In February 2017, the world of music shifted on its axis with the launch of “Lofi beats to relax/study to” stream on YouTube. Lofi Girl shepherded us into the warm embrace of Lo-fi hip-hop, and we’re all the better for it. If you miss those early days of the genre, the nostalgia of the everpresent Lofi Girl during those late-night study sessions, you should check out the SnapBeat Lo-Fi sampler.
The sampler is straightforward in its design, featuring 8 channels controlled with keyboard switches, each channel capable of about 6 seconds of high-quality sampling or 12 seconds of low-quality, if crunchy sounds are more your style. A Nuvoton ISD1720SY voice recorder IC drives each channel, and the whole sampler is able to hold 8 rhythm patterns, each 2 bars long. An Arduino Nano is the brains of the entire thing, meaning you can also upload your own firmware should you want to customize it. The entire kit comes preassembled, ready to rock right out of the box. You’ll need a few commonly available cables to get started, like a USB-C for power, and a standard 3.5mm stereo cable if you want to connect to an external sound source for sampling purposes.
The SnapBeat is a project of love from Hiro Akihabara, based out of Hanoi, Vietnam. As a lover of hip-hop and DIY music, Hiro draws inspiration from the music he loves and wants to create, but every sampler out there is a complicated mess of confusing interfaces.