The Gate Crystal is a monophonic digital FM synthesizer based on the Atmega32u4 microcontroller. It is capable of creating a variaty of sounds most and boasts the following features (may be subject to change without warning):
- A two operator FM oscillator pair.
- An ADSR amplitude envelope
- An LFO (that can control a variety of parameters)
- A digital lowpass filter with adjustable resonance
- A built in sequencer (work in progress)
- MIDI input via USB or 5pin DIN
- 4 waveforms (sine, triangle, saw, square)
However the synthesizer is open source and can be reprogrammed to do whatever you might prefer. The source code and required toolchain can be found on github.
A workshop usually entails 2-3 hours of soldering and constructing, with interesting educational cpmmentary on the the inner workings and basic electronics by Captain Credible. After the build is finished, and all units are tested and working, we look at how they work, and use our new creations to make music. For those interested we also look at modifying the existing code or writing entirely new firmware e.g. turning the unit into a 6 voice poly synht (without FM).
Imprompt jam from workshop at Oslo university
Just look how pleased he is.