Open hardware effects pedal on Kickstarter

Martin sez, "Rebel Technology launches a Kickstarter to fund the OWL reprogrammable effects pedal: an open hardware, open source effects stompbox with a potentially unlimited library of effects written in C++ and powered by a powerful ARM Cortex M4 processor. It allows musicians to load any available effect or effect chain from their computer onto the pedal. Martin, Tom and Giom, the engineers behind the project, met each other at the London Hackspace in Hoxton. They all come from different backgrounds: Tom is a sound engineer and university lecturer, Giom a DSP engineer and musician, and Martin a software and hardware engineer. They have a shared passion for audio signal processing and hacking."

It's £165 and up to get your own fully assembled pedal (assuming they ship, as with all Kickstarters, caveat emptor).

OWL Programmable Effects Pedal


  1. there are a few companies who have tried this model already without any major sucess: line 6 tone core series, digitech/hardwire istomp, tc electronic has some code development options… and a few others

    heavy drm structures and fear of coding has kept most musicians away 

    i would love to see something like this take off though, i would probably be one to buy the box and then download patches that others had made

    1. A lot has changed recently though, and there’s lots of very obvious lessons that these developers can take from recent history. Put out a crapload of pre-fab effects, and make it super easy for developers to make and share others, and this could be quite huge. Especially now that we’re in the app era and everyone is comfortable loading programs onto gizmos.

      But yeah, if their biz model is to make $$ on the effects themselves, I’d put the chances of wide adoption at pretty low.

  2. Fooey on the audio effects.  I just want one pedal for the Option key, one for the Control key and one for the Command key so I can double my Emacs coding speed.

  3. Blatant plug, but if anyone like vintage effects pedals, we’ve got loads. Including an Arbeiter Soundimension among others.

  4. Geez, y’d think sound guys would do a better mix on their own video. Pull down that expletivable backing track and communicate!

    1. I’ve NEVER seen a good kickstarter video… I was watching this one hoping against hope that it would, I don’t know, describe the project in detail, maybe discuss the hardware? No dice. Shitty rock music and talking heads spouting platitudes. Oh well, I can’t afford one anyway.

  5. Sounds like a great idea, and something I’d buy, except that the current version is only 12-bit. That really makes it a toy rather than a serious musical device for a lot of people.

  6. i don’t see this having a super-active following. it’s a cool toy if you’re loaded, but digital is always gonna sound subpar to analog.

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