I want to get started designing my own hardware (digital) audio devices for signal generation and processing. The end goal is to design products which will be part of a modular synthesizer system.
I'm a bit of a beginner with hardware so I'm after some advice on an appropriate type of microcontroller to use. What features should I look for in a microcontroller to satisfy the needs.
I will need digital I/O for switches and audio in and out (presumably I will use discrete DACs/ADCs), analogue I/O for real-time control (pots/faders etc.) and sufficient computational power to do real-time DSP at reasonably high quality.
Through a bit of research and looking at the specs of existing hardware I was thinking that starting off with something general like an ARM Cortex M3 or M4. Would this microcontroller types be appropriate? I'd like if possible to program it in C.
The issue then is how I go about programming/prototyping with what I choose. Should I get a development board? Will that include some kind of IDE? Can I get a bare chip and program it as is?
Any advice or redirection elsewhere is appreciated.