Just got the plinky kit yesterday and slapped it together excitedly to see what it could do.
In short, it’s great. Although might still have some creases which can probably be sorted with firmware update.
It’s a little finicky , not fat finger friendly and the interface takes a minute to get your head around it. However! It’s sound awesome and a epic fat tune it possible with zero musical knowledge, all quantised as it is.
The sounds can be varied and the sample function is very cool.
Haven’t really dug into the sampler function but I rarely dig deep into programming sequencers in any case . You can mount in your euro case or use stand alone.
It’s sold out but the list is taking emails for the next run.
also got it - was very excited about because i love the sound of the supersaw. it did not disappoint. i haven’t even touched the sampler, nor the cv, and its just wonderful. i love the sound, the effects, the aesthetic.
here’s a timelapse of build:
playing with a po-32:
drawbacks i’ve noticed so far (v. minor):
i wish there was an on-board eq (is there?) because i feel like the bass notes could use a little boost over the highs.
i wish the ui would show which note name was just played, would aid in learning the layout, especially when changing scales.
its very very fun to play and its expressive as you want it to be
the onboard effects (delay / reverb) sound wonderful
the synth sound is wonderful
it has cool timeshifting sampler functions (haven’t tried yet but looks cool)
it has cv, but i don’t use modular and it still will let me use internal lfos!
its a very good performance-type instrument, which is exactly what i wanted and expected of it. couldn’t ask for more, really. its just great.
It depends how many notes are being played , if you are playing 3 notes and take one finger off the rate is then split between the other two , increasing their repeat rate. So I think yes is the answer?
i would recommend this as a good first project to solder. there is nothing too tricky about any of the soldering joints in this project. almost all the components sit in the pcb really well so you don’t have to worry about hooking up holders and whatnot. even the smd leds are really easy to do because the pcb guides exactly how they are placed. the build guide does an excellent job of providing a tutorial for everyone (including beginners) as it includes both videos and nice doc.
if you get the kit it comes with tweezers so you just need to supply the soldering iron and the solder. i would also highly recommend getting “precision wire cutters” and brass cleaner:
the cleaner is helpful for making sure your iron stays clean and hot all around. the precision wire cutters are helpful because there is one step where you need to trim a few pins precisely. i didn’t have one and hacked them off terribly but everything still works just fine.
I was so impressed by how good Plinky sounded from the limited amount I heard that I ordered one - just received the kit yesterday. I’m currently waiting for a soldering iron to arrive in the mail and I’ve never soldered anything before either, so I’m glad to hear more than one person say this is a good project to start with. Loving the sounds people are posting and I’m super excited to get this up and running.
Great advice all around. If anyone new to soldering is ordering solder I would also recommend getting a decent brand (like kester) of the skinny stuff (I use .5mm/.02" diameter) as you just need a little dot to get started on smd parts (I use this for through hole too no sweat).
There are a few techniques for smd- what I find easiest is to put a dot of solder on one pad, slide the component next to it with tweezers, then put iron to soldered pad and push component into place. Then do the other side of the component which should be nicely held in place, and finally return to the first side you did adding a tiny bit of solder (just to make sure the component and pad both got “enough” heat to get a good bind). This sounds like a tedious slog but if you do a bunch at a time with each step you can get moving at a pretty good clip.
Also, clear your workspace as a component will inevitably go flying and you’ll have to find it
i’d like to continue to encourage you looking at the twitter thread i can definitely see why you might be intimidated. however, a lot of that thread does unnecessary things and makes them unnecessarily complicated. for instance:
you don’t need to cut out a window out of acrylic - this is not part of the kit. i suppose they didn’t like the PO-asthetic and wanted something more protective on the screen. they did that extra so you can ignore all that stuff about uv bonding glue + measuring+milling acrlyic to 0.05 mm precision etc.
you don’t need a flux pen to dot the solder on. a regular solder iron works excellent, and is super easy. solder likes to stick to the pads, and the pads are pretty big and easy to get solder onto. its actually very satisfying to do it with a solder-iron.
you don’t need tablet protector film - again this is not part of the kit. again i think they wanted to be more protective…but this actually caused connection issues (the plate is capacitance sensing so anything you add to it will modulate it).
they took lots of care to make the headers perfectly flat - however there is more room for error here than they make it seem. check this out, one side of my board didn’t lie flat enough so they didn’t touch those headers - but i still soldered them without a problem and it still works wonderfully:
i would still recommend this project to start soldering. it gives you a lot of practice (there are 80 smd leds - super easy and will build your skills!). if you are really worried i would ask a friend to watch over you while you solder, and also get one of these:
that’s a desoldering device - so if you make a mistake it should be fairly easy to “start over”. the worst mistake would be destroying the pcb, but honestly this is probably very unlikely unless you take a hammer to it or start poking it randomly with the solder iron. the most likely mistake might involve destroying a header or a connector - but you can easily get more of those for less than a dollar and desolder your bad one and try again.
Thank you! I tweeted with Alex earlier (he confirmed what you thought, that all the screen stuff was improvised) - he suggested trying a few Velleman kits off Amazon to get up & running and building up some confidence. He thought that, after that, Plinky wouldn’t be any harder!
I’m really grateful to you and everyone else for the support and encouragement, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it