SuOnOIO 8-bit drone device built by harvestman

edited August 2010 in Everything Else
looks interesting. not much details at this point.


  • oh wait:


    Hello all, here are some answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about the instrument.

    - Yes, SuONOIO will ship without an enclosure. This instrument takes some design inspiration from Bugbrand and other “postcard”-style synthesizers that exist only on unenclosed circuit boards. The enclosure is the single most expensive part of most electronic musical instruments, so by designing in this way the instrument can be offered at a much lower price. It will ship in an antistatic bubble bag inside an “indestructo” ™ cardboard box. If you transport or perform with it frequently, then I recommend keeping these packing materials handy as a case for your instrument. Once the project is finished we will make some information available to assist in your construction of a DIY front panel / enclosure.

    - The interface includes seven knobs and a series of patch points which can be activated with miniature patch cables or jumpers (both included). The patch points activate various audio effects and modulation destinations. The sampling oscillators are free-running, and the experience of playing the instrument is similar to one common technique of playing a modular analog synthesizer without external controls: a focus on improvisation through live knob tweaking and crossfading with large, droning sounds being the usual result. Some familiarity with analog synthesis concepts will of course help you design sounds with the SuONOIO, but it was designed to quickly give interesting and complex results regardless of the user’s prior musical experience.

    - The instrument includes two sample playback oscillators that both choose from the same bank of 16 samples. All sounds were taken from the SONOIO album. Some are rhythmic loops you will quickly recognize from the songs, others are bits of vocoded voice. Some others are very short, single-cycle waveform samples. By mixing and cross-modulating these sound sources you can build larger, evolving sounds that quickly begin sounding like something entirely different from the source material. If you liked the droning Buchla textures on the blindoldfreak material then you will enjoy the opportunity to tweak similar sounds in this unit.

    - The instrument should measure around 4×5″, and can be powered either from a 9 volt battery or a 9vDC tip-negative 2.1mm barrel adaptor (such as the Boss PSA-120). There is a built in speaker that is disabled when you plug something into the 1/4″ output jack. It is being manufactured in a factory in Southern California that builds analog synthesizer modules and pro-audio gear for a number of notable manufacturers. The units will receive their firmware and final quality assurance at Harvestman HQ before shipping out.

  • Sounds pretty cool. Though after waiting a good 2 years for the Empty Quiver to come out, I've given up being excited about Harvestman stuff that isn't made and sellable.
  • edited August 2010
    personally I find it really restricting that it won't allow to load your own samples. that pretty much kills it for me.

    I am not paying 150 dollars to advertise a band...
  • I was going to post this yesterday, but ootini beat me to it!

    Does it say, explicitly, that you can only use the built-in samples? To me, "sampling oscillators" sounds like it could, er...sample stuff. Then again, it could mean "sample playback oscillators".
    It would be extremely odd for this to be a read-only device.

    When I first heard the audio examples, I was interested, but after reading more about it, it seems limited and very niche.

    The WTPA is much more flexible and I anticipate that the WTPA2 will surpass the OTO "Bisqwee" and this thing in features and accessibility! LONG LIVE THE PARTY! (I'm really towing the "party" line, here. Ahem.)
  • Man, I didn't even read that third bit. That seems lame as shit. Like those Buddha/Throbbing Gristle Boxes.
  • lotta emotion in here! :)

    the samples are preloaded, but i think the modulation possibilities are pretty extensive (or so it sounds). lame gimmick for the sunoio stuff though (which is lame anyway).
  • the buddha boxes are great i think. i really really like both editions. not too fond of the throbbing gristle version though...very annoying to listen to, certainly no loops that you could get lost in like the buddha box...
  • Hmmm, I don't think they are going to burn special chips with the samples "written in stone" in them. The audio samples are going to be written somewhere on eeproms / flash and it'll be a fun hacking exercise to rewrite them with something else. Still, this won't make it a sampler, unless "Love that sound, gotta grab a bus pirate to record it!" qualifies as sampling.
  • im with oliver, hack that bitch >)
  • edited August 2010
    Seems kinda silly though since adding a sampling option would be a rather trivial addition, and probably boost sales like crazy.
  • From this:

    Looks like the data will be stored on vanilla SPI eeproms.
  • we'll see. I know harvestman from renton, so I ordered one. know jack about hacking code though.
  • sealion, please post some impressions once you get it!
  • edited January 2011
    Oops sorry, certainly more than a dual channel sample player. I wish it had a way to dump in files or to process live audio. I like the ability to fade between channels of similar material which can be tuned, or phased, or intervalled or one can be completeley different source material. I did a 12 minute video here:
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