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Daisy is a tiny $29 computer for building custom musical instruments

It's the size of a stick of gum.
Rachel England, @rachel_england
February 27, 2020
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Electrosmith

Coding your own musical instruments just got a lot more convenient. Music tech company Electrosmith has launched the Daisy, an open source microcomputer packed with everything you need to code your own pedals, synth, modules and instruments -- and it's the size of a stick of gum.

The tiny Arduino-like board features two channels of line level audio, MIDI connectivity, 64MB of SDRAM and a built-in micro USB port. According to Electrosmith, it boasts a latency of under 1ms, which is eye-wateringly fast, and it supports a host of programming languages, including C++, Arduino, Max/MSP and Pure Data -- the latter two of which are popular go-tos for building audio processors.

Daisy board

The tiny, feature packed board is currently available on Kickstarter (which is already well past its initial funding goal) for an extremely reasonable $29, although higher pledges will also net you one of the four Daisy-powered devices Electrosmith has created to help music makers get started. These include a breakout board (the Daisy Pod), a guitar pedal (Daisy Petal), a Eurorack module (Daisy Patch) and a desktop synth (Daisy Field). Or you can get the whole bundle as a "Garden" pledge for $999.

Obviously Daisy's main purpose is music creation, but Electrosmith is keen to position the board as a STEM learning tool as well, noting in its Kickstarter blurb its applications in computer science, maths and engineering -- so it's likely to be as popular with kids as it is DIY music enthusiasts. The all or nothing Kickstarter campaign runs until March 26th, with shipments expected in April.

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