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DSP platform adds audio effects to guitars

Posted: 10 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP software platform? guitar effects?

Line 6 and Freescale Semiconductor has partnered to deliver the ToneCore DSP Developer Kit, which was demonstrated at the Audio Engineering Society Conference last week.

The ToneCore DSP Developer Kit is a solution for DSP software developers who create custom sounds for guitarists. The kit enables third-party audio DSP developers with little or no electronic design experience to quickly and easily program audio effects modules for Line 6 ToneCore guitar pedals.

Major corporations have been the primary creators of DSP hardware products. Now with the Line 6 ToneCore DSP Developer Kit, all audio designers who write DSP code can create and sell a portable, affordable, battery-powered, stereo audio hardware product for musicians and audio enthusiasts. All it takes is a PC and the kit.

The ToneCore DSP Developer Kit, jointly designed by Line 6 and Freescale Semiconductor, has the essential elements a developer requires to program unique effects. The elements include the hardware platform (ToneCore Programmable Module), sample code and documentation. The end result of the kit is a custom ToneCore Module allowing a guitarist to swap out effects in their ToneCore pedal at any time.

"The beauty of the ToneCore DSP Developer Kit is that it allows a DSP software developer to be an audio effects creator and manufacturer," said Erik Tarkiainen, director of product marketing for Line 6. "The kit dramatically simplifies the development of battery-powered stereo audio hardware guitar pedals."

The Freescale Symphony audio DSP is in more than 50 Line 6 effects products to date. Line 6's choice of the Freescale DSP technology helps reduce complexity, cost and size, as well as power consumption.

"The collaborative process between Freescale and Line 6 on the ToneCore DSP Developer has resulted in a product that helps audio engineers develop specialized audio effects for go-to-market products," said Todd Benson, audio DSP product line manager, Freescale Multimedia Applications Division. "This solution underscores Freescale's desire to enrich our customers' product offerings and their bottom line wherever possible."

The kit contains a special Line 6 Developer ToneCore Dock, which in addition to containing the Freescale Symphony audio DSP, audio circuitry and ToneCore Module docking slot, can be connected directly to a PC. The ToneCore Programmable Module is customizable and stores DSP code in the flash memory of the on-board Freescale MCU. DSP code development is performed on the PC and then a programming tool is used to flash the MCU with the new DSP code through the Developer ToneCore Dock.

Once the module is programmed, it can be used in any ToneCore Dock since the DSP code from each module is automatically downloaded from the MCU to the Symphony audio DSP. The result is a custom effects guitar pedal.

The ToneCore DSP Developer Kit from Line 6 will be available for purchase in the first half of 2008. Designers can purchase ToneCore Programmable Modules from Line 6, configure them with the ToneCore DSP Developer Kit and sell their Modules to music stores or directly to musicians.

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