Robertsonics designs high performance embedded audio players and processors, used worldwide by professionals and hobbyists alike.

  • WAV Trigger

    WAV Trigger

    For professional and demanding applications. The worlds least expensive truly polyphonic embedded audio player – allowing you to play and layer up to 14 CD quality (16-bit, 44.1kHz, stereo) tracks independently. Additional trigger modes and settings provide pause and resume capability, specify track ranges for stop, random and sequential play. Trigger inputs support passive (contact closure) or active (3.3V / 5.0V logic) as well as inverted modes on an individual basis. MIDI serial option provides velocity-sensitive triggering of up to 2048 tracks. Stereo line-level output, on-board 2W mono amplifier and speaker connector for true single-board operation. Low-power sleep mode for battery operation. Firmware upgradable.

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    MP3Trigger

    MP3 Trigger

    Keep things simple. 18 trigger inputs connect to your contact closures to fire specific MP3 Tracks (up to 192kbps stereo) on a microSD card, or to implement transport functions like next, previous, stop, random play, volume etc. Simple, ASCII-based serial protocol makes it easy to control from an Arduino. Text init file allows setting the serial baud rate and alternate trigger functions. Special trigger modes allow simple logic without the need for an external microcontroller. Firmware upgradable.

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  • Tsunami

    NEW! Tsunami

    All the same features as the WAV Trigger but with four stereo outputs (8 audio output channels), plus more voices, seamless looping and a dedicated MIDI input with integrated opto-isolator. Possibly the first embedded audio player capable of playing 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound with a single trigger input. Available now from SparkFun.

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    carina_250

    Carina

    Carina is the only Blackfin development board designed from the ground up for audio. Everything you need for a professional stereo effects processor. Sporting a 400MHz Blackfin, 256MB of external SDRAM, balanced stereo inputs and outputs, 24-bit ADC/DAC >98dB SNR, and sample rates up to 96KHz. A 26-pin IDC connector provides plenty of general purpose I/O for user interface controls. A “plug-in” style software framework for VisualDSP lets you immediately focus on algorithm development.

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Latest Blog Post

I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, and I finally got things to a point where I can release an experimental version of some cool new Tsunami looping firmware and a related control application.

In a nutshell, this alternate firmware provides 8 independent mono loops with all sorts of ways to mangle and combine sounds. Each loop can be loaded with any one of 4096 (mono wav file) tracks, and routed to one of four stereo pairs. All loops can be routed to the same output or distributed among all 8 outputs, and panning capability allows each mono loop it’s own output if desired. When started, a track will loop seamlessly over adjustable start and end points in the file, and provides real-time control of the following:

  • Volume
  • Panning
  • Sample Rate
  • Loop Start Position
  • Loop End Position

Loops 2 through 8 can optionally be synchronized to Loop 1. A “Divide” button slices the loop up into increments of 1/8 of the original length, and a “lock” feature allows you to slide the loop starting point around while preserving the current loop length setting. Endless combinational variations are possible. For example, you can load 2 loops with the same track, synchronize and pan them, then independently adjust sample-rate and loop points to create some really strange results.

“But wait”, you say. “8 Loops times 5 continuous controllers… that’s 40 knobs or sliders, and countless buttons! How am I supposed to control all that?”

That’s the cool part. All of this can be controlled wirelessly from your phone using MIDI BLE and a mobile app.

The app is also available for both OSX and Windows, and you can use Bluetooth MIDI if available, or a hardwired MIDI connection if not.

With help from Marshall Taylor at SparkFun, there is now an easy way to add wireless MIDI BLE control to either the WAV Trigger or Tsunami using the SparkFun nRF52832 Breakout. I’ll add a link to the upcoming tutorial here as soon as it’s available.

This is a very preliminary release with some caveats:

  1. I have the app running on my Google Pixel 2, but I haven’t yet figured out how to distribute mobile apps. So as of today, you’ll have to use a Mac or Windows computer to run the app. The app is written using the Juce framework and is open-source, so if anyone wants to help out, I’m down.
  2. You must ensure that your microSD card is formatted with a 32K allocation size. Any other allocation size will not work!
  3. Tracks (mono wav files) are currently limited to 16MB in length per loop, which is about 3 minutes each.

That said, if you’re at all interested in this sort of thing, I encourage you to try it out and let me know what you think.

Tsunami Looping Firmware v0.14m hex file (zip)

Loop Control Utility v0.12 – Windows executable (zip)

Loop Control Utility v0.12 – OS X (10.6 and above) Install Image (dmg)

As with the standard Tsunami firmware releases, just copy the above hex firmware file to a microSD card, rename to “tsunamix.hex” and follow the normal firmware update procedure.

To get you started, here’s a link to 5 loop tracks that I’ve been using for testing.

The loop control parameters are all transmitted using 14-bit MIDI NRPNs. I’ll document and publish the specifics for those who may want to write their own control applications.

Coming up…

One of the reasons I started this was because I’m really interested in developing an algorithm to implement time compression/expansion, and I wanted a platform that facilitated this sort of control. The current “Rate” control is a pitch control, but it also changes the speed of the playback. I plan to add a “Speed” control for each loop, which will will adjust speed without changing pitch. Combined with the “Rate” control, this should allow for changing pitch without changing speed.

I also plan to add LFO of panning and perhaps volume.

Stay tuned…

 

In an ongoing attempt to be more efficient, I took a break from working on Tsunami and WAV Trigger firmware to develop a new Unified Init File Maker utility that works with both products.

In addition to looking a bit more up-to-date, it improves upon the previous individual apps in a number of ways:

  • One app will work with WAV Trigger and both mono and stereo versions of the Tsunami.
  • Offers online help with tooltips.
  • Provides live updates and remote control when used with a suitable USB-to-serial adaptor.

A beta version is now available and I encourage you to use it. The Windows and OS X versions are posted on the download pages of both products. Please use this post to provide any issues or feedback.

Note: If you use the new app to open previously saved init files, it will always open them as WAV Trigger files. You’ll need to start new Tsunami files (mono or stereo) from scratch.

A note about the linux version:

After doing some research into distributing Linux executables, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not practical to provide a ready-to-run Linux app that will run on all distros and machines. For those of you who want to run this utility on Linux, it’s not that hard, but you do have to download JUCE, install some dev packages, and then run make on the source project. I’ve included a link to the project’s source github repo on the download pages. When I get time, I’ll write up a step-by-step guide on how to do this (at least for Ubuntu) and include it in the repo’s readme.