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New features and UI update

Last week has been very intense, and I worked on new features and UI improvement.

Here your can see the new sequencer interface. You can adjust notes and their velocity, zoom in/out and I think workflow is very good now.

Miaouzik sequencer

I also worked on a new feature, the keyboard. For drums, pads on the main screen are perfect but as soon as you want to play a melody, a keyboard is a must have.

Miaouzik keyboard

Last but not least, I re-worked the sample editor to add a waveform viewer and improve the interface. Waveform generation is already optimized but on the target hardware (Raspberry PI 3) it take a few undreds miliseconds to display, so I need some more work to render this waveform in background and avoid any micro freeze in the UI.

Miaouzik sample editor

I really love this new UI, playing with Miaouzik feels more natural and smooth like this.

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Miaouzik sampler : first demo on Raspberry PI

Today i want to share with you this first demo of Miaouzik. It is far from finished but audio engine is working very well, UI is fluid, and we have enought features to start having fun ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you’ll enjoy it, please leave comments and if you like what we do, consider subscribing ๐Ÿ™‚

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New 3D printed box

Here is the first print of the new box.
The Raspberry Pi and touch screen fits perfectly, our sampler is starting to look really nice !

It’s draft print so surface finish is not as good at it can be ๐Ÿ™‚

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First 3D render of the new box

Do you like it ? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Quick demo of sample editing

Here is a quick demo of sample editing :

  • pitching using 12 notes scale
  • Change start point
  • Change length

Please do not care about “glitchy” sound when sample length is small, it’s due to the microphone recording.

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Now working on sequencer

I wanted to share with you the first results on my work on the sequencer. User interface is very basic and for now we cannot choose note and velocity but I will improve it within the next days.

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Clean linux boot

I recently spent some hours cleaning and fastening the boot of the Raspberry PI.

Now it’s cleaner but still takes ~30 seconds until Miaouzik is ready, for now it’s ok but I’ll try to improve this later.

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First box prototype

It’s been a long time since I started coding but the Raspberry PI, touch screen and DAC where still laying around my desk. So I decided to quickly create a box to embed everything and protect it.

It’s not really beautifull, but usefull ๐Ÿ™‚

It already allows me to design the footprint of the touchscreen, I’ll improve this design in a few weeks.

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Miaouzik technical requirements

So here we go ! Lets transform our Raspberry PI into a fancy “hardware” sampler ๐Ÿ˜€

Hardware needs:

  • Raspberry PI, I got a raspberry pi 3 in stock so go for it
  • DAC (Digital Audio Converter) for good audio quality with no buzzing
  • Touch screen : The official 7″ Raspberry PI touch screen that I got is perfect
  • Custom box (3D printed one will be perfect)

Software needs:

  • Lightweight Linux with no Desktop manager, it will directly boot on Miaouzik software
  • Our software must be powerfull and efficient to take the best of our hardware. It will be written in C++ with QT framework.

That’s it, here are our basic requirements.

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Miaouzik project startedย !

It’s been a long time since I started making music with both software (FruityLoops, Ableton live) and hardware (Korg Electribes, MC-303, TB-303, TR-08, …).

I also had basic samplers like Zoom ST-222 or the first Electribe sampler.

I like softwares for their endless possibilities but year after year I got back to machines. Workflow is much more fun (plug and play) and even if there are some limitations, theses limitations can be a boost for your creativity (and i clearly prefer to turn knobs than moving a mouse beause I already to that all day long :p )

The only machines that I never kept are samplers. I’m not really sure why but probably because of their limited memory, difficulty to add samples…

But I need a sampler and here are my specs :

  • Easy workflow
  • Compact
  • Unlimited memory (SD card/ USB key)
  • Easy sample adding or even live sampling
  • Could be great to have a sequencer too
  • Midi control and sync to interface with existing hardware
  • Some embeded effects could be great

After some search I realized that an entry point for a decent sampler would be ~500โ‚ฌ and 1000-1500โ‚ฌ would be a much better budget.

Cheaper models are known for their bugs or their awfull workflow where you need to enter tons of menus to get to a specific param.

Software samplers doesn’t make sense to me as I want to avoid using a computer while playing live. Unless you have a dedicated laptop for music (1000-1500โ‚ฌ) there is often problems with your setup because you installed a new software or update that can ruin the audio performance of your computer. Or we can also talk about the poor audio quality of the large majority of laptop where you can hear a buzz as soon as it is plugged to the power supply so you need to add an external soundcard/DAC.

But what if I could get a software sampler on a dedicated cheap hardware like a Raspberry PI ?

It can be powerfull enought for this purpose, it’s cheap, we can add a touchscreen for good user interface and workflow, we can add a DAC for good audio quality, USB midi controller to complete the tactile interface, Midi interface to connect other machines…

Sounds great no ?

After some research, I din’t find some ready to use software that fits my needs so …

I need to create it myself !!! I’m an experienced programmer so I can do it ๐Ÿ˜€ (I hope so)

I need a name for this project… Hummm, It’s for making music …

I want it to be popular, what is popular on Internet … ? Cats !!!

In French (my native language) a cat says miaou, I can mix this with the goal of the projet Music !

So welcome to the MIAOUZIK project ^^