Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Bye bye 2014

The Duotron - Dual oscillator Atmegatron

Well it's been quite a year. I couldn't have hoped for a better response to the Atmegatron. There's gonna be a lot exciting new things next year too. I look forward to sharing these with you over the coming months.

Anyway I thought I'd finish the year off with yet another software version, The Duotron. This is a dual oscillator variation of the classic Atmegatron software. It uses the techniques used on the Delayertron, but replaces the delay-line with another oscillator. It's got a pretty heavy sound as you can hear. It does do warmer sounds too, I had the wave-crusher turned up high on that little demo.
You may wonder why the 2 oscillators are always slightly detuned.  This is because oscillator B uses a 16-bit timer and A uses an 8-bit timer.  The tuning accuracy of the 16-bit timer is better, hence why they always sound slightly out.
Some people may notice the high frequency PWM noise with this software (it's the same reason as with the Delayertron). It is nothing to worry about, it's well out of human hearing range.
I'll try and do a new version of this next year that is duophonic (i.e. if you press 2 MIDI notes, 1 oscillator goes to each note).

Dirt Cheap PCB

There's a dirt cheap PCB for sale at the online store.  It is a fully functioning PCB, the only issue is that some of the output filter components are faulty meaning that it has a sound which is a little too warm! I'm happy to show any soldering experts which components need replacing (should you want to).

Saturday, 27 December 2014

New Atmegatron software available

There's a new version of the Atmegatron software available (version 1.3) on the downloads page. It adds the ability to change MIDI channel and also fixes some stuck MIDI note issues that Ableton users were having.

Find out how to change MIDI channel here and how to upload the software here.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Last minute Christmas presents!

Atmegatron Complete and PCB back on sale

There's a small stock of Atmegatron Complete's and PCBs available, via the website and also some distributors. The distributors currently with stock are:

If you order from the webshop, please bear in mind the following last dates for orders to arrive by Christmas:

  • UK - 20th Dec
  • Europe - 13th Dec
  • USA - 12th Dec
  • Canada, Asia, South America, Australasia - Won't make it in time, apologies

Delayertron and Atmegadrum overlays now available

Finally the Atmegatron overlays are ready! They are available from the webshop and you get 2 for £7.50 (ex VAT and postage). The overlays are for the Delayertron and Atmegadrum and the software for them can be found here and a tutorial on how to upload the software can be found here.

Please note that only orders to UK addresses will ship in time for Christmas.

New Delayertron and Atmegadrum demo track by DREAMTRAK

To celebrate the new overlays, there's a new demo track showing off the Delayertron and Atmegadrum software. The track was edited together from a jam between DREAMTRAK and Soulsby Synths, performed on 2 Atmegatrons. It's pretty experimental, and that's exactly what the Atmegatron is all about!


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Music Tech Fest this weekend

It's Music Tech Fest this weekend. I'm going to be taking part in the 24 hour hackathon. Judging by past Music Tech Fests it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.
Do come along and say hello if you're free.  Details below:

Music Tech Fest - festival of music ideas

Jerwood Hall, LSO St Lukes, London.
Tickets: £20 per day

  • Friday 5 September: 6pm–10pm - Occupy Music (Soulsby Synths are not involved this day)
  • Saturday 6 September: 1pm–10pm - Gunk and HMI
  • Sunday 7 September: 1pm–10pm - Get Your Ears Dirty

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Delayertron (tron tron tron .... ....) software available now!

Turn your Atmegatron into a sci-fi dream machine

The Delayertron software is now available on the Downloads page of the Soulsby Synthesizers website.
You can see a video of the Delayertron in action here:
The heart of the Delayertron is a crunchy 8-bit delay line. The following parameters can be adjusted:
  • Dry/wet mix
  • Delay sample rate
  • Feedback
  • Delay length
  • Clip mode (for gritted distorted delay with >100% feedback)
  • LFO and envelope amounts to control the sample rate
There's also a filter which can be either high or low pass. The LFO can control it's cutoff and it can be inserted either after the delay or at the output mix.
All the oscillator waveforms are new too and have been increased from 32 to 256 samples long.  The waveforms are derived from Adventure Kid's awesome waveforms library.
The software can be uploaded by anyone who owns an Atmegatron and an FTDI cable.  See this video for instructions.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Latest Atmegatron news (July)

Only a few Atmegatrons left in stock!

It's been a crazy few months and we're now heading towards the end of the first batch. There's literally just a couple left! If you still haven't ordered your Atmegatron yet, head over to the shop.
A second batch of Atmegatrons will be made, but these won't be ready until later this year.
There are also some resellers that still have stock: Juno (UK), Analogue Haven (USA), Perfect Circuit Audio (USA) & Gizmo Music (Japan).

Pre-release version of Atpolytron software now available

Version 0.1 of the Atpolytron software is now available. It provides 4-note paraphonic polyphony to the Atmegatron. There will be some major changes to the software when the final version is released, such as longer waveforms and a different audio processing chain.
Also in the pipeline are:

  • Delayertron (simple synth with tape delay fx).
  • Envelopertron (not final name! Snappy logarithmic envelopes with envelope repeater).

And there's more that are just at the 'idea' stage, so watch this space!

miniAtmegatron development in progress

Here's a first look at the miniAtmegatron Arduino shield kit. It's at the prototype stage and is currently being debugged and tested.
The miniAtmegatron is designed for Arduino and electronics enthusiasts who want to build their own Atmegatron
It'll come with build instructions and also instructions on how to flash the Arduino to turn it into a USB MIDI device.
There are also plans to create a control interface with the Lemur iPad software.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Drum machines, magazines and more!

Atmegadrum software released today

The Atmegadrum software is now available from the Soulsby Synths website. It turns the Atmegatron into a 16-part 16-step drum machine. It also features a global pitch LFO and individual instrument volumes and delay effects.

The default sample rate is a crunchy sounding 8kHz and this can be tweaked. Check out this YouTube video to hear it in action. There's an audio demo track on Soundcloud too.

In the near future there will be software to allow users to upload their own drum samples to the Atmegadrum.

Latest Atmegatron Reviews

If you've still not got an Atmegatron and want to know more about it, be sure to check out some of these reviews:

Soulsby Synths at Games Britannia

Soulsby Synths will be at Games Britannia Live! in Sheffield on 28th and 29th June. It's a family friendly video gaming and coding festival.

During the day there will be Atmegatrons out for people to play and visitors will have the opportunity to try sampling their own voice into the Atmegatron.

During the evening there is a "Chiptune Gig In The Garden". Soulsby Synths and _ensnare_ have teamed up and will be performing live. Be sure not to miss this!!!

Atmegatron Complete back in stock soon!

A limited run of Atmegatron Completes will be available in the second week of June. If you would like one of these please email the waiting list, as these have nearly sold out already!

Development is well underway with the miniAtmegatron DIY kit and Eurorack project. I hope to have more news on these projects in the next few weeks.

Friday, 16 May 2014

May 2014 News

Future Music review and demo

This months Future Music features a nice review of the Atmegatron (on page 94 to be precise!).  There's also some great demos on the DVD.  They demonstrate live sound creation on the Atmegatron, as well as providing a preview of some of the upcoming software versions.

Palm Sounds interview

I was recently interviewed by Ashley Elsdon from Palm Sounds.  You can hear the interview here. It covers my own history with synthesizers and also the inspiration and development story behind the Atmegatron.
We also made a quick demonstration video of the Atmegatron, which will be available soon on the Palm Sounds YouTube channel.

Sounds and Gear review

JK from Sounds and Gear recently did an amazing review of the Atmegatron. Check it out here. The YouTube video is really in-depth and covers pretty much everything there is to know about the Atmegatron.

What's new at Soulsby Synthesizers

You may have noticed that we are currently sold out of Atmegatron Completes. There will be limited stock available at the end of this month (May). Add your name to the waiting list, to be certain to get one.
More progress has been made with the miniAtmegatron kit and also a new exciting Eurorack project.  Below is an enigmatic picture of the miniAtmegatron prototype working on my desk. The miniAtmegatron will eventually be in the form of an Arduino Uno shield that is a DIY kit.
The next Atmegatron software to be released will be The Atmegadrum.  A 16 part, 16 step drum programmable drum machine. This should be available by the end of next week.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Atcyclotron software released today!

The Atcyclotron: Turn your Atmegatron into a brand new synth! 

The Atcyclotron software is the first major alternative software release for the Atmegatron. It turns the Atmegatron into a wavetable cycling synthesizer. The key difference is that the sound now consists of 4 waveforms rather than one, which allows for more complex timbres to be created. It can do everything from grinding dubstep basses to bright modulated lead sounds.

The Atcyclotron source code can be downloaded from the downloads page.

Check out this YouTube tutorial to see how to upload the software and to hear the Atcyclotron in action.

You can also hear the sounds of the Atcyclotron in this Piney Gir remix.  All sounds (apart from vocals) are created by the Atcyclotron. There is also a dry mix of it, so you can hear exactly what the Atcyclotron software is doing.

There will be more software versions over the coming months which turn your Atmegatron into a polysynth, drum machine and more!  

In other news...

We had a great Arduino Day last week demonstrating the Atmegatron at London Arduino and Furtherfield/Codasign. It was fantastic talking to so many people about the Atmegatron and I was also able to demo the prototype for a new DIY kit version of a mini-atmegatron. I hope to have it in production in a few months. Watch this space!

Giraffe Audio are now stocking the Atmegatron and I had the pleasure of visiting their impressive showroom last week. If you live in the Midlands (of the UK!) I recommend checking it out.

There are still a few Atmegatron Completes left from the first run. We still have stock of the PCBs too.  Here's the details:

  • Atmegatron Complete. £255 + delivery + tax (customs duty outside the EU). Atmegatron housed in an aluminium case with beautiful walnut side panels. Comes with PSU, manual and quick reference card.
  • Atmegatron PCB. £127 + delivery + tax (customs duty outside the EU). Atmegatron PCB with support pillars, PSU and quick reference card.

The Atmegatron is available online from Soulsby Synthesizers. Strictly limited supply.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Dates for the diary

There's now 3 exciting opportunities to try the Atmegatron coming up:

29th March - London Arduino

To mark Arduino Day, London Arduino are holding a day of workshops, demos and talks. The event is currently sold out, but there is a waiting list for return tickets. If you're lucky enough to get a ticket you'll be able to see the Atmegatron in action and can give it a test drive yourself!
London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle London, SE1 6SB

Update! 29th March - Furtherfield

Coinciding with Arduino Day 2014 Codasign and Furtherfield are organising a showcase of projects at Furtherfield Commons. The Atmegatron will be on display here too, so come along and make some 8-bit noise! The showcase is from 2.30-5pm.
Furtherfield Commons
330 Seven Sisters Rd
London N4 2PF

3rd April - Giraffe Audio launch week

If you're based in the Midlands, make sure you visit Giraffe Audio during their launch week (31st March - 4th April). They will have an Atmegatron on display and on the 3rd April I will be there too!
Giraffe Audio ltd
310b The Big Peg 
120 Vyse Street
Birmingham. B18 6ND

Monday, 17 March 2014

Atmegatron Latest News

Atmegatron selling fast!  Buy now to avoid disappointment!

It has been 2 weeks since the Atmegatron was launched and I have been frantically assembling and shipping units. Atmegatrons are now being used in the USA, Japan and Finland, to name just a few of the countries that I have been shipping to. I have been overwhelmed by the positive response that the Atmegatron has received so far. I hope to share some of these comments on the website soon.

Don't forget that the Atmegatron is available in 2 flavours:

  • Atmegatron Complete

    £255 + delivery + tax (customs duty outside the EU). Atmegatron housed in an aluminium case with beautiful walnut side panels. Comes with PSU, manual and quick reference card.
  • Atmegatron PCB

    £127 + delivery + tax (customs duty outside the EU). Atmegatron PCB with support pillars, PSU and quick reference card.

The Atmegatron is available exclusively online from Soulsby Synthesizers. Strictly limited supply.

Atcyclotron software out soon

The Atcyclotron software will be made available in 2 weeks time. It will be the first major alternative software version for the Atmegatron.

The Atcyclotron software allows the user to select 4 different waveforms, rather than just 1. These waveforms are then played in turn.  There are controls to set how many samples from each waveform are played and how many times they should loop. Here is a short clip of what it sounds like.

The Atcyclotron software really shows the Atmegatron's ability to change into totally different sounding synthesizers.
Why buy 1 synth when you can have ∞?

Atmegatron in action!

Be sure to check out Chicks On Speed on tour if you live in Australia. The Atmegatron is part of their live setup, so look out for it! Upcoming dates are:

  • 20 March @Howler, Melbourne 
  • 21 March @Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane 
  • 5 April @Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
There are also more Atmegatron demos by some exciting names in the pipeline.  Stay tuned to the demos page for those! You can also hear the Atmegatron factory presets on there too.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Soulsby Synthesizers - Atmegatron goes on sale today!

The Atmegatron. A powerful, unique, 8-bit monosynth.

The Atmegatron is a new 8-bit monosynth and the debut product from Soulsby Synthesizers. It's an electronic musician's dream, combining the sounds of 1980s home computers with the flexibility and power of a modern synthesizer. It adds a wide palette of new sounds to any studio setup and is also great for live use.

Features of the synth include: 32 waveforms, 15 digital filter types, 2 ADSR envelopes, 1 LFO with 16 waveforms, an arpeggiator with 15 patterns and loads of fx including phaser, distortion and the unique Wavecrusher. It also comes with 16 preset sounds and unlimited preset expandability via the Atmegatron Librarian software available for Mac or PC.

The Atmegatron is built on the open source Arduino platform. This means that the synthesis engine can be completely changed by uploading software to the synth. One minute it's a monosynth, the next it's a drum machine. Soulsby Synths will be releasing new and completely free software versions over the coming months.

Why buy 1 synth when you can have ∞?

The Atmegatron is available in two versions:

Atmegatron Complete - £255 ex VAT & delivery.

  • Atmegatron Synthesizer
  • Power Supply
  • Printed 32 page colour manual
  • Quick reference guide

The Atmegatron Complete is housed in a beautiful white aluminium chassis with real walnut side panels.

Atmegatron PCB - £127 ex VAT & delivery.

  • Atmegatron Synthesizer PCB
  • Power Supply
  • Quick reference guide

The Atmegatron PCB comes with nylon pillars to keep the PCB raised from its resting surface. The PCB is perfect for programmers and hackers, but is not suitable for outside of the home due to its fragility.

The Atmegatron is available exclusively online at Soulsby Synthesizers. Strictly limited supply.

Downloads page goes live

As promised, the downloads page has gone live. This contains the Arduino source code, the Atmegatron Librarian software and more. Use the forum to ask questions and post suggestions about the source code.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Atmegatrance - behind the scenes

The latest Atmegatron demo is a collaboration between _ensnare_ (AKA nervous_testpilot AKA Paul Taylor) and Soulsby Synthesizers (AKA Paul Soulsby). The track was produced in 2 days (1 day record, 1 day mix) and uses only Atmegatron sounds and minimal plugin effects. This is an important demo as it provides an insight into one of the most important features of the Atmegatron: the ability to upload different software and turn it into a completely different synthesizer.

This sounds complex and daunting but is staggeringly straightforward. It just involves connecting 1 cable, opening the Arduino code (which will be available from the website), flicking 1 switch on the Atmegatron and clicking the upload button! I'll be posting a tutorial video this week that demonstrates this process.


The expandability of the Atmegatron proved useful right from the offset, as the first track recorded was the chord sequence. The Atpolytron polyphonic synth software was uploaded to the Atmegatron, so that chords could be played without multi-tracking. Hear the Atpolytron software in action below. (Synth nerds - this is strictly speaking a 4-note paraphonic synth, not polyphonic. I'll go into why the polyphonic software isn't the standard Atmegatron software another time).
Atpolytron chords


Next came the drums. We returned to the classic Atmegatron software and created some drum sounds that we could sample. We used classic analogue synth techniques to make the drum sounds, e.g. pitch envelope on a sine wave for the kick, filter envelope and low pass filter on a noise wave for the snare etc. The high pass filter was used for the high hat and shaker. We also experimented with the Atmegadrum software, which turns the Atmegatron into a sampling drum machine. This didn't make the track, but you can be sure that there will be a lot more about this software in the near future. [edit: turns out that the Atmegadrum did make it into the track, it's just low in the mix.]
Atmegatron drum sounds


For this we experimented with the Atcyclotron software. This is wavetable cycling synthesis software and can generate sounds similar to the PPG Wave. Instead of using just 1 waveform you use 4 and a number samples from each waveform are outputted in turn. After we created a bass sound we then created sounds for breaks and drops by playing around with the wavetable cycling parameters.
Atcyclotron bass and fx


We then returned to the classic Atmegatron software for the remainder of the track. We recorded 2 different lead riffs using a variety of sounds, sometimes adjusting parameters like filter cutoff and LFO frequency live. Numerous of the Atmegatron's parameters are controllable via MIDI Controller messages and we made use of this to add portamento between certain notes.
Atmegatron lead sound
With all the key parts in place, it was time for Paul Soulsby to crack open a Smirnoff Ice and for Paul Taylor to thrash him at Speedball II.

FX and mix

The remainder of the day was spent recording fx and fill sounds. You can hear a riser sound below. This makes uses of the "Dugga Duh" LFO shape. This is synced by the MIDI clock, to keep it in time with the track.
Atmegatron riser sound

Paul (Taylor) then arranged and mixed the track the next day and gave it that classic _ensnare_ "massive banger" treatment! However he didn't use any plugins other than basic compressors, eqs, delays and reverbs and didn't add any additional sounds, so the track is still 100% pure Atmegatron.


I don't want to detract too much attention from the awesome software that ships with the Atmegatron, but I hope that its ability to change into completely different synths will eventually become a major part of the Atmegatron's appeal. When you buy an Atmegatron you don't get 1 synthesizer, you get ∞ synthesizers!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Pre-order your Atmegatron today!

New website goes live

The new Soulsby Synthesizers website goes live today. It features full product specifications for the Atmegatron as well as tutorials, demos and links to the forum and shop.

Atmegatron pre-orders are now open

You can now pre-order boths versions of the Atmegatron from the shop. They will be dispatched between 3rd and 7th March.


(£255 ex VAT and delivery) - full synth in an aluminium enclosure with walnut side panels. Video here.


(£127 ex VAT and delivery) - just the PCB for programmers and hackers, who don’t require a full synth. This video shows it in action.

  • 8-bit monophonic synthesizer module 
  • Built on the Arduino platform.  Software is open source and easily tweaked and uploaded to the Atmegatron. 
Software that is shipped with the Atmegatron has the following:
  • 32 waveforms
  • 15 digital filters
  • 1 LFO, 2 Envelopes (can modulate filter, amplitude, pitch, pulse width etc.)
  • Advanced arpeggiator, Portamento, Wavecrusher, Phaser, Distortion
  • Load/Save 16 patches
The Atmegatron Librarian software allows patches to be transferred to and from PC/Mac. It also allows custom waveforms to be uploaded. It will be free and available on the website.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Atmegatron goes on sale 3rd March!

Product launch details

It's been over a year in the making, but I can now new reveal the final details for the Atmegatron Complete and PCB.

Atmegatron Complete - £255 ex VAT and delivery

  • Atmegatron housed in white aluminium chassis with walnut end panels
  • Power supply
  • Printed colour manual
  • Quick reference card

Atmegatron PCB - £127 ex VAT and delivery

  • Atmegatron PCB
  • Power supply
  • Nylon spacers and screws (to keep components raised off resting surface)
  • Quick reference card
It is worth noting that the Atmegatron PCB is strictly a developer product.  It comes with no warranty against tea spillage, gigging, cat walking over it etc.  It has all the functionality of the Complete, but users may find it harder to program due to the minimal labelling.

Atmegatron Complete preview video

Here's the first video of the Atmegatron Complete.  It covers a lot of the information in the Atmegatron PCB video plus a couple of new things.  More in depth videos of the Atmegatron Complete in action will be posted on YouTube in the next couple of days.

Future Music article

The Atmegatron is featured in this months copy of Future Music.  It's on sale now at all good newsagents.  This isn't the first time I've appeared in Future Music though - I had a mention in the reader demos in 1998!!  I think it's fair to say that this months article is bit more exciting!<

Website and Atmegatron source code

I've had a few people ask about the source code for the Atmegatron.  I am working on a new website which will go live next month.  The source code will be available on the downloads page.  I will be making it available on the launch date (March 3rd), along with the Atmegatron Librarian software.  The Atmegatron will be sold via the new website.  It will also provide technical support and a forum.