Future Future

Future Future

First off, let me thank everyone for such a successful run with the nw2s::io! I’m almost out of the first run of 50 balanced modules and have sold almost as many of the unbalanced.

Second, to all of the nw2s::b owners out there waiting for 1.1 firmware – not to worry. We’ll start seeing code out in the next few days. I wanted to finish off as much of the design as possible for the next set of project so that I can, as funding allows, start running production prototypes. That phase always takes a while, and I can get quite a bit of code written while that is going back and forth.

Analog Modules

So, let’s start with some analog modules.. First up, the nw2s::p

nw2s-p

The nw2s::p is a dedicated pan module that is geared towards audio signals only. Since it focuses on audio, it uses a short, high quality signal path comprising of THAT VCAs and OPA2604 buffers. It uses a true -3dB sine/cosine pan circuit rather than a liner or logarithmic circuit. Another audio-focused feature is the set of bypassable DC blocking capacitors. Since not every module can be considered well-behaved, the DC-blocking capacitors prevent thumping and other low-frequency problems that can arise from modulating the pan of a module whose output may have more than a little output offset.

The nw2s::p will pan 4 mono or 4 stereo signals to 4 pairs of left/right outputs. (This mates extremely well with the 8 available inputs of the nw2s::io)

This module will be able to run on either standard euro +/- 12V or on +/- 18V

Next up…

nw2s-m

No, it’s not just another mult. Again, focusing on the modular audio path, this 4×4 mult uses OPA2604 op amps throughout. Additionally, the mult can run on either +/- 12V or +/- 18V. This will be available both assembled and as a kit.

Okay, here’s one that is likely to ruffle some feathers:

nw2s-3

Yes, it’s an API clone. Specifically, it’s an implementation of the Eisen DIY500 project that has some optimizations to run only a couple of specific versions… I’m currently testing this with some Cinemag transformers and Purple op amps. It will theoretcially run on +/- 12V, but will really shine at +/- 18V. Why a euro mic pre? Because. You deserve a good mic pre just like anyone else.

It also makes a great line-in…

It also makes a great balanced line out!

Truthfully, I need mic pres and I just love how flexible the eurorack is. It’s actually a perfect platform. I’m considering selling this one either as a kit or as panels/boards only.

You may be wondering where the 18V came from? Well, after the success of the ‘io, I’ve really come to appreciate the extra flexibility that the 18V rails provided in the design. For that reason, I will be selling both 12V and 18V power supply kits. They’ll be linear supplies with proper grounding support and will be either mountable in rails or to the back of your enclosure with some flexible power routing options.

Digital Modules

The nw2s::b was incredibly successful. It’s great at what it does (CV), but it’s big. It’s also really hard to build. So in order to continue development of this platform, We need to refine it a bit. This is what we’ve come up with:

nw2s-b2

It’s still Arduino Due powered, but instead of using a Due and a couple of other boards, everything is surface mounted on the same PCB. The module has 16x 16 bit CV outputs, 4 16 bit CV inputs, 4 12 bit potentiometers, two pushbutton encoders, a front-panel USB-OTG connector, a single clock/digital input, three-character display, bi-color LEDs with PWM drivers for both colors, a new push-pull SD card slot, and 4 push-buttons.

This will be open sourced and possibly available in a few different configurations for power and boards. Plans include both euro power as well as wall-wart for standalone projects.

I’m considering selling the mainboard alone as a sort of CV-core that could be used anywhere. The board itself has quite a feature set including 80 PWM LED drivers, 16 bit inputs and outputs, as well as the full complement of I/O that’s available on the Due. You can think of it as a supercharged starter for your own synth projects.

And speaking of supercharged…

nw2s-c

Yup. This is it. Stare, and enjoy. Think STM32F429 + ADSP-21489. That’s one of the most powerful floating point Cortex M4s and one of the most powerful Sharc DSPs in one unit, connected VIA SPI, each with their own RAM and with a full-speed compact flash storage interface.

This one will take some time, but I’m considering open-sourcing it and providing it as a standalone board as well if there is enough interest.

That’s off my chest. Whew. Now back to coding!

3 Comments

  1. WOW!!! i will be in touch

    Reply
  2. Greetings! I came across your site based on a page from Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/nw2s-nw2s-b2-dsp

    Their description alludes to the use of the new BeagleBoard X-15, but your ‘::b2’ description still calls out the Arduino Due as being the processor, which does not match the MG blurb. My I get your comments on this, please?

    Also, I am extremely interested in the ‘::c’/nws2-dsp development. I have a background in EE and I would love to participate in the development of this board. I would be glad to do beta testing, etc. Just let me know about it.

    Lastly, I am curious if there is a depository for the ‘::b’ board schematics. Please let me know where to find them.

    Thanks very much!

    All the best,
    Greg

    Reply
    • Hey – thanks for the interest! So I think after some deliberation that I’ve decided that a linux-based platform will be better for the b2 and the dsp both… I imagine the b2 will primarily be used with USB devices and USB is just so much easier to support with an OS than on raw microcontrollers. The next question then is – what would be the difference between the b2 and the dsp? I’m working through that part right now… whether having a CV-centric and an audio-centric version of basically the same platform makes sense.

      To answer that, I need to play with the DAC/ADC stages a little more, but I’m concentrating on firmware and device support for now. I have most of the ‘b code ported over and am beginning on porting some of my SHARC dsp code to TI’s dsp. There’s a lot there. I’m making some progress…

      Reply

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