Anatomy of the Polyphonic Whale

Our whale consists of 3 basic parts:

  • wooden case (100% done, first batch manufactured and arrived!)
  • electronics (printed circuit board, prototyping done, production ready to start)
  • silicone keypad (prototyping almost done)

Everything was designed from outside in. These three elements must match seamlessly, and when it comes to precise dimensions, the wooden case was one thing least under our control, so we started from there.

Once we had the final production cases in our hands, and verified that all holes and grooves were where they needed to be, the final printed circuit board (PCB) design was approved. Although the first one worked reasonably well, we made many improvements and it took 12 months of work and 4 more revisions to get to this point.

After receiving final PCB prototype, hand-assembling it and verifying that it works well and nothing needs to change again, we could move on with the silicone keypad design. The expanded view in the beginning of this update shows a simplified keyboard, but it actually needs to be a bit more complex than that.

The challenge here is that the silicone base must hold the PCB board fixed at a precise position, where the headphone jack aligns with the opening. The silicone also needs to keep clear of areas where elements exist on top of the board, and at the same time contact enough flat area for the required mechanical support.

Testing and Certification

Meanwhile, we also verified that the board operates within the environmental limits. It might sound weird, but even without an engine it must stay within allowed emissions! Those are, however, emissions of electromagnetic waves - if the limits were exceeded the Whale might interfere with nearby devices, possibly causing erratic behaviour. Our board has passed required tests (European CE and American FCC) with flying colours!

Demos coming soon!

In future updates we will be focusing more on the functionality and hopefully have a new demo or two.

Until now, we have been sharing short demos on our Instagram and Facebook, where you can find us as @phonicbloom - or under these links:

Demos are also published on YouTube, for now there are only two (the first one is a very early meditative mode, the second one demonstrates an experimental "reverb" mode).

Stay tuned! :)