Hey. What’s the deal with the pots posing as rotary switches?
If you look closely at the videos, you’ll see that there are what appear to be rotary switches on the ‘Rate’, ‘Scale’, ‘Key’ and ‘LFO Shape’ and a few other places. They’re not switches, they’re pots.
There are no ‘detents’ on the controls so you need to set the control to approximately line up with the mark on the front panel. It’s pretty easy. It might be a problem if you want to use it on a darkened stage but, the mark only has to be roughly in position so we felt it would be fine.
This was a practical as well as a design decision.
Doing this allows things like the clock ‘Rate’ control to be a smooth control in the internal clock mode, but behave as a switch for different clock dividers/multipliers when the SynthiMuse is clocked by an external MIDI clock.
There’s one other place where this decision helps. The LFO shape has a ‘Pulse’ and a ‘Square’ position. Having this set with a pot allows gradual morphing of the shape from a short pulse, becoming longer until, when it is on the ‘Square’ mark, it’s a 50/50 square.
One other effect is that, occasionally, wrong settings and accidents happen. This fits in with the design etos of The SynthiMuse. Accidents are good.
We needed to tell you this so you had full access to all information.
What DAW apps has the SynthiMuse been tested with?
The SynthiMuse has been tested with Logic (Mac), Ableton 9.5 (PC) & Reaper (PC) both with USB MIDI and DIN MIDI. No problems reported so far.
The ‘Tutorials’ and most of the ‘Samples’ were created using Ableton 9.5 by Dominic Hurley.
Our beta testers use Logic on Macs
Incidentally, the SynthiMuse firmware is upgradable using ‘Sysex’ files over MIDI and we suggest ‘MIDI-OX’ but any sysex librarian should allow firmware update.
I’ve got a few apps that will do what the SynthiMuse does. Why should I buy it?
There’s no question that a collection of apps could do what the SynthiMuse does.
If your workflow is around a DAW and you prefer to use GUIs then we suggest the SynthiMuse may not be the best choice for you.
But, if you are in to hardware, then the SynthiMuse is a real device that responds directly to operator input on real controls.
It has a built-in microphone, audio input, internal analog noise generator, LFO, MIDI input & output and is optimised to do one job.
It’s a hybrid/analog instrument that listens, but makes no sound. It’s designed to generate MIDI notes. Lots of them. Forever.
Can the SynthiMuse record my polyphonic sequence and play it back?
The memories are monophonic as the SynthiMuse was designed as a melody generator.
In the design, we were careful to try and get the SynthiMuse to do as much as possible without ‘scope creep’. That is, we didn’t want the design to try and do too much outside of its main function.
One of the operating modes of the SynthiMuse is that it can accept polyphonic input in the context of assigning a ‘User’ scale.
The idea is that you have a melody that you want the SynthiMuse to ‘re-compose’.
You play this melody with or without its chords and every unique note that is received at the MIDI input will be enabled on the ‘User’ scale.
You can then listen to the SynthiMuse ‘re-compose’ using that assigned scale.
So, no, the SynthiMuse is not designed to be a polyphonic sequencer/recorder.
Does the SynthiMuse allow the layering of notes on to loops?
The ability to overlay notes on top of each other wasn’t considered practical given that the design ethos of the SynthiMuse was to have the simplest possible user interface.
Anyone who wanted to do this would be best to import the SynthiMuse generated sequences in to a DAW.
Can the SynthiMuse play multiple loops at the same time?
The ability to play multiple loops simultaneously is a feature we were thinking of adding in a later software update. If there is a demand from a number of people, we may add this feature. There are problems though: the user interface of the SynthiMuse would struggle to allow you to get the loops exactly as you wanted them so you might find yourself having to store the notes to a DAW and manipulating the overlaid sequences on the desktop.
It’s definitely a feature that we would like to investigate. It could result in a cacophony but it could also be musically interesting.
Sorry, the SynthiMuse design is confidential for now and the board is mostly SMT components so it wouldn’t be an option for a DIY kit in it’s present form.
A variant of the SynthiMuse with analog outputs is planned. The design has this capability but there are 10 or 15 critical components not present on the board.
The analog outputs will have Gate, Trigger, 1V/Octave pitch and Velocity.
This extra functionality will add about $50-$100 dollars to the price of this variant.
We know there may be many people who are anxious for the analog version and we will start supplying it as soon as possible but it was felt that more people would initially want the MIDI version rather than the analog.
It will be around $400 US dollars.
If it’s on an eBay auction as we think it might be initially, then the price could be lower or higher.
We’re still waiting to assess the final shipping weight.
Once this is clear, we’ll post the cost for different shipping options for all the people in the territories that have expressed an interest.
No waiting list planned. They will just be sold as soon as they’re ready. The first run is 39 and they’ll be prepared and tested in batches of 5 or so.
We don’t believe it would fair to promise to sell something that didn’t exist yet.
For this reason, we will only be selling units that have been fully assembled and tested.
Perhaps if later batches are produced more efficiently, a pre-order might be made available.
Hoping for the first sale in mid March 2017
Initially, probably direct from us via an eBay sale.
If there is demand for it, we would definitely try and have it stocked with key instrument stockists worldwide.