After years of existence as cartridge for portable game consoles and smartphone app, nanoloop finally makes it into a dedicated hardware. Combining the casual game pad interface with beautiful LED dots and digits, this device forms the ideal platform for the proven nanoloop software and its iconic 4x4 matrix sequencer.
- 4 channels:
- dual square wave with true analog filter (mono)
- 4-voice polyphonic FM (stereo)
- monophonic FM (stereo)
- noise & clicks (stereo)
- 4x4 matrix
- per-step control for all parameters
- pattern transpose for all parameters
- "meta step": play note only every 2nd or 4th loop
- variable pattern length per channel
- individual channel tempo
- ping pong and random modes
- shift pattern in four directions
- randomise all parameters
- MIDI mode to control external gear
- 8x4 bi-color LED dot matrix
- 5 LED digits
- 8 menu icons
- various color combinations available
- silicone rubber buttons with plastic caps:
- d-pad + 4 buttons
- volume dial
- 3.5 mm mini jack stereo headphone/line out
- 3.5 mm mini jack input for CV and MIDI sync
- 3.5 mm mini jack output for CV, MIDI sync and MIDI
- bent acrylic glass
- 2 x AAA batteries, micro USB (power only)
- physical power switch -> zero "standby" power
- battery life: 50+ h
- 99 banks à 4x8 patterns each
- song 999 patterns length
- backup / restore via audio cable
- micro-SD slot for near infinite projects (SD-card not included)
- MIDI sync in & out
- analog 1/24, 1/16, 1/8 in & out
- 12 x 6 x 2.5 cm, 100 g (incl. batteries)
Different color choices for PCB, LEDs and buttons will be available prior to shipping.
The original nanoloop software started as a study project to explore the game-like character of making electronic music on little devices. Developed from ground up around the Game Boy's™ button interface and tiny greyscale display, it introduced the 4x4 stepsequencer matrix and a simple, flat structure for easy access, with graphical elements reduced to a couple of dots and digits.
While the first version of nanoloop (still available as "nanoloop one") relies on the Game Boy's™ internal tone generators, subsequent variations have their very own sound:
Nanoloop two implements an FM-based software synthesizer on the Game Boy Advance's™ 16 MHz CPU and the latest version nanoloop mono embeds a complete synth with true analog filters inside the cartridge.
The new nanoloop device merges these two approaches and combines FM with analog for maximum flexibility.
Since we have been distributing nanoloop in cartridge form for many years via www.nanoloop.com, we have a certain experience not just in designing software and circuits but also in building and delivering an actual product.
However, we wish to equip the nanoloop device with plastic coated silicone rubber buttons as only these offer the smooth, yet firm, responsive feeling you expect from a game pad. Decent quality button molds add significant tooling costs, production therefore only makes sense for a certain minimum volume. Furthermore, for a device like this, certifications and other paperwork are necessary to meet EU and other regulations.
For these reasons it will be very helpful to know the volume and have initial production funded in advance.
Risks and challenges
The nanoloop device is based on standard technology and widely available components. The circuit will be optimised and improved, but the basic design is ready and could theoretically go to production as is. Assembly will take place in Germany with established manufactorers. General concept and structure of nanoloop are well proven and already work great on the prototypes.
However, there are the usual risks of making physical goods. During any phase of production, something may go wrong and delay the process, for example certifications may require multiple iterations and take longer than expected. The given dates for shipping are conservative estimates that already include a buffer for possible delays.
- (21 days)