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The bitbuf is a portable 8-bit minimalistic live looping machine. Designed as a tool for chip music improvisation and live performances, it aims to provide a set of simple yet versatile features. It's a work in progress, but I've made a prototype which is already quite functional and enjoyable to work with.

The word bit in this context refers to a small fragment (a loop) of a piece of 8-bit music. Buf is computer programming jargon for a piece of memory where you store something for later retrieval. The basic job of this machine is to memorise a loop, and then recall it over and over again.

Presentation video

Related tools

Other portable minimalistic loop-based sequencers exist, such as LSDj for the gameboy, Korg DS-10 for the Nintendo DS, nanoloop and recently the DCM8. They have certainly been sources of inspiration. However, I find them to be designed in a way which, to me, is fundamentally unsatisfactory: First, neither of them appear to be useful for live looping, where loops are recorded as part of the performance. Second, they lack support for a number of techniques that are prevalent in chip music, such as the ability to change the current chord in a simple way.

Drawing on my own experiences of 8-bit music, I developed a new kind of sequencer interface to address the specific needs of chiptune improvisation (which I had to figure out as I went along). An overview of the interface is given in the presentation video above. My design goals were to create an interface which would be useful, logical and minimalistic, but not necessarily intuitive to a new user.

Technical details

The bitbuf is based on an 8-bit microcontroller: An ATmega88 with 1 kB of RAM and 8.5 kB of ROM, running at 20 MHz, programmed in C and assembly language. The tight hardware specifications aid in keeping the design minimalistic.

The sound output is provided as a 44.1 kHz mono line out signal, via an external DAC chip (MCP4921). The input is omni-mode MIDI, with support for a very limited set of continuous controllers.

The software architecture is pretty straight-forward: A 44.1 kHz timer triggers an interrupt handler which generates sound from eight oscillators and a current sample level. The worst case execution time of this handler is currently 355 cycles, which at 44.1 kHz corresponds to about 80% of the computational power of the ATmega88. Another timer, at 5 kHz, updates the sample level from a DPCM table (if a drum sample is active), scans the switch and LED matrix, and sets a flag when the playroutine is due. A UART interrupt writes received MIDI bytes into a circular buffer. Meanwhile, in the main context, the MIDI buffer and playroutine flag are polled, and acted upon. These actions include reading and modifying the loop data structure, allocating oscillators to the tracks and live notes, and updating the oscillator parameters.


This is a prototype, and I'm eager to get some feedback. I don't have any long-term plans for the bitbuf yet, but please let me know what you think so far; general improvement suggestions, requests for specific features, opinions.

Posted Thursday 22-Dec-2011 14:20

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Disclaimer: I am not responsible for what people (other than myself) write in the forums. Please report any abuse, such as insults, slander, spam and illegal material, and I will take appropriate actions. Don't feed the trolls.

Jag tar inget ansvar för det som skrivs i forumet, förutom mina egna inlägg. Vänligen rapportera alla inlägg som bryter mot reglerna, så ska jag se vad jag kan göra. Som regelbrott räknas till exempel förolämpningar, förtal, spam och olagligt material. Mata inte trålarna.

Thu 22-Dec-2011 14:54
Would love to buy one!
Thu 22-Dec-2011 18:23
You should definitely keep working with this. I would absolutely buy one.
Thu 22-Dec-2011 18:33
Awesome! (As everything you do).

What are your favourite D/A converters?
Thu 22-Dec-2011 22:21
Well, I know that I would buy one...
Thu 22-Dec-2011 22:56
Sell this as it is and you will make millions. Reserve one for me please!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 00:38
What a wonderful instrument & a GREAT performance!

I too would LOVE an instrument like this - PLEASE let us know if you do decide to develop this or even kits of the bitbuf!

Suggestions - not too many. Perhaps stereo, with each 'part' being panned? Macro keys for different drum patterns & the ability to string them together as you do with the keyboard parts? Additional tempo divisions for the 'glitch' effect and the ability to have the glitch on just the drums?

Fantastic instrument - I sincerely hope you develop it further and consider making a version/kit for others to play!

Merry Christmas!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 10:00
make some kits,build some more ,or put the schematics online,
it's already finished enough as it is.
( or perhaps single outputs per part, if that's possible.)
Fri 23-Dec-2011 11:26
Keep it up, I love the simplicity of it.

And you should put them up for sale at some point, I'd love a setup, like the one you're demoing here, to play with.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 15:15
I will buy one !!!

Can you change de length of a note ?
Fri 23-Dec-2011 15:35
Linus, I'd love to buy a kit! Merry Christmas!!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 16:06
I'm totally in love with the BitBuf... Any chances to buy you a DIY kit or schemes to build one ?
Fri 23-Dec-2011 16:44
This is freaking gorgeous. I want, I want, I want. Can you put up schematics and code?
Fri 23-Dec-2011 17:14
Schematics would be the best christmas present for many of us 8bit lovers and tinkerers!
Happy new year :D
Fri 23-Dec-2011 17:26
This is awesome, I love the glitch feature too. Well thought out and executed.
Thanks for sharing this.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:04
Check http://www.kickstarter.com/ for funding.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:27
I'm an electronic musician, but haven't really ever gotten seriously into the chiptune movement. I'd still buy (or build) one of these without a 2nd thought! One of the most robust and professional-quality homebrew electronics projects I've ever seen!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:34
Would reaaaaaaaally love to see some schematics and code for this, would love to make me one of these!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:43
If you sold kits of this, there would be a ton of interest I'd bet. Very nice stuff, I enjoy all the various projects you have posted here.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:56
This looks like a wonderful tool for chiptune. A nice looking case, with proper button caps, labelled panel, and retro style graphic logo would be some good finishig touches.
Many people would like to have one of these. You should produce this as a kit or complete unit, as adafruit industries does with the xoxbox.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 18:58
Really well done, very polished in this form, lot of thought and engineering.

Hack-A-Day picked up the story, which is where I found it:
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:12
I was so much in love whith your chipophone yet but it seems to be a good solution for carry everywhere. I would love to buy one !!!!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:36
wow, i would have one! what is make and model of the keyboard?
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:37
well, definitly this is an awesome thing! i was thinking doing the same one time, but havent done even prototype to program and never expected to see something like that functionality. truly a masterpiece of MCU programming, would build one for myself if you decide to make it opensource and post schematics and firmware. great work anyway!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:37
I would love source ode and schematics.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:38
Let me guess, you had to make this amazing contraption after you finally found a song that you weren't able to play live on the chipophone? :D
Fri 23-Dec-2011 19:46
Mass market this bitch. I want one. Also schematics. Take my money.
Fri 23-Dec-2011 20:11
To quote Philip J Fry from the TV show Futurama; "Shut up and take my money!" This is simply hands down the best thing I've ever seen or heard moving electrical current do since the first time I turned on a video game system as a kid in the mid 1980's. Turn this into a unit, I will buy it. Sell it as a kit, I will buy it. Ask for donations, I will donate. Charming multiple layered classic sound without any perceivable emulation noise. Your demonstration shows it to be incredibly intuitive and user friendly, even as a proto board! Simply remarkable. I know of nothing on the audio equipment market today that even comes close to what I have just seen. Bravo!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 20:49
Fri 23-Dec-2011 21:37
Really good. You're clearly influenced by the SID! It would be wonderful if you could open source it, i've recently done that with a midibox synth related project and I've had great joy finding out what people can do with my code!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 22:23
I would love to have one or more of these!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 22:50
I think it's a great project, when i saw the chipophone i was so envious, now i have no words, i also think this is buyiable so my support on that aspect too, probably if you go to kickstarter you'll rise enough money to open your own synth company.

Also some tutorial for the comunity will be much apreciated :)

best wishes and good luck
Fri 23-Dec-2011 23:32
This site needs an RSS feed!
Fri 23-Dec-2011 23:49
I would really like to build or buy one!
Sat 24-Dec-2011 00:21
Would love to buy one!

^^^^^ that! and merry Christmas!
Sat 24-Dec-2011 03:11
Would love to buy one!

^^^^^ that! and merry Christmas!

Sat 24-Dec-2011 03:54
Wow what a stunning device! As with everyone else I hope you do indeed make this available somehow.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 04:04
That is awesome, please make it open, I´ll make music.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 04:07
That is awesome, please make it open, I´ll make music.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 04:08
I would love to see the micro's source. That's fantastic what you pulled off.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 06:41
Great job Linus, been a long time fan of your projects. If you ever decide to release .hex files I'll probably end up soldering one of these together :)
Sat 24-Dec-2011 10:45
i would definitely buy one. just make sure it has midi sync for jamming with other gear.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 12:28
Sat 24-Dec-2011 12:31
Is it possible to sync it to incomming MIDI timing? If it is, i will buy one on the spot. You could perhaps sell it as kits, that would save you for alot of soldering ;-)
Sat 24-Dec-2011 15:18
can i has to buy it?
Sat 24-Dec-2011 19:14
I loved your chipophone organ mod, but bitbuf is really a mature product which I believe would have real commercial appeal. I know I want one! :-) Well done.
Sat 24-Dec-2011 19:27
Hej Linus!

Jag skulle köpa en, det verkar riktigt häftigt!
En sak som jag skulle vilja se först är en metronom istället för en blinkande led för att se tempot, eller att kunna välja mellan att kunna höra takten när man spelar in. Det skulle hjälpa mig enormt.

Jag vill verkligen ha en! (om den inte kostar alldeles för mycket dvs.)
Kontakta mig genom mail på knerpan@gmail.com om du vill och har tid!

Mvh Jonatan
Hernandi Krammes
Sat 24-Dec-2011 19:46
This is realy programming art.
I am pleased hearing for the achived great performance with a microcontroler and a skiled mind.
You are better than Philip Glass.
Good xmas and new year.
Sun 25-Dec-2011 00:06
damn! this patterns can't get out of my head...
nice perfomance. i also have a midi keyboard, avr's and really want to play with this device. ^^
Sun 25-Dec-2011 07:41
This is pretty cool! It is great that you can do that in hardware, when will you share the plans? You mentioned Korg DS-10, but you should check out Rhythm Core Alpha on the Nintendo DSi and 3DS. It does all of the looping and chord stuff that this does and a lot more, and it's only a $5 or 5 Euro download in the DSiWare Shop or 3DS eShop.
Sun 25-Dec-2011 08:28
Dude. I want this so bad. Really.

If you sell it, I will buy it. Like honestly, I haven't wanted something like this in my entire life. Ever.

Hats off to you for creating something this brilliant.
Sun 25-Dec-2011 10:20
I love it! I would really want to buy one, or build one, if you share hardware schematics and software.

Also, great live performance dude. Share it with people! Record your live performances and put it on the Soundcloud, for example.

Sun 25-Dec-2011 16:40
I've been working on the same thing for a few moths right now. But what you have made... Really impressive. I'll just stop writing my shitcode and wait, until you release this cool thingy.
Sun 25-Dec-2011 16:43
As a suggestion - make an hardware "upgrade". I know that artificially made lack of computing power leads to creativity - but don't overkill with this. This can also lead to lack of awesome features and possible future updates.
Mon 26-Dec-2011 01:19
Sorry ladies, this hunk appears taken
Mon 26-Dec-2011 03:28
Amazing work. I don't know what I want more, schematics for the device, or a full length album with you rocking out on it.
Mon 26-Dec-2011 03:46
I think this is a wonderful project you have created here. I am not sure what you are planing on doing with the concept now that you have a working model but let me throw some ideas at you.

1. Sell it as a kit yourself - This would be a great way to make some money and share your product but it would require quite a bit of work on your part.
2. Sell your design to a company like adafruit - you would still make money and it would possibly take less work on your part.
3. Open source the design - You could provide files to make a PCB, a BOM and the code for everyone to make their own. You could do this and still provide kits or just PCBs.
4. Some combination of the previous 3
5. Do nothing with it and for others to make up their own project.

I really hope to see you do something with this, if I could buy one for $50-$100 I would pick one up tonight.

Mon 26-Dec-2011 04:03
Forgot to mention that my girl and I think that this is a wonderful piece of art you have created. The improve, the synth + it's design and the fact you put this out there for everyone is awesome.

Mon 26-Dec-2011 08:57
Gimme. (Also, if you're actually planning on starting to sell these, please don't make it too terribly overpriced?)
Mon 26-Dec-2011 14:21
I think this can sell for $300 +

I would buy this for $400!
Mon 26-Dec-2011 22:58
Grymt! Det byggs många konstiga musikmakapärer, både bra och dåliga, men det är sällan dess skapare kan ge ett ok demo av dem, det här låter helt fantastiskt!
Om du inte har några kommersiella planer måste du åtminstone släppa källkod / schema. Föredömligt minimalistisk hårdvara också.
Tue 27-Dec-2011 01:53
i want to know how you made this and if you plan on mass producing this. i would by it like no ones business.
Tue 27-Dec-2011 08:40
I look forward to building one!
Wed 28-Dec-2011 02:10
I'd build a kit, lovely programming and elegantly delivered, good demo.

Additions: hmm, mixer section if the minipots are not already doing that.
Stereo could be coded for pan rather than tweaked for panning, say set an arc of 7 possible pan positions.
A phase routine would be good but I suppose that's external efx.

Breakout board for individual outs as an option, or at least pcb solder pads on the board for those who want to go there. pcb midi jacks and a wall wart dc input jack, 9v uniersal. 9v battery option? On/off switch. midid receive send led. Needs a protective case like the shruthi or wtpa? Both have nice acrylic cases, so you may want to talk with olivier and Todd about that. At a minimum the caspar electronics dronemaster style case does provide good protection.
Clumsy players in darkened bars will want larger buttons, no offense but you are very tidy and precise (which is why you finished it so well of course.) That makes you atypical of a user, sadly.

Kit? Yes: but be careful about how you pacakge shipping the atmeg. I've had issues with that.

Using lsdj, dm8, sammichsid and that sort of chiptune thing at present and loads of analog.

lorne in Canada
Wed 28-Dec-2011 02:14
me again, forgot to say 512 meg memory chip, lcd to show library? Borrow the sd card design that todd has already designed? www.narrat1ve.com
Wed 28-Dec-2011 02:17
and one more comment: www.kickstarter.com to fund production costs. see quneo for an outrageous example of success.
Thu 29-Dec-2011 04:17
This is inspiring. I would absolutely buy this and put it to amazing use. I've been using LSDJ and nanoloop for a while but I've never liked having to program the loops ahead of time. I play piano live, and this would ultimately satisfy every need I would ever have for performing. I'd like to mention that I'm an in no way tech savvy. I would never be able to build one of these if you were ever to simply release the instructions... So I beg you. Please please please offer an option to acquire one pre-built.
Just for reference, what keyboard is that?
Thu 29-Dec-2011 12:19
For the love of god Linus - make turn this into a kickstarter project. The world needs a bitbuf kit! Just make sure we can export/load via sysex or via, for example, an sd-card.

You are beyond amazing!

// christoffer, umeå
Fri 30-Dec-2011 06:19
I see a lot of comments about what features you should add... I'd just like to say that I'm a huge fan of how simple and easy Bitbuf is to use. Adding an army of random features (like support for some add-on I've never heard of) would turn me away. Really, I'd be happy with buying the board as it is right now.
Sat 31-Dec-2011 11:28
Yes i would realy like to buy one :)
Sat 31-Dec-2011 11:30
Yes i would like to buy this , Bra jobbat !
Sat 31-Dec-2011 14:59
Nice work! How did you connect the MIDI cable to the USART?
Sun 1-Jan-2012 07:57
Open source it and change the scene! I've been dreaming of building something very similar to this but you have the talent and time to get it done. Great job! -Brett W. (FightCube.com)
Mon 2-Jan-2012 18:46
Excellent demo and awesome instrument!
I want to buy/build one. Will you release the firmware? Will you sell kits?
I hope you will ;)
Tue 3-Jan-2012 15:39
HI Linus your Osiclator it´s awesome, only a question if it´s possible to answer me...

You only use a 555 for Oscilator, or use the Big chip, I´m not sure if it´s an Arduino for generating the wave forms?¿...

Thanks in advance and excuseme for my poor english...

Kinds regards, from Spain.
Iván J
Tue 3-Jan-2012 18:28
great. really great.
please please please release the firmware as open source, start a new projekt on github! it's great, i wanna build my own bitbuf, maybe with other extensions, and based on atmega32.

your firmware, is it made in asm or c? (hoping for c, and hoping you release it with a nice licence).

good work! go on!
Tue 3-Jan-2012 22:06
great. really great.
please please please release the firmware as open source, start a new projekt on github! it's great, i wanna build my own bitbuf, maybe with other extensions, and based on atmega32.

your firmware, is it made in asm or c? (hoping for c, and hoping you release it with a nice licence).

good work! go on!

Read the info at least...

"An ATmega88 with 1 kB of RAM and 8.5 kB of ROM, running at 20 MHz, programmed in C and assembly language. The tight hardware specifications aid in keeping the design minimalistic."
Fri 6-Jan-2012 05:23
Wow, I am impressed.
I would buy this.
But I think a hard case (perhaps clear) would help me worry less of potential damage.
Fri 6-Jan-2012 07:11
I would buy one immediately!
Tue 10-Jan-2012 07:09
and one more comment: www.kickstarter.com to fund production costs. see quneo for an outrageous example of success.
Kickstarter has funded a lot of innovative people, take printrbot for example.
Tue 10-Jan-2012 09:52
Fantastic work! I really love the looping options, the sound and the effects.
Wed 11-Jan-2012 18:38
Thats an amazin job, congrats!! Of cours now that you show off you need to feed the trolls and release some schemas :P (just to make the trolls bigger and more hungry hehehe).
Wed 11-Jan-2012 18:40
Some nice feature I could see there:

-sync with another bitbuff
Thu 12-Jan-2012 16:13
Oh, wow, this is pretty cool. Like the others, I would love to see the code for this so I could try my hand at duplicating it. Also, what is the little 4 pin IC next to the ATMega?

As for any improvements, I dunno. Perhaps a larger memory bank and interface so if you make a progression you're particularly proud of you can save it and recall it later for recording or to show off or something. Or maybe live you could make some sort of really catchy hook that you keep coming back to while playing other songs interspersed. Or something.

Either way, fantastic stuff. I'm gonna bookmark this page to keep on top of any updates.
Fri 13-Jan-2012 11:34
Very nice!
It will need a way of syncing with others
¿maybe a analog clock I/O? for sync it with old stuff
Nice work!!
Daniel Holth
Wed 18-Jan-2012 14:58
Can you provide a few more details about the number of bits used for the triangle waves, dpcm tables, etc? Does it use multiplication or have an envelope generator? Mostly inspired by the NES synthesizer like the Chipophone?
Thu 19-Jan-2012 09:19
Certainly buy one if you propose kit to sale!!!
Great Job!
Fri 20-Jan-2012 01:19
Great machine, and great creator
Tue 24-Jan-2012 14:18
Witch is your keyboard brand?
Wed 25-Jan-2012 12:37
Witch is your keyboard brand?

Obviously a M Audio Oxygen
Sat 28-Jan-2012 22:01
Any Chance you would be willing to share the binary ROM for the atmega to us? the schematics would be nice, but not as necessary to reproduce seeing as you posted a picture of the protoboard.
Wed 1-Feb-2012 19:54
I love it! :D TAKE MY MONEY!! :D super coolt
Wed 1-Feb-2012 21:20
Thu 2-Feb-2012 03:59
Would love to buy one!
Just echoing what everyone else has said....I'd buy one...I'D BUY TEN!!!
Thu 2-Feb-2012 04:36
Dude, I no longer think its a prototype. This thing needs to be sold and show at namm
Thu 2-Feb-2012 12:09
u should put this on production
suddenly i am interested in music again
Roger Fontaine
Thu 2-Feb-2012 14:14
great bitbuf product. I enjoyed your demo, your technical ability, and the precision of your design, also musical creativeness.
ditto to other comments, stereo with panning, are you sending bitbuf o/p to what kind of recorder? computer? apple?
as composer who likes to record this would be a great tool to have in studio. I could also see it as great improv performance tool.
keep me informed as your production progresses.
Thu 9-Feb-2012 21:01
This is amazing, please release a kit or a finished product! I'll echo the Kickstarter sentiment.

Suggestion: MIDI clock in (if not i/o) to sync with other hardware/software! Analog clock would be cool too but MIDI sync is the most important
Mon 13-Feb-2012 12:47
Oh man this is so lovely.. The live capabilities of this and the versitality of it... I want one right now. Id play with it all night.. Or if you release this as a kit i will purchase it something shameful! -owly84
Sat 25-Feb-2012 23:47
oh my god please let us buy one why are you teasing us so much by posting such awesome videos and not selling your stuff in some form or another? You are like the god of building awesome things. Please go show this to guitar center or sam ash or some music store and try to retail this, I think that they would think this was awesome. Please manufacture this. it kicks the alesis microns butt. lol.
Wed 29-Feb-2012 04:31
please sell this, I can have all my money, ALL OF IT!!!!
Wed 29-Feb-2012 16:57
Any news on this? Have you decided whether you'd prefer to open source it or sell it?
Sun 4-Mar-2012 08:10
Please start a Kickstarter! I would love to buy one of these from you! :D
Wed 7-Mar-2012 13:32
Wow, this is pretty much the best thing you've ever done, and that is saying more than anyone could possibly imagine!
Having been through the fiddly/frustrating process of trying to do improvisations using LSDj and various Chip trackers, my mind is on fire at the idea of having the chance to use something like this!

As much as I'm sure you enjoy just making cool things for the sake of it, PLEASE take the opportunity to share the beauty of this creation with the world! As several people have already stated: Kickstarter. I would PAY to have the *opportunity* to buy one of these, let alone actually make a purchase!
Thu 8-Mar-2012 04:56
i would love to see this as a purchasable kit or opensource device.

i really love the glitchy effects

but releasing this on the world would just shock the hobbyist audio movement, personally, i'm not good enough to do any live shows, but to have this as something to play around with. but i can see this hitting it big not only in live shows, but as a hobbyist\ musicians new instrument <at fractions of the cost of what other software\hardware costs
Toby Walker
Sat 10-Mar-2012 07:12
I've already made a comment on this, but as an anonymous user.
I just registered specifically to show my support to the idea of making this something purchasable!
Sat 10-Mar-2012 10:32
would love to love one
Thu 15-Mar-2012 04:01
If you need help making this in volume, I am certain it would not be too hard to recruit some help among the community. I think it is easy to find the right persons to give a few hours here and there to migrate your design to SMD and start a 1000 units in a china fab... Kickstarter all the way...unless you are completely set on using a 8 bit AVR, I would also consider the 16 bit MSP430 for a smaller footprint and low cost in 1000 units, also if there is enough overhead on the cycle% it may be possible to elimiate the DAC to a r2r ladder or a combination of PWM/r2r (saw once a rare implementation like that).
That should make an affordable BOM...
Tue 20-Mar-2012 23:22
Would love to buy a kit, this looks exactly what i would need!!
Mon 2-Apr-2012 18:43
Fantastic!!! The POTENTIAL OF THIS PROJECT IS ASTOUNDING!!! I've been making chiptunes for years and although I adore making that style of music, one thing that has always bothered me is the classic: "programming rather than playing" dynamic. This would help with creating a more personal and spontanious piece! Plus the immediacy of playing an already familiar surface such as a keyboard vs diving into theory and programming notes/chords/arps makes this so appealing!!! I definitely encourage you to pursue this project! USE KICKSTARTER!!! You'd have a backer out of me for sure! How programmable would this be? This question pertains to DIY midi. Would this or does this BitBuf have midi learn capabilities? I'm new to the world of DIY midi controllers, but it would be amazing to have this BitBuf accompany a specialty midi controller!!!
Mon 9-Apr-2012 03:03
When I hear your Chipophone or the bitbuf I only close my eyes and let me feel the nostalgia and the years passing by me.

Amazing, thank your Sir for your outstanding work!

Respect from Portugal
Wed 11-Apr-2012 02:43
Would love to buy one!
Sun 15-Apr-2012 01:42
Yes, yes it has been said MANY times: I would love to buy a kit or at least get a parts list and schematic. I also totally agree with the many others in saying that putting this on kickstarter or something similar would make a HUGE amount of sense. It definitely won't make billions, but it would be a smash hit in the niche it occupies. I think it could definitely compete with the korg and similar looping machines.
Sun 15-Apr-2012 07:50
Kickstart it, please!
Tue 17-Apr-2012 12:05
Wow, perfect ! Exactly what I need. Please release a kit. I 'll buy one.
Wed 18-Apr-2012 22:40
I would buy one, or a kit version for sure :)
Sat 21-Apr-2012 06:44
Would love to buy one!

Id definatly want one of these, Coolest little gadget ive seen in a long time.
Mon 23-Apr-2012 00:17
You, my good sir, just won the entire internet! Please make a tutorial for how to make a bitbuf :) You are my bit-hero :D
Wed 25-Apr-2012 12:00
Fantastic work!!! I love the sound and the looping options! Please, it would be really nice to get a tutorial or the schematics!
Ralph Willekes
Thu 26-Apr-2012 21:49
Too bad I have no experience playing music... But this is a thing that might just help me over the edge and make me at least try to compose music. :-)

Maybe a storage function for patterns and instrument setting banks is the only thing I might miss... Not for whole songs, where's the fun in that? ;-P
Mon 7-May-2012 19:23
Every week I come back here hoping you have posted the schematics and code for this, even if it's just an unfinished version.

Please make me the happiest person on Earth.
Tue 15-May-2012 22:44

Gizah wrote:

Every week I come back here hoping you have posted the schematics and code for this, even if it's just an unfinished version.

Please make me the happiest person on Earth.
Thu 17-May-2012 01:13
MAKE IT!! at least sell us chips and post the schematics..

or at least least least, post the firmware so we can burn chips and make one!
Mon 21-May-2012 18:24
Would love to buy one!


I would pay $300 no questions asked.
Mon 21-May-2012 22:05
YES!!! Please make this commercially available!
Wed 23-May-2012 09:52
I'd buy one. Let us know if you decide to produce more of these.
Sat 2-Jun-2012 16:32
Please sell this as a kit, or post the schematics this is a lovely invention
Mon 4-Jun-2012 20:51
Wed 6-Jun-2012 03:40
I want one now!!
Thu 7-Jun-2012 09:48
Wow, amazing stuff. Please make a kit or post the schematics!!! I would love to use this unit live. Can it be MIDI synced?
Mon 2-Jul-2012 23:31
Aaaaw! Thats damn nice work you did there.
Even if you are not going to sell it, it would be nice, if you share the plans with us :)
(would buy it anyways)
Wed 18-Jul-2012 06:53
Mind blown... You sir are extremely talented.
Sun 29-Jul-2012 22:11
Make a kit that you can solder together yourself!
Fri 10-Aug-2012 10:17
I would buy one! I think the Kickstarter idea is great!
Mon 13-Aug-2012 19:44
Yes indeed! let's kickstart this one - this base would perfectly fit such an encouraging enterprise like this. Just go for it, plz :)))))))))))))))))
Wed 10-Oct-2012 14:22
Very nice!! This should be possible to fit on a pretty small pcb, iluminated switches would make it even more compact. And the parts are pretty cheap too! I'd vote for a kit ;)
Wed 10-Oct-2012 14:24
...and as mentioned: midi clock sync would be nice. I guess clock output would be easier then slaving it.
Fri 26-Oct-2012 13:15
I also think a Kickstarter would get a lot of support if you have the time and wish to manufacture MIDI compatible finished products.

Jag skulle köpa en i alla fall!
Sun 4-Nov-2012 05:38
Would love to buy one.
Mon 5-Nov-2012 05:27
Please post at least a part list, or the code for the chip, or some schematics! Even just a detailed guide on how to use it.
Tue 6-Nov-2012 00:57
Desperately want one...
Thu 8-Nov-2012 18:56
Any news on this? Linus I'm aching to use one!
Mikael Bouillot
Sat 17-Nov-2012 19:38
I was wondering about two features of the sound:
1) on the attack of each note, there seems to be a small "noise blast",
2) the notes have a high aliasing content.

For (2), I was under the impression that it came from sampling the waveform at a fixed rate without first filtering it (which would probably require a DSP implementing BLEPs or something similar), but the effect seems extreme. Did you include some kind of non-linear saturation to get that effect?

For (1), I have no idea where that might come from but I like the effect :-)

On the other hand, the interactivity (bass and chords modification in particular) is awesome. That's kind of what I'm trying to achieve with my own project.
Simon Budig
Tue 20-Nov-2012 11:34
The hardware/schematics really isn't the problem, it is easy enough to figure out the schematics from the photo in the posting. There is no magic happening there. I'd gladly offer to turn this into a pcb layout.

However, the software is the tricky part. The experience Linus has with chiptunes is not easily reproduced, let alone turned into a sanely working midi synth. So I guess we're out of luck for now.

Thu 29-Nov-2012 22:46

simon wrote:

The hardware/schematics really isn't the problem, it is easy enough to figure out the schematics from the photo in the posting. There is no magic happening there. I'd gladly offer to turn this into a pcb layout.

However, the software is the tricky part. The experience Linus has with chiptunes is not easily reproduced, let alone turned into a sanely working midi synth. So I guess we're out of luck for now.
I would guess that there are lot of elements from the other projects involved, like what you find on "making of chipophone" page, which again links to this:

but of course, it would have been cool if Linus put togheter the stuff on this page.
Fri 14-Dec-2012 00:56
If you can price it for under £50 I think you'll make a shed load of money!!
Mon 14-Jan-2013 00:57
I would love to produce this device for people to buy. Contact me if you are interested at emil@eimer.dk
Fri 18-Jan-2013 23:26
When I saw the video on YouTube, I immediately thought that I would have built one. And then I realized that the software and the schematic were not available.
Wed 30-Jan-2013 01:59
GREAT! Respect from Russia. Would buy one)
Thu 18-Apr-2013 19:00

There is a world of musicians who want to have their own bitbuf. Why don't you share your design with them. You could either 1. open source the whole project and leave it to others to take it from there or 2. put together kits or finished pieces and sell them. The kits could be as simple as a PCB, a flashed chip + a BOM. If you are concerned you don't have time to sell projects like this you could always contact a company like adafruit or similar to do the sales for you.
Fri 19-Apr-2013 17:18

There is a world of musicians who want to have their own bitbuf. Why don't you share your design with them. You could either 1. open source the whole project and leave it to others to take it from there or 2. put together kits or finished pieces and sell them. The kits could be as simple as a PCB, a flashed chip + a BOM. If you are concerned you don't have time to sell projects like this you could always contact a company like adafruit or similar to do the sales for you.

I am of the same opinion.
Sat 27-Apr-2013 12:46

There is a world of musicians who want to have their own bitbuf. Why don't you share your design with them. You could either 1. open source the whole project and leave it to others to take it from there or 2. put together kits or finished pieces and sell them. The kits could be as simple as a PCB, a flashed chip + a BOM. If you are concerned you don't have time to sell projects like this you could always contact a company like adafruit or similar to do the sales for you.

I am of the same opinion.
Another +1 for that. This thing is incredible.
Thu 13-Jun-2013 04:28
Why don't you a kick starter or something ?

Are planning on builds, I notice the vid is from 2011
Wed 24-Jul-2013 04:12
Start a Kickstarter project and I will definitely buy one!
Thu 29-Aug-2013 23:58
please! i want one too :)
Tue 15-Oct-2013 21:19
We _NEED_ this! Please please PLEASE publish the source code... and maybe schematics, but I guess it's no magic figuring them out when having a look at the code. Just release it! :)
Mon 28-Oct-2013 16:46
The Korg version simply has more screens and functions and more man hours work in it, its amazing how well the bitbuf competes with those programs, I say, keep the analog controls, give it some nice buttons, I think its already great, maybe you could just add more tutorials explaining it from a technological standpoint.
Sun 15-Dec-2013 00:26
I would love to build the bitbuf myself, are you going to put out any instructions for this machine?
Tue 11-Feb-2014 20:20
please share your ideas or take our money. But such a nice device without any chance to get hands on by ourselves, really gives you bad karma!
Mon 10-Mar-2014 10:50
Please offer this in kickstarter or somewhere where we can buy it.

Best regards from Spain! Andres
Tue 18-Mar-2014 13:00
Make it available for us!
Sun 4-May-2014 03:57
Hi Linus,

Great work!

Any updates? (any chance for a rough BOM, some more pictures, another demo video, source code)

This thing looks like so much fun.
Mon 19-May-2014 00:46
love to love you baby
Wed 11-Jun-2014 00:52
Patch memory might be a fun addition, storing the current loops etc. to an SD card to be recalled later. Also, would multi-channel MIDI be possible? IE one channel for lead, one for chords etc.
Sat 26-Jul-2014 00:46
I NEED ONE dude go get this patented keep it up I know this is old but please make this available to everyone!
Sun 1-Feb-2015 00:04
Please continue developing it and please show how you did it! I would love to make/buy one!
Wed 18-Feb-2015 19:29
get this on kickstarter, you will do very well! Ill have 2!
Wed 4-Mar-2015 09:44
Hej Linus!
Instämmer i kören om scheman och källkod eller ännu hellre ett kickstarter-projekt.
Snälla snälla.. :)
Thu 2-Apr-2015 20:20
wow, i would have one! what is make and model of the keyboard?

its a M-audio


its a pitcure of it on google

sorry for the lengt of the link
Sun 3-May-2015 02:12
Hi Linus,

I've been asking this a couple of times a year for the past 3 or 4 years now, but I still maintain hope. What are your plans for the bitbuff - do you plan to release source code, etc. sometime? Maybe even do a writeup on how the synthesiser works (a guide to designing your own and the constrains you overcame / little tricks)?

Keep up the excellent and exciting work!
Sun 21-Jun-2015 18:37
Just shut up and take my money.
Sun 8-Nov-2015 00:08
This is sweet, make it into a eurorack module with some control voltage ins and outs and you'd be a happy man
Tue 10-Nov-2015 22:22
Very nice project!
Hope it won`t be so expensive like all c64 carts.
It was easier to buy real midi-module than used prophet 64
especially when you have 23% VAT in Poland...
First I would like to be so skillful in piano like you :D
Back to keyboard.
ALL BEST ,you`re my music hero since Craft!
Wed 20-Jul-2016 13:20
Would love to buy one!
Me too, please take orders!
Sat 18-Nov-2017 04:54
I'm totally in love with the BitBuf... Any chances to buy you a DIY kit or schemes to build one ?

Thu 30-Nov-2017 09:28
My annual request:
Please Linus Akesson, make this device available or provide us with some information about the code. I think that everybody would love to pay for that.
Please answer somehow!
Brian Christensen
Fri 22-Feb-2019 06:39
Hey Linus - Greetings from Denmark :)

I remember seeing the BitBuf Presentation a few years ago, being quite impressed by it, I came to your site here, to follow it's progress and learn more about it. Since you've put up the BifBuf presentation, quite many have been requesting it to be made commercially available, it being mass produced, or the very least a DIY kit be made with schematics and components be made available, so people could make the BitBuf themselves. But seemingly no response from you, kept checking in to see if any progress had happened, then as time went by, I kind of forgot about it as nothing new seemingly happened.

So, some years later I suddenly remembered the BitBuf and remembered this site, and immediately came here in hopes that the project had progressed, but sadly it seems nothing has happened.

I'm truly excited for the piece of technological equipment you've made the BitBuf to be - so Linus what is the current status with the BitBuf, and do you have any plans in terms of making it commercially available?

Best Regards
Thu 4-Feb-2021 22:57
This thing is awesome! The technical details section is quite interesting as well.

Nicely done.
Thu 10-Nov-2022 22:52
I'm eager to get my hands on this beauty. Have you considered sharing/selling your code and design? I would love to build a unit!
Rowan Pope
Sat 15-Jul-2023 02:00
This is fantastic. It reminds me more than a little of your PO-20 Arcade pocket operator, or should I say the pocket operators in general. I have to wonder how much of the pocket operator idea was inspired by this project? As of yesterday they have the PO-20 in stock again, I've always wanted one so i've just ordered, even though the price is more now than it originally was. Love your work, especially your musical instruments made with C64 tech :)