Dirtywave (AKA Timothy Lamb) M8 is a portable, battery-powered Tracker with deep synth specs, live sampler & MIDI sequencer in one & now available for pre-order
In the past two years, trackers have made a big comeback. Once they were the first digital audio workstation (DAW) on the market, today they are more relevant than ever. Besides the XOR Electronics NerdSEQ for Eurorack, the Polyend Tracker heralds a new era of powerful hardware trackers.
Last year I reported on another tracker, the Dirtywave M8. This is still in development but is now available for pre-order.
Dirtywave M8 is a compact Gameboy-like tracker based on a Teensy with a deep engine. Compared to the Polyend Tracker, the M8 is much more compact and smaller, which means that the interface is also more limited. M8 features 8 monophonic tracks aka voices with up to 255 patterns/phrases and chains. In addition, you can get 256 instrument tables for advanced modulation. That’s a lot of space for your compositions. A built-in song arranger with live mode allows you to create entire songs on the device.
Each song can consist of up to 128 instruments that can be a Synthesizer, sampler, or a MIDI track with up to 10 customizable CCs. On the synthesis side, M8 is powerful and offers multiple engines.
Wavesynth is a classic console & computer chip emulation for the classic tracker sounds. Macrosynth is based on the beloved Mutable Instruments Braids open-source macro oscillator that includes tons of oscillator types. Then, you can a 4-operator FM Synthesizer with 12 algorithms with feedback per operator. Last but not least, it has a built-in sampler with 8,16 & 24-bit mono, and full stereo wav support and live sampling function. The altter has no sample memory or length limitation. To round of the sounds, you get global reverb, chorus, delay, and a master bus limiter. An impressive set of features for a track in this format.
Even if the M8 looks very compact and like a handheld console, it comes with a wide range of I/O. So that the audio goes out and in, it has a stereo audio input as well as a headphone/main output. For MIDI, you can either use the 3.5mm TRS MIDI (type A or type B) input and output, thanks for both options, or the USB MIDI which also works for audio. Unfortunately, it uses a micro-USB, why?
The M8 does not have an internal memory, but has an SDHC micro SD card slot with which you can store your samples and projects. A built-in 1200mAh USB rechargeable battery makes the device usable even where there is no power socket. Dirtywave promises up to 6 hours of use. In addition to large black buttons, the M8 also has a high-quality 2.8 IPS display with capacitive touch.
It’s a stunning device with an impressive set of features. The price is not cheap for this tracker but it offers a lot. Multiple synthesis forms, live sampler, MIDI sequencer, all in one compact device. Lovely development.
Dirtywave M8 is available now for pre-order for $450 USD + import fees. The unit includes a USB micro cable, MIDI DIN adapter, and a 32GB SD card with demos, presets, and samples. Shipping starts in July from the United States.
More information here: Dirtywave
It was intended to use USB-C but due to pandemic would have had to delay almost another year. So for now it is micro usb