MPA Blocks and MakeKits

You make your own custom Blocks from the MPA Tiles of your choice – or simply go with our MakeKits which contain all modules and cables you require to build one specific cool thing!

What is a Block?

A Block is what you build with Tiles and our standard housing.  You can build Blocks in many different ways, with form factor and housing profiles unique to your needs. But moreover, Blocks represent more than hardware – they represent a grand idea: modular building blocks that you combine to provide flexible solutions in agile ways.  

It’s the logical next step for the networked age we live.  It presents an exciting user-determined future and a practical alternative to the mono-use-designed, conventional products of today.

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What is so truly great about it?

Consider your smartphone. It is an application neutral device.  You install many apps on your phone that all perform specific functions.  In fact, one device serves many purposes. No wonder smartphones have replaced many fixed-purpose devices such as cameras, calculators, music players and GPS navigation devices.

Smartphones and the networks they run on have changed our lives in remarkable ways. In similar ways, we believe audio equipment that is application neutral and networked will change your music making experience for the better in many satisfying ways!

How so?  – Let’s look as a few examples on how this will make a real difference to you:

Example 1 – One plus One makes Two
Putting two four channel Control Blocks next to each other results in the exact same functionality as one single 8 channel wide Control Block. Combining Blocks means simply plugging them via USB into the same Compute Tile – when you want to, the way you want to. The same goes for Synth Blocks and Mixer Blocks! Combining multiple GLUE Compute Tiles in the network is just as natural. The modular nature of Blocks enables the amazing and unparalleled scalability of the MPA Platform.

Example 2 – Non-Obsolescence

Frequently conventional gear is replaced or discarded because it is too large or too small or simply lacking certain desired features. The application neutral and modular nature of MPA Blocks as well as their inherent scalability lets your Block grow or change with your needs!

Example 3 – Re-purposing and Agile Workflows
The same Mixer Block which is your audio interface at home may serve you as a mixer when you play on stage. The same Control Block used for your live performances becomes your mixer during production. And when you come together with your friends you may combine all your friends’ Blocks to patch up something great, just for one day!

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How many different Blocks are there?

Thanks to its modular building block design, there are always more possible Block configurations than you can image. We may refer to Blocks by their primary function e.g.,

Control Blocks – featuring Control Tiles like motorized faders, encoder and LED buttons plus anything your Arduino can do!

Mixer Blocks – featuring Audio Tiles like latest generation multi-core DSPs, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion Tiles;  audio interfaces including USB and Audio over IP

Synth Blocks – featuring specialized sound synthesizers like Dino Park the World’s best sounding maker board or other embeddable synthesis engines, commercial or community.

Certainly you can also build Blocks that combine multiple disciplines! Nothing stops you from building more conventional “all in one box” concepts – where integration and ergonomic design are key to easy portability.

Get started with a MakeProAudio MakeKit

Getting started is easy when you decide for one of our MakeKits. A MakeKit contains all the Tiles (pre-constructed mechanical & electronics), cables and versatile housing to easily build a Block. No soldering or programming required – a screwdriver is usually sufficient to build any MakeKit of your choice. Also, we have created video tutorials for every MakeKit to guide you throughout the building process. Once you are familiar with how the building process works, you will surely consider what kind of Block to build next!

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We plan to announce and ship a longish list of MakeKits during 2019. The first available MakeKit will be the Dino Park Synth Block – featuring impressively faithful replicas of three legendary synthesizer classics from the 1970ies.

You may be wondering why we use such funny names for our MakeKits?  Many of us grew up with LEGO® and we still embrace and revere the fun, endless possibilities and inspired feelings that came with the endless hours spent in play.  It just seemed natural, given our affection for the legendary building block system that MakeKit names come from that LEGO® universe.  We remain curious…. What will you be calling Your Blocks?  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Disclaimer: LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site