WTPA

WTPA 2.0 Is In Active Development Right Now!
You can’t pre-order them, but keep an eye on this blog and the Forum for updates!
Hell, if you really have an opinion, chime in on the forum and give me a piece of your mind about the new design. It isn’t too late to make changes. If you’re curious, as of March 2012, the hardware for WTPA2 is done. The firmware is mostly done, and there are 300 units in boxes on my shelves waiting for me to get busy and buff out the remaining bugs.

WTPA v1.01, well…
The kits sold out on Friday November 20, 2009. The last bare version 1 PCB shipped out on March 19, 2012. So, you have officially missed the boat, and are out of continues.
The old purchasing site isHERE if you’re curious.

All the MANUALS, DOCS, and PCB Files are freely available, as is the source code, in the DOWNLOADS section above.

xoxox
TB



For posterity, and those of you who came late to the game, which is basically everybody except my mom, here’s a brief explanation of “Where’s The Party At, v1.01″

WTPA is an an SRAM based 8-bit audio sampler, distributed in kit form.

WTPA, as a KIT, is designed to the following aesthetic ends: to be a good and clear example of fairly “traditional” analog (low noise, relatively low frequency, high headroom, good routing, sensible ADCs and DACs etc) and digital (clean low level code, parallel memory architecture, I/O expansion via latches, various serial communication protocols) circuit design, and is catered to the determined (though not necessarily experienced) kit-builder who really, truly wants to learn more about how electronics work and how to get better at their craft. It is not the easiest kit ever, but for what it is I feel it’s versatile and powerful and (I hope) cool. And it comes with a thick manual.

As a SAMPLER and INSTRUMENT, WTPA is designed to the following aesthetic ends: to capitalize on the audio flaws and interfacing ability that relatively powerful and perfect computer samplers could but usually don’t. To do crusty, awesome things that proletariat guitar garbage like the Line-6 pedals never will. To be a top-flight uncompromising, un-crashing piece of open source engineering that is more reliable than my well-loved but ever-so-buggy MPC2000.

WTPA is nerdy and proud.

The story in brief:

WTPA started as a pedagogical tool for the Bent Festival in 2008. I basically wanted to design a generic “crusty sampler” that would be useful in demonstrating how a sampler works in an overarching sense, and not in a specific sense like “ooh, the SK-1 is cool”, etc etc.

The class I taught was about transitioning from circuitbending to circuit design and I wanted to show how (relatively) easy it was to make a sampler which could do as-cool or cooler things than some goofy old toys and also many commercial products. To do this, I made WTPA as a kit that anybody could build.

Overall, the talk was a success and hopefully some people learned some stuff. The question I got mostly however was: “Where can I buy one of those?”

This, coupled with the fact that I can’t leave well enough alone, coupled with the fact that I’d just quit my engineering dayjob, led to a TON of messing around with the original design and its re-purposing as a truly unique, functional, badass musical instrument. Hopefully, it will help ME get away from old goofy toys :-)

For a long time, the entirety of Narrat1ve.com was a running list of my trials and tribulations and victories and totally dumb mistakes getting WTPA to where it is today. It is a story of analog and digital troubleshooting, low level programming, wizardry-in-training and roguery-in-decline.

Apocryphal Feature List and General Horn-Tooting:

  • 8-bit max sample depth, 1-bit minimum.
  • 20kHz (or so, user adjustable) max sample rate, no minimum.
  • 512k SRAM, about 26 seconds (minimum) or sample time.
  • Big, versatile 6 button, 7 knob, 8 LED user interface. For Cavemen.
  • Even more big and versatile full MIDI control in and out capability. Fully sequenceable. For people who use Live and general bespectacled electronic music nerds.
  • Sample banking — multi-timbral recording, playback and audio processing across all banks.
  • Sample multiplication, XOR, ABS, and all sorts of other weird sample processing and cross-modulation.
  • Real-time bit reduction
  • Real-time overdubbing.
  • Preferences saved in permanent memory.
  • Hackable analog clock source which can be syncronized to other synths.
  • Non-Hackable crystal clock source which will always do Exactly What You Tell it.
  • Programmable clock jitter, bit rate reduction, aliasing, and sample clock errors all adjustable in real time.
  • All the normal backwards masking and half time and typical sampling features common to many commercial samplers.
  • On-The-Fly Granular reconstruction of samples.
  • Full pitch control of samples.
  • Samples can be edited and scrubbed via a pot or MIDI commands DURING playback
  • 2.8Hz-357kHz frequency response (measured).
  • Low noise analog section (digital, not so much)
  • Looks nerdy and attracts people with stringy hair. Possibly bad skin.