Quick Start

The fastest way to get up and running

This Quick Start Guide is those of you who just want to get up and running as quickly as possible. If you’d like the full tour of the Bela hardware and software, which gets you acquainted with the Bela IDE and introduces some core Bela concepts then continue to Say Hello To Bela.

Table of contents

  1. Step 1: Assemble and plug in your hardware
    1. Bela
    2. Bela Mini
    3. Plugging in
  2. Step 2: Load the IDE
  3. Step 3: Build an example project

Step 1: Assemble and plug in your hardware

Bela

If you have a Bela Starter Kit that you bought from us then you have everything you need in terms of hardware. There’s no need for an SD card.

If you only bought the Bela cape from us you will need to source a Beaglebone Black, attach the Bela cape and make sure you have a micro SD card flashed with the latest Bela software.

Bela Mini

If you have a Bela Mini Starter Kit that you bought from us then you have everything you need in terms of hardware; just insert the included SD card.

If you bought a Bela Mini cape then you will need to source a PocketBeagle, solder on the Bela Mini cape and make sure you have a micro SD card flashed with the latest Bela software.

Plugging in

Once assembled, connect your Bela unit to your computer using the appropriate USB cable and wait for it to boot up. Bela takes about 40 seconds to boot, and when it’s ready the blue LEDs will blink in a heartbeat pattern. Connect headphones to the connector labelled OUT using one of the included audio adapter cables.

Step 2: Load the IDE

Your computer recognises Bela as a USB network device. Most systems do this automatically, although MacOS X Catalina (10.15) requires you to install drivers.

To check if your system is ready, open a web browser (we recommend Chrome) and go to http://bela.local. If you system is already configured, you’ll see this:

If the IDE doesn’t load, you’ll need to do a quick driver install. Click below to find instructions for your operating system:

Step 3: Build an example project

Once you have the IDE loaded, open the Examples tab. Click the example called sinetone. This opens an example project that will produce a 440Hz sine tone when you run it. You’ll see the code in the editor, as well as the project’s files in the Project Explorer tab.

In the toolbar on the lower half of the screen, click Run. If this is the first time you’ve built a project with your board it may take a minute or so to compile all the dependencies. This process only happens once.

When the Run button is spinning, your system is set up correctly and you should hear a tone coming from the audio output of Bela.