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XO106r5 YouTube demo

A little while ago, I sent a prototype version of the upcoming XO106r5 module to Johnny Beaver in the US.

Here's what he came up with ...

By his own admission, the video is a bit rough round the edges but I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with some of the sounds he's getting, particularly the 'beats' around the 13 minute mark. There's a nice balance between sounds generated by the module itself, with some creative patching, as well as interaction with 'external' sources via the logic matrix.

Although this module was designed with drones in mind, there's nothing to stop you getting more 'musical' with it if that's your idea of a good time.

The XO106r5 is a logical progression from its predecessors - although it no longer contains any 40106 ICs, it's still a good source of square-wave glitchiness along with a filter should you want to round off some of the rough edges.

It's also a lot bigger - 22HP.

The salient features are:

  • 4 AVR-based square-wave oscillators with V/oct response good for around 5 octaves. There are fine-tune pots on the back side of the PCB.
  • Voltage-controlled pulse width for each oscillator
  • Oscillator firmware is available under a permissive license.
  • Patchable Sallen-Key low-pass filter - use it, or don't.
  • Patchable logic matrix - this is the big step from the previous versions. The oscillators are no longer hardwired to the logic IC; you can patch things together how you want, or not at all. The logic IC itself is socketed so you can replace it with a different, pin-compatible, IC should you wish to change the voicing of the module. The 'default' option is a CD4070 (quad XOR) but alternatives include the 4001, 4011 and 4093. I'm hoping to be able to ship 'alternative' logic ICs with the module, as I have done with the XO106r4.5, but supply issues are making this a tricky proposition at the moment - some CMOS ICs are stupidly difficult to get hold of.

THE DEFAULT CONFIGURATION FOR THIS WILL BE A PCB/PANEL/FIRMWARE SET - although the parts count is actually fairly low, there are a godawful number of pots and jacks so it's not viable for me to keep all the necessary bits in stock should someone want a pre-built module.

Pre-built modules will be available on request, but subject to an extended lead time should I have to order any components in.

Pricing is still TBD - I'm shooting at around £30-35 for the PCB/panel/firmware set (which includes 4 firmware chips, and fabbing a 22HP panel is not cheap), and pre-built modules will likely be somewhere north of £100, although hopefully not excessively so.

Availability is also a bit up in the air but I'm aiming for mid-July - I'm expecting the production PCBs to be here within the next week or so, but the panels are awaiting a few final tweaks before being sent off for fabbing.

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