With microcontrollers growing ever more powerful each new generation, things that were mere pipedreams before are now readily possible. The Shapeshifter drum machine is a perfect example.
Shapeshifter’s design is open-source, with everything available on Github for the curious musical tinkerers out there. The device is built around a PCB with only through-hole components, making assembly easy for even the least experienced enthusiasts out there. A Teensy 3.6 is then slotted into the socket on the board, providing 180MHz of grunt to run the show. It’s an excellent choice, as the Teensy platform has a huge range of libraries which make it simple to work with audio.
Being open-source, not only is it a cinch to make your own, but there’s plenty of room to remix the design to your personal tastes. There’s even a breadboarding area and the capability to add an expansion card for even more possibilities. Some users have even gone so far as to add displays and filter mods to really open things up.
We love a good drum machine at Hackaday, from the Amstrad-based to pocket-sized wonders. If you’ve got a build of your own, be sure to drop it in the tips line.
2 thoughts on “Shapeshifter – An Open Source Drum Machine”
“The device is built around a PCB with only through-hole components”: the PCB in the article’s photo has plenty of surface mount components on it!
The Led matrix is a good idea, with pwm the intensity differences can indicate accents. I grew up programming a Roland TR-707, it had a great LCD matrix that made patterns easier to handle in step mode. The breadboard is brilliant thinking, accessible, intuitive, instant random experimentation!
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