Engineer Trevor Cash has indulged his passion for musical gadgets with the launch of a new custom-designed Eurorack module: BeetTweek, the force-feedback DSP module.
"BeetTweek is a Eurorack format DSP module I designed to give musicians a new way to interact with musical control signals (CV) with a haptic force-feedback knob," Cash explains of his creation. "Rhythmic CV signals can be used to 'pulse' the knob, giving musicians a unique feel for the music they are creating or parameter they are controlling. Knob rotation, speed and other parameters can be used to control other modules and generate interesting interactions that can be felt in your hand!"
"BeetTweek started as an idea that the haptic feedback found in flight control joysticks, racing wheels, and gamepads could also be incorporated into music, and Eurorack seemed like the perfect format to build a module that could interface with many other music devices. I started working on BeetTweek as an experiment joining haptic feedback with music in November 2020. Initially I did not know about the Eurorack format - but early on I discovered Eurorack [and] I geared my development efforts towards optimizing a knob that would fit in the format spec. Since then, some boards on the module have been through 7 iterations to ensure everything is working up to snuff!"
While the hardware designed is closed-source Cash has confirmed the BeetTweek includes open source firmware, and firmware-update software for Windows and macOS, which has already been programmed with a series of different modes: Spring Mode, where the knob springs back to a given input rotation; DJ Mode, where the knob acts as a turntable; Torque-Friction Mode, where the knob is free to spin with variable torque and friction applied from the input signal; Indent Mode, with configurable snap-indent locations; Ratchet Mode, with variable resistance to spinning in the opposite direction.
Cash has also confirmed plans to add extra modes as the development of the system continues, starting with two on the roadmap: Sequenced Pluck Mode, where the module is given a series of V/OCT note data which appear on the LED ring surrounding the knob and can be 'plucked' as the knob is turned; and Torque-Curve Mode, where torque is applied from a given input signal synchronized by a GATE signal. The device also includes gesture recording and playback functionality, triggered locally or via an external CV.
The BeetTweek is now funding on Kickstarter, with hardware expected to ship in November this year. Physical rewards begin at $700 for a single BeetTweek module with Eurorack cable, imperial and metric screws, USB cable, and the option of a flipped front-plate.