CHEAP, FAT and OPEN (CFO) is an open source synthesizer, mixed with a stylophone, a gameboy, a circuit bent toy, and then some software too: an open source platform for musical exploration, composition and performance.
the platform is CHEAP, and OPEN – welcoming you to experiment.
a combination of the old and new: the raw 8bit / chip tune approach combined with wireless connectivity, state of the art open source hardware, and expandability – gives us that FAT sound.
it is portable, allowing you to make music on the go.
the platform is a performance instrument, giving a full 1½ octave keyboard control in compact packaging, through a classic stylophone interface. it is also a sequencer, allowing you to program rhythms and melodies, and play them back in sync with other platforms and instruments.
CHEAP, FAT and OPEN is designed for geeky musicians, the chip tune community, the makers, the circuit benders, the interaction designers and the musical programmers, and anyone else who wishes to experiment with sequenced / networked / low-level musical exploration.
it is open source and designed to be OPEN and hackable. you can do a lot of things with CFO, but CFO has a lot of limitations as well. (that’s the beauty of it, go with the flow.)
this is NOT a finished product. many (most) things are still under development, and i (jsr) am really just experimenting here. i’m not a proper coder, nor am i a electronics engineer. so expect bugs! errors! glitches! — treat them as features ;) or dig the code and change them for the better.
the following is a kind of feature list. quite incomplete. feel free to add.
- monophonic sound via 12bit DAC
- stylophone input (can be overridden by CV / analog input)
- pitch bend / expression control via body switch (can be overridden by CV / analog input)
- CFO is programmed in arduino programming language. cpu: atmega328.
- midi in via (programming) FFT-USB cable is possible (although not implemented in code)
- sync+data send+receive via infrared connection possible (limited support in code)
- op amp with bass boost + distortion
- 16×2 character LCD displays
- 16 LEDs for step sequencer
- rotary encoder + navigation buttons for general UI
- custom tracker software is available for programming arpeggios / instruments. tracker software is programmed in processing.