Pocket Integrator

A clever, open hardware add-on board that lets you play your Pocket Operator drum machine like a maraca!

Nov 23, 2022

Project update 4 of 10

Latest News and a New Giveaway!

by Mykle H

Hello again!

Now that the US elections have settled down — and now that I have spent a week recovering from the heck that is COVID — we are finally able to celebrate the launch of our crowdfunding campaign! Here are some updates:

— At the moment we’re up to a whopping 198 subscribers, while pre-orders are about 12% of the way to our admittedly ambitious goal: to manufacture, ship and support 300 Pocket Integrators at a profit margin somewhere between "break even" and "get paid a little." Many thanks to everyone who has signed up for these updates, and double-extra-thanks for everyone who has pre-ordered! Pre-ordering is easy, just click the yellow "purchasing options" button on the campaign page. If for any reason we don’t reach our campaign goal, all pre-orders will be refunded.

— The main mission of Pocket Integrator is to help electronic-music people jam with acoustic-music people. I’m no Morton Subotnik, but I do love to make music, so I’m psyched about several demo-jams with local friends coming up soon on my calendar. I will shoot some video of that and share some clips with you soon. Meanwhile, if you are near Portland, Oregon, USA and would like to check out the PI in person, please get in touch! ("Hey man, do you want to jam?" is not a super-technical question, but you can still use the "Ask MSL A Technical Question" link at the bottom of this update page to ask it.)

— Some people have asked if you need tools to hook up the Integrator to the Operator. The short answer is no. Long answer is also no. Video answer is below.

— Nobody has taken me up on the Teenage Engineering Beer swap yet, so that offer is still available. I gotta say, if you’re anywhere near Sweden and anywhere near deciding to purchase Pocket Integrator, this seems like a no-brainer at current rates of exchange. The beer itself is only 15kr, and a PostNord small package to the USA is another 216kr; compare that to over 1500kr (with shipping and Swedish VAT) for the PI. Just sayin’. ("Okay I will trade you a beer for a Pocket Integrator!" is not technically a question; it’s a statement, but a welcome one, and you can use the Technical Question link at the bottom of this update to make it.)

— Teenage Engineering: how do they stay so busy?

Last week they released their Choir! — little autonomous singing robots shaped like wooden toys, which apparently can interconnect in sophisticated ways and use AI algorithms to harmonize with each other. They come pre-loaded with a selection of classic choral music from many cultures, and can also harmonize with the OP-1 Field or other instruments that can send MIDI over Bluetooth. Crazy! Check out the audio samples on the product page — they sound really beautiful, in a vintage voice-synthesis kind of way. You get the idea they’d look really good hanging from a Christmas tree …

— So here’s a new giveaway: I’ll trade you one Pocket Integrator for any one TE Choir doll! This is obviously not as much a bargain as the beer swap offer, but to make it a little more worth your while I will also add in one handmade singing robot Christmas angel ornament!

This ornament doesn’t sync with your PO or your Choir, or the tuning of your piano. It just hangs from a tree and mumbles little angel songs to itself in the robot musical language known as Bytebeat. In 2016, I built twenty-five of these little guys out of 99% recycled components as Christmas presents for friends. The main boards were gifted to me from a friend’s art project; they are based on the tiniest of Atmel microcontrollers, the ATTINY23. As smart devices go, they’re actually pretty dumb. Writing their firmware was real ship-in-a-bottle stuff! Maybe they’re not a totally fair swap for one of TE’s beautiful and sophisticated singing dolls, but they were an early step on the journey that brought me to the Pocket Integrator, and I’m still very fond of them.

Thanks again for signing up, and don’t forget to visit the campaign page to order your own Pocket Integrator!

Sign up to receive future updates for Pocket Integrator.

Pocket Integrator is part of Microchip Get Launched

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects