Buzzzy! - The digital polysynth
Buzzzy! is a 16 voice / 4 part digital USB & MIDI module with 4 synthesis engines and quality built-in effects.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, May 15 2019 7:45 AM UTC +00:00.
Good instruments don't need to be convoluted.
Instead, they should provide musicians with confidence and astonishment.
Despite it’s simple appearance, Buzzzy! is an advanced 16 voice polysynth capable of a broad and beautiful range of tones. It is fast and immediate, ideal for use onstage and for instant music production.
For the oscillator, choose one of the many variations of Pulse tones, FM timbres, grainy Waves or filtered Noises. Then, adjust the amplifier envelope, pump-up the volume and top with some prime quality effects.
Buzzzy! features 4 powerful oscillator engines, 9 built-in audio effects (with reverbs, delays and filters), a fast arpeggiator and offers 16 save slots to store your multi configurations.
Coming with an extensive MIDI implementation, Buzzzy! will be the perfect match with your hardware or mobile software sequencer.
After having designed instruments for different companies, I felt it was time to introduce my own projects. By pledging today, you are not only making the Buzzzy! possible, you are also supporting the work of an independent creator.
Pledges & VAT (value added tax)
Most of the rewards come in two flavors: EU and NON-EU.
In Europe, we have a common tax system to declare and pay the required amount of VAT on product sales. Therefore, the VAT is included in the pledge price.
Outside Europe, each country has its own tax system and rates. Therefore, VAT is NOT included in the pledge price. However, when importing the product, the local customs will require you to pay the appropriate VAT amount + potential import taxes and fees.
IMPORTANT: If you are living in Europe, DO NOT PLEDGE on NON-EU labeled rewards.
You will find on Youtube videos showing some of the Buzzzy! sounds. More videos will be released during the funding campaign.
Given the experience learned from previous successful projects, I pay real attention to planning and project management in general. Here is the current development state:
For sure, hardware projects are amazing but they also require a significant investment.
Manufacturing price and production quantities are tightly coupled. Therefore, to reach a reasonable sales price and still produce in Europe with certified companies, I calculated that a minimum amount of 100 units should be manufactured in one go.
This is how the funding budget is allocated:
At the heart of the Buzzzy! is an ARM Cortex M4 controller running at 81,92MHz.
This core is both powerful and requires little power so the instrument can be attached to any portable device while enjoying a great battery autonomy.
The stereo output is provided by a high quality 24bit / 48kHz DAC, with 100dB of dynamics and really hot levels!
The sound generation is based on 4 synthesis engines and 3 effects engines.
These engines were crafted specifically for the Buzzzy! and rely on a carefully hand written and optimized assembly code. They were designed with simplicity in mind and the commitment of making the best use of the available computing resources.
Here are listed some of the features of the Buzzzy!
For more information, refer to the preliminary user manual (english-only):
---- Engines ----
Pulse produces waveforms with very sharp edges. It generates the square waves, thinner pulses, the alternative pulses (with richer bass content).
FM creates softer waveforms based on traditional linear phase modulation. It generates classic, round or distorted FM tones, using sinus, triangle or saw-tooth waves as both carrier and modulator.
Wave provides low resolution waveforms, as played directly from an external ROM chip, like in some early sound generators.
Noise produces in-harmonic waves using a pseudo colored noise source with different filtering options (LP and BP) and at different sampling rates. Pitched noises are also available.
---- Effects ----
Offers 3 reverberation-like algorithms:
"Fort" is an adjustable empty room. "Reservoir" is an heavily modulated room. "Abyss" is huge space with a very long tail.
Offers 3 delay-like algorithms:
"Mono" is an adjustable mono delay or comb filter. "Ping-pong" is an adjustable stereo delay or resonator. "Chorus / Flanger" is a stereo chorus with adjustable feedback and modulation amount.
The filter is a traditional 4 poles (24dB / octave) multi-mode (LP / BP / HP) filter with internal saturation. It has controllable cutoff and resonance parameters.
The manufacturing & dispatch
Electronic boards are manufactured by my long term industrial partner R&D Elektronik GmbH. They follow high production quality and environmental standards. The wood enclosure is produced by Formulor GmbH. The front panel is produced by WK-Mechanik GmbH. The module is then assembled, programmed and tested at my Fred's Lab office.
After the production, instruments will be shipped over the world by DHL.
Respective websites of my sub-contractors:
R&D Elektronik GmbH - R&D Elektronik
Formulor GmbH - Formulor
Wk-Mechanik GmbH - Wolf-Kreutzfeldt-Mechanik GmbH
DHL Paket GmbH - DHL
Fred's Lab values
At Fred's Lab, we respect some core principles:
we believe consumer electronic products should be designed following strict criteria of quality, reliability, repairability while respecting both the workers, the resources and the environment. Even if it ends up costing more.
For this project, all the production will be made locally, in Germany.
We will publish additional information on these topics along the campaign.
Buzzzy! is an electronic device which, soon or later, will be discarded.
We are well aware of the environmental impact of electronic waste and how it affects some populations in certain regions of the World. To limit the impact of this device, I took all the reasonable measures to extend the life of this product.
All the best from Germany!
Risks and challenges
To mitigate the risks and be sure to deliver, I carried out an exhaustive project cost breakdown. I have all needed quotations from every sub-contractor involved. Basically, I know exactly the expenses required.
I also developed prototypes which are fully working, only a few features need to be implemented now.
I personally evaluated the quality of the work and the seriousness of all my sub-contractors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!