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Wee Noise Makers
Audio & Music

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1

Open source synthesizer, sequencer and groove box that's meant to be customized and modified to your taste.

$38,904 raised

of $14,000 goal

277% Funded! Order Below

Funding ended on May 30, 2024 at 04:59 PM PDT.

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1 is an advanced yet portable synthesizer and sequencer that allows you to craft complex musical pieces anywhere. This all-in-one, open-source, customizable device is designed to empower aspiring musicians, seasoned creators, and makers. It isn’t just an instrument—it’s your gateway to the world of music production and audio synths.

Battery and Shipping Included

We believe that creativity shouldn’t have borders, so shipping is on us! That’s right, no matter where you are in the world, shipping is included for all PGB-1 campaign orders.

PGB-1 comes ready to play right out of the box, with a rechargeable battery. Start creating music as soon as it arrives at your doorstep.

Rock Out, Anywhere

PGB-1 has open-source stock firmware that makes it a playful and powerful groove box. It allows you to craft complex musical pieces with drums, bass, lead, samples, reverb, bitcrusher, overdrive, and others.

Orchestrated by an advanced sequencer with conditional steps, repeats/ratcheting, pattern chaining, chord sequencing, song mode, live sequencing effects, and more.

Our Story

PGB-1 is our response to the current landscape of entry-level hardware synthesizers and groove boxes. In recent years, we saw a plethora of new electronic instruments marketed as accessible, affordable, and designed for beginners. Yet, often these instruments can feel limited, tying users to a specific sound or ecosystem. These limits sometimes feel artificial, pushing you to combine multiple products of the same line to actually make meaningful music. At the same time leading to frustrating sequencing, connection, and mixing issues that defeat the portability and playfulness of the instruments.

With the PGB-1, we want to address all these shortcomings, bringing you an instrument that is:

We believe creativity should not be limited by the tools you have, but empowered by them. With the PGB-1, we are dedicated to creating a platform that encourages innovation and experimentation. Whether you are a musician looking to explore new sounds, a developer eager to create unique software, or a hobbyist who enjoys tweaking and building.

Hacking and Customization

PGB-1 is designed to be customized and modified to your taste. The front panel is a bare PCB, designed with the open-source software Kicad. The production file will be available so that anyone can make its own version with custom graphics and get it manufactured for a few bucks.

PGB-1 is also hackable with CircuitPython, C\C++, and Ada support for programming your own synthesizers, video games, or any audio-based projects.

By making the PGB-1 open source, we provide a sandbox for the audio community. Users can delve into the code, modify existing features, or add entirely new functionalities. This flexibility not only enhances the capabilities of the PGB-1 but also fosters a collaborative environment where users can share their creations and learn from each other.

Additionally, we have set up a dedicated Discord server for all PGB-1 users and enthusiasts to discuss, share, and contribute to the growing ecosystem. Click here to join our Discord Group

Open-source software is not as common in the audio industry, but with this project, we want to follow the path of great manufacturers such as Mutable Instruments or Winterbloom.

Comparisons

PGB-1PO-33 K.OSeqTrackAira T-8Volca DrumM8
Manufacturer Wee Noise Makers Teenage Engineering Yamaha Roland Korg Dirtywave
Fits in your pocket yes yes no no no yes
Battery Rechargeable li-ion 2x AAA (not included) Rechargeable li-ion Rechargeable li-ion 6x AA (non rechargeable included) Rechargeable
Open-source yes no no no no no
Screen OLED 128 x 64 Custom LCD No 4 digits Custom LCD IPS
Voices 8 Monophonic 4-note polyphony 128-note polyphony 7 Monophonic 6-parts, Dual Layered 8 Monophonic
Sample memory 62 seconds 40 seconds 800 MB preset + 500 MB user N/A N/A No sample memory or length limitation
Sound engines 19 (so far) 2 2 7 1 45
Price $249 (with free-shipping) $99 $399 $200 $160 $659

Features & Specifications

Processor: Raspberry Pi RP2040

Audio IC: Cirrus Logic WM8960 (or equivalent)

User Interface

Input & Outputs

Design

PGB-1 is built around two main components:

You can see the Noise Nugget as a “single-board audio processor”. Built around the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. This device provides a good amount of RAM for its category, and most importantly 2 CPU cores. By squeezing all the performances out of both RP2040 cores, we can deliver a great instrument at a great price. In the future, Noise Nugget will be the basis for other audio adventures, including your own.

The motherboard itself provides the physical interface elements: keyboard, LEDs, screen, sockets, battery, etc.

Manufacturing Plan

We went through several design iterations on the PGB-1, improving the manufacturability along the way. Most of the components are either of-the-shelf (screen, battery, screws), or made from automated production processes (PCB, case).

The device will be tested and assembled in house before shipping to Crowd Supply.

Fulfillment & Logistics

Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, will distribute orders to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service in their Ordering, Paying, and Shipping guide.

Risks and Challenges

As you saw in the videos above, the PGB-1 is here in our hands, a fully functional prototype has already been developed and tested.

We’ve worked to address any potential manufacturing risks by utilizing of-the-shelf parts, automated fabrication, and very limited manual assembly operations. The front panel is a PCB, the case is a single piece that can either be 3D printed, injection molded, or machined in aluminum. The electronic boards assembly is fully relying on SMT components (i.e., assembled by machines). However, the production of hardware devices always comes with challenges, such as supply chain testing and so on. This could extend the timeline for the delivery of finished units, and we will keep all backers up to date with our manufacturing progress.

Acknowledgements

Like most open-source endeavors, PGB-1 is standing on the shoulders of giants. Throughout the development, we used many great open-source projects: Kicad, FreeCAD, Inkscape, GIMP, Blender, kdenlive, OBS, GCC/GNAT, RP2040-HAL, MI eurorack modules, rp2040 stamp Micropython, Circuit Python, Linux, Ubuntu, and many others.

We are proud to contribute to this amazing ecosystem, and look forward to seeing what you create with the Wee Noisemakers PGB-1.

In the Press

Matrix Synth

"It isn’t just an instrument—it’s your gateway to the world of music production and audio synths."

Amazona

"It's spring and the projects are sprouting. With the Wee Noise Makers PGB-1 (Pocket Groove Box), French developer Fabien Choutau is launching a handy device that leaves plenty of space for creative freedom."

Gear News

"French boutique outfit Wee Noise Makers has identified a hole in the market: an all-in-one music-making device aimed at beginners. "

Passionestrumenti

"PGB-1 is small in size but can do a lot and, despite its shape, it is not a “toy” but a groovebox that has nothing to hide."


Produced by Wee Noise Makers in Angers, Maine et Loire, France.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

PGB-1 with Plastic Case

Comes with 1x PGB-1 with plastic case

$249 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

PGB-1 Limited Edition

This Limited Edition PGB-1 comes with a golden aluminum case

$299 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

USB 2.0 Cable: Type-C to Type-A (1 m / ~3.3 ft)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

A 100 cm cable with a USB Type-C and a USB Type-A connector.

$7 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

USB 2.0 Cable: Type-C to Type-A (2 m / ~6.6 ft)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

A 200 cm cable with a USB Type-C and a USB Type-A connector.

$8 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

USB 2.0 Cable: Type-C to Type-C (1.5 m / ~5 ft), supports PD 100W fast charging

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

USB Cables / IEEE 1394 Cables Type-C to Type-C PD Fast Charging Cable, 480 MB/S transmission rate

$9 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Audio Cable: 3.5 mm Stereo Male to Male, (~1 m / 3 ft)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

Black Audio/Video Cable, 3.5 mm Stereo Male to Male, ~1 m

$3 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Audio Cable: 3.5 mm Stereo Male to Male, (~2 m / 6 ft)

From the Crowd Supply Basics project.

Black Audio/Video Cable, 3.5 mm Stereo Male to Male, ~2 m

$4 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

PGB-1 Early Bird Special

Claim your early bird special pricing! Comes with 1x PGB-1 with plastic case

$225 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

About the Team

Wee Noise Makers

Angers, Maine et Loire, France  ·   WeeNoiseMaker  ·   wee-noise-makers  ·   weenoisemakers

We make open-source music gadgets.

See Also

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