Infinitedigits Zeptocore, open-source breakbeat handheld sample player gets new firmware 3.0

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Infinitedigits Zeptocore is a new, affordable, open-source handheld sample player with a built-in sequencer and colorful effects.

Shortly before the start of Superbooth 24, I reported on the exciting open-source project Zeptocore. It’s a Pocket Operator-style breakbeat sampler with a feature-rich engine, including various effects, and more. 

The development continues constantly and now firmware 3.0 is available with new features. It ships with a new DJ-style filter, various workflow improvements, and bug fixes. For example, you can now customize the random sequence or create random effect banks. 


Article From May 4, 2024

Handheld music instruments are trendy these days. Devices like the Korg Volcas or the teenage engineering Pocket Operators have brought this trend to life. In the last two years, thanks to better technologies, small devices have gained great momentum, especially in their engines.

With the Zeptocore, Infinitedigits has published a new impressive open-source sample player that fits perfectly with the Pocket Operator


Infinitedigits Zeptocore Sampler

Zeptocore is a new, unique sampler player with an open-source engine. According to the developer, it should appeal to breakbeat fans and performers who like experimenting.

Visually, the instrument looks like a Pocket Operator from Teenage Engineering, but inside, it offers a different concept.

The core uses stereo sample content (16-bit/44.1kHz), which can be loaded via a microSD card (8GB max). The Core Tool is available in the web browser and as standalone software (macOS, Windows, Linux) for the transfer. 

Recalling up to 256 samples is possible, giving you 16 banks and 16 tracks. If you use single-cycle waveforms as a file, then you can also turn the unit into a pseudo wavetable Synthesizer.


Samples + Effects

Samples can be modified using three different parameters: pitch, tempo, and volume. For more advanced sound shaping, it offers 16 colorful effects, including classic and wild ones. 

You can find saturation, loss (LoFi), fuzz, bit crush, time-stretch, delay, comb filter, repeat, tighten (gates audio), expand, circulate (pan), scratch, lower (lowpass filter), reverse, and tape stop. You can switch between the effects freely during operation.

The operation is also not super classic. There are three modes. In jump mode, you can manually trigger samples, create loops, or retrigger samples for dynamic performance effects.

Then, the mash mode transforms the 16 keys into toggles for activating/deactivating effects great for adding texture to a sample. In bass mode, the unit assigns bass notes to the 16 keys, allowing you to play melodic basslines directly from the device.

Infinitedigits Zeptocore Sequencing

Real-time sequencing with optional quantization is also possible. However, it slightly differs from other devices as it records the time between presses. So, you need 5 presses for a 4-step sequence. The final press will not be counted as a sequenced step, but the developer says it is necessary to determine the duration of the penultimate press.

It is also important to know that Zeptocore does not have a concept of a time signature. All recorded actions are quantized to 1/96th of a beat, ensuring precise preservation of the recorded press timing.

On the connection side, it has an audio output, a USB-C port, and a clock sync input and output. The USB-C port or two AAA batteries provide power. Plus, it has a built-in speaker.

First Impression

At first glance, it’s an exciting sample player, manipulator/groovebox. The ability to tweak samples and create loops on the fly looks very fun. Big like that the device is open-source and very affordable.

Inifinitedigits Zeptocore is now available in two colors: an assembled version for $149 or a DIY kit for $109€. It’s handmade in Seattle.

More information here: Infinitedigits

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  1. Ordered a Zeptocore DIY Kit. Don’t know for what to use but I love soldering little music gear. I think a little powerful sample player is fun to use.

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