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monome aleph

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aleph is an adaptable soundcomputer where synthesis, drum machines, samplers, loopers, and various other possibilities can be implemented with creative mapping and numerous external control methods-- attach via USB (grid controllers, knob boxes, MIDI keyboards, gamepads), CV (control voltage for modular synths, foot switches, etc) and computers.

simply put, aleph is a small audio input/output device with a screen, bank of buttons, and series of encoders/knobs. it has the ability to host and run a variety of programs created by both monome and the user based community surrounding. new applications will be developed, documented and shared over time. elaborate mappings can be created without writing code by way of an easy menu driven environment and a thorough preset system.


powerful audio processor, synthesizer, noise machine, rapidly modifiable instrument. a platform for experimental practice and organic discovery.


connect grid controllers, modular synths, midi keys, stomp boxes, gamepads, hand-made circuits. for more direct control and uncommon pairings.


dynamically arrange control mappings with unprecedented flexibility. create software control sources such as modulators, logical operators, aleatoric processes, sequencers. all quickly storable and recallable.

open source.

designed for community engagement, a benefit for musicians and developers alike. an exceptional educational tool. the library of uses and possibilities can only grow.

what do the knobs/keypads/footswitches do?

they have no strictly defined purpose. custom mapping is determined by the individual application being used.

will documentation be available?

yes! all documentation will be hosted on our website as new software and capabilities rapidly evolve. community contribution is always welcome and encouraged. we will be posting tutorials, application guides and recipes for outlandish configurations and maybe cake too.

what programs will be ready when the aleph ships?

there will be several applications preloaded on the sd card that ships with aleph. expect a complex layered looper, a peculiar monosynth, and a sharp-enveloped drum synth to start, and our highly-flexible patchable control environment called bees.

what is bees?

bees is a modular control environment that can host various audio programs-- parameters can be mapped and hardware control (knobs, footswitches, external USB controllers, etc) and software control (algorithmic sequencers, noise generators, complex LFOs, etc) can be combined to create countless sound instruments and noise machines. a thorough scene and preset system allows for a dynamic and performative system.

bees is an open source application specifically designed to be modified and extended. users can rely on basic tutorials and programmers can build upon it's existing framework.

do i need to be a programmer to use it?

no. even without programming the device is highly modifiable. we aim to design applications which are intuitive and accessible, even if they are somewhat unusual.

where are the MIDI jacks?

USB MIDI is supported. for old MIDI gear, single-cable usb-to-midi converters are cheaply available these days.

what is CV?

control voltage is an analog method for changing parameters, such as pitch, for various synthesizers. on the top panel are 3.5mm jacks, 4 input and 4 output which use 0-10V. these are compatible with the widely popular euro format.

the provided jacks can also be used to attach analog controls such as potentiometers or expression pedals. for other modular formats banana and 1/4" adaptor cables are widely available or easily assembled.

what is the jack marked ii?

ii is a digital communication protocol. we plan on co-designing with anyone interested. it is a 3.5mm stereo jack (for easy cabling) that uses the i2c bus. the bus is addressable (multiple devices on a chain), fast (400k), and easy to implement on various platforms (ie, an arduino).

in the immediate future we will use ii for inter-aleph communication while continuing to develop a simple kit and framework for creating hardware extensions.

are the encoders amazing?

yes. they are very high resolution and optical, hence noiseless and capable of detecting very tiny movements.

can i plug in a guitar or contact mic into aleph?

yes. a gain switch and analog input gain stage allow the aleph to be easily inserted in various audio paths-- for example a stomp box chain. given the 4 inputs and 4 outputs, various feedback paths and mixing schemes can be achieved readily.


Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Frequency Modulation, Physical modelling, Virtual Analog, Wave Table
Oscillators: *
ROM Size: 64 MB
Envelopes: *
Filters: *
LFO: *
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: *
Timbrality: *
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Polyphonic
Storage: SD Card
Editing: USB
Chips and Operating System
+ DSP 32bit BF533 blackfin running at 533mhz
+ Control 32bit avr32 running at 66mhz
Case: Desktop
Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Modulation 1/8" Jacks, Pedal - Filter
Display Type: LED, OLED
Dimensions (WxDxH): 7" x 4.5" x 1.7"
Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo 2
Audio Output Count: 6
Inputs: 4
CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In, Gate Out
DAC Bits: 24
DAC Frequency Rate: 192
Power: DC 9V 2A 18W
Year Released: 2014
Units Made: 100
Design Notes:

Designed and engineered by Ezra Buchla and Brian Crabtree.

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] monome.org
MSRP List Price: $1,400 - convert
Used Price: $700 - convert

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