Synthesizer in a stompbox with inputs for 4 USB MIDI controllers, powered by a Raspberry PiDesigned by Geek Funk Labs in United States of America
The SquishBox is a super-customizable software synthesizer in a box. It has 4 USB ports for you to plug in MIDI keyboards/controllers or upload new sounds, stereo 1/4″ outputs to your mixer/amp/headp…Read More…
The SquishBox is a super-customizable software synthesizer in a box. It has 4 USB ports for you to plug in MIDI keyboards/controllers or upload new sounds, stereo 1/4″ outputs to your mixer/amp/headphones, an LCD display, a rotary encoder for switching between patches and changing settings, a programmable stompbutton, and wifi for you to upload sounds and edit patches. It comes with a large selection of sounds and patches, and it allows you to create your own performances that split and/or layer sounds in endless ways on your instrument's keys or controls, activate and control built-in effects, arpeggiate notes, trigger sequences, play MIDI files, send and route MIDI messages, and more.
As a keyboard-playing musician, I love being able to use software instruments to produce any sounds/effects I want, but to use them you usually need a tablet or laptop, an audio interface, extra cash to buy DAW software and virtual instruments, and tons of time to figure out how to get everything to work together. Also, you have to drag all that stuff on stage, set it up, and be poking a screen or tapping keys while you're trying to play - which does not, to my eyes, rock.
So, I built the SquishBox, an all-in-one sound module built around the Raspberry Pi that adds a high-quality sound card, some simple controls to change settings, a little screen to tell you what it's doing, and fits in a cool stompbox-sized case. It runs the versatile, open-source, and free FluidSynth, which lets you choose from the tons of soundfonts available on the internet, so you have access to instruments such as pianos, organs, and guitars that you can play right out of the box, but you can also create your own synths and effects that you can model and tweak. I wrote FluidPatcher, a customizable synthesizer interface, and created a series of lesson videos that teach you how to create complex performance patches.
The SquishBox runs off a 5V power supply with a 5.5mm x 2.1mm plug. You can purchase the assembled unit without a Raspberry Pi computer, if you want to use a Pi 3B+ or Pi 4 you already have. You don't have to wipe your Raspberry Pi or install a new OS to use it in the SquishBox, and it's easy to take it out and use it for something else if you need to. There is also a kit available if you want to put it together yourself. For additional information, support, and tips on customizing your SquishBox, visit Geek Funk Labs!
NOTE: Raspberry Pi computers will hopefully become more available in the later part of 2022, and we don't want to steal scarce units away from end users! If you need a Raspberry Pi for the SquishBox or your own project, rpilocator.com is a great resource!
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