Duncan McIntyre’s BassMate Is a Good 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 need to have the ability to rapidly create easy rhythm sequences to assist me follow 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 mission’s origins. “The Drumbit on-line app is fairly good, however having to level and click on whereas taking part in an instrument is just not 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 mission underwent a sequence of revisions earlier than being deserted earlier this yr in favor of a redesign — which might grow to be the BassMate.

“I needed to get rid of the VS1053 chip and I discovered the Electrosmith Daisy Seed which regarded prefer it might do all of the synthesis itself. I additionally discovered the MusicBoard mission which impressed me to attempt to port to the Seed,” McIntyre explains. “This proved to be tough, so I gave up (I will strive once more at some point!) and took a unique path.”

That path leads to the completed BassMate: an STMicroelectronics STM32F411 Black Tablet microcontroller, a return to the VS1053, and a Duppa NavKey to drive a revised person interface based mostly round McIntyre’s SimpleGUI library. Above the display screen are, in fact, a sequence of buttons that mild 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 Units AD5204 digital potentiometer, permitting for clean 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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