This project is a part of experiments done while doing an artist in residence at Instructables. You can see the other projects here.
Inspired by Korgs Kaossilator I took it upon myself to build an opensource version of it. This way people can design new ways of interacting with the touchpad. The basic principle is creating sound via a trackpad. This enables you to create an instrument with quite wobbly possibilities. The challenge is to program something that would enable you to create interesting sounds. This is also a challenge with the Kaossilator which get mixed reviews for the same reason. This is an initial prototype. It uses the an arduino as basic 8 bit sound engine and uses a capacitative trackpad from adafruit industries as the input device.
As seen in the video I have only programmed the first proof of concept so far. The arduino is able to generate 4 times as many concurrent voices and the envelope modulation has much more potential. I am looking forward to see if anybody adds new dimensions to it. I will update the code as I go along as well.
The design works with a few limitations. The synth used is a really simple 8 bit synth with the 8 bit noisy aesthetic qualities. Further the synth used requires quite a lot of CPU which has proven to be a challenge when reading the touch gestures from the trackpad. I had to rewrite the trackpad library from Adafruit to enable much faster readings. This enabled the synth and the trackpad to play sort-of-nice together, but sometimes it get wrong readings from the trackpad. This is solved by doing a little prediction of the data coming in and skipping it if the data seems implausible. I am sure this could be solved much more elegantly by using looking at the parity bit, but I have not gotten around to do this yet.