Sucofunk-Homepage2022-07-22T17:49:42+01:00

Build a Sample music box and drop beats wherever you go.

100% Open Source – build your own and make it yours!

beatmaker’s sketchbook

Beatmaker’s sketchbook is an alternative to commercial sample-sequencers with a big difference – it is 100% Open-Source.
It comes as a DIY kit and can be assembled within one afternoon. Minimal maker skills required.

Beatmaker’s sketchbook

Mission

The goal is to raise awareness for electronics and foster maker skills while creating a stylish groovebox to boost musical creativity.

If something breaks, it is easy to repair due to its modular system, based on mainly Open Source components.

Sounds pretty good – doesn’t it?

A sampler & step-sequencer with a microphone and a long lasting rechargable battery – what else does a beatmaker need for sketching ideas on the go?

Funky Orange, sucofunk

Blog / News

Prototype Fund Hardware

The Prototype Fund Hardware is part of the Research Project MoFab, which is supervised by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany. Every last friday of a month they are hosting the Open Hardware Happy Hour. This month the topic is “Open music” and Marc will be featured to talk about beatmaker’s sketchbook.

Hardware

Electronics

Beatmaker’s sketchbook houses a microphone, two speakers, a fader, four rotary encoders, 24 keys for two octaves, 12 functional buttons, a display and a via USB rechargeable battery. It can sample through a line-in or the built in microphone, playback via headphones, the internal speakers or the line-out connector and communicates with external devices via MIDI.

Its core is a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller with 16 MB additional Sample RAM (~3 minutes of samples in memory) and uses a Micro SD-card as permanent storage.

Beatmaker’s sketchbook
Beatmaker’s sketchbook

Enclosure

The electronic is packed into a well designed, professional looking enclosure.
It consists of a professional laser-cut plexiglas pane and a lot of 3D printed parts. The 3D models are available on Github and can be printed at home. The encoder caps are professional audio hardware and made of aluminum.

DIY kits

There are four different versions of DIY kits available. From the bare printed circuit board to a complete built beatmaker’s sketchbook.
A very detailed soldering guide is available on Github. You should check it out before buying a kit.
Depending on your skills it will take 3-6 hours to solder everything together. A fun weekend project and probably more useful than putting 10.000 small plastic bricks together ;)

Beatmaker’s sketchbook

Software

Beatmaker’s sketchbooks firmware – SUCOFUNKey – is continuous evolving, Open-Source and based on the Teensy Audio library.
Read the <user manual> to get an impression of the feature-set.
Or watch the update videos.

Sampler

Sources for sampling are line-in, the built in microphone, re-sampling and a combination of re-sampling and line-in or microphone.

Samples can be trimmed to variable lengths and set to sample slot. One sample can be sliced into multiple parts and be assigned to multiple slots.

72 sample slots divided into 3 banks with 24 samples each can be used in one project.

Step Sequencer

The sequencer is a matrix with fixed 8 channels and a almost endless width of steps. Every cell of that grid can be filled with a sample, parameter changes (volume, panning, Note Off) and MIDI messages.

There are different levels to zoom in and out to make fine grained compositions or just sketch some basic 4/4 ideas.

Each sample can be chromatically pitched and defined with a probability to be played.

Check the <user manual> for more features.

Live Mode

Just plug in a MIDI controller, e.g. for finger drumming, assign the pads to samples from beatmaker’s sketchbook and you are ready to go for a live performance (polyphonic aftertouch support).

Play your created sequence and drop some samples over it with your external MIDI gear. It is even possible to record all of that and rap some funky lyrics over it.

For a complete feature-set and the roadmap of planned features, check out the Github page of SUCOFUNKey.

Support Open Source Software!

The firmware is 100% Open Source, continuous evolving and does not bring any money to it’s creator. The development is financed by the sales of the kits and freelance work besides this project. To support the implementation of new features, turn donating into account to keep the project alive and at a fast pace.

If you donate at least 25€ for the project, you will be mentioned in the firmware as a supporter. Donate and leave a comment, if you want to get mentioned and the name you want to be listed with.

A two-staged build process

1. Soldering the electronics

beatmaker's sketchbook - rendered pcb

It is designed to be as easy as possible to solder and assemble.

2. Building the enclosure

beatmaker's sketchbook - explosion scetch enclosure

The well designed, super nice retro looking enclosure is build around a transparent black plexiglas. The plexiglas pane, encoder knobs and the fader cap come with the kit. The rest can be printed on a 3D printer with the freely available 3D Models on the Github page.

FAQ`s

Is it difficult to build?2022-02-27T02:59:13+01:00

No. Building a Beatmaker’s sketchbook should be fun – that is what it is designed for.

Do I need to be a professional in soldering?2022-02-27T02:59:54+01:00

No. It is designed to need as little soldering skills as possible. Components which would require heavy soldering skills are on separated modules which come pluggable with the kit. Everything is described in a very detailed soldering guide. Check it out and convince yourself.

What do I need to build the enclosure?2022-02-27T03:01:42+01:00

Most of the enclosure and the buttons is 3D printable. If you own a 3D printer, you can print it yourself. The only not 3D printable part is the plexiglas pane. It comes with the kit and brings a professional design out of the box. To ensure a classy look, the encoder knobs are professional aluminum caps and the fader cap is a standard audio product, used in professional mixers. Both parts come with the kits.

3D models to print it yourself are Open-Source, too and can be downloaded from the GitHub project.

I do not own a 3D printer. What are my options?2022-02-27T03:02:38+01:00

No problem. You can buy the printed parts from the online store.

Is there an option to buy an already built kit?2022-02-27T03:03:12+01:00

Yes. You can order everything already build, but keep in mind that you are buying a soldered DIY kit. So it is not officially certified or has a warranty. But you can be sure everything is built and tested properly.

Will there be a commercial version of Beatmaker’s sketchbook available?2022-02-27T03:04:11+01:00

Probably. There are plans to produce a version which comes already soldered and has everything on board. It will be Open-Source, too. As you might guess from the media it is currently not the best time to produce a new product as there is a lack of different electrical components on the market. Stay tuned and follow sucofunk on instagram or sign-up for the newsletter to stay informed.

Beatmaker’s sketchbook

Workshops

If you are interested in a workshop where you and your friends/team/students will build a complete Beatmaker’s sketchbook and learn how it is designed and works, feel free to contact us. Workshops will take place in our Berlin based office. Events at your location or school are available upon request.

When buying a kit, you can purchase one hour video support with the maker at the checkout process.

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