Adam Schabtach

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About Adam Schabtach

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    MIDIbox Newbie

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  • Website URL http://www.studionebula.com/blog

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Colorado, USA
  • Interests President & CTO, Audio Damage Inc.
  1. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Thanks for the explanation. The challenge that those of us with little or no prior experience with MIDIbox in general and the sequencers in particular is that we're often left puzzled by certain operational details, such as this one. As far as I can tell, the only documentation for this feature is "FAST - Use this button to speed up the encoder and datawheel increments/decrements." That doesn't tell me that I also have to rotate the encoder quickly. All other devices I've used work one way or the other: either there's built-in acceleration so rotating the knob faster increases the value change per click, or there's some sort of switched behavior (like pressing the encoder) which changes the value change per click. Hence I didn't expect the v4+ to require both gestures to change its behavior. Anyway, at least now I know what to expect. Encoder acceleration is a tricky thing to implement well. I've tried a couple of different approaches in my own projects and to get it to work really well usually involves scaling the acceleration based on the range of the target parameter. Of course this means designing and implementing a parameter-management system, too... Thanks-- --Adam
  2. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Thanks. The settings in my HWCFG file were the same as you listed. I also verified that the setting which affects whether the FAST mode is activated momentarily by holding down the encoder, or toggled on/off by clicking the encoder, works as expected. However, the ENC_BPM_FAST_SPEED setting still has no effect. I changed it from 3 to 10 and rotating any GP encoder by one click still always produces a change of +1 or -1 of the associated value, whether or not the FAST button is illuminated.
  3. midiphy SEQ v4+

    I've been having a good time with my sequencer lately, digging in to the arpeggiator and random-generation functions for the first time. I am puzzled by one thing, though: the FAST feature seems to do nothing. The button lights up when I press it, and it also lights up when I press the encoder switches, but this doesn't seem to have any other effect at all. The values seem to change at the same speed regardless. What am I missing?
  4. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Hi Andy, The part number is NANOSMDC075F-2 made by Littelfuse Inc. It's available from both Mouser and Digi-Key here in the USA so it should be easy to get in Europe also.
  5. midiphy SEQ v4+

    I finally found some time to revisit the USB port. Of course the most obvious explanation for my sequencer not powering the Korg controller was that I omitted the +5V jumper. I thought back a bit and realized that at the time I assembled the USB PCB (actually both times, since I had to do it twice) I was somewhat puzzled by the presence of that jumper. I mean, nobody has to open up their laptop computers to move jumpers to provide power to the USB ports, right? :-) So at the time I left the jumper off and decided to investigate it later. I did a little reading before opening my sequencer's case. The first thing I learned is that USB hosts are required to supply +5V to downstream devices, so there doesn't seem to be any need for a jumper there. This led me to wonder about circuit protection; eventually I found this article which recommends specific overcurrent protection components for USB host ports. All it takes is one protection device in line with the power supply, and luckily that device happens to come in a 1206 SMD which spans the distance between two header pins on 0.1 inch centers. I ordered some of them and soldered one across the jumper pins on my USB PCB. (I also figured out that the easiest way to get to that PCB is to take off the end plate of the case.) My sequencer now powers and recognizes my three Korg controllers (nanoKontrol 2, nanoKontrol Studio, and nanoKey Studio). To answer my own question, I'm pretty sure that the USB port won't work with either my Access Virus TI2 or my Novation MoroderNova, since both of these devices require special drivers on the host PC.
  6. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Aha! Thanks! That's the post that I need, and couldn't find previously. 
  7. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Before I start reading arcane documentation about USB protocols, can you just tell me what I should expect to be possible? Can I plug a USB controller into it? (Apparently the answer is yes.) Can I plug a USB synthesizer into it? Thanks.
  8. midiphy SEQ v4+

    I hate to ask what may be a silly question, but how exactly does one make use of the two USB ports? I have not been able to find much documentation or discussion of the USB features. What sort of devices do work? I tried plugging my Korg nanoKey Studio into the A port while providing power via the B port, and the Korg didn’t turn on. Can I plug a synthesizer into the A port? Thanks for any insights.
  9. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Thanks for that summary. It is somewhat difficult to figure out how the v4+ panel's features correspond to the features described in the Getting Started document and the reference manual, particularly since those don't seem to describe all of the v4 features themselves. I'm not complaining, mind you; the documentation is quite good as far as it goes. I'm currently finishing the manual for my company's latest product so I understand entirely how dull writing documentation can be, even if you're writing about something that's fun.
  10. midiphy SEQ v4+

    That would be a nice look. My first plan--which I think I picked up from a post in this forum--was to use one color for steps 1, 5, 9, and 13, and another color for the rest. Then I decided it would be better to group steps by color in sets of four. So, the next plan was to make steps 1-4 and 9-12 one color and the other steps another color. Finally I settled on the 1-4/13-16 and 5-12 coloring because I like the symmetry and it still provides demarcation of the downbeats.
  11. midiphy SEQ v4+

    So, after perhaps an anomalous number of difficulties, my sequencer is finished. Everything went fairly smoothly after my last post, although I did manage to damage a superflux LED, probably by unsoldering and resoldering it too many times. I had some trouble getting them to lie flush with the top of the PCB and apparently one of them got heated too many times. So, again, thank you for including extra parts in the kit. After some experimentation with a superflux LED on a breadboard, I decided to go with a blue/red color scheme. The stepping light is simply red, while the other lights are two different shades of blue to provide a little variety.  Thanks to @lp1977for suggesting that the Play button LED should be blue rather than green, if the other buttons are blue. I had already installed the green LED when I read your post, but I already had some practice replacing the LEDs in the switches so I made the change. Thanks to @Antichambre for the beat LED diffusor idea. I liked the way it looks in your photos but I don't have a CNC machine. I made my own with a somewhat low-tech approach: I melted a little bit of thermoplastic, held a flat piece of metal against the front of the case covering the LED hole, and pressed the molten plastic against the back of the case, filling the hole. Once it cooled I had a hole filled with thin, translucent plastic, flat on the visible surface. And, of course, big thanks to @Hawkeye @latigid on Adrian, and everyone else who contributed to this kit, and your help with my problems and questions. I've wanted to build a MIDIbox sequencer since shortly before v4 was created, but never wanted to tackle the mechanical aspects from scratch. Now it's time to learn how to use the beast, and make some music!
  12. midiphy SEQ v4+

    Number 23, I believe. More about the build soon.
  13. Troubleshooting midiphy SEQ v4+

    Hi Peter, After I went to bed last night, I suddenly thought, "I bet that they put extra LEDs in the kit already, so maybe I am lucky and I already have the spare that I need." Then I was busy all day today but just now I finally had a chance to count the LEDs, and yes there are several extra white ones. There were even two extra white ones just in the bag of assorted colors. So, thanks for your reply, and thank you for packing extras! Hopefully Mr. Murphy will be less interested in the remaining steps of building my sequencer. --Adam
  14. Troubleshooting midiphy SEQ v4+

    Hi Andy, I finally figured out the problem, and it was not the switches. The problem was that two of the switches seemed to be sticking in the on position while I was testing them with MIOS Studio. I had tried everything else--resoldered all solder joints (twice, even), checked for shorts with a DMM, checked that the pullup resistors were connected properly, etc. Finally I had removed all of the switch caps and had unsoldered the LEDs in the two suspect switches, and I finally saw the problem while I was looking sideways at the PCB. There was some sort of fibrous material stuck to two of the pins on the resistor network. Apparently it was conductive enough to cause problems, because I removed it and the buttons then worked correctly. I don't know what it was; maybe cat fur soaked in solder flux?  Unfortunately one of the LEDs is now damaged and can't be reused. I can either order them myself or if you can spare two (if you're going to send one, you might as well send an extra) I can "buy you a beer" to cover the cost. Either is okay with me. Thanks-- --Adam
  15. Troubleshooting midiphy SEQ v4+

    Are the white LEDs used in the pushbuttons available from Mouser or Digi-Key? I'm having some intermittent problems with two buttons on my JA board. Removing and replacing them will probably destroy the LEDs, so I'm going to have to get new ones somehow.