Build a Sample music box and drop beats wherever you go.
100% Open Source – build your own and make it yours!
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.
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?
Blog / News
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.
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.
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 sketchbooks firmware – SUCOFUNKey – is continuous evolving, Open-Source and based on the Teensy Audio library.
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.
Fading and volume adjustments are available, more features will follow.
The sequencer is a matrix with fixed 8 channels (more is possible) and a variable width of steps. Channels are not bound to samples, every step can be a different sample. This way a pattern is a 8*n sample matrix.
The resolution can be scaled up (e.g. 1/4 -> 1/8) and down with the push of a button, which makes it very flexible for tricky compositions.
Each sample play back can be pitched and defined with a probability to be played.
Volume and panning can be adjusted at every step.
Planned features are a FM Synthesizer and a Live Mode to integrate beatmaker’s sketchbook as a MIDI device for integrating (chromatically pitched) samples into your existing set-up.
For a complete feature-set and the roadmap, 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 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
It is designed to be as easy as possible to solder and assemble.
2. Building the 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.
No. Building a Beatmaker’s sketchbook should be fun – that is what it is designed for.
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.
We are working on an enclosure DIY kit with all needed parts to build an enclosure that does not look like a DIY project. Will be available in our shop soon.
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.
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.
Sourcing, Soldering, 3D Printing
Soldering, 3D printing
No skills needed! ;-)
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.