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Designing UDO's First Product
Old 14th December 2019
  #1
Designing UDO's First Product

Congratulations on the warm reception Super-6 has gotten since the initial unveiling, and the imminent release of UDO's first product. That's a tremendous accomplishment on both fronts and something you and your team can be extremely proud of. I'm a fan of the SSI2144 filter and as soon as I saw news break about your synth I knew it would appeal to me.

I would love to know more about the journey from concept to production. I'm sure it helps that you had previous experience working on synths from other manufacturers, but as your first end-to-end release with your own brand:
  • What was the biggest unexpected time sink?
  • How close is the final product to your initial concept, and how did you keep it focused?
  • At what point did the binaural oscillators become a focus? What that part of the concept from day one, or the result of some experiments?

Thanks in advance for any insight and war stories you'd care to share!
Old 18th December 2019
  #2
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George Hearn's Avatar
 

This is a great question, thanks for posting it. I could probably talk at length about this one but will give reasonable text answers if i can!
Quote:
What was the biggest unexpected time sink?
FPGA and CPU Code firmware. Would have been fine but my time is multiplexed across many tasks. I do have a full time developer working only on the firmware, he is catching up with me but still this part of the work has dwarfed all else in terms of man hours.

Quote:
How close is the final product to your initial concept, and how did you keep it focused?
We spent truly ages refining the concept, nearly a year from opening my notebook to making even the first realisable prototype bits of hardware. I was refining the concept before UDO started. When we got going we mocked up panel after panel on paper until we had got quite sure all was in there. Then it was gradually refined as we turned paper drawings gradually into finished layouts. The metal chassis was an Axel Hartmann construct. We have some other concepts that were completely different in terms of shape and style with the same panel.

Quote:
At what point did the binaural oscillators become a focus? What that part of the concept from day one, or the result of some experiments?
It was all on the bench while prototyping the analogue on breadboard. The binaural engine was an 'organic' development. I noticed that lots of our devices were in pairs on IC's and so i wanted to squeeze two voices onto one voice card for efficiency. Then I noticed that when i played both together out of one speaker each, the subtle filter variations really added something. By mistake, the oscillators were actually 90 degrees out of phase left and right, I noted when I XY'd the channels on the oscilloscope and it looked super cool. I then played around with LR tunings and did a bit of research on spatial audio until I found that a combination multi-core oscillator with modulated phases and a stereo VCF/VCA combo could turn a single oscillator mono synth (what I had prototyped) into something pretty wild but still really close to the simple raw analog sound I was looking for.
Old 18th December 2019 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Hearn View Post
This is a great question, thanks for posting it. I could probably talk at length about this one but will give reasonable text answers if i can!
Very much appreciated, George. I've enjoyed being a sideline witness to the unveiling and public interest surrounding the Super-6 from day one. It's delightful to see you willing to get out and answer questions in this manner.

Best wishes with the launch, and may UDO see much success for years to come.
Old 19th December 2019
  #4
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goodweather's Avatar
Thanks for this great insight George
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