Those that came before Noise Machine...

Proto NM's!

One of the coolest things about startups is the ability to share insider information with early backers, such as early prototype units ;)

Where did Noise Machine begin? How did we decide on the layout? Was Noise Machine always THAT small? 

So many questions... and we have the answers!

Prototype #1 -- the touch sensitive one

The closest prototype that we can honestly call a Noise Machine....

Featuring 6 touch capacitive keys to the right and a touch slider to the left, this prototype was minimal to say the least. Roughly the same size as the Noise Machine you see today, we dubbed this unit "KeyMIDI" referencing the idea that you could put it on your keychain*. KeyMIDI wasn't wireless (USB Midi through USB Type C) and couldn't handle precise note or cc playability... But it was a start!

*It looked ridiculous on a keychain

Prototype #2 -- The Brick

After KeyMIDI we felt like we had the right idea, but needed a different approach.

This lead to prototype #2 we fondly remember as "The Brick". We removed all the touch capacitive sensors and replaced them with 12 push buttons (to create the full 12 notes of an octave) and a sliding potentiometer. Further, we added some LED Indicators, a power switch, and a multipurpose switch. But by far the biggest addition was wireless connectivity... we figured it wouldn't be overly portable if you were tethered to a device! Running off 3 Triple AAA batteries, The Brick was super thick, and about the height of a Pocket Operator. Progress!   

Prototype #3 -- okay, maybe we're on to something

This prototype was really the "Aha!" moment for us....

This unit featured everything that The Brick laid down, but shaved to 2/3 of the size! The fact that it could finally fit in a hand without protruding out the sides was a big deal for us... and because of this milestone we named it "microMIDI". 

As excited as we were, microMIDI was plagued with issues. The buttons made an annoying clicky sound when pressed, thickness was still a problem due to hefty Triple A's, and wireless connectivity was spotty and overall unreliable. But despite this, microMIDI may have been the single most important prototype leading up to Noise Machine. It helped us realize the potential and put us into gear working towards the next prototype! 

Prototype #4 -- the first Noise Machine!

Finally! 

We knew we had cracked the code with this one. Totally overhauled, this prototype bears little resemblance to those before it. The clicky clacky pushbuttons were replaced with soft & silent pad buttons, the LED's were miniaturized, and we replaced the second switch with a midi cc knob! A Lipo battery on the back ensured Noise Machine was smaller and lighter than ever, even compared to microMIDI. 

We used this prototype out and about for roughly 2 months, letting people hold, create, and play with it... Noting every input along the way to see what worked, and what needed improvement.

Prototype #5 -- the one you know and love

We took every opinion, comment, and thought from the last prototype and revised it!

This revision saw the layout change from a vertical to a horizontal style (for easier playability), a ribbed knob, a case to hold the battery and charging indicator, and improved software that felt smooth and bug free.
Manufactured by hand, this is the VERY first Noise Machine to exist.... 

It's the prototype that finally delivered on what we had envisioned: a portable midi controller that is small enough to fit in a hand, yet functional beyond the limits of its size!

Expect the Kickstarter edition to maintain this template, but in a higher quality and cleaner package :)