OWL: open-source programmable effects pedal

Dear all,

Not sure if this topic is in the good category, but anyway.
We’ve been of few members of the London Music Hackspace having fun with Juce and writing audio plugins, and then we thought, it would be cool to be able to run them on a stompbox and put them in a gig bag.
The project is called OWL, and is open source and open hardware.

Based around an ARM Cortex M4, the pedal is capable of handling more than 3000 instructions per sample at 48kHz, has integrated DSP, FPU and DMA (Direct Memory Access).

With the OWL sim (using Juce of course), you can test your code along the way as a VST plugin in a host of your choosing, fine tuning your patch until you want to take it out to a gig. All of the embedded stuff is taken care of and there is no requirement for specialist hardware knowledge.

The entire tool chain is also open-source, negating issues like vendor lock-in and dependence on proprietary tools. This makes the OWL a unique platform for audio DSP developers.

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched today if you want to support the project, and/or pre-order a stompbox.

Any suggestions / comments are welcome!
We are also setting up a patch contest next week, if you want to join (details on the website).


It’s all on the Kickstarter page: full price is £220, early bird (running out quickly!) is £160.

Also there is a stretch goal to implement USB MIDI. This will allow you to directly plug in MIDI devices that have a USB port, or a MIDI dongle for regular MIDI connectors.

That price seems pretty high considering you can buy a Cortex M4 part for about $2.

Maybe they want to eat?

Just to let you know that the fundraising campaign for the Owl pedal is ending on Monday.
With more than 170 backers, the following features have been added:

  • expression pedal input
  • 24/96 kHz codec
  • Switch button LED
    and soon stereo i/o and memory extension, we hope…

We had some great contributions from developers to develop nice audio effects, if you want to have a look it is there:

And the kickstarter page to support the project / buy a pedal is there: