Frequently Asked Questions
A: When someone has this gadget in their hands, they immediately, intuitively "get it", and within 30 seconds they are fully enjoying it with grin expanding on their face. But it is hard to record what they actually hear. For now, there are a few videos that explain it with some theory, testimonials (check out the top of the campaign page) and more demos in progress, stay tuned!Last updated:
A: Your impression might depend on what you compare it to... Similarly complex electronic boards from eBay? Those are produced in hundred-thousand quantities (machine assembly requires setting up, then every next piece is cheaper and cheaper). And what do they offer? A board that can run *anything* or a unique, fully-functional product?
Also, think about added value: I am offering you a learning experience. If you care and put some effort in, you can understand every single copper trace, signal and line of code, and build your own ideas on top of that.
Even better, you will get firmware updates, benefiting from what anyone else does with the thing - open source like this can never be closed again.
The boxed version requires me to do time-consuming work. If you put it together yourself, you don't mind spending an extra hour; but if I have to do it, it accumulates quickly and delays me from doing stuff which is more useful in the long term. Price gap between box and bare board should motivate you to attempt some "do-it-yourself" (it's not that hard).
Boxes are great too - after all, it is a kind of "objet d'art"... furthermore, producing more art in its function. If things go well, you'll end up with a specimen from very limited edition of thing that will never be made again (in the same or similar enough shape). If you get very lucky, it may become a collector piece ;)Last updated:
A: If it fits neatly, then yes. If it wiggles, then no. It also matters how you mount it in, requires some experimentation. You might have a problem finding box with the wonderful logo graphics of stylized desert reptile though! :)Last updated:
A: An app would have some latency. Even if small, it would not work. The signal that is delayed even by awesome 1ms (against other signal) and is later mixed back in, may create interesting effects but it will not "resonate" in a way Gecho feels. You have all kinds of apps with emulated drum pads, software synths, guitar effects... Those are fantastic things, but this device is not trying to be any of them. It's up to you what you add in your DIY endeavour, but the main software focuses on doing one thing, and does it well: applying subtle effects to incoming noises, playing them back to you "in parallel" so your brain can get happily mesmerized by this thin layer put over sounds of the ordinary world.Last updated:
A: True story: years ago I went for an interview for a very attractive position. Explained how good I was with Microchip, Arduinos and stuff, what I have built... They asked: "What's your experience with ARMs?" And the interview was over.
While lot of people hesitate to go near 32-bit processors, as learning curve may be steep, relatively painless way is to start working on a project, which is mostly done. Start tweaking it, adding small things... You'll do a lot in short time, and get instant satisfaction in return. That is very motivating. Here and there you need to dig deeper and modify lower-level, more complex parts of the project. You may spend hours researching it, but then it works. You won't get stuck for days or weeks because a few things are broken at the same time. This is how you learn complex stuff alongside doing things that you already know from 8-bit platforms.Last updated:
A: Oh really, meditation program that may ring or beep at any time? Give me a break! The whole idea of Gecho is to motivate you to forget about your phones, computers and internets. Leave them in the other room, and tune into your favourite channel.Last updated:
A: Absolutely! That was a huge inspiration for me. I could not replicate the exact effect like Noah Vawter has in his gadget, besides - it would perhaps need recommending people to use noise-cancelling headphones, for better results. Didn't want to go there, in fear of ending up with people complaining about false advertising. I tried to listen to lawn movers via Gecho, it was quite interesting experience. A hoover was too loud for it though. Works better when turned against a bunch of howling people :)Last updated:
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