Production Ready to Roll

Glo is doing so well on Kickstarter. The campaign is almost funded, thank you all for your great support!

We spent last two weeks finalizing and approving the designs and now everything is lined up for production. To make the parcel you will receive even more special, Anna has designed this eco-friendly packaging, how do you like it?

As it is a handmade product, it will be manufactured in a limited quantity with great attention to detail. Each unit will be tested and will have a unique serial number.

The design of silicone keypad required one more revision because not all headphones are created equal and the edges of the hole was sometimes in the way, we also adjusted the height and added a groove to better accommodate wires from battery holder.

Things that required most attention - blueprints for the PCB assembly house - are now done too. We need to provide files that precisely describe placement of every electronic component so the assembly machine knows where it belongs, and the "stencil" used to lay soldering paste on the board. This takes extra care and numerous verifications, there is no room for mistakes here as it is not something that can be fixed later.

The DIY Options

It is great to see so much interest in the DIY tier, more than 10% of backers have their own plans with the synth!

This is something we haven’t had chance to explain in detail yet. The idea is that by putting some effort in finishing it, you can get exactly the same functionality in a different package, made of any material, 3D printed, laser cut, hand-carved from wood, or something else. We are looking forward to what will you do!

And if you are handy with the soldering iron, you can extend it to become any kind of innovative music instrument you can imagine. On the picture below you can see signals that are available on the board. This is not exactly how the board looks like, it is rather a base for the matching expansion shield that we will share with you in electronic format so you can extend it, and if there is enough interest, we can make a batch of universal PCBs that break out these signals into larger area with easier to solder pads and footprints for common connectors, buttons, pots and similar controls.

A good example of what can be connected to I2C bus are these rotary encoders illuminated by a RGB LED which just arrived from another Kickstarter project, I2C Encoder V2 (you can get them on Tindie now). Using two of these you could add an option to select a channel or patch, and modify certain parameter directly (e.g. the "algorithm" or "mode"). The glowing feature is useful to indicate what is selected.

About Recording

Three out of four "elemental" demos are now done, showing the interaction with Glo. Needles to say, we are not musicians but we hope you like the end result, and it is something you can do too.

One question that we get asked often is how to record the sound. It is quite easy, just like recording signal from any device with a headphones output, such as mp3 player or smartphone. What we usually do when recording demos is to connect Glo to a digital recorder (iRiver), or a camera (Canon EOS with Magic Lantern firmware to disable AGC and configure levels manually), or - when recording directly to laptop - USB sound card works well (Asus Xonar U3). On the software side, anything that can save WAV files or encode into MP3 will do.

You can use the splitter cable to drive headphones and recorder in parallel, or - what works even better - feed the audio into the recorder and plug headphones into its monitoring output, if there is any. The splitter cable will be supplied with your reward, as it allows to share the audio between two people, which is a lot of fun.

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