Solin8 Teensy digital drumbox


I had a nice mini faderboard left over from a broken Yamaha 8-track recorder. And there still was this teensy2+ flying around my drawer for months. So let’s go.
Project target was to build a nice box holding an 8 sounds/8-bit drumbox based on the creative commons DSP-8 and the Atmel-Solina by Jan Ostman (his blog was deleted in the meantime?). Hence the name “SOLIN8”


To have something to attach the faderboard to and to have a nice frontpanel i modelled something in Cinema3D and sent it to the 3D printer. The connection part for the on-top-solina as well as the backpanel were also printed in 3D.

Wooden case

The rest of the case was built with wood – intentionally having inclined sides.


The Teensy2+ and the Arduino (nano) were stuck in socketboard, everything else soldered directly on veroboard. The Teensy’s huge flashrom allows holding 4 drumkits with 8 sound-samples each.

Getting it together

In the end everything fitted together.


The Solin8 operates on something between 7-15V DC and listens to midichannel 1 for the 4-voice Solina and to channel 10 for the drum-part. Individual outputs ;-)


The Solina part offers pots for Envelope, Detune and Dephase.

4 blue buttons let the user select one of 4 drumkits. If a sound is triggered the suitable LED flashes shortly. The faders are adjusting the pitch. As long as the button of the current kit is held, the played sounds only run up to one 3rd of their length – kind of stutter effect.

The 4 red pushbuttons activate pitch and/or level steps by velocity. A special TURBO mode skips the routines of the mainloop responsible for the LED updates – as a consequence the global pitch of the Solin8 is a bit higher/faster. At least there is an experimental VAR mode. Depending on the last 3 sliders, the drumsounds are pitch-bent by an envelope or altered by a sample/hold.

Soundwize you should not except wonders. The more drumsound are played at the same time, the more drops the global pitch, it’s glitching and makes horrible 8bit artifacts. But i guess that’s the fun of dirty 8bit hardware ;-)


folgt noch.