Bleep Labs

How the synthesizer sausage gets made

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The Contemporary Austin – NOISE1 workshop

Bleep Labs and the Contemporary Austin are proud to present Tech Sounds, an all ages, solder-free, synthesizer workshop.

February 8th 2014
10am at Laguna Gloria

Here’s the schematics and modification info

bleep kit 1

Xmas shipping and $5 off coupon!

Hey! It’s a coupon code! For Bleep Labs stuff!
Get $5 off any order of $55 or more. Expires December 1st.

Most items ship same or next business day but order soon to get your noise-maker by X-mas.


Halloween Drone

Happy Halloween! Here’s a little bit of Pico Paso droneeeeee

The Bleep Drum + MIDI

midi drum m1

You can now control the Bleep Drum with MIDI. Available fully built and as a retrofit kit to upgrade any previous Bleep or Dam drum.
Get it here!

Call for programmers

Bleep Labs needs a good embedded programmer to help develop some fancy new noise makers. If you are familiar with ARM chips and DSP and like to talk about synthesizers way too much, email us at

Putting your own samples in the Bleep Drum

The Bleep Drum has about 24 kilobytes of space for samples in the program memory. Thats just over a second at 22k samples/sec.
That might not sounds like much but it’s enough for the four pads on the Bleep Drum.

Here’s a guide for adding your own samples.


At the beginning of the bleep drum code there are four tables that hold the samples, “kick”, “tick”, “snare”, and “bass”.

Here’s kick.

PROGMEM prog_char kick_table[] =
127,127,128,(…..ssssssamplessss…..) 128,128,128,128
int kick_length=5744;

You’ll be wanting to replace the bytes in the table with your sample.


Wavosaur is a good program to do the wav manipulation in.
Get your mono sample cropped as small as you can, making sure to start at zero and having a very quick fade out at the end to reduce pops.
Reduce the sample rate to 22kHz and the bit depth to 8. Try playing with the dither options to see what sounds best.

Once it’s ready go to File > Export > Export as text.


Now you need to turn that unformatted pile of numbers into something useful.
Open the text file in a spreadsheet program with tab as the separator.
Use this file as an example on how to turn the floats into bytes.
Make a note of how many bytes there are.


Now you’ll need to make that last column look like this:


You can do this by saving it as a separate .csv or copying it into a text editor and replacing “/n” with “,”.


Now you can copy those commas separated bytes into the tables and change the length value.
If the sketch won’t compile you’re probably over the program space. Try removing strings of small numbers (0,3,0,2,0,1,0,1,0,1,1,0,1,0) form the end of your samples if you need to shave off a few bytes. You might also want to start by removing some or all of the default samples so you have the whole second to work with.
You could also change the sample rate by adjusting “OCR2A” in “DDS”.

The Blues Exploder

The Jon Spencer Blues Exploder has finally gone out to the distributor. See all the info about the device here.

So why did it take so long?

It ended up being one of the most complex devices we’ve made and I drastically underestimated the time it would take to finish.
Simply put, small scale manufacturing is tough.
I thought having a CNC machine in house would save much more time but it really just meant that I needed to cut everything myself. More capabilities don’t mean quicker manufacturing. We were also plagued by bad parts and short supplies of good ones during the xmas rush.

This still does not excuse the long wait we put our customers through.

I apologize again and hope that the wait was worth it.

The Bleep Drum

Available now.