The Augmented Instruments Laboratory, C4DM based in London has created a new low latency interactive audio embedded platform called Bela which has been designed for use with the BeagleBone Black mini PC.
Bela has been created for real-time ultra-low-latency audio and sensor processing on the BeagleBone Black and offers the ability to easily add stereo audio, analogue and digital I/O in a single self-contained package.
Bela has been created to combine the processing power of the BeagleBone Black with the timing precision and connectivity of a micro-controller. The new add-on also features an on-board, browser-based IDE, making it easy to get up and running without requiring any additional software. Watch the video below to learn more.
Its developers explain a little more about the features and functionality of the Bela :
A dedicated hardware and software environment provides hard real-time performance with 1ms latency while retaining the capabilities and power of a 1GHz embedded computer running Linux. Use Bela’s stereo audio input and output to create musical instruments and audio effects. Connect to the physical world with Bela’s 8 analogue inputs, 8 analogue outputs and 16 digital I/O pins. You can also use ethernet, USB (including MIDI), SD card storage and other features of the BeagleBone Black.
Bela’s compact form factor means that it easily integrates into portable interactive objects. It’s a self-contained processing platform that eliminates the need for a laptop. It’s also easily battery powered so completely mobile. Get started in minutes – plug in Bela, launch the on-board IDE, and start coding and compiling in C++. Alternatively you can run patches developed for Bela using the graphical computer music language Pure Data, and compiled with the Heavy audio tools.
Bela is for anyone who wishes to develop powerful and responsive embedded interactive audio applications. It is particularly suited to electronic musicians and instrument designers, but is also useful for artists, makers and other embedded hardware programmers who want to take advantage of its ultra-low latency audio and sensor processing capabilities.
Bela is designed with audio in mind. It uses the BeagleBone Black single-board computer which features a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor and 512MB of RAM. It runs a custom Linux audio environment that gives you buffer sizes as small as 2 samples, producing latency as low as 1 millisecond from audio in to audio out, or even down to 100 microseconds from analogue in to analogue out. What’s more, every analog and digital pin is automatically sampled at audio rate, providing precise, jitter-free alignment between audio and sensors.
For more information on the new Bela BeagleBone Black add-on board jump over to the Kickstarter website for details and to make a pledge from £45.