Nanosynth/Teensy idea

Home Forums Products NS1nanosynth Nanosynth/Teensy idea

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  RochMesa 11 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #3774


    Davide recently mentioned that there might be a new version of the Nanosynth which is pretty exciting. I wanted to put forward an idea for this new version:

    Instead of using an Arduino Leonardo for the programmable section of the nanosynth use a Teensy 3.6 (

    Teensy has this incredible audio library ( and because the hardware is much more powerful than the Leonardo you can do loads of things not currently possible with Leonardo/Mozzi, including:

    – Delay, chorus, flange and reverb up to 1.5s (up to 8 seconds with some extra memory:
    – Complex polyphonic synthesis and sample playback, example here:
    – 16-bit audio sampling through the line input on the audio board

    There’s even a guide on how to build a custom Teensy here:

    Anyway, just an idea. In my mind it would make a perfect combination of analog and digital synthesis as well as hackability.



    Wow donturner that looks like an amazing system! I had no idea that Teensy had a visual connect-the-wires programming GUI. Having a soundmachines synth (or any kind of setup) that incorporated it would be fantastic.

    However, would a Teensy 3.6 product or board be compatible with the Nanosynth – specifically, the 0v to 5v voltage range? Do you know? Is any arduino-type board inherently compatible with that range? The info available on Teensy is kind of overwhelming, but I think this is the key compatibility question. If they’re not compatible, the units could blow each other out. (I assume that many of us would probably want to be able to connect any future nano to our NS1’s, to have an integrated setup.)

    If other users are aware of additional compatibility issues, other than the voltage ranges, please let us know. If these systems are inherently compatible, might that mean that any future Teensy based product would be NS1-compatible, whether or not Davide decides to use Teensy?

    I have a related question for current NS1 users. Is having a Leonardo board in any future Soundmachines micromodular product important to you? Would you be open to having different boards or systems incorporated in future nanosynths, as Arduino and other sound synthesis systems continue to be developed? (I would. But maybe some people feel differently.)

    Of course, all of this is separate from whether Davide himself is open to the idea. We can brainstorm and share ideas here, but (in my view anyway) Davide can do whatever he wants, it’s his vision and his company. I think the Soundmachines NS1 is an amazing achievement (I have two of them) and a gift to our community, and I want to respect his process and his preferences. If he loves the Leonardo board and wants to keep using it, I’m not going to argue with him. I also want to respect the fact that Davide may have already done considerable work on developing a new product that may be Leonardo based. I am sure we will treasure anything he does, no matter what it’s based on (although I would hope it would be compatible with the NS1).


    I have 3 questions for Davide and other people on this board.

    1. Are Leonardo and Teensy compatible? I don’t mean software-wise, I mean in terms of the voltages they generate and control. (If the answer is no, perhaps the discussion ends here.)

    2. Would users be open to seeing different boards in different Soundmachines jumper-cable-style products, or would they prefer Leonardo all the way?

    3. Would Davide like to share his thoughts about Leonardo vs other emerging Arduino related audio approaches?

    Maybe there are other questions. Of course there are. Thanks everybody.




    Well my preliminary googling indicates that the Teensy 3.6 board can only handle 3.3 volts – but the 3.5 board (which has most of the same functionality) can handle the full 0v to 5v range. So I ordered one.

    Since the Leonardo board is simply present on the NS1, and does not actually support any of its other functions (if I understand correctly), it seems to me that if you want to add Teensy functionality to your modular NS1 system, you do the following:

    1. Get a Teensy 3.5 board for $28.25. Get the one with pins, shown here.
    2. Attach it to a breadboard and power it with a USB cable.
    3. Place it next to your NS1.

    If this is true (and I’ll be trying it when my Teensy 3.5 arrives) then it doesn’t matter what board is or isn’t included in future Nanosynths. And, any future revolutionary Teensy hardware or software can be integrated into your growing nanomodular in the same way – just make sure you stick with an option that can handle 5v.

    I’m guessing here. If anybody knows for sure, or has already tried this, please let us know. Thanks.



    Hi…I also did a WM8731 audio board for the Teensy. Mine is significantly larger because I added a lot more functionality including a preamp (to support instrument/mic level inputs), MIDI and connectors. Regarding noise, it all depends on how good a quality you want. My board was specifically with guitar in mind which is very sensitive to noise and sound quality. For lowest noise, you need the analog 3.3V to be supplied by a dedicated LDO. You also need to do a fair bit of careful PCB design to keep digital noise from coupling into the analog ground.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.