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Messages - paulsoulsby

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Atmegatron / Re: ATmegadrum
« on: May 27, 2014, 04:43:39 PM »
Hi Philippe,

I emailed you, but I'll paste the email here too in case anyone else has the same question  :)

I'm afraid there's no pass through to the MIDI out with this software. The Atmegadrum software stretches the Atmega processor to the limit and there's only a few bytes left in memory too! So I had to make the MIDI implementation very minimal.

It can receive MIDI clock and you can also trigger the sounds via MIDI. The note mappings very roughly follow the General MIDI drum mapping. See the MIDI tab of the Arduino code for a list of notes.

To add more MIDI features you'll probably need to make the drum samples shorter to save memory. I'm going to add the drum sample converter to the website later this week. Unfortunately it's PC only at the moment.

Software technical support / Re: MIDI Thru
« on: May 10, 2014, 12:34:16 PM »
Hi Ben,

I actually had a MIDI sequencer/processor idea for some Atmegatron software.  However I've already got so many other software versions lined up, it probably wouldn't happen until later in the year. 

If you wanted to give it a go, that would be great!  I could do an Arduino template, that removed all the audio generation and processing and would leave you with an empty shell to create your own software.  Let me know if that would be useful. 

If you're nervous about using the Arduino software, try Atmel Studio which now has excellent Arduino support. It's a lot more similar to Visual Studio and has lots of nice features like auto-complete.


P.S.  You are correct in thinking the MIDI In/Out can be customised to do pretty much whatever you want (as can all the controls).

Software announcement / FTDI cable links
« on: April 10, 2014, 12:14:47 PM »
The TTL-232R-5V will work with the Atmegatron.

***Please note, I now recommend buying the cable from the Soulsby Synths store:***

Here's some links to where you can buy them:
Sparkfun (USA)
Cool Components (UK)


Software announcement / Atcyclotron software released
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:00:57 AM »
The first major alternative software release for the Atmegatron is now available from the Downloads page (    ;D

It is called the Atcyclotron and is a wavetable cycling synthesizer.  The key difference is that it now uses 4 waveforms to generate the audio, rather than 1.  A number of samples from each waveform are played in turn.  This allows much more complex timbres to be created.

Find out how to upload the software and how to use it here:

Check out this demo that is created entirely from Atcyclotron sounds (except vocal!):

and a dry instrumental version, so you can hear exactly what is going on:


The Atmegatron is monotimbral.  This means that it only plays one patch at a time.  The way the demos are made is by recording the synth into the DAW software, part by part.  I don't know the NI Maschine software, but I've just had a quick look at the website and this is definitely possible.  So the basic process is:
1)  Create new sound on Atmegatron
2)  Create a MIDI track and record and edit MIDI notes
3)  Playback MIDI track while recording onto audio track
4)  Mute the MIDI track so that it stops triggering the Atmegatron
5)  Save patch on Atmegatron, just in case you need sound again (see manual for how to do this)
6)  Back to step one!

The Atmegatron pushes the Atmega processor to the absolute limit just to generate one sound.  You'd need more Atmega processors to play more than one sound at once.   
If you're using a modern DAW (like Maschine) there shouldn't be any need for it to be multitimbral.  If there's a specific thing you want to do that requires it to be multitimbral, let me know and I may be able to think of a workaround.

Paul  :)

P.S.  the current version of the Atmegatron software (v1.1) only responds to MIDI channel 1.  v1.2 is still being beta tested, but it will allow you to choose the MIDI channel

Software technical support / Re: MIDI Thru
« on: March 24, 2014, 11:28:13 AM »
There's no hardware implementation of MIDI thru, but you could simulate it in code. 

Open the source code and go to the MIDI tab.  Scroll down to MIDI_Poll and add Serial.write(incomingByte);.
Code: [Select]
void MIDI_Poll(){
  byte incomingByte=0;   
  static byte notebyte=0;        //these are all static because there's a small chance that the subroutine is exited before the 2 bytes of MIDI needed for note_on are received.
  static byte velocitybyte=0;
  static byte statusbuffer=0;
  static boolean firstbyte;
  if (Serial.available() > 0) {                    //if there is something in the serial input buffer
    do {
      incomingByte =;                // read the incoming byte:
      Serial.write(incomingByte);              //This will simulate MIDI thru out of the MIDI out port
      if (incomingByte>247) {                      // ****this is where MIDI clock stuff is done***

This may slow the synth down significantly though. I think it may be really bad / unusuable when MIDI clock is present.  I'll try and have a play with it over the next few days and see what the results are like.

Software announcement / Beta of version 1-2 now on downloads page
« on: March 12, 2014, 11:38:29 PM »
Version 1-2 now adds the ability to change MIDI receive channel.

To change MIDI channel:
1)  Boot up the Atmegatron with the Function Knob held down.  The Value Knob should glow yellow.  (woo!)
2)  Turn the Function Knob to Save (disk symbol)
3)  Turn the Value Knob to the desired channel.  Remember to subtract 1 from the desired channel number (so set dial to 0 if you want channel 1).
4)  Press Function Knob until it flashes
5)  MIDI receive channel is now set and will be stored in flash memory, so you don't need to set it every time you turn the Atmegatron on.

You can't save patches when the Atmegatron is booted into this mode
If you are new to uploading software to the Atmegatron, watch this tutorial first:

Use the help menu in the software for the basics on how to use it. 

If you run into any issues, just post in the Librarian board and I'll try and help.

The Librarian uses SysEx to communicate.  This means most music software can actually send and receive patches too.  This can be useful if you want the Atmegatron to change sound in a live situation.

Software announcement / Downloads page now live
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:31:02 PM »
Currently available:
  • Source code
  • Librarian (for Mac and PC)
  • Atmegatron overlay for PCB
  • Manual

To come:
  • More software versions including Atcyclotron, Atmegadrum and Atpolytron
  • Overlays for each software version

Atmegatron hardware announcement / Atmegatron on sale now!
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:27:44 PM »
Go to the shop link at the top of the forum to place an order.   8)

Atmegatron hardware announcement / Atmegatron pre-orders now open
« on: February 18, 2014, 02:18:58 PM »
You can now pre-order the Atmegatron at the Soulsby Synths shop:

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