Fully mounted and finished "Classic" Gecho Loopsynth
Powered primarily by USB or 3xAA batteries. At least two AA batteries need to be installed in order to maintain persistence of user settings and content (programmed songs/melodies).
There are three finishes to choose from (if you have a different colour or finish in mind, send us an e-mail).
Since cameras, lighting conditions and monitor calibration have influence on how colours appear on screen, in order to give you better impression here is another picture showing all three finishes under various conditions (first row is Light Oak, second row Antique Oak and third row Ebony).
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- protective acrylic / macrolon laser cut plate
- USB mini cable (for connecting to PC in order to download firmware updates)
- protective pouch made of black synthetic "velvet"
- printed quick start instructions
- a few informative / decorative stickers
What's also included in the price:
- unlimited technical support on forum / via e-mail
- access to members area where you can find source codes, schematics and firmware updates, as by the purchase you are supporting continuous development of new features
- warranty: in case of accidental damage, guaranteed repair for flat rate of €25 + re-ship postage
Goods will be usually dispatched within one week, depending on circumstances, DIY kits may take longer to complete so will be dispatched within 10 days. Express tracked post is used with average delivery times of 2 to 8 working days.
Functions and capabilites:
Classic music box usually plays one or two melodies with one "sound". Our modern music box plays few melodies with limited amount of sounds. If you want more melodies or sounds, you can put them in using programming modes (channels #41-44) or upload via USB cable from a PC application (Mac or Linux is not supported yet).
Your unit will be shipped with most recent stable firmware, where all known bugs were fixed. Please note that most of the demo videos show previous iteration of the product (older versions of hardware, software and box).
- user manual listing all available functions
- demonstration videos at my channel
- early feedback from KS backers
Drivers and firmware updates:
Please note that at the moment the update mechanism is fully automated only for PC platform. If you are a Mac user, and don't have any Windows PC at hand, in order to run the update utility you may need to use 3rd party tools or workaround in form of emulator or a virtual machine (e.g. "dosbox"). These are commonly available as some Arduino clones use the same USB driver chip. System drivers are available for Mac, Linux does not need any.
In some channels there is inherent noise, because of the type of synthesis. If you have good headphones, you won't mind it. If you have headphones that boost certain frequencies, it may bother you (then, the equalizer can be used to adjust treble, and bass too).
It is possible to plug more headphones at once, for example 4x Koss PortaPro will work, as they have higher impedance (60 Ohm) which is about twice as much as the usual common headphones. But it might not be a good idea to plug more than two low-impedance headphones. Also, they better be of the same type to get same volume levels for everyone.
In order to completely mask the environment sounds and convert them to music, you'd need to plug in good noise-cancellation headphones, Gecho cannot cancel noises this way on it's own with standard headphones.
Playing live, on stage, etc. - people say they are using it this way, but your results may vary. The "active" channels, mostly seen in demos, might not work well there as they depend on microphones input. However, the mics can be turned off completely, if the needs be.
Microphones are very sensitive - will register your voice from a distance of one metre, ideally you need to be 30-40cm from them, not closer - and no need to raise your voice either.
Gecho works best in quiet environment, hence the meditative aspect as a primary use. Passive channels can be used in loud environments - no problem there. Also, alternative firmware (written by you, us or someone else) may appear, targeting other types of usage.
Battery life: Standard capacity of AA battery is 2400mAh, Gecho's current draw varies between 50 and 110 mA depending on the program. Let's say you get about 24 hours of continuous listening before batteries need replacing. That's not much (can be 4 weeks of occasional playing with Gecho), but there are other options: power it via USB (you can do this any time while batteries are in, then they are not used). It is safe enough to plug and unplug the USB cable at any time, even while playing. (Please note that the same is not true about headphones connector!)
Gecho is "Lo-Fi in, Hi-Fi out" device. It cannot be used as a sampler, the pre-amp circuit is primitive and cuts off higher frequencies, plus the ADC is only 12 bits, and there is no extra memory for storing sampled data. This is fine for few demonstrated applications, if you want to do more, there are soldering or contact pads that allow various hardware extensions.
MIDI Interface is not included by default but the board allows easy customization (this requires some DIY effort though).
Connecting to other devices: It is your responsibility to assure safety when hacking it and/or connecting to other devices. Damage to your unit caused by improper handling is covered by flat-rate repair policy (as mentioned above).
Various features that were suggested during this campaign, such as different types of synthesis, complete MIDI implementation, variable tempo and sync methods) are in progress, however not guarranteed to be delivered at the set time.
Space is provided on my website and forum for you to contribute with your own extensions, hacks, examples of use, photos of boxes finished and decorated by you, or made by you from scratch, art projects based on this board, etc..
Also, user contributed content or code extension will be integrated into the main firmware, then released as updates for everyone. Because of the open-source nature of this project, results of our development efforts will be shared among the entire community of users.