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Hello all, as I told in the thread dedicated to the RTP-MIDI compatible NG board I made, I added some expansion ports to the board, not only for the KissBox but also for something else on which I am working since a long time... It's time now to reveal what I am working on :smile: Since a very long time, I work on the idea to ressucitate the Soundart Chameleon, and since the beginning, I am convinced that the MIDIBox NG CPU is the right base for it. For those who do not know what the Chameleon was: the Soundart Chameleon was an hardware synthesizer, built around a DSP56300 and a Coldfire microcontroller. The whole software base was completely opened, and it was possible to write your own synthesizer application. The bad thing is that Soundard went bankrupt, and Chameleon disappeared, which is a pity, considering that the idea was brilliant, and the price was affordable for such a machine. The MIDI part of the Chameleon was running under MIDIShare (a open concept, similar in many ways to MIOS), and it was responsible of loading the DSP code. Then come the DSP problem... I program and design DSP boards since a long, long time for pro audio and music applications, and I know quite well that DSP may seem out of reach for DIY community. We are facing two problems : price and tooling. Almost all DSP uses BGA and other SMD industrial packages, making the idea of DIY board really out of reach for most of MIDIBox members. Making the PCB is not really a problem anymore, but soldering these chips by hand is most of the time impossible. Even "low end" DSP like the VLSI and the Spin FV-1 are SMD. So I looked to two other solutions : recycling ASX/i-CON/Plugiator boards or use Analog Devices EZ-Kit boards For both of them, the cost is roughly the same (around 350 euros for a board - ouch!), but there is nothing to do at hardware level. If you think it's expensive, just take a look to the Monome Aleph.... 1400 dollars!!!! The Aleph is partially open source (hardware is closed source), and the software is still quite limited today (as far as I know, the Aleph only have one synth project for now). Even with a 500 dollars DSP board, a MIDIBox project would cost half this price (and would be compleetly open) From a personal point of view, the EZKit are much better (more audio I/O, more interfacing possibilities, complete documentation available, software toolchain delivered with the kit), but they are bigger and you must write your own software (but that's where I come into the game, since I will provide the code and support for the community) The ASX/iCON boards are delivered with three excellent software synths (the VST interface for them being simply awful however :sad: ), and they can be driven directly from MIDI I/O from the MIDIBox for simple projects. There is no technical documentation for these boards (I had to draw the schematics by myself, after hours and hours of investigation), and getting access to the DSP requires some modification (to inhibit the local processor and replace it with the MIDIBox board), but it's feasible I have included in the RTPMIDI_CORE board the connector needed to access the EZKit and ASX boards, so the link will be very easy to make between the two boards (see "MIDIBox goes RTP-MIDI" topic for details about this board), and I am currently coding and testing the library for the STM32 to load firmware in DSP board (take care, Analog Device calls it a bootloader too, but it has nothing to see with MIOS bootloader :shifty: ) I just expect now that this project will get some interest from the MIDIBox community I did not want to go into much details in this already quite long post, but of course, if you have any question... just ask (I am preparing some pictures of the first prototypes I made) Benoit
Hello, A few years ago I cobbled together a custom MIDI-box using materials and expertise provided by this community. It was a great learning experience for me, and got me thinking about the sheer potential of projects in this area. I got my Electronics degree last year and have since been weighing up my options for the future. Luckily I received a grant from my University to carry on research into a device I was working on for one of my courses, and just recently I've managed to build a working prototype to demonstrate the concept (photo attached). The device is essentially a single channel effects box with onboard DSP and a bluetooth chip to enable parameter adjustment via a smartphone app, which I have also made. Part of the inspiration for the device came from my experiences as an avid DAW user. In a DAW such as FL Studio, you have access to a highly powerful mixer interface with the ability to add/remove/mix/reorder effects at the click of a button. My device - which I've dubbed "Jamp" - is essentially a single channel of this mixer in hardware form, with the user interface exported to a smartphone. So far I've managed to implement 5 band parametric EQ and chorus effects on the DSP while keeping the fidelity acceptable (16 bit at 96KHz), and I'm looking to write more very soon. So far I've only really spoken to guitarists for feedback, so the effects I've included in the roster are tuned accordingly (distortion, compressor, wah-wah etc). I'm utilising a general purpose micro controller rather than a dedicated DSP or FPGA chip as the core, in the hopes of keeping cost and power requirements down. Before I put any serious time into further development, I need to get some views from the wider community to help tailor the design appropriately. I am also hoping to source some collaboration with technical aspects of the project, since I'm just running a one man show at the moment. Although I'm learning a lot with regards PCBs/C++/Java I'm also conscious that my workflows may not be that efficient. So, I was wondering if you any of you guys would be willing to give some input to the project? Is this something you could see yourselves or others using in a live setting or otherwise? Do you know of any other communities that may be interested in such a device? I'm willing to answer questions you may have about the device itself, but forgive me if I don't go into too much detail regarding some of the technicals. Thanks in advance for your feedback.