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tutorial LC emulation


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Edit: Some of the links in this thread are broken (I am considering re-building my MBLC, in which case I will write up a how-to document for beginners... stay tuned!)

Note: A lot of the info on this thread is based on the MIOS8 version.

Note: I'm a noob again so please correct me if I make any mistakes! (Edited 11 April 2010)

OK guys, it is well enough time for us to commence a group assignment.... The tutorial for building a logic control emulation!!!

ok heres the first chapter...

parts required.

Basically, this project consists of a number of modules, connected together, and controlled by a main module, called "The Core Module" or "Core" for short. You can find instructions on Thorsten's site, on how to build each of the individual modules, links to each of the modules are in the left hand column of the www.ucapps.de page.

You will also need other parts, such as a power supply (a plugpack/wallwart is the only option I am going to reccommend, for safety reasons) of about 12V, 2A will be plenty, but you may get away with  something smaller, maybe 1500mA (1.5A), but anything less is a bit wimpy for this.

Modules required for full emulation...

one PIC18F core module

one MF module (see below)

4 DINX4 modules

3 DOUTX4 modules

Now, you will need another DOUT module for the upcoming feature that allows both LEDrings and Meters at the same time

the other main bits are (to quote Ian)

required for LC Emulation:  

MUST: one core module  

MUST: one graphical LCD or 2 * 2x40 LCDs  

WANTED: at least 8 rotary encoders  

WANTED: a scrub/jog wheel (9th encoder)  

OPTIONAL: led-rings (but values are also shown on LCD)  

WANTED: at least 32 buttons  

OPTIONAL: 32 additional buttons for 8 * solo/mute/rec/select  

OPTIONAL: 32 additional buttons for sequencer control (transport, bankswitching, etc.)  

WANTED: LEDs for the buttons in order to receive feedback from Logic  

OPTIONAL: 8 motorfaders (but not necessary at all when you use the split mode in order to swap the purpose of encoders and faders)  

OPTIONAL: one additional fader, but in this case you either have to pass on the motorfaders, or you have to use a second core module  

actually, I just realised that Ian was quoting Thorsten!

anyway to build the straight out clone, you will need more buttons than Ian's suggestion, I think it was about 104. (FIX this later)

You will also need a JDM module to program the PIC in the core module, unless you find out that we are quite friendly, and one of us will probably be able to program the PIC for you!!

anyway, time for someone else to have a turn, in the meantime, have a look at this... (how to connect modules)


(Thanks Mr Musicman)

also, download, and read the LC manual, from EMagic. Be nice, register your software!

now it's time for someone else to have a go...

Topics.... build case, program PIC, maybe modifying code to suit user? building the Hex file?? links to Thorsten's IC Prog page, Midi-Ox page?

Lets make a rough guide on this thread, modifying it as we go, so people can read it as it progresses, until we get it finalised, and then make a pretty website out of it???

Edited by Steven_C
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Hi Steve,

thanks a lot for this "kickstart" :-)

I hope that others who already built the MIDIbox LC will add some tips&tricks&photos to make this project as transparent as possible for people who haven't followed the progress in the last months.

The final document could be published in the new MIDIbox Portal (?)

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Read all this thread, please! Next step is probably to compile a list of order numbers/suppliers of the more difficult to get parts.

just to get started...

Panasonic motorfaders... allelectronics (USA) cat#MSP-10k (wait for Thorsten's comments on these before going ahead with purchase, He is testing them in the next few weeks or so)

LCD... 2x40 option available from oatley electronics in Australia... no backlight, a bit pricey at $25Aus ea I have tested these, no probs there. I will be testing 2x40 LCD from PMB (with backlight) in New Zealand soon.   http://www.pmb.co.nz/

Encoders... Look out for good deals on Ebay, try to team up with other midibox builders to snatch a good deal!! Also, Nat has found a supplier of Alps encoders, but they will only sell in bulk, so you will need to find a bunch of people to order at these good prices, and be nice to Nat, to find out where to order from. Ian has ordered in bulk from another supplier, but these are detented encoders.

PIC 18F452- http://www.pmb.co.nz/ or Farnell (expensive) (I'll add other suppliers and part/n's  later, unless someone else does)

OK, now someone else post some suppliers! (or any other LC/MC clone tutorial Ideas)

mental block... I'll continue later....

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Here's a PSU design (props to da Pilo ;p) I designed in eagle for use in my updated LC:


It has 5V, 4.7V, (adj) 8V, (adj) -1V and power LED outputs . I'm using the cheap 40x2's from BGMicrio so the 4.7 and -1 is needed for them. TX should be a 2x9V 2A (around).

This is untested as of yet however ;p...



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest psytron

just a quick question.

i noticed in the midibox_lc_ledrings_meters.pdf that the led meters are "planned and was wondering if this had been implemented yet??

i am planning on taking the nest step from my mb64

to the lc style of things and it seems to be vary hard to track down any hard info on this project.

p.s. does anyone have any encoders spare, detent or non is cool

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  • 2 weeks later...

If begginners want a basic 'starting point' firmware, a hex file that simply has to be burnt into the PIC (micro-controller chip) in one step, with all the standard LC settings, send me a private message, and I will send you such a firmware, that can be loaded simply with IC-Prog (free software) and JDM programmer (DIY hardware).

currently I can only do this for character LCD version, in two flavours...

1) touch sensor needs to be active for fader to send controller data (touch sensor mode 2)

2) fader will send controller data even when touch sensor is not active (touched)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure if these updates were notified in the 'latest news', but Thorsten has made it very simple to understand the interconnections between the modules, with updated pdf's. He even lists the default button and  LED connections! Check it out here...


also look at this post for a nice module interconnection diagram


I will be re-building my midibox LC over the next few months, so I will take pics for the final step by step document. I'm trying to find cheap supplies for components at the moment. (found some 2x40 LCD's for only $12 AUS ea, waiting for reply from supplier, not sure if they are backlit or not)

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  • 1 month later...

I can't remember where I saw those! But I ended up buying my 4 new LCD's from PMB in NZ. Futurlec also sell them for about Aus$25 ea, but you need to send them an email, as the part number for the backlit version isn't on the website.

Unfortunately PMB don't have any of the cheap ones left, only the ones for NZ$48. (last time I spoke to PMB they had one left)

I decided not to use those cheap LCD's from the BG micro, as I didn't want to make a -5v rail (trying to keep the MB simple). But you can probably easily use an old power supply from something else, that has -V output, e.g. Amiga 500 PSU. (If I'd thought of that earlier, I could've bought those cheap LCD's!)

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all, I'm about to start building one of these... I have most of the bits (only the MF module left to build). I'm a bit confused about some MIDI stuff tho.

After reading the manual for the Logic Control unit, it says that a direct midi in and out connection is needed between the computer and the control unit. Now, I am also using a MIDI keyboard in my setup, but my computer only has one MIDI in and one MIDI out...

Will I have to use the MIDI merger in order to use the Midibox LC and my keyboard at once or is there an easier way? My keyboard does not have MIDI thru but I have the LTC module which allows me to use a thru on the Midibox LC... I'm not really sure how MIDI thru works tho.  ???

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, I'm actually having problems building the thing now. All my boards are done apart from my MF module. With my MF module, I have everything soldered up apart from the diodes.

Now, I decided to test the PSU part of the board, the bit you are mean't to set to 8v. Now I'm using a laptop wall adaptor as my power in to the module, which gives 15.13v DC. The output was giving a voltage, but when I set the POT to give the highest voltage, I only got 6.3v, which falls a bit short of the 8-10 thorsten recommends for the ALPS faders.

Finally, I'm a bit confused about power... Does the core module need it's own power source aswell as the MF module? or does the core module take it's power from the MF module.

EDIT: One more thng, does anyone have a guide or photo on how to get the correct polarity for those 32 diodes on the MF module. They aren't really marked too well on the circuit layout.

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When i made my 1st mf module I too could only squeeze 6.3V max out of it...change the 1K pot to a 10K and u'll get plenty more juice (think I used 9 on those alps)...

Finally, I'm a bit confused about power... Does the core module need it's own power source aswell as the MF module? or does the core module take it's power from the MF module.

Core module will need +5V yes, if you've the psu ckt on board then just feed the power from the wallplug as u've done to the mf board...watch for gnd loops etc tho...on the mf module the +8/9 etc is for the mf ICs and the +5 for the logic ICs...

One more thng, does anyone have a guide or photo on how to get the correct polarity for those 32 diodes on the MF module. They aren't really marked too well on the circuit layout.

will post a pic soon

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Reguarding the diode placement, yes, it is confusing if you haven't got a picture, as there are so many ways that they can physically fit (more than just getting the direction right) but you can just make it out from the pics on Thorsten's MF page. I think I have seen better pics on this forum somewhere, though.

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Thanks for the pic d2k, that's exactly what I was after. When I get some time tomorrow, I'm gonna finish the MF module with any luck.

I wanted to try your suggestion of a 10k pot, but unfortunately I don't have any 10k pots around, so I'm gonna have to order one when I get time...

Finally, the powering thing. Now knowing that both the MF module and CORE module need their own power IN's, I was wondering if I could put my 15v straight in to the core module, or will I melt the 7805.  :o The scematic recommends between 7-10v

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