Drum machines make the music world go round. While originally intended to replace real, human drummers (which they never have, thankfully!) drum machines and sequencers played a huge role in creating whole new genres of music from hip hop to electronica, dub to disco.
Now, you can get started making your own beats using the Trellis M4 from Adafruit!
We'll start with a simple eight-step sequencer, programmed in CircuitPython, and then get a bit more complex with a sixteen-step sequencer that includes effects, beat repeats, and even a live sampler to record your own sounds.
Unlike a MIDI-based sequencer, these two sequencers are self-contained, requiring no external synth or computer. Simply plug in an 1/8" audio cable and all of the onboard sounds will play through your amplifier or headphones!
The NeoTrellis M4 is an all-in-one Audio board, ready to become your next synth, soundboard, drum machine, keyboard, or any other invention you'd like to adapt it for. It’s powered by the SAMD51 microcontroller, a Cortex M4 core running at 120 MHz, featuring a roomy 512KB of flash and 192KB of SRAM. A separate flash chip provides a full 8MB of space for files and audio clips.
On the front side is a 4x8 grid of elastomer button pads with a NeoPixel nestled in the center of each one. You can read any/all button presses simultaneously thanks to the fully diode'd matrix, and also set each button color to any of 24-bit colors.