Little, $39.95 MeeBlip micro kits await shipping. A fully-assembled board sits on top. MIDI, two oscillators, 16-bit virtual analog digital digital synthesis sound, LFO, resonant filter, 9V or battery power, ready to go.

Now available for immediate shipping, the MeeBlip micro fits the brains of the MeeBlip into a smaller, project-ready space – all for just US$39.95.

The MeeBlip micro kit requires assembly: you get a full board and all the parts you need, but you’ll have to solder them in place. Once you do, you get all of the features of the MeeBlip without the knobs and switches. That includes the 9V power connection (for a wall adapter or battery), MIDI input jack (for connecting keyboards and the like), 16-bit, hackable sound engine, and audio output. And you get all the goodness of the MeeBlip, with two-oscillator, virtual analog direct digital synthesis, LFO, 4-pole digital filter, and more.

Size: 4.5″ x 2.5″ (115mm x 64mm)

And like the MeeBlip, it’s all fully open source, and you can easily modify the firmware to suit your needs. (An inexpensive programmer is required; see our instructions. And watch for some tutorials on firmware soon.)

In place of the knobs and switches, you’ll find 8 analog inputs and 8 digital inputs. There’s no enclosure, but this would also be a good project on which to build your first enclosure, because it’s simple.

Who it’s for:

You’ll want a MeeBlip micro if you want:

A compact sound module to connect to a keyboard or other MIDI input. Built the micro, add an enclosure, and you’ve got a small, lightweight synth with MIDI input. If you’ve got a keyboard with 16 knobs on it, for instance, you can simply use those controls to play the MeeBlip micro in place of the usual front panel switches and pots. We know some of you want to do this, because you’ve told us!

A custom synth with your own control layout. Don’t like having the switches and knobs in rows? Want them in a big circle, for instance? MeeBlippers have already made some pretty amazing case designs, but with the full-sized MeeBlip board, you’re confined to our layout. With the micro, you can choose your own: you just connect the pots to the analog ins and the switches to the digital ins.

A great synth for a DIY project or installation. You don’t have to stop with knobs and switches. You could add IR distance sensors or knit an entire front panel out of conductive thread, for instance. Like the Arduino, the MeeBlip is at its heart a little computer with open-ended inputs; whereas the Arduino is a general-purpose board, the MeeBlip is uniquely suited to projects that want to add sound. You could even put a MeeBlip into an art installation or digitally-augmented dress. We’ll be looking at some of those possibilities over the coming months; your ideas and questions are welcome.

Why you might want the full-sized MeeBlip instead: The coming MeeBlip SE has a rugged, custom plastic case, and knobs and switches – plus preset storage buttons – make for a more tactile playing experience. The SE is also much easier to get started using; it requires only that you add some screws to a case. The micro assumes some experience with soldering. Manufacturing defects prompted us to restart the manufacture of the SE. We’ll have an update on that – and what we’re doing to make manufacturing and shipping more prompt in 2012 – very soon. (The handful of people who did buy that model have been offered a refund.)

Questions, Answered

So, I’m going to need to connect a bunch of pots and switches, right? Nope, not necessarily. You can control everything via MIDI. So if you just want one giant knob for filter cutoff, you could only connect that. You could control everything via MIDI from a sequencing tool (Ableton, a tracker, vintage sequencer hardware), or just use a keyboard that has knobs on it. (If it lacks switches, you can simply send values from knobs.)

Why only eight switch inputs, not sixteen? Simple: To allow input from its sixteen switches, the full-sized MeeBlip uses eight inputs as a 4×4 switch matrix with 16 diodes. Those 16 diodes would crowd the board, so we stick with eight inputs to eliminate the need for diodes. Because you modify switch function in firmware and duplicate the function of those additional eight switches with MIDI, it’s not a big problem.

Hey, where’s the documentation to work out how to …? We’ll have MIDI documentation very soon, to be followed by more narrative tutorials – based on feedback we get from users – over coming weeks.

A fully-assembled MeeBlip micro. If you have some previous soldering experience, you could easily get this done – being very careful – in under an hour. And the results are quite small – that’s a MIDI port on the upper left, for scale.

How to get it:

You can buy the micro directly from our store, for US$39.95 plus shipping.
http://meeblip.com/get-one/

We’re shipping these now from our operations in Calgary, Canada. They’re sitting in stock – lots of them. That means they’ll ship within 48 hours.

32 Responses

  1. Diego

    Do you ship to the UK?

  2. peterkirn

    Yup. Internationally includes the UK. ;)

  3. Bongmaster

    Will there be schematics and build instruction soon for this one?

  4. peterkirn

    Schematics are already available: https://github.com/MeeBlip/meeblip-circuits

    Build instructions – yes, we're finishing those right now so they're ready by the time these arrive at your door!

  5. robman84

    Cool. Hope mine is on its way to sunny (ish) England in time for Xmas, Knobs, pots and switches on order :)

  6. jgrahame

    Our elves have packed and shipped every last micro order, although I fear the Christmas rush might slow things down a bit.

  7. WHI

    How do sixteen MIDI controllers replace 8(plus volume) knobs and 16 switches?

  8. Adrian

    Without looking to much into it, is it possible to flash the different firmwares onto any of the various hardwares? Can I flash the SE firmware onto the micro, and get 16x digital inputs, for example?

  9. Roger

    But Europe does not include UK anymore…thanks to Cameron…LOL

  10. jgrahame

    The micro has exactly the same synthesis engine as the SE, but it's intended to be controlled via MIDI. The switches on the SE front panel are scanned as a 4×4 matrix (hence 16 controls with only 8 inputs), but the matrix requires a diode for each switch.

    Get the full Meeblip if you're set on having physical control over every parameter. The Micro is intended for users who only plan to connect a few physical controls (perhaps filter resonance and cutoff knobs) and will control everything else over MIDI. That said, 8 knobs and switches is enough to set up a decent stand-alone Blip.

  11. WHI

    What are the default controls for the eight analog and eight digital inputs?

  12. peterkirn

    Heh, you haven't dissolved EU treaty yet… 

    We'll do our best to ship everywhere despite whatever international monetary and political crises may try to intervene. ;)

  13. peterkirn

    Sorry, you have full MIDI control. There are 16 *pins* to which you can connect on the micro, physically. Via MIDI, you can control everything. If you really want to connect 8 knobs and 16 switches, then what you probably want is the standard MeeBlip. But you can here pick and choose what you want, and control everything else (or absolutely everything) via MIDI.

  14. furrybum

    Just confirming, as a beginner to synth building of any kind, I'll get sound out of this without needing to program? Is the programming option there only if you want to change the code?

  15. peterkirn

    Yes, that is precisely correct.

  16. larsi.org

    I love the card of resistors and capacitors – what a great idea.  Can't wait for the rest of the build instructions.

  17. larsi.org

    It has been a while for me to read assembly, but the source is actually pretty well commented: https://github.com/MeeBlip/meeblip-synth/blob/mas

    I think the ADC (knobs) are just scaled to 1 byte (0 – 255) and copied to the first 8 values of the MIDI CC table:
      .equ RESONANCE = MIDICC + $30   .equ CUTOFF = MIDICC + $31  .equ LFOFREQ = MIDICC + $32  .equ PANEL_LFOLEVEL = MIDICC + $33  .equ VCFENVMOD = MIDICC + $34  .equ PORTAMENTO = MIDICC + $35  .equ PULSE_KNOB = MIDICC + $36  .equ OSC_DETUNE = MIDICC + $37 
    So MIDI CC 30 = 1st knob = RESONANCE, 31 = 2nd = CUTOFF, …

  18. tom karches

    Got mine yesterday. The link to the build instructions on the included paper does not work, FYI.

    It would be nice to have the option to add the regular controls with the flexibility to use different kinds of switches and a different form factor (like a cigar box). Perhaps a breakout board that would provide the ability to connect the same controls as on the regular MeeBlip.

    MIDI controller keyboards often provide rotary controls, but not switches. I would probably be more likely to add physical switches than built in rotary controls when using with a keyboard.

    I was also thinking it would be nice to be able to plug in a USB MIDI keyboard (like my Akai LPK25) ….these are available in much smaller form factors than straight MIDI keyboards and makes the whole setup more portable.

  19. jgrahame

    Hey Tom – We'll have the assembly guide up in a few days.

    Creating a breakout board for 16 switches wouldn't be that hard – it would just have to have room for 16 diodes and connectors. That said, the micro is intended to be a low cost "controls optional" version of the Meeblip.

  20. Roger

    I guess, what most concerns Diego, is if delivery is good and fast. I can confirm that, so go ahead Diego, get one. It`s really good, they deliver as fast as they can. And most important:
    I was very pleased the first time I heard it working, sounds great.

  21. furrybum

    Awesome. Thanks!

  22. tom karches

    FYI as a correction, the "Direct PDF Download" link on the Micro assembly page points to a "sch" file, not a PDF file.

    Also, If I click through the "Get the Hardware Schematics" link, the Meeblip Micro 2.04 PDF link points to a "SCH" file. All the other PDF links are correct and point to PDF files.

    I've assembled kits before…probably don't really need the directions. Anything specific that I should be careful about?

  23. larsi.org

    I couldn't wait and assembled it. It is not too difficult, especially if you have assembled kits before and you can read electrolytic capacitors.  Take a look at an assembled board (like on the shopping page).  If you hold the board so that you can read the labels (midi port up) all electrolytic  negative pins (the big bar) point to the left.  Align the voltage regulator with the silkscreen.  The black diode goes in the upper right corner, the glass one in the upper mid section, with the negative pin (the bar) to the right.  The long pin of the LED goes to plus.  Do not put any IC in until you done soldering (especially not the Atmega).  I love it – it sounds great!  Here are some pictures of my MeBlip: http://make.larsi.org/electronics/MeeBlip/

  24. robman84

    Lovely work there. Great pics too – that'll be a nice frame of reference when building mine. Hasn't arrived yet, probably due to Christmas post stuff.

  25. robman84

    Yesssss!!!! Meeblip just arrived. And it looks like it will fit into the enclosure I ran out and bought whilst I was waiting (phew!). Switches arrived too. Just waiting on the pots. I'll build it anyway :o )

  26. tom karches

    Just finished the build except for power, MIDI, audio. Can't put my hands on a 9V brick at the moment and I want to use panel mounted audio (1/4 in) MIDI and power. Will get some female headers to wire the pots and switches.

    I did notice that C13 was not mentioned in the Micro build instructions. Not that I could find. Other than that, no problems.

  27. jgrahame

    Thanks for pointing out the strange absence of C13, Tom. I've added it.

  28. WHI

    I guess I'm trying to understand the functional differences between the full version and the micro, I don't see any documentation yet.  16 + 8 = 24, so this means eight functions are not covered by midi controllers, according to previously provided information.  Which eight functions are missing?  Or am I not interpreting this correctly (are there 24 MIDI controllers, not 16)?

  29. Flux302

    any plans in the future to offer the full size se without and pots or switches… just like how this one is offered? I'd love to have access to all the parameters with 1 to 1 functionality but I don't want to use the layout/ encoders included in the other kit.

  30. Luca Crisi

    Now, we need to figure out an enclosure for what I call the microBlip. I'm trying to make one basing on the PDF I found on this site, rearranging switches and knobs

  31. Luca Crisi

    How to put a volume potentiometer before the output? I'll check the SE schematic and see if I can derive some inspiration from there. Maybe I'll also put a LM386 based amplifier stage before the line out jack.

  32. Christi

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