Duncan McIntyre’s BassMate Is a Sensible STM32-Powered Drum Machine and Sequencer


Maker Duncan McIntyre has put collectively a drum machine and sequencer, full with blinky lights and an on-board show: the BassMate.

“I would like to have the ability to shortly create easy rhythm sequences to assist me apply electrical bass, and was on the lookout for one thing between a primary metronome and a full-fledged DAW [Digital Audio Workstation],” McIntyre explains of the challenge’s origins. “The Drumbit on-line app is fairly good, however having to level and click on whereas taking part in an instrument will not be tactile sufficient for me.”

The BassMate is a home-brew drum machine and sequencer with a wise person interface. (📹: Duncan McIntyre)

McIntyre’s first prototype was dubbed the BassedMate, and used a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller and a VLSI VS1053 digital sign processor (DSP) for MIDI communication. The challenge underwent a collection of revisions earlier than being deserted earlier this yr in favor of a redesign — which might develop into the BassMate.

“I needed to get rid of the VS1053 chip and I discovered the Electrosmith Daisy Seed which seemed prefer it may do all of the synthesis itself. I additionally discovered the MusicBoard challenge which impressed me to attempt to port to the Seed,” McIntyre explains. “This proved to be difficult, so I gave up (I am going to attempt once more in the future!) and took a unique path.”

That path leads to the completed BassMate: an STMicroelectronics STM32F411 Black Capsule microcontroller, a return to the VS1053, and a Duppa NavKey to drive a revised person interface primarily based round McIntyre’s SimpleGUI library. Above the display are, after all, a collection of buttons that gentle up when pressed — courtesy of an Adafruit NeoTrellis — and set off playback, or in any other case, of the sequencer’s patterns.

Elsewhere contained in the 3D-printed chassis are a pair of rotary encoders, an amplifier module, a show for the brand new UI, and a loudspeaker for stand-alone use. There’s additionally a intelligent hack for the comparatively disagreeable 0.5dB stepping of the VS1053’s built-in quantity management: an Analog Gadgets AD5204 digital potentiometer, permitting for easy modifications in quantity.

Design recordsdata and supply code for the BassMate can be found on McIntyre’s GitHub repository below the permissive Apache 2.0 license.


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