Instruments Of Things TBD, A Generic DSP Module For Your Algorithms

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TBD is described as a generic DSP module that aims to be a community-driven project that allows you to port your own or existing DSP algorithms to Eurorack. If you are not a software developer, you get several ready-made “plugins” that you can easily transfer to the module. Currently available are codes from Mutable Instruments (Plaits, Ring…), Freeverb, GVerb, and more.

Instruments Of Things TBD

It offers a web-based user interface for plugin and system configuration accessible through the module’s WiFi (wireless computer network). The entire firmware is based on C++.

To create own plugins, one can simply inherit from the class ctagSoundProcessor.hpp and implement the required Process(const ProcessData &) function (similar to VST). The Process() callback function is executed with the ProcessData structure containing the buffers for audio, cv and trigger. Plugin parameters have to be defined in a JSON file, which is used for automatic UI rendering in the web app. The firmware comes with factory plugins, such as a simple VCA, which can be used as a template for own plugin development. The firmware can be built using the Espressif Internet of Things Development Framework.

Compiled binaries can be uploaded to the module either using a micro USB cable or through the web user interface (over-the-air update). No additional hardware is needed for developing your own firmware.

Important to know is that Instruments of Things only provides the hardware and does not offer software support. The module comes pre-flashed with the open-source TBD binaries. You can use the Instruments of Things forum or Github to exchange information about the project or for further development. To speed up the plugin development, TBD comes with a simulator to execute TBD plugins on Mac OS, Windows and Linux. At its core, it uses RTAudio for the audio engine. For evaluation, either a wav file can be used as an input or real-time audio from your sound card.

Hardware Features

  • WiFi (802.11b/g/n)
  • Stereo audio I/O (16 bit / 44.1 kHz, 1ms latency / buffer size)
  • 2x 12 bit CV inputs (configurable -5…5V or 0…5V)
  • 2x trigger inputs (0…5V)
  • 2x trigger buttons
  • 2x CV potentiometers (configurable bi- or unipolar)
  • Input audio gain for each channel

Software Features

  • Flexible plugin architecture based on C++
  • Web app for plugin configuration and presets based on REST
  • Mappable plugin parameters to hardware UI elements and CV inputs
  • Automatic UI rendering based on JSON plugin descriptor structure
  • Selection of factory plugins based on other open-source projects (Plaits, Rings, Sheeps, Freeverb, GVerb)

A very exciting project in my opinion, which depends mainly on the community, whether it will be successful or not. For € 189, the TBD is very tempting because it can load Plaits as well as Rings from Mutable Instruments, modules that often cost more.

Instruments Of Things TBD is available now for 189€.

More information here: IOT 

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