Superbooth 24: Wee Noise Makers PGB-1, pocket-sized groovebox and MIDI sequencer

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SynthFest France 2024: Wee Noise Makers PGB-1 is a new pocket-sized groovebox and MIDI sequencer packed with creative features in open-source software. 

This year’s SynthFest France 2024 featured many exciting products and projects. The open-source character was particularly present at the event, also seen in the first product from Wee Noise Makers.

The young, French company has introduced the PGB-1, a super portable groovebox and MIDI sequencer. 

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1

Yes, at 10 x 6.6 x 1.5 cm, it’s very handy and fits in any pocket. The PGB’s design is unique.To make it as compact as possible, the groovebox has no knobs but only 30 buttons with which you can program like a retro gaming console.

A touch slider also offers an additional way to adjust parameters besides the 128 x 64 monochrome OLED screen. Plus, the 24 RGB LEDs are fully addressable.

The PGB-1 has a small size but powerful groovebox engine. The Noise Nugget with two Raspberry Pi RP240 microcontrollers power the unit. 

According to the developers, the firmware will be open-source, so users can delve into the code, modify existing features, or add entirely new creative functions.

PGB-1 Sequencer

The stock firmware of the PGB-1 has 16 tracks that can be used with audio or MIDI. So, you can also use it as an external MIDI sequencer with other synths, making it one of the smallest  MIDI sequencers on the market. And it’s pretty powerful. 

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1

Each track has up to 16 patterns with 16 steps each that can be saved in the unit. Plus, you get 16 arpeggiators (one per channel), and creative functions such as step repeats, ratcheting, pattern chaining, chord sequencing, song mode, and more.

The 8-voice sound engine is just as extensive. Synthesis and sampling are on board. The synthesis part has six voices divided into three drum synths, bass, lead, and chord parts. There are currently 19 different synth engines onboard, including virtual analog, drum models such as kick, snare… and more.

In addition to the 6-voice synthesis engine, it also comes with two voices for mono samples. Further, you have four global effects (reverb, overdrive, filter, bit-crusher), and each instrument can be routed through on effect. Cool, you can also route external gear via the audio input through the effects.

Wee Noise Makers PGB-1 backside


On the connection side, it offers a USB-C port for power and data, a 3.5mm headphone socket, a 3.5mm audio stereo line input, and TRS type-A MIDI in/out. Plus, there is an internal microphone for capturing sounds.

The unit can be either powered by a rechargeable and replaceable Li-ion battery or via the USB-C port. Fabien, the developer, says you can play with it for around 5-6 hours. 

First Impression

Fascinating to see how much sound technology fits into such a small device. For mobile musicians who like things ultra-compact, this new groovebox from France could be very exciting. The feature set is great and I’m excited to see what the open source community will do with it. 

You can now support the Wee Noise Makers PGB-1 groovebox via the CrowdSupply crowdfunding campaign for $249. Shipping starts in January 2025. They will be at Superbooth 24 at booth H190. 

More information here: CrowdSupply    Wee Noise Makers 

Hardware Groovebox News

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