Following on from the super cool PEEPS handmade synthesizer that developer S8JFOU revealed in July he’s now taken his inspiration from the Buchla Music Easel with the very adorable Peeps Music Box.
The Peeps Music Box
This thing is terribly cute and delicious with a similar layout to the Music Easel, the touch plate keyboard and a simple wooden box. It’s not an exact copy or replica, it’s digital for starters, but takes on most of the features and adds one or two extras.
It has 2 oscillators, the first one “Mod-Osc” is a slightly folded triangle wave, the second “Complex-Osc” is a sine wave with a powerful wavefolder. You can modulate the Complex one with the Mod one in either FM or AM modes and both can be Hard-Sync modulated for FM synthesis. Mod-Osc can go down to LFO rates. There is an LFO with a sine wave or sample-and-hold and the Attack part of an envelope. There are two Low Pass Gates and two Low Pass Filters. It has a 4-step sequencer and an arpeggiator, a 13-key touch keyboard and three touch plates with adjustable pitch. You can decide which oscillators are controlled by the keyboard, touch plates or sequencer which is a really nice feature. There’s also some glide and reverb built-in.
The heart of the Peeps Music Box is the Axoloti-core and Teensy 3.2. S8JFOU has spent a lot of time digging into the sounds and possibilities of synthesis with this platform. He doesn’t claim to have replicated the sound but wanted to offer the same functionality as the Music Easel in the smallest form possible.
He’s being a bit more forthcoming with the possibility of making this available. Although he doesn’t want to become a factory he is happy to build a handful to order for interested people from about April 2020 for €850. Drop him a line to get on the waiting list.
A synthesizer for me is all about the interface. And this shows how a completely digital core can be transformed into an analogue experience with intelligent and sympathetic interface design. It’s a lovely little thing.