Open Synthesizer Firmware Project PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 06:50

Building modular monophonic synthesizers has long been enjoyed by many, however the complexities around the polysynth leaves most people stumped. By providing a framework for people to work in and some structure and guidance we hope to allow most people to be able to construct their own polysynth.

Areas for consideration are the keyboard and input controllers (ribbon, wheel etc.), module interfaces both analogue and digital options, sound sources, signal routing and mixing, modifiers and controls (filters, evnvelope shapers etc.), parameter management (displays, encoders, sliders, pots etc.).

The basic concept is to use low cost distributed processing to do the management. While maintaining the audio paths (the bit with character) in the domain of the designer, eg in an all analogue polysynth, no DSP would be used in the design of the audio paths, but digital methods may be used to manage the complexites in voicing, stealing, envelopes etc.. Another example may be someone chooses to make a physical softsynth with DSP elements for oscilators and modifiers, this would still need input controllers, front panel hardware etc...

Where possible the architecture will be processor independent, however some consideration may have to be given for the choice of processor in some applications. Software is to be written in C using the GCC tool chain and will as far as possible be abstracted from the hardware.

User applications should be able to run without consideration for the fine detail of the hardware, drivers should be written to facilitate this as much as possible.

In the coming weeks we will publish a concept paper an outline for a control bus, some example applications using OSF elements and a guide for the first couple of modules. The modules will be published as seperate projects.

Why not join in and add your thoughts to the discussion in our forum.