Posts Tagged ‘WTPA v1.01’

WTPA v1.01 Sales Video, or, Fisher-Price: My First Video Camera

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Sometime right around this date I made the following crappy video to show off some of WTPA’s less-exciting features and also to figure out how to use all these newfangled “digital cameras” and whatnot. Though it was a resounding flop, it features Pavement remixes, a peep covered in Urethane, and a very bad buzz.

This doesn’t show off any MIDI, on-the-fly editing, multi-timbral sampling, or not sucking in general but is included for posterity.

WTPA Gets Iced; Version 2 Firmware Out!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

Wait — no: Happy Birtday WTPA!

It’s a little bogus to use the above fuzzy-wuzzy pictures, but given the current state of fireworks in my neighborhood and the celebratory announcement of the NEW FIRMWARE, I feel justified in using hazy party pics. The above was actually a totally kickass surprise party (peep the cake made by my girl Julianna Luther) in May to celebrate the WTPA launch here in Chicago; why my friends decided to start beef between me and Dre I’ll never know.

So anyway, we’ll pretend it’s a birthday party for the NEW FIRMWARE! As of today the version 2 firmware is now the most current, and will ship with all WTPAs ordered.

Changes From Rev1 To Rev2 Firmware:

  • The original firmware did not take into account settling time for the ADC when changing channels, and as a result, the last result from the control pot often ended up being logged as the first (or first several) samples. This resulted in a loud click at the beginning of a sampled phrase when the control pot was set to certain positions. The sampling routine now throws out the first few samples until the ADC has settled, eliminating the click.
  • The firmware now allows for playing a “single shot” sample when the sample is backwards masked.
  • The firmware now sets the DAC to midscale at powerup. This eliminates the loud bump that would happen the first time a user triggered any audio interrupt (including recording) after powerup.

The current firmware is now posted on the site (the old version of the source code is also included in the firmware download, and you’re welcome to compile and use that if you want to be retro for some weird reason). Those of you who already have WTPAs can update to the new firmware using any old avr programmer with a 6-pin ISP connector. I like the Atmel STK500, but I’d be remiss in not mentioning the fine programmers available for cheap at Adafruit Industries who pretty much have this whole kit game on lock.

Information on how to update your firmware is available in lots of AVR-specific places on the net:

  • The GNU Tool Chain for AVR — Very nerdy and complete and useful. It’s where I go.
  • Winavr — A Windows port of that toolchain.
  • AVRfreaks — The biggest and most complete AVR user community.
  • AVR Studio — Atmel’s IDE. I can’t stand this but you might like it.
  • WTPA User Forum — If and when there are WTPA specific questions about this, the answers will be here.

In other news, Narrat1ve has not one but THREE new products in the pipe. One smaller than WTPA, one bigger, and one A LOT bigger. And no, one of them is not a “real website”. I’m excited. Stay tuned.



Shipping Backlog Over; Running Low on WTPA kits.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

It is with a sigh of relief that I can announce that the Russian-Winter-like Narrat1ve shipping backlog is OVER!

I have something in the neighborhood of 50 packages waiting to get picked up as of Monday morning, meaning our poor comrades overseas are now caught up with my cheeseburger’d nationals as far as shipping goes. Better still, I’ve gotten all the forms, legalities, phylacteries, and ephemera to make sure this never happens again. On a related note, I will be expecting roughly 48 new forum applicants in 6 to 10 days :-)

Furthermore (and excitingly) I am beginning to run low on WTPAs! The original pressing is close to 70% gone! In all likelihood I will reprint them again, but being an inveterate tinkerer there will be some changes. If anybody has any ideas about things they’d like to see incorporated into the new version, feel free to holler.

Most excitingly, this means I can now get back to some guilt-free nerding out on NEW designs… I’ll keep you posted.

Xoxoxo, TMB

Contract Work, Video Synth Revisions, Shipping Sux

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

So lately I’ve gotten called back into the top-secret toy-prototype world a lot and have not gotten as much research done for Narrat1ve as I might have hoped to.

However, I have tweaked my new video synth about as far as it can go with the current hardware, and got a chance to show it off at the Midwest Experimental Electronics Showcase last Saturday (that link will probably not be about MEES forever).
It looks considerably more badass than it did when I last showed it in New York, although it is still far from ideal. I’ve gotten a lot of what I’ll call “trippiness in the Horizontal range” and now know how and why all of that happens, how color encoding works, how interlacing and sync work, and what audio looks like coded directly into RGB color information. In general I feel pretty confident about the essentially obsolete technology of analog video :-)
I’m excited about plowing through the next revision as soon as I get some time. It should be a lot more badass, and include some frequency multiplication, waveshaping, and the ability to incorporate external video.

I also met some nice folks named Arturo and Sarah whose company likely knows a whole lot more about said osolete video than me, and it turned out that Arturo used to work on the Sandin IP which was among the first artsy fartsy video synths ever made (along with Stephen Beck and Nam June Paik’s stuff) right here in Chicago! Historical Context W00t!

In WTPA news, shipping shipping shipping. The videos and pics from people who’ve successfully built the thing are starting to come in, and I should get them up soon.


Tue May 19 20:32:31 CDT 2009

Whoa. I just found this Linear Technology App Note which is blowing my mind. Any of you interested in analog video should cop that *ish.

Xo, TB

Dorky Lectures, Shipping

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

So I’ve been bringing the word to the street pretty hard lately. I just rolled back from a really great talk at Machine Project in LA (see above), and the last two weekends before that I’ve been in New York pimping some kind of technology.
Landing in Chicago it turns out that both CDM and Hackaday were cool enough to talk about WTPA (thanks!) and suddenly I’m (even more) behind in shipping.
Since I got back I’ve updated the shopping cart so it’s now possible to order WTPA from outside the USA, I’ve updated the Assembly Manual to account for some FAQs, and I’ve written the Operator’s Manual which includes how to rock out, MIDI implementation, and general arcana.

In general, selling kits is fun, but it sure does take time. I can’t wait until I’ve got all this logistical mess under control and can go back to working on my new video synth. I’ve learned a lot about tape guns this week; less about back porches.