Bela (embedded music-centric hardware)


my 2 pence.
I have to say that I found the guys at Queen Mary very helpful and very nice people, so I am quite an advocate of supporting them

Of course I would be very interested in having something like libpd on the board or any pd compiler that can load libraries dynamically but unfortunately I am not able to do that myself…I can help with testing for sure.

Saying that, why don’t we try to have a conversation with them more proactively?
If we are a big number of people (a strong community in essence) we might be able to reach an agreement politely which can support both parties.

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I used the contact form on the Kickstarter site and got a response very promptly.

I jumped on the bandwagon. Bela curiously brings me full circle!

  • started with a 5U modular
  • wanted a means to hack together control and sequencer ideas
  • bought a beaglebone with the intent of piecing together the adc/dac and related hardware to interface it w/ my modular (along with the grid I had)
  • fought the device tree and xenomai kernel stuff but didn’t have the needed cycles to win
  • took a second look at the aleph and snapped one up
  • blacked out and when I came to realized I had a eurorack system with lots of wonderful monome modules
  • started experimenting w/ firmware hacking
  • pull the beaglebone out of the closet to help in getting another stm32 based project off the ground
  • start thinking about the beaglebone again
  • boom. hardware like I had been imagining materializes

Now if I could convince the universe yield more free time I’d be golden!


Ha meanwhile getting kind of excited about these type of boards and the amazing things one could do with an FPGA for DSP, Linux/Lisp for control (& probably about 10 years of free time figuring out how to actually get anything done)

Should probably just get on with my BEES overhaul the last thing I really need is another credit-card-footprint computer sitting there crying for attention…


You seen this? It uses an iCE40, which has a reverse engineered open source toolchain…

EDIT: IMO, the successor to the Aleph will end up being an ARM microcontroller connected to an FPGA (instead of an AVR32 connected to a blackfin). We just need to wait for the FPGA tooling to catch up…

never seen exactly that but I do have an icestick lying around waiting to be played with (bought as soon as I found out about the yosys toolchain)…

This video shows Bela using libpd rather than the Heavy compiler. Also shows use of netrecieve.

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Funding was successful.

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This is amazing!!!

Can I please ask you for more info on how to use libpd on Bela?

Not clear how you will run it on Bela (sorry I am a bit noob on the programming side)

So… This thing runs PD, and can run patches that talk 1v/oct, as well as all the audio stuff.

Is that right?

*wallet tingling

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Just be careful not to exceed 4V on the analog ins (unless you want to release the magic smoke).

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Arrived in the mail! Will be curious to hear what folks do with theirs…

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You may recognize a few names on the bela forum… :wink:

I started to work on getting libmonome and serialosc running a few days back. Things are compiled and running but the arc/grid detection isn’t working. It would appear that USB hotplug device detection isn’t working correctly in the kernel version being used.

…at least initially I think I’ll use it as a platform to learn about integrating various h/w sensors and using that to drive…?


Mine are here too, mostly been setting up so far.
my Soundplane and Eigenharp software both working will be digging deeper next week :slight_smile:

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how many midi ins/outs on bela then? Since I’m hand-rolling my protoboard beaglebone cape, I hooked up 2 of the bbb UARTS as optocoupled midi i/o pair (in1, in2, out1, out2). 2 midis is kind of non-negotiable for my setup since the boomerang brosync already hogs a whole midi in/out all on its own, and I want to route at least the mpd pads into the setup on top…

Kind of thinking If a few people own both bela & aleph maybe someone other than myself can benefit from my beaglebone serial-hub project, since this puts a few beaglebones in the hands of lines forum members. Trite example: should be pretty do-able to bridge aleph to osc using a bbb, my existing common lisp harness & about half an hour of plumbing…

USB midi, and 16 digital pins and 16 analog pins, running at audio rates (with 1ms latency). I also ordered the multiplexer which provides 64 additional analog inputs.

I don’t know if it’s reasonable to expect that the i/o pins could be repurposed for MIDI or not.

depends which i/o pins are exposed, and whether they add some buffering/protection that could somehow screw with timings (I doubt that!)

I’m hooking into UART2/UART1 halfway up P9 on the beaglebone - depends whether bela already uses those for something other than digital i/o…

And with floating point on tap! Getting somewhat experienced with faust language now through work, so bela starts to look very interesting moving forward, though I’m obviously rather invested in aleph software for now…


Link to a pin diagram at the bottom of this page:

faust looks fascinating

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I’m finding it to be brutally powerful, especially when a faust/jack DSP is wielded via OSC from common-lisp/emacs! Very grateful that @test2 set me off down the path to discovering faust with link to pitch-detection scheme - prior to that I was messing with a bunch of real-time lisp variants and wasted a lot of time!

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