicated to control functions). It features an integrated Arduino clone, an 8-bit DAC option, an LM386 amp output, MIDI in/out/sync and is configurable to work with some of the most popular existing Arduino audio projects.
Furthest along in its development is the Alpha firmware which features a 3 oscillator monosynth attached to a 32-step sequencer with 112 memory locations to store patches and patterns.
Though currently only at the proof-of-concept stage, future firmware will include
- Bravo which borrows code from the Bleeplabs Bleepdrum
- Charlie, based around the Illutron 4-voice wavetable synth
- Delta, based on the original Groovesizer with the auduino synth engine
- Echo, which uses the Mozzi library (HIFI mode) for sound generation
- and Foxtrot, a (mute) midi controller.
A sheet metal enclosure is now available.
(A Groovesizer in its eclosure is pictured here atop an Akai APC20 for scale).
The firmware is licensed under GPLv3 and the schematics for the multiboard (made available in the form of the original Fritzing project file) is licensed under CC-Attribution-ShareAlike. The Arduino code is thoroughly commented and should provide a perfect opportunity to learn about programming a synth and sequencer from the ground up.
The philosophy behind the Groovesizer project is twofold. The first is to provide a platform suitable for beginners to learn about the design and coding of microprocessor based electronic musical instruments. The second is to create DIY instruments with a unique voice and feature set, and that are capable of holding their own in the studio or on stage.