MINERVA – MIDI Sample Player

The Oscillator Devices MINERVA – MIDI Sample Player is a miniature, MIDI controlled, stereo sample player. The MINERVA is able to play .WAV and .AIFF files with different sample rates and bit depths. The ability to mix the output with an optional guitar, bass, or synth input signal makes it perfect for the use on a MIDI controlled pedalboard. Of course the MINERVA is analog dry-through. That means the input signal stays analog and isn’t touched by any A/D or D/A conversion.

The samples are saved on a microSD or microSDHC card, easily accessible from the top. The samples can be triggered with PC, selectable CC or Note commands. With the latter it’s possible to play the MINERVA like a synth.

Features:

  • Stereo playback of .WAV and .AIFF files on a 1/4″ stereo jack
  • Stereo analog dry through for mixing the samples with another audio signal
  • Tiny footprint of only 60mm x 55mm and only 35mm height
  • Up to 300 tracks or 32GB of audio data
  • Play back samples from top loaded microSD or microSDHC cards
  • Triggering samples with PC, CC or Note commands or synced to MIDI clock
  • Override sample rate to change speed and pitch of played back samples
  • Samples can be mixed to mono, to be compatible with mono setups
  • Selectable MIDI channel
  • Selectable CC commands to make MIDI channel sharing possible
  • Compatible with all MIDI 1.0 compliant controllers
  • High-quality Amphenol sockets
  • Developed and handbuilt by Oscillator Devices in Germany
Minerva MIDI Sample Player

Applications

The MINERVA – MIDI Sample Player takes a 1/4″ stereo jack for input. Connect any stereo audio source to it and it will pass unaltered when there is no playback. When playing back a file, the input will be mixed with the played back signal. This is perfect to include the MINERVA at any point in your signal chain.

Place it last in your signal chain to play any backing tracks, intros, outros or ambient tracks directly through your guitar speaker. When using a modeler that feeds directly into the P.A. place it after that, so you have an unaltered audio signal coming over the speakers.

Maybe you want trigger some sound effects, or little guitar parts when performing. You can place the MINERVA in front of your signal chain, to use your effects on the played back tracks.

Of course, the input signal can be omitted and you can feed the output signal directly into a P.A. or use a small pedalboard mixer. But be aware that the MINERVA features a high quality, low-noise buffer with an input impedance of 1MΩ, so your guitar signal can benefit from using the MINERVA first in the chain.

Stereo vs. Mono

The MINERVA is a fully stereo MIDI sample player with two independent channels. These channels correspond to the channels of the audio file. Left channel will be mixed with left channel input, and right channel with right channel input.

But what about using a sample player in a mono setup? No problem, the audio of the samples can be summed to mono.

Or, you can use the second channel, to simultaneously play a regular sample on one channel and the exact same sample, but with a click, on the other channel. The sample with the click can be fed to the monitor of the drummer.

Triggering the Samples

The MINERVA has several ways of triggering the samples. You can just copy your samples to the root folder of the SD card and use PC commands to play them. The PC commands are mapped to the files alphabetically. An other option is to create folders with specific names to map your samples to custom CC commands. And the final option is to use MIDI note commands, to play the files from a MIDI keyboard, for example

The files can also be triggered automatically. You simply can repeat single files or whole folders, but you also can trigger files to the beat of MIDI clock. You can, for example, use a hi hat sample and play it to the beat of the song, or use the MINERVA as a MIDI controlled click source for your in ear monitoring.

File Formats

The MINERVA can playback .WAV-Files with the following attributes:

  • Channels: Up to 2 (Mono and Stereo).
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
  • Bit depth: 16-Bit, 24-Bit or 32-Bit floating point

The MINERVA can playback uncompressed (PCM) .AIFF/.AIF-Files with the following attributes:

  • Channels: Up to 2 (Mono and Stereo).
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
  • Bit depth: 16-Bit, 24-Bit or 32-Bit.

SD Cards

The MINERVA reads the samples from a SD card, accessible from the top. The SD card has to be a microSD or microSDHC card with a maximum size of 32GB. The size limitation is due to the size limitation of the microSDHC format. Larger cards all have the microSDXC format, that uses the exFAT file system, which has licence restrictions from Microsoft corp. The SD Card has to be formatted with the FAT32 file system.

Configuration

The MINERVA has some useful features, like MIDI channel sharing and mono summing. All that can be activated or decativated via a configuration file. That’s a text file placed onto the SD card, that contains some text that the MINERVA can read and understand. If this file is missing, the MINERVA goes back to its default values, that are perfect for normal use.

MIDI Channel Sharing

All my MIDI channels are occupied. I hear that a lot. The pain is real. 16 channels are not enough for a fairly big pedalboard. So the MINERVA fatures channel sharing, by customizing the CC commands. Like mentioned beforem the commands for triggering the samples are customizable by the folder name, but all other CC commands are as well.

MIDI Connection

The MIDI connection is assigned according to the official MIDI specification of MIDI TRS using MIDI TRS Type A, like pedals from Boss or Wampler. A 1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo jack plug is used. The MINERVA has no MIDI Thru.

MIDI TRS to 5-PIN
1/8″ stereo jack plug to DIN 5-Pin according to MIDI TRS Type A


Documentation

DocumentVersionDownload
User ManualMINERVA 1.0 (May 2024)PDF