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AXOLOTI - the DIY digital audio beast you need in your life
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author AXOLOTI - the DIY digital audio beast you need in your life
I know it has been mentioned briefly here and there in the forum and some people over here are aware of it, but the axoloti DIY dsp platform definately is not getting the attention it deserves. so here's an introduction:

oops can't resize these?

This thing is an open source DIY standalone audio oriented microcontroller board with a patcher GUI to develope the programs. That means you get a tiny (14x5cm) pcb board with a 168MHz processor, 1 MB ram, SD card, 2x USB, DIN midi i/o, stereo 1/4" 24bit 96khz audio i/o and a whole bunch of digital and analog pins to connect all kinds of sensors, pots, buttons, screens, ICs or other computer things. you have to program it on your computer but thanks to the genius axoloti developer johannes thaelmann you don't have to do all the hardcore C coding yourself: instead you can plug your audio engines together from a ton of ready made modules, with cute little patch cables in a graphical editor. think reaktor, vcv rack, max msp, pure data. Then you compile your program, upload it to the axoloti board and then it will run standalone without the computer. because unlike eg. a raspberry pi these MCUs don't run a full operating system they will boot up and be ready to play within seconds. you can connect your midi keyboard, your guitar, your modular system, a mic, whatever you like.

And if you're not happy with any of the objects or want to code something more low level than the patching GUI allows, you can dive into the C code at any point. Which is what a lot of very talented people from the axoloti community did already, so there are literally hundreds of great sounding audio objects available. 40-50 filters, tons of VA-, wavetable-, granular-, sampling-, and fm-oscillators (2-3 CS80-style saws alone). plenty VCAs, live looping, sequencers, arpeggiators, reverb, delay, saturation, etc etc etc. most of the mutable instruments open source oscillators have been ported already. the possibilities literally are endless and only limited by CPU power and RAM.

So just start thinking. Here's some stuff you could build:
- your own drum machine. virtual analog layered with samples. and a sequencer and effects built in. and it sidechains the audio input into the mix.
- any kind of guitar pedal you ever dreamt of.
- 10 CV i/o with the most flexible LFO's in the world, with waveform display on a fancy OLED screen.
- a polyphonic 3-osc synthesizer with wavetable, VA, rompler and analog effects. a ghetto quantum. thats actually what i am currently doing.
- standalone effect boxes with your own unique effect chain presets and a custom remote control
- audio to motor-and-video converter
- a live looper device with a pedalboard remote and a RGB LED lightshow.
- a big lemur-like touchscreen with analog eurorack i/o. ok i'm repeating my ideas but you get the drift. you can make anything.

here's a screenshot of what a super basic monophonic saw synth would look like in the graphic patcher:

anyways, now you could start adding more objects or enable the EDIT mode so you can view and alter the C code of any of these object. upload and run live and standalone with any USB midi keyboard connected.

there are very minor issues with the patcher GUI and to be honest there hasn't been too much visible developement recently but that's just another reason to get more talented people on board. and of course everybody wants a faster CPU and more RAM. but this thing is abolutely insane as is.

so yeah. let's get some discussion going, what do you guys think of this? any questions or criticism? tech specs can be found on the axoloti website. PSA i am just a fanboy user and in no way affiliated.

oh i didn't mention it only costs 80$.
I wish there was a smaller version without the jacks and just a little bit cheaper. It'd make it easier to commit the board to one function for me.
It's a very fun little unit. The possibility for making a custom "instrument" using an Axoloti makes it even more interesting. It's a little bit stagnant now, in terms of development. I'd like to see some other hardware versions soon and the Axoloti Control that has been promised has been in development for a LONG time now with little progress from what I can tell.

The community over at is still pretty active and incredibly helpful. The way community modules get integrated in almost automatically into the patcher is really very convenient, too.

I have two with the music thing control expansions but I'm still dreaming up the perfect purpose for them.
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