Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Small, loud, expandable! By Curious Sound Objects.
Small, loud, expandable! By Curious Sound Objects.
562 backers pledged $80,804 to help bring this project to life.
Last updated

About

Bitty™ - a pocket drum machine project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$80,804

562

Playing two Bitties at the same time:

Want to get into making music, but find all the gear too complicated and expensive? 

Bitty is a pocket drum machine and synthesizer. It has a big speaker and runs on batteries so you can take outside in the backyard and play with friends. And you can swap the software, making it many different instruments in one portable package!



Music Making For Everyone - easy to play, sounds like nothing else

Imagine a gateway drug for people wanting to get into making beats or electronic music. Imagine something deep enough for studio musicians too.

You can play the drums or melodies manually (which is better for playing along with an acoustic instrument), or you can use the left knob to select patterns and change the speed to make dance music or hip hop beats.  

The pros will get a kick out of the sonic character. The output is 12 bit and it sounds punchy and crunchy like the early MPC drum machines from the 80s and 90s.

Want LOFI? You got it.

Let's start with the basics. This video is a nice and slow walkthrough of how the drums work.

Speak together

Multiple people playing music at the same time is so unique and connecting.  Unlike talking, which has us taking turns with each other, music allows us to speak at the same time. Like running through the forest together.

Bitty had to be loud enough to play outside with friends.

The speaker that comes on the Bitty is typically used as a car door panel speaker. And it's made of aluminum, not paper.

What do I get? All the software. Play it for years.

Every Bitty comes with ALL of the software and samples we've made. You plug it into your computer with USB, select from a library of sound packs, hit upload and boom, new Bitty!

We have sound packs like Theremin Bitty, Techno Bitty, Basement Bitty, Trap Bitty, Lofi Bitty Bitty, Beach Bitty, and more on the way.

Some people suggested selling different Bitty flavors with the software locked, but that doesn't feel right. We'd rather make a thing with a growing library of sound packs so it's a lasting product that stays fresh for years.

Keeping it fresh is the same reason we made it AAA battery powered. It won't die on you in 15 minutes two years from now. (And you can get rechargeable AAAs too). It can also be powered over USB if you're in your studio.

Say less
Say less

Nite Mode

The Kickstarter run of this version will be Edition 1, each one hand numbered. 

It has premium rubberized knobs. It comes preloaded with the Midnight Bitty sound pack - think synth sounds like the movie Drive soundtrack with some punchy drums. 

You can swap the software later just like on any other Bitty.

Early prototypes of Nite Mode and regular Bitty (no speaker)
Early prototypes of Nite Mode and regular Bitty (no speaker)

Bitty in the Wild

Here are three tracks made by Trevor Waldorf, aka Hex Eater, from sounds sampled from the Bitty. He is using multiple layers of Bitty sounds with some additional effects (like the washy echos). 

And wow! That punch. 


Get nerdy on me

Each sound pack changes the sounds and the mechanics of the knobs (although they are generally similar so it's not confusing).

The sounds you see in the demos are combinations of these things: 

Sine / square / saw / triangle waves (it's all there, noise too.) 

Sample playback - 16khz samples

Polyphony - 4 voices is easy, depending on the complexity of the patch, 8-16 voices is possible

Filters - Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch

Patterns / Arpeggiation

+more in the works

It's a platform

Bitty is based on the Arduino platform. So if you wanted to really get in there, you'll be able to edit the code, or write your own from scratch. In fact any sound software already written for regular Arduinos will work.

But you don't have to, it comes playable right out of the box.

For teachers and parents: if I were a kid and had the choice between a stock Arduino and another one with batteries, amplifier and speaker, and software...

People making faces
People making faces

Thank you

This project wouldn't have happened without many many people. And until today it ran mostly on debt and gratitude! Thank you to Owen Trueblood and Gavin Lund for Rev 1 and Rev 2 of the boards.


Owen Trueblood hand assembling the Rev 1 of Bitty. Gavin Lund debugging the latest Rev 2.
Owen Trueblood hand assembling the Rev 1 of Bitty. Gavin Lund debugging the latest Rev 2.

Thanks to AS220 in Providence, Shawn Wallace specifically for giving Nick the technical skills to start Curious Sound Objects four years ago.

Tim Barrass for writing the Mozzi library. Matthew Seaton and Noah Vawter for their contributions to the Bitty code.

Noah Feehan and Zach Dunham for their sage advice. Dante Fabiero, Gerard Patawaran, Marcelo Coelho, David Robert, Jeff Lieberman, David Cranor, Dan Paluska, Akito Van Troyer, Erik Sorno, and Ella Rinaldo for their friendship and support. Rex Baker for his counsel and good humor. Kate Balug for being a lovely person, an awesome partner, and a fantastic mom. All the Maker Faire people for setting up such a great opportunity to show fun things to a lot of people.

All the fine folks at Industry Lab and Kickstarter. 

Well this is a pleasant surprise and is worth an update to this page! Codechangers backed two Education Packs! They run STEM summer camps for students 8-18 and will incorporate Bitty into their curriculum. How fun will that be! Check them out here. And nice to meet you Jason!

The latest set of prototypes were made by MacroFab, a company in Houston, TX. 

And they turned out great - sturdy, smooth, and on time. Yes, we considered going overseas to save some money, but we would rather pay more for the peace of mind that we will get a quality product on time. 


Play it

Risks and challenges

We're going to work with the same company to make the final ones.

This plan puts our minds at ease, as they are honest and reliable.

However, making thousands of something is a different beast. So to be cautious on our way there, we will: put the finishing cosmetic touches on the hardware, make another 10, test them extensively and out in the wild, make 100, test those for manufacturing reliability and logistics, then make the rest and get them to you.

This process will minimize any risks for the final shipped version, and we will keep everyone in the loop every step of the way (which is fun to see as well).

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $98 or more About $98

    1 x Bitty

    The one and only.

    White body, blue and yellow knobs. It's cute, it's loud.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $128 or more About $128

    1 x Nite Mode Bitty

    Signed run of the Nite Mode Bitty.

    Comes preloaded with Midnight Bitty soundpack.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    66 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $168 or more About $168

    A Two Pack of Bitties

    A two pack of Bitties!

    One for you and one for a friend.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    25 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $234 or more About $234

    A Three Pack of Bitties

    A three pack of Bitties!

    Load up different sounds on each one and you have yourself a band.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Ten Bitties!

    Have yourself a store?

    Be the first to carry these.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    150 Bitties - Education Pack

    Managing the STEM programs for a school district?

    Learning to code for Bitty would be easy because it's fun.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $78 or more About $78

    1 x Early Bitty

    First come first serve, only 200 of these.

    White body, blue and yellow knobs. It's cute, it's loud.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 200 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    1 x Early Bitty

    Play it for years.

    White body, blue and yellow knobs. It’s cute, it’s loud.

    Every Bitty comes with access to all the current sound packs.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 200 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    1 x Kickstarter Bitty

    Last 2 day special at the Kickstarter price!

    White body, blue and yellow knobs. It's cute, it's loud.

    Each Bitty comes with all the soundpacks for FREE.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (36 days)