MIDIbox 64 for Live Performing - "StuKontrol" (update: Wiki article started)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hello fellow MIDIboxers,

instead of getting a Core32 and updating my MBSeq to V4, I finally kicked off a project I had a long time coming:

a MIDIbox 64 based controller that is dedicated to my style of performing music with Ableton Live.

The idea is derived from both the Evolution UC-33 and the Korg nanoKontrol, which both in a certain way affected my way of controlling and playing "live" (in Ableton Live).

I got the PCB from Mike's just a some days ago and it all got rolling.

Like with my SeqV3 (see ) i was extremely happy to get the Core going without any problems.

So next I connected an AIN module, 2 prototpye pots, ground clamps and it's all running smoothly.

So here's what's currently running as a breadboard, all in nicely moving pictures:

==> Video of Midibox64 breadboard test on Vimeo

And here's the front panel design:

As you can see the basic structure resembles a mixer as well as the nanoKontrol, and it's a compromise between all controls I need and keeping it compact (i.e. portable).

16 "channels", each featuring (from bottom to top) a (volume) fader, start and stop/mute button to control clips, free space for scribble strip and two pots for track control.

The buttons on the left will be for general track live controlling (my own way of doing things :)

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The panel is already made at Schaeffer and I expect it to arrive this week, as well as all the other parts.

Stay tuned for more videos ;-)

Edited by stuartm

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Posted · Report post

A second breadboard test with fader and buttons (testing the DINX) was successful, as well.

I took a video but felt it was rather boring.

In the meantime, all parts and the front panel have arrived!

It's all fitting nicely into the great looking blue aluminium panel.

I'll upload photos of the assembly during the upcoming weeking.

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Posted · Report post

hey did you look into this?

ultra

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Posted (edited) · Report post

hi ultra,

yes I did. I've been scratching my head quite while to figure out how to integrate the Midibox and Live.

What I ended up with was either using LiveApi or waiting how MaxForLive turns out.

I decided to go for the "classic" controller first, also to improve my planning and "manufacturing" skills (my MBSeq was quite a mess).

I'll keep an eye on your LiveAPI stuff, right now I'm more in the building mood ;)

In the meantime, here are some photos:

Panel ordered from Schaeffer, already stuffed with 16 ALPS faders:

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Main Control Button Board:

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Mounting of the board:

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Buttons in the panel:

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Status as of yesterday:

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Edited by stuartm

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Posted · Report post

Hi stuartm, your controller is looking good! ;)

how much $ was the panel?

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Posted · Report post

Hi stuartm, your controller is looking good! ;) how much $ was the panel?

Thanks!

The panel from Schaeffer was about 135 Euros, thats about 200 Dollars.

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Posted · Report post

All the wiring is done.

First test run revealed there's still something wrong with one of the DINX modules (the core won't start) and one AINX still causes random MIDI events (some incomplete grounding of open inputs i suppose).

So I'm off for de-bugging tonight.

But the unit is fully wired, still quite compact and looks very nice (pictures will follow soon).

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Sorted out the AIN problem, one of the multiplexer lines was making trouble.

Still got the DIN bug to figure out, but all analog control are running fine. Test run went smoothly :)

Here's the picture update:

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Posted · Report post

DIN problems solved: bad soldering and mixed up cables :whistle:

However, IT'S FULLY WORKING !

Video of the first "performance" is currently uploading, see pic below for the MB64 ready for action

(actually, I haven't come up with a proper name yet ...)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

And here's the inaugural performance of my new MIDIbox 64 with Ableton Live:

MB64 Inaugural Performance - Video on Vimeo

I'm off to bed now.

I'll write more about the building etc. soon.

Edited by stuartm

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Posted · Report post

Great build and nice video! :)

*blogged*

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks TK!

There will be more videos to come, as soon as I have adapted my Live songs to the exteded MIDI controllability I've got now.

Oh, I'm about to finish the casing next week, I'll get up pictures as soon as it's done.

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Posted · Report post

Nice build!

I'm still planning my project and had a few questions:

- How did you get 16 faders, do you have two cores?

-What is the resolution of the faders?

Thanks!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Those are not motorfaders, sorry

just simple 10kOhm faders connected to the AINX modules.

I will put up a full "report" of all the parts and the building process soon.

Edited by stuartm

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It's finished!

I made a compact case of multiplex plywood to fit underneath the aluminium front panel.

Took some days to give it nice blue spraypaint finish, but luckily, the tone of the blue fits the panel quite well.

Also had a late idea how to fix the scribble strips, using laminated paper strips, two cannibalised IKEA plastic floor bearers, super glue and a hole puncher :)

See the attached pictures of the finished MIDIbox which is working just as smoothly as I planned with Ableton Live (more videos?)

Inspired by some very good articles in the Wiki, I decided to to the building report as a Wiki article during the holidays.

Oh, and not to forget the obvious:

Thanks TK and everyone around here who is supporting the project!

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Edited by stuartm

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Posted · Report post

Looks cool your controller. How are you using it with Live, I mean how does yout Live template look like and what signals are your controller sending to Live, have you any midi event descriptions anywhere?

I am mainly wondering how well or unwell it is possible to develop Live templates, using version numbers, reaching quite complex worlds like RS7000 or Electribe MX features. The problem with Live templates is you can not simply export your midi mappings and import into another empty project/template, thus it is not easy to combine midi mapping features from different projects. So you usually end up having some features here in a project A, some other features there in another project B. Best would be to be able to start with an empty project C, then saying import all midi mappings from A and B, then continuing in C. Later you could go to a project D and import all midi mappings from C.

How are you dealing with such situations?

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Posted · Report post

Hi Mudi,

my MB64 is sending just MIDI CC values.

I've assigned them manually to the Live sets in session view.

I am not using any kind of template, but I thought about preparing one as my standard project when opening Live / starting a new track.

Over time, I've developed my own system of how to group tracks and how to layout controls.

For examples, drums on the right, bass to the very left and then melodic stuff etc.

The more I migrate my "old" Live sets to the new "MB64-controlled" sets, I tend to use the same layout, however, I always to the MIDI assignement manually.

A template would work for general clip start/stop and volumes, but I tend to use very different track control on the pots, e.g filter, pan, FX send, very much depending what is going on in that track and what is most usable in a live situation.

And yeah, I would very much like to see a function in Live to copy-paste MIDI assingments between projects.

My advice is to come up with your own structuring of tracks and controls

If you want to always have the Lead's filter on the same pot, go that way.

I tend to keep things variable and use the scribble strips to tell me which control is doing what.

Anyway, there's always a lot of preparation involved. It just depends on how much time you want to put into it and how convenient you want it to be when doing stuff live.

Finally, I still plan to do the full report, already started on the Wiki Article, but other things need my attention right now.

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Posted · Report post

Hi stuartm,

Very nice work!

Can you tell where did you find those buttons?

Cheers, Sven

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Posted · Report post

The buttons are standard, cheap Digitast buttons, I think TK recommended them for the MBSeqV3, that's where I saw and used them first.

They are not beauties, but I like their tactile behaviour, and their price of course.

(Example Link: DT6 at Reichelt )

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Some updates:

I've dubbed the controller "StuKontrol", just to give it a name :rolleyes:

There is also now a Wiki article which I will try to finish soon, also with some more pictures:

http://www.midibox.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=stuartm_stukontrol

The controller is heavily in use, I'm still refining my performance approach with Ableton Live, recently got kickstarted again by some nice ideas.

I haven't had the time yet to record another video demo, there will be one, promised !

Edited by stuartm

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Posted · Report post

Diagram could ask? Parts can be! Thanks :rolleyes:

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Posted · Report post

Diagram could ask? Parts can be! Thanks :rolleyes:

Eh .. what ?

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Posted · Report post

pancake_bunny.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Im hungarian!

Kapcsolási rajzot kérnék és alkatrészlistát!

Előre is köszönöm!!!

I need circuit diagram and parts list!

Thank you in advance!

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Posted · Report post

Ah, thanks.

It's all on ucapps.de, here are a few hints to get you started:

Have a look at the General Midibox64 documentation first:

http://www.ucapps.de/midibox64.html

General schematic:

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp/mbhp_midibox64_lc.gif

Core Module:

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp_core.html

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp/mbhp_core_v3.pdf

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp/mbhp_core_orderlist.txt

AIN / DIN Module:

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp_din.html

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp_ain.html

(you'll find schematics and orderlists there also)

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