A Compact Bass Synth with a Unique Analog Filter
Combining an analog filter with unique digital sound sources, all in an easy-to-understand, compact sound package, MeeBlip anode is synth hardware anyone can enjoy immediately.
anode is part analog, part digital, capable of producing a range of uniquely aggressive, bass-heavy sounds. And inspired by the best classic synths of the past, getting your hands on that sound is always simple, direct, and intuitive. Simply plug in a keyboard, computer, iPad (via adapter), or controller via the MIDI port to play notes. Then, adjust sounds via knobs and switches – you don’t need to navigate a single menu.
Its digital side reproduces the sound and architecture of classic synthesizers, but with an emphasis on adding personality, especially in the low end. Its all-new analog filter with resonance can range from smooth to raunchy – perfect for shaping sound or making squelchy basslines.
- Digital oscillators meet an original analog filter
- Compact, 4” x 4” case (approx. 100 x 100 mm)
- Modulation, envelope, tuning, and pulse width controls
- Open source hardware, but fully-assembled and ready to play
- MIDI input for compatibility with vintage and modern hardware, computers, and (with a compatible adapter) iPad and iPhone
anode comes fully assembled and ready to use. But because it’s open source hardware, users can learn from anode by looking through the code and circuits, modifying how it works, or even creating their own instruments based on the design.
More Sound, Less Space
MeeBlip is a synth designed to make more and better sounds, with fewer controls in less space. It’s designed to have personality in a world awash with synth choices. To create something smaller and simpler, we’ve focused on building an instrument that delivers grungy, dirty, bass-heavy sounds right away, and puts those sounds directly under your fingers. And we fit it all in a rugged, small and simple 4″ x 4″ (100×100 mm) box, focusing on just the controls you really need for sound.
Here’s what it sounds like:
Get Your Hands – and Your Sound – Dirty
We start with digital oscillators built from the original MeeBlip. At the low end, these are generated live with aliasing, for added character in bass sounds. Higher registers use anti-aliased wavetables for clean leads and melodies.
We’ve focused entirely on getting pulse width sounds just right, with a variable width knob, plus a Sweep switch for adding PWM. You can detune by a full octave in either direction.
These oscillators are paired with an Attack/Decay/Sustain envelope, capable of both fast-clipped percussion and long sustains.
Then, you get a filter with a difference: an original analog filter with resonance, based on a classic Twin T circuit. It behaves like a classic vintage low-pass filter, but in actuality, it’s a modified band-pass filter. The upshot: angry resonance and musical frequency cutoff. It’s raunchy and aggressive and not-boring – perfect for bass sounds.
Finally, we add an LFO that we’ve tuned carefully for the best results across the whole Rate and Depth knob, whether routed to oscillator frequency or filter.
Right out of the box, MeeBlip is ready to use – we even include a power adapter. You can be up and playing in the time it takes to plug in a MIDI cable and switch on the power button.
You can play anode via MIDI input, selectable as channels 1-4. And with the exception of the resonance on our new analog filter, every single control can be automated via MIDI Control Change messages, as well as the physical knobs and switches. Audio output is via a stereo minijack (mono on both left and right, for convenience).
As with MeeBlip SE, MeeBlip anode is fully-assembled and ready to go. We believe there are benefits of being open for everyone, not just those who can program or solder. But it’s also open when you want it to be – and, just like all the MeeBlips, fully open source hardware (GPLv3/CC-BY-SA). You get an instrument that can be modified, with a design you can learn from, that’s future-proofed by being available to a community of musicians.
anode’s hardware itself is also more hackable than MeeBlips before. Intrepid hardware lovers can try changing component values to modify the filter – for the first time, this is a MeeBlip with analog mods possible as well as digital. And we have new opportunities for transforming the code. There’s still a programmer port, for modifying the firmware via an inexpensive hardware adapter or an Arduino.
- 4″x4″ compact, rugged and road-worthy case.
- Total hands-on control via full-sized, great-feeling knobs and switches. No “shift” switches or menus to navigate: get directly to the sound.
- Dual digital pulse oscillators, derived from the original MeeBlip. Aliasing at the low end, anti-aliasing at higher ranges, for perfect bass sounds and terrific leads alike.
- An original, all-analog filter with resonance. (It’s a new Twin-T VCF, designed especially to be aggressive for bass sounds.)
- Variable pulse width, plus a pulse width sweep.
- Three-stage envelope controls (Attack knob / Decay knob / Sustain switch).
- Wide detune range for tuning harmonic intervals, plus an octave switch for dropping on oscillator deeper into bass territory
- LFO, tuned for great-sounding results, which can be routed to pitch or filter.
- MIDI input via standard MIDI DIN port. (Compatible with iPad and iPhone using a compatible MIDI interface.)
- MIDI control of all parameters, with the exception of (analog) filter resonance.
- 1/8″ audio output.
- North American or European/UK power adapter included.
- Fully open source hardware, released under a GPLv3 and Creative Commons BY-SA license. Modify the firmware if you choose via the onboard hack port; browse or fork us at GitHub.
The MeeBlip Team
We’re really excited to get to share anode with you, having spent two years in the process of making it. As with earlier MeeBlips, anode is engineered in Canada by James Grahame, and co-designed by Peter Kirn for CDM.
Norwegian-born, Berlin-based designer Anette K Hansen created the visual identity for MeeBlip, from logo to panel design to our thank-you cards. Dutch designer/musician Arvid Jense provided additional research and product design insight.
We welcome requests from dealers. Please contact GSF Agency.