Audio & Music
Synths

Gliss

Draw waveforms directly into your modular synth with this open-source touch module

$10,355 raised

of $14,000 goal

74% Funded

Back this project to help bring it into existence.
Funding ends on Jan 31, 2023 at 03:59 PM PST.

$11 - $499

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Gliss is an elegant and intuitive synthesizer module for touch control. This Eurorack module lets you draw waveforms directly into your system so you can add a human touch to your control signals. It also can act as a signal visualizer, slider, or expressive capacitive keyboard. Gliss is small (4 HP), and powerful, allowing you to control your signals through high-precision touch sensing. See how waves behave with descriptive and immediate visual output via LEDs mounted behind the touchplate.

Intuitive Modular Synth Touch Control

Modular synth systems are complex musical instruments, and parameter control is usually through buttons, knobs and sliders. These beloved interfaces are great for precise and accurate control but are not the most performative, and can feel one step removed from the actual control signals. Gliss introduces a kind of touch control which is intuitively and immediately connected to the output signals: you can literally draw the shape of your signals directly into your system.

Powered by the technology behind the Trill capacitive touch sensors from Bela, Gliss has high-resolution position and pressure sensing which is used in combination with a Cortex-M4F microcontroller to create complex behaviors like drawing in waveforms and looping them, with captivating visual feedback from the embedded LEDs. Gliss gives you control over the signals in your modular synthesizer in a way that’s inherently musical.

Features

Specifications

Design

With Gliss we’ve managed to squeeze a lot of useful features into a slender 4HP module. We’re really proud of the design which consists of 3 stacked PCBs: the Faceplate PCB which acts as the main input surface for the module with the capacitive sensing pads; the Main board with microcontroller, capacitive sensing IC, Opamps and socket and button for I/Os; and the LED PCB which is sandwiched between and has 24 addressable RGB LEDs and the Micro USB programming port.

Support & Documentation

Gliss will be released with an online instruction manual including a getting-started video guide and demonstration videos of each mode. For support and sharing experiences of working with the module we will use our forum.

Project Files

All Gliss hardware design files will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 3.0 license (or CC-BY-SA), meaning they can be freely reused and remixed with attribution, provided modifications remain open source. This is a license we use with many of our other products. Gliss firmware is the code that’s flashed on each Gliss module. Gliss firmware will be licensed under the GNU Public License, or GPL. We will publish the repositories here before shipping out the modules.

Manufacturing Plan

We are working with a trusted manufacturing partner in Shenzhen on the PCBA for Gliss. We have worked with them for 6 years on many project of different sizes and fully trust their ability and the quality of their work. They have produced and assembled 50 prototype units of the module so far, across 4 different revisions. We are in the process of verifying the final revision and sending it to beta testers before making our final adjustments to the firmware. We have also already secured the key components for an initial production run.

For the campaign production run, once manufactured, the modules will be shipped to London where they will be assembled, flashed with firmware, tested and then packaged ready for delivery to Crowd Supply.

From Trill to Gliss

Gliss builds upon the technology used in Trill, our family of capacitive touch sensors, and in this campaign we will also be offering new and updated versions of our Trill sensors for purchase. Trill is a family of touch sensors that was inspired by the way we use our hands to interact with the world. Trill uses capacitive touch sensing to precisely track finger movements, making high-resolution touch sensing accessible to engineers and designers who want to incorporate touch into their interactive projects.

This updated revision switches out the Grove connecter for the significantly smaller QWIIC connector and also features design improvements like castellated pads on Trill Craft. Trill sensors are the perfect toolkit for building custom interfaces, bespoke controllers, and touch panels. Use them to sketch interface ideas and create new interactions in your hardware projects.

Fulfillment & Logistics

All orders will be fulfilled by Crowd Supply’s fulfillment services (run by Mouser Electronics) so backers can rest assured that they will receive the modules in a timely fashion and well-packed. Once manufacturing is complete and the modules have been assembled, flashed and tested in London, we’ll make a bulk shipment to Mouser Electronics, who will handle distribution to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.

Risks & Challenges

Hardware design is a tricky process and there are many potential pitfalls which could lead to a delay in production. As a company we have extensive experience in designing hardware and software and delivering products to customers all over the world. Gliss’s hardware is in its final revision and we have already built 50 units, we also have a very good relationship with our contract manufacturer which will help make the delivery of this module as smooth as possible.

The semiconductor crisis has made hardware manufacturing a lot more complex with certain ICs becoming impossible to get hold of for the foreseeable future. One missing chip can be enough to stall the entire production. As an anti-semiconductor-crisis move, we have secured all the key components necessary for our initial production run. This includes the STM32 Cortex-M4F IC we are using as a microcontroller, and the Cypress Capsense IC we use for the capacitive sensing on the faceplate. Thankfully with a bit of patience we have been able to acquire a decent quantity of these components meaning we will be ready to press go on the final production run before the end of the campaign.

As a company we love launching products via crowd funding campaigns and we have previously ran two successful campaigns: Bela and Trill, both launched on Kickstarter. With this experience we are confident that we can deliver on time and be responsive to our backers’ needs.

In the Press

Hackster News

" Gliss is an open source touch control synthesizer module that lets you draw your own sine waves with the touch of a finger, so you can produce complex tones that don’t sound like they came from a computer."

Electromaker

"In my opinion it is the best combination of hardware and software library for creating sound that exists."

Ask a Question

Produced by Bela in London, UK.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Gliss

Bring touch to your modular synth! Includes one fully assembled Gliss module with 2 knurlie screws and Eurorack ribbon power cable.

$139 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

4 x Gliss Multibuy

Get a full touch interface for your modular system! Includes 4 fully assembled Gliss modules with knurlie screws and Eurorack ribbon power cables.

$499 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Craft new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Craft sensor. Trill Craft is a 30-channel breakout board that lets you make your own touch interfaces out of anything conductive. This updated version features castellated pads and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Bar new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Bar sensor. Trill Bar is a multitouch slider that can detect up to five simultaneous touches along one axis. This updated version features a QWIIC connector + cable, and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Square new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Square sensor. Trill Square is a x/y touch pad that senses the position of one touch across two axes, as well as touch size. This updated version features a QWIIC connector + cable, and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Ring new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Ring sensor. Trill Ring is a one-axis circular slider that can detect up to 5 simultaneous touches as well as touch size. This updated version features a QWIIC connector + cable, and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Hex new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Hex sensor. Trill Hex is a hexagonal, 2-axis x/y sensor which also senses touch size. This updated version features a QWIIC connector + cable and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Flex new edition

This is a new revision of our beloved Trill Flex sensor. Trill Flex allows you to bring flexible sensing to your interactive projects. This updated version features a QWIIC connector + cable, and a refined design.

$16 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill Hub new edition

This is a new revision of our Trill Hub. Trill Hub is a handy breakout board that provides a single point of connection for all your Trill sensors (and other I2C devices).This updated version features QWIIC connectors + 5 cables, and a refined design.

$11 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Trill selection pack

Want to try out all of our Trill capacitive sensors or are you running workshops building interactive devices? The Trill selection pack is perfect for you. Try out all the Trill sensors at a reduced price and connect them all at once via the included Trill Hub.

$90 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team

Bela

London, UK  ·  BelaPlatform  ·  BelaPlatform  ·  bela.io

Our company began in 2016, and we have been designing maker hardware and software ever since. As a team we want to create the best open source tools possible for people to express themselves through technology. We have released numerous products, all of which focus on interaction with sensors and sound. There are currently thousands of artists, designers, engineers, and researchers using our products to develop new ways of producing sound and music.

Andrew McPherson

apmcpherson

Astrid Bin

disastrid

Giulio Moro

giuliomoro

Robert Jack

roberthjack

Adan Benito

adanlbenito

CHAIR (The Center for Haptic Audio Interaction Research)

chairaudio

See Also

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