Pikocore was originally designed by the multitalented infinitedigits as a stand-alone device, a little like a DIY Pocket Operator. You stick a Raspberry Pi Pico on it, fill it with samples (drum loops ideally) using the super-whizzy web interface and hey presto. At power-on it starts looping the current .WAV file. Mashing the buttons will jump to different slice points, and with combinations of the A and B knobs a multitude of cool effects can be applied. It's brute-force, chaotic, defiantly lo-fi (we're talking Pi Pico PWM audio here, no DAC in sight). But gosh it's fun.
Remixes were encouraged, and the schematic pretty straightforward, so making an AE version seemed inevitable!
Well, there's audio out, obviously. A clock out and a clock in, to keep things in sync with other modules. Eight buttons on the front for slice jumping. Four knobs: SELECT, A and B parameters, and an output attenuator to dial in the volume. LEDs which progress with the pattern and also indicate which parameter is under adjustment. Bonus feature for the AE crew! in addition to using the panel buttons, slice points can be selected by sending a trigger to any of the eight inputs.
The parameters are numerous but include a basic high/low filter, randomised slice reversal, timestretch, tunnel (jumps to a random point in a different .WAV, really cool effect) etc etc.
Piko-fans have already whipped up a couple of alternative firmwares which are so cool. It would be great to have them running on this. BUT they require access to the Pico itself, to use the onboard button as a kind of 'shift' function. That won't work for us with this design. Hopefully there's a way i can break out that button and hook it into something on the frontpanel, but i haven't figured it out yet. So for now, this will only really work with the original firmware; hence i'm considering it a kind of beta version.
Pico not included! You can choose your own variety according to needs (see note below)
Built & tested - no construction required aside from sticking the Pico in place (check the orientation)
This is NOT a precision drum machine. Things will get weird.
Param values are set by the knobs and are pretty sensitive, so you might nudge something and accidentally set the filter to max or change the tempo or something. Roll with it.
Some Pico clones have more memory = more space for samples. Check the BOM on Zack's site to get an idea of what to look for. A standard Pico only has 2mb memory but will store a handful of loops. Note the sample selection is changed by turning the A knob, so putting tons of .WAVs on there might actually make switching between them a bit fiddly.
Press buttons 1, 4, 5 & 8 simultaneously to start/stop play.
Hold any two buttons at once to engage a retrigger effect, with random FX applied.
Max kudos to Zack @infinitedigits for developing this and a bunch of other cool hard- and software, check out his stuff! https://infinitedigits.co/
I ship as soon as possible! Monday, Wednesday and Friday are my best chances to get to the post office around work.