Opera Rotas by Spherical Sound Society is a portable Yamaha OPL2 based FM drum machine that generates the pattern itself.
Drum machines come not only from established companies with years of experience but also from young, small ones. Opera Rotas one of these and is described as a mutant, generative drum machine. At its core, it has a Yamaha OPL2 audio chip which is known from many vintage gaming consoles.
The engine works with 2 operators and offers 8 drum sounds on the control surface. This chip is built in a PCB that equipped with different input elements like 16 potentiometers, 8 small buttons, and recording/start/stop control functions. Unlike other OPL2 based synths, this machine greats drum sounds from the chips what is pretty interesting. There will be a future option to play the sounds via a MIDI keyboard tonally.
Opera Rotas can sound classic FM, clear, metallic, dirty, lo-fi, and more. In summary, a wide selection of diverse sounds. The unit also features a display which is, unfortunately, a bit to small.
The unit is available in 4 versions:
- Built unit. Ready to plug and play.
- Full kit. Everything you need to build one. You need to solder it. Beginners level.
- Basic kit. The PCB plus a programmed SMT32 microcontroller. You source the rest of the components.
- PCB alone. You source all the components, program the chip, and run it.
At first glance, it is a small, interesting FM drum machine.
Spherical Sound Society Opera Rotas is available for 61,99€, consists of the board and the pre-programmed micro-controller. There is also an option to get only the board. A built version is also available.
More information here: SSS