DirtBox hardware started out as an experiment with the Arduino platform. We wanted to see how far we could take the fairly low-spec'ed Arduino in the synthesis realm. Its limitations made us work hard to get as much as we could out of it, and over time we built a hybrid digital/analogue prototype that used 8-bit digital oscillators that feed through to an analogue signal path with filter, distortion and VCA.
The results we started to obtain sounded great - anything from dirty lo-fi, to ballsy basses and leads. The sound is pretty unique and full of character, much of which is due to the 8-bit nature of the oscillators and the algorithms we've been working on. Still in development phase, we hope to unleash a version of the DirtBox hardware soon, but for now check out some of the work-in-progress...
iOS and MIDI Control
DirtBox hardware can be fully controlled via MIDI. All parameters, including analogue circuits can be automated or controlled with standard CC messages. MIDI Designer Pro for iOS is ideal as a graphical interface controlling DirtBox. Here we see how this works, with MIDI Designer and a Cubase panel in action.