Wed Mar 18 21:33:43 CDT 2009
For those of you who came late to the game, which is basically everybody except my mom, here's a brief explanation of "Where's The Party At v1.0":

WTPA is an an SRAM based 8-bit audio sampler, distributed in kit form.

WTPA, as a KIT, is designed to the following aesthetic ends: to be a good and clear example of fairly "traditional" analog (low noise, relatively low frequency, high headroom, good routing, sensible ADCs and DACs etc) and digital (clean low level code, parallel memory architecture, I/O expansion via latches, various serial communication protocols) circuit design, and is catered to the determined (though not necessarily experienced) kit-builder who really, truly wants to learn more about how electronics work and how to get better at their craft. It is not the easiest kit ever, but for what it is I feel it's versatile and powerful and (I hope) cool. And it comes with a thick manual.

As a SAMPLER and INSTRUMENT, WTPA is designed to the following aesthetic ends: to capitalize on the audio flaws and interfacing ability that relatively powerful and perfect computer samplers could but usually don't. To do crusty, awesome things that proletariat guitar garbage like the Line-6 pedals never will. To be a top-flight uncompromising, un-crashing piece of open source engineering that is more reliable than my well-loved but ever-so-buggy MPC2000.

WTPA is nerdy and proud.

The story in brief:
WTPA started as a pedagogical tool for the Bent Festival in 2008. I basically wanted to design a generic "crusty sampler" that would be useful in demonstrating how a sampler works in an overarching sense, and not in a specific sense like "ooh, the SK-1 is cool", etc etc. The class I taught was about transitioning from circuitbending to circuit design and I wanted to show how (relatively) easy it was to make a sampler which could do as-cool or cooler things than some goofy old toys and also many commercial products. To do this, I made WTPA as a kit that anybody could build. Overall, the talk was a success and hopefully some people learned some stuff. The question I got mostly however was: "Where can I buy one of those?"

This, coupled with the fact that I can't leave well enough alone, coupled with the fact that since last April I have quit my engineering dayjob, led to a TON of messing around with the original design and its re-purposing as a truly unique, functional, badass musical instrument. Hopefully, it will help ME get away from old goofy toys :-)

At this time, the entirety of is a running list of my trials and tribulations and victories and totally dumb mistakes getting WTPA to where it is today. It is a story of analog and digital troubleshooting, low level programming, wizardry-in-training and roguery-in-decline.

Apocryphal Feature List and General Horn-Tooting: