Software achievements:

loopers
tons of audio effects
modular architecture
different type of sequencers
modular routeable audio mixer
master 2 track recorder
full midi control.
various hybrid & efficient poly synths
different types of audio samplers.
no cpu consumption when idle (per object)
granular synthesis.
live sampling
low latency
cpu efficient.
OSC i/o & sync
rock solid Sync through network

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Software to-do:

Lcd/ oled display interfacing.
global / specific preset management
easy switch between "engines"
Download pdf description here:
This project started as a personal exploration about the music computer, which is an utopia That Does not exist.
Many people conformed / confused about how computers work, will tell you that if you want to make an audio computer, you just buy a good quality computer and then you add the software, a soundcard, a controller, etc. .. If we do this, then we have a bunch of Things That conform your own particular stuff and attempt to make the audio computer, which will have many disadvantages like the Inability to share some specific software due to Differences Between the hardware (controllers / soundcards), the mess of cables, connectors, adapters, (lack of portability) Or the massive distraction due to unnecessary software, utilities, screen stuff, etc..
Clearly, a "perfect" Audio computer should be equipped then with a multichannel audio interface, high quality line/mic preamps, integrated hardware controller, midi interface, cv interface. minimal lcd display for optional performance feedback and optionally, DSP chips easily adressable for a flexible hi-quality / low latency audio synthesis/ processing. And all this must fit in a portable an efficient package that will allow us for portable setups/ recording on the go and optionally a vga/dvi connector for the studio setup when/where we usually create the patches, sessions, sequences, etc that later will be used live.
Also the low latency should be more a fact than an issue to worry about. Using a unique soundcard that its also linux friendly will achieve that goal nicely..
One of the characteristics of the standard music software programs is that they were designed to "write" the music or the data in the computer using the standard "WIMP" (windows, icons, mouse, pointer) interface means, this, definitely it's ok
and it emulates in a certain way the attitude of a possible composer that sits in a desk and writes notes in paper, just that in that case they are written in an editor software. This can bring some advantages and improvements but the question is that in many cases, many many great composers have created their pieces with an instrument in their hands. It's not that software don´t allow to write directly notes executed in a midi keyboard or whatever controller. The case is that this software it's totally screen-centric and oriented to the "edit" of the notes. One of my main goals is to liberate the musician/ composer from the slavery, mesmerization and methodology related with the screen and the wimp paradigm. I'm sure that happy musicians create their music with an instrument in their hands and later on when the parts of the structure fit together, then they start to write or record wherever.
Also is not easy to define clearly how the audio computer should be. One of my intentions is to make a intense research about the needs and the different points of view and convergences about the design of this instrument. One of the goals is that the users can share patches (small custom programs) and the idea is that this patches should work 100% or at least the most part of it with the exception of additional "specific" hardware (another soundcard, another midi device, another cv device, etc.)
but the important part is that the main interface of this audio computer framework it's common to all the users,
one example of problematic derived of not having an united and conformed audio computer happened to me with the raspberry pi..
This is a quite interesting and cheap toy for which I wrote an audio looper with some effects and an integrated modular audio mixer. Theoretically I could make an image of the sdcard and share the system but the problem is that most of the people not having the same hardware than me (soundcard & midi) and not familiarized with linux/ puredata will be totally unable to test/recreate the system.. Of course, for users familiarized with puredata (real-time audiovisual programming environment) It will be possible to modify the patch according with your possibilities but my real wish is that someone could experience the "instrument" exactly the way I'm showcasing it and enjoying it.
At the end of this project research, there will be at least two different kind of results: one is the research about the physical interface and there will be also multiple software and different kind of configurations allowing for different kind of audio uses: (audio mixer, audio field recorder, drum box, effect machine, midi/cv sequencer, audio looper, networked instrument, midi/cv/osc controller, etc).

Check out the to-do lists and feel free to join the team or suggest new alternatives / directions. The process of construction of this device is open too!..

*RAspi is a credit card size "naked" super cheap (35$) Linux computer. that besides being a mono-core humble arm processor with relatively low speed (700mhz without overclock ) It has supposed a "small revolution" in the technological world because it's optimization, efficiency, price, size, possibilities...
I Mention it because It is a clear example of how cheap linux powered hardware can be a clear success.
Among other uses, shortly after it's introduction have appeared guitar pedals, fm radio transmitters (without the need of additional hardware!). web servers, awesome audio loopers and automatic phone answering machines with spam detection (this one even got a price)...
And for more good news, raspi is neither the best neither the last.. (neither the openest) day by day new similar products are appearing (check Odroid, olinuxino / Udoo) adding more stuff like incorporating analog hardware inputs in the same board or more cores into the main processor.. This evolution will reach soon the point where a really great, affordable, small, efficient, audio computer will be possible.. So now we are lacking just the conceptual design of it to be ready when the perfect board appears or it's created specifically for this.

This Project currently has support from the Ljubljana medialab (Ljudmila) and I'm actively looking for more sponsoring.
Hardware achievements: (just raspi atm)

booting into puredata
no screen needed
super low audio latency i/o
midi i/o
Arduino i/o
ok audio quality
ok with usb hubs.
ultraportability
super energy efficient. (solar power possible)
data corruption protection.


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Hardware to-do

Test other platforms (Odroid, etc)
integrated hardware construction
case design & 3d printing
display interfacing & choice...
power/charging management
midi through GPIO
Audio, CV and analog sensor i/o through gpio

-Right now It doesn't exist an integrated audio computer

-minimal set of elements needed to create / perform music are included in the "box" (you can attach any other periferial afterwards)

- the "box" is ultraportable, lightweight and battery powered (looking like a roland tr-505 more or less)

-total optimization between Hardware and software

-Software it's open source, hardware is open hardware (embedded computer, linux, puredata, arduino)...

-instant operation: (the computer boots as an instrument and is ready to play in a matter of about 10 seconds..)

- It's still a "full" computer, able to do whatever any other computer can do..
Audiocomputer featured in a Tedx. (8:40) Michela was present when I was introducing the first prototype in Ljubljana as a part of my audio residency at Ljudmila Medialab.
This project started as a personal exploration about the music computer which is an utopia that currently doesn ́t exist. Although proto audio computers are starting to pop-up each time with more frequency and at a lower price than ever before, none of them was really designed with the idea of being the go-to computer for musicians / Audio professionals and the likes..

Many people conformed with how general purpose computers currently work, will tell you that if you want to make an audio computer, you just buy a good quality computer/laptop and then you add the software, a Soundcard, a controller, etc.. But then, what you have is a bunch of things that conform your unique attempt to make an audio computer which will have many disadvantages like the inability to share some specific software due to differences between the hardware (controllers / Soundcards), the mess of cables, connectors, adapters, (lack of portability) Or the massive distraction due to unnecessary software, utilities, screen stuff, etc.

A specifically designed Audio computer should definitely have integrated a decent audio interface, midi interface and also a minimal lcd/oled display for optional feedback Apart from a minimal set of hardware controls that allows you to do quick operations such audio recording without having to stare at a screen. This are the very basic features. optionally, DSP chips easily addressable for flexible high-quality / low latency audio synthesis/ processing capabilities.
all this must fit in a portable an efficient package that will allow us for portable setups/ recording on the go and optionally an Hdmi connector for the studio setup where we might need more screen information in order to create sounds, sessions, sequences, etc that later might be used live.

low audio latency should be more a fact than an issue to worry about. Using a unique Soundcard and running in a linux real-time kernel, giving high priority to audio it’s going to achieve that goal nicely..
One of the characteristics of the standard music software programs is that they were designed to "write" the music or the data in the computer using the standard "WIMP" (windows, icons, mouse, pointer) interface means, this, definitely is ok and it emulates in a certain way the attitude of a possible composer that sits in a desk and writes notes in paper, just that in this case they are written in an editor software.
This can bring some advantages and improvements but the question is that in many cases, many great
composers have created their pieces with an instrument in their hands.

It's not that software does not allow to write directly notes executed in a midi keyboard or whatever controller. The case is that almost all softwares right now are totally screen-centric and oriented to the "edit" of the notes. One of the goals of a dedicated audio computer is to liberate the musician/ composer from the slavery, mesmerization and methodology related with the screen and the wimp paradigm.
Happy musicians should and historically do create their music with an instrument in their hands and later on when the parts of the structure fit together, then they move on to write or record into tape or into the computer.
The external interface / appearance of this computer is something that could have different characteristics depending on what is the computer optimized for. but it is very important to have a basic unified interface One of the goals of the unified basic interface is that the users can share projects and the idea is that this projects should work 100% or at least the most part of it with the exception of additional "specific" hardware (another Soundcard, another midi device, another cv device, etc.)
but the important part is that the main interface of this audio computer framework is common to all the users.
one example of problematic derived of not having an united and conformed audio computer is the case of the raspberry pi..

This is a quite interesting and cheap toy for which I wrote an audio looper with some effects and an integrated modular audio mixer. Theoretically I could make an image of the sdcard and share the system but the problem is that most of the people not having the same hardware than me (that specific Soundcard + midi controller model) and not familiarized with linux/ puredata will be totally unable to test/recreate the system.. Of course, for users familiarized with puredata (real-time audiovisual programming environment) It will be possible to modify the patch according with their possibilities but my real wish is that someone could experience the "instrument" exactly the way I made it,showcased it and enjoyed it..

*Raspberry pi is a credit card size "naked" super cheap (35$) Linux computer. that besides being a mono- core humble arm processor with relatively low speed (first rev. 700mhz without overclock ) It has supposed a "small revolution" in the technological world because it's optimization, efficiency, price, size, possibilities... I Mention it because It is a clear example of how cheap linux powered hardware can be a clear success. Among other uses, shortly after it's introduction have appeared guitar pedals, fm radio transmitters (without the need of additional hardware!). web servers, awesome audio loopers and automatic phone answering machines with spam detection...
And for more good news, raspi is neither the best neither the last.. (neither the openest) day by day new similar products are appearing (check olinuxino / beaglebone/ Udoo) adding more stuff like incorporating analog hardware inputs in the same board or more cores into the main processor.. This evolution will reach soon the point where a really great, affordable, small, efficient, audio computer will be possible.. So now we are lacking just the conceptual design of it to be ready when the perfect board appears or it's created specifically for this.
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