TK.

MIDIbox CV V2 Concept

306 posts in this topic

Nice! :)

Could you please share the PCB layout? I'm interested to support this officially in the aout driver, and therefore need one module for testing (I will probably order it at OSH Park)

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Looks like Adam's boards were made at OSH Park as well - yummy, purple!

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As it so happens, I used OSH Park to have those boards made. I've made the design available as a shared project:

http://oshpark.com/shared_projects/UYwDVPq9

 

Here are the DipTrace schematic and layout files:

DAC Breakout Board DipTrace Files.zip

 

I can give you the code I've written also, but it is a pretty quick hack so maybe I should exercise it a bit more before sharing it. I would be happy to collaborate with you on an official aout adaptation, though.

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Ordered :)

I will add the required code by myself (in december) and come back to you for the case that I can't get it working.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Excellent! Note that you probably want to put a jumper between LDAC and GND. I brought this pin out to a test point but for normal operation it's easiest to just ground it.

 

If you like, I will tidy up my code and send it to you privately so that you at least have an example to start with. I can probably manage to do that before December.  :rolleyes:

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Today in the MIDIbox labs  :smile:

 

 

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Very nice! More inspiration for me to finish my MBCV2 one of these months...

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Hi thorsten and all,

 

i have been meaning to get involved again here with MBCV2 for almost a year now but haven't done so , mainly beacause i have a lot of ideas/input concerning hard & software features and didn't  put them on "paper" yet, wanted to do that in one go, but maybe i should just start setting it in motion by posting:

 

........NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  you even implemented a feature that i had in mind (as in recently i thought i should have a oscilloscope module in my modular) but did't think of as a possible feature of de MBCV!! for me this would really be an extremely useful addition to the midi to cv part of my system. For me, having visual feedback about complex modulation processes and synthesis in general has always been very eye-opening and will increase the creative process in making sound or music

 

cheers, marcel

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the reason i am so enthousiastic is beacuse for the last 1,5 year i have been using the unofficial predecessor of the MBCV2 extensively in my studio/modular system: which in essence is a MBSIDV2 with NO sid's connected, used only as a midi to cv converter with loads of additional modulation- and patch possibilities.

It is a very important piece of gear to me. so needless to say i was really happy when i read about the MBCV2. Also i've beeen helping Alex with the redesign of the AOUT module.

 

I will try to post all my ideas/comments & issues (about features that are allready implemented in MBSIDv2) this week.

 

cheers, marcel

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Thanks for the feedback! :smile:

 

Yes, a scope was also very important for me - not only for debugging... to understand what I'm doing. And since the implementation is so easy, it was on top of my wish list. :smile:

 

It would be extremely helpful if you guys could help me to define the "standard" control surface for MBCV.

Should it look like the frontpanel of an analog synth (like a Minimoog)?

Or is a more generic surface with some displays and a battery of (software-asignable) encoders, potentiometers, buttons and LEDs more suitable?

 

The biggest problem: MBCV2 is suitable for many use cases, therefore it will be very hard to find a good compromise for a single standard CS.

It's probably better to prepare it for two different directions?

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Wow! I must add that MBCV2 is the most fun thing I have built, since the sequencer :D

I will have to play with it some more to be able to imagine a physical interface. The Lemur usability is really good already IMO.

Maybe something using those screens with encoders arranged around them, with the screens showing encoders values?

 

TK: could you post the part number for those screens? I think I might have to add them to my panel after seeing the video!

 

cheers.

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Very nice demo video. For the control surface I have an idea: is it perhaps possible to use the same control panel PCB as for the MB6582? There is already a proven and tested PCB and it has a lot of buttons and encoders on it.

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Are there any big hurdles for getting this to work on the STM32F4 discovery?

 

The application has been designed for LPC17 (and faster CPUs, I guess that it will run on a STM32F4 as well)

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TK: could you post the part number for those screens? I think I might have to add them to my panel after seeing the video!

 

It's the Alientek OLED from Taobao: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=6239945991

And I purchased it via Youbuy: http://www.yoybuy.com/en/

See also http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp_lcd.html

 

 

For the control surface I have an idea: is it perhaps possible to use the same control panel PCB as for the MB6582?

 

Let's keep this in mind - but independent from such an option, how would the ideal MBCV2 CS look like?

 

 

Are there any big hurdles for getting this to work on the STM32F4 discovery?

 

It's already running on a STM32F4 :)

(and SmashTV will send me a prototype for the upcoming MBHP_CORE_STM32F4 module soon)

The application is ca. 25% faster on a STM32F4.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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TK., I missed to say it yet here, but: AWESOME JOB!

That Kraftzweg sounds really really nice, but the real synth (controller) is the MBCV2.

 

Regarding the Frontpanel - as applications will probably widely vary among users anyways, maybe reuse existing designs? E.g. the MB6582 frontpanel (as NorthernLightX suggested) or use the LRE8x2 Led-Ring boards in conjunction with a display module consisting either of a few OLEDs or two bigger screens stacked above it?

 

Many greets,

Peter

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Wow.  Outstanding work..  Time for me to get ready for a new MBHP project :smile:

 

The pactec is a nice cheap option, and there is also the smaller PT-8.

 

For the CS, I'm in favor of a generic one unless someone comes up with a reasonable physical one..

 

I think the CS on the ambika is very slick and flexible with 8 pots (4 below, 4 above) around a 40x2 display so you can display 8 parameters at once

Edited by Altitude

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Would the CS be a replacement for the Lemur?

 

FWIW, you can get a used iPad 1 for about 40-50 euro on eBay here in Germany. For around 100e including the Lemur software, it's hard for a physical interface to compete when it comes to getting the "bang for your buck".

 

If it's complimentary to the Lemur, then what you want on a physical CS is a whole different story.

Edited by sneakthief

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Would the CS be a replacement for the Lemur?

 

FWIW, you can get a used iPad 1 for about 40-50 euro on eBay here in Germany. For around 100e including the Lemur software, it's hard for a physical interface to compete when it comes to getting the "bang for your buck".

 

If it's complimentary to the Lemur, then what you want on a physical CS is a whole different story.

I don't think Lemur will be going away so that will always be an option. Bang for the buck is true, but it's a trade off. I would suspect the physical CS might have a minimal control surface (like the SID does) and then modules off that with heavy use of soft buttons/knobs. It will likely implement some of the things Lemur can do already but with soft knobs, you could really set it up in the way you might most prefer to us both.

Who knows, though, it's all just random guessing on my part :smile:

Likewise, having MIDI support for some of the core elements (I think it does already?) would be significant as well.

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use the LRE8x2 Led-Ring boards in conjunction with a display module consisting either of a few OLEDs or two bigger screens stacked above it?

 

yes! Actually one of my LRE8x2 is already reserved for a MBCV2 in the case that we go for a "soft-assignment" :smile:

But we should also consider a nice (and inexpensive) case from the beginning, so that CS layout and case dimensions perfectly fit together.

 

 

I think the CS on the ambika is very slick and flexible with 8 pots (4 below, 4 above) around a 40x2 display so you can display 8 parameters at once

 

The pots above the display is exactly, what I don't like on the Ambika CS design, because the display will be covered by your hand when you are tweaking the knobs - you don't see the adjusted value.

 

 

FWIW, you can get a used iPad 1 for about 40-50 euro on eBay here in Germany. For around 100e including the Lemur software, it's hard for a physical interface to compete when it comes to getting the "bang for your buck".

 

You are right. And it especially has to be considered, that an iPad is wireless and not stationary, which means that you can remote-control MBCV2 while staying close to your synth (and not close to your MBCV...)

 

The disadvantage is that we miss the "tactile feel". In the video you can see, that I sometimes have to move the virtual knobs very carefully to change the sound precisely, and to ensure that I don't touch the wrong knob. This requires a certain (counter productive) concentration on the UI that I don't like.

 

So: an iPad is perfect for intuitive configuration, and to get a very good oversight about the available parameters.

But during a live situation I would prefer real knobs which are assigned to the parameters I would like to tweak.

 

 

I come to the momentary conclusion that following CS options are preferred:

 

1) at least the SCS for (cumbersome) access to all parameters: http://www.ucapps.de/midibox_ng_manual_scs.html

(this is already implemented)

 

2) in addition, "soft-functions" which are assignable to encoders with LED rings and to analog pots & faders (I like all three options together! ;-)

 

3) optional 128x64 graphical LCDs, especially for the scope displays. 

Note that it's normally not possible to use CLCD and GLCDs in parallel, not at least because of the different HW interfaces.

Therefore: if GLCDs are used, one of it will replace the 2x20 LCD of the SCS

I relaxed the spec, the upcoming MBHP_CORE_STM32F4 has enough free IO pins, so that 1 2x20 LCD and OLEDs can be used in parallel.

 

 

Open question: special buttons and LED functions? How should they be configured?

Would it be important to assign multiple LEDs to a button, e.g. if somebody wants to cycle between different modes?

 

And another topic: are dedicated buttons for a quick CV channel selection (1 of 8) helpful? (I guess: yes)

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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I personally have no interest in a tablet control surface.  Several soft pots, display, a buttons and I'm happy.  I guess that's a balancing game of features/complexity but if it is "limited" to a GLCD, the options open way up since the data can be displayed in a much more useful way (the little displays must stay, killer feature :)

Edited by Altitude

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That ring encoder board is huge - 342 x 85.5mm
 
 
If you want to use it, here's what I propose. I left the circuit boards for the ring board, LCD and OLEDs partly visible to give an idea of why everything is layed out this way.
 
It's got the minimum standard control surface (SCS), 2 extra buttons for whatever and a button to select each of the OLEDs:
 
midibox-cv-v2-CS.jpg

I used this $10 USD 20x2 LCD as a reference:
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Character-LCD-Module-Display-Screen-LCM-20X2-2002-20-2-Compatible-HD44780-/200659773145?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb84126d9
 
And this SSD1306 OLED for $8.86 USD:
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPI-IIC-0-96-128X64-Yellow-Blue-GreenLand-OLED-Display-Module-SSD1306-Arduino-/200961405051?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eca3bb07b
 

 

TK: I don't know if you wanted to use encoders with switches... there could be a lot of dedicated buttons for specific modes, thus eliminating menu-diving!
 

 

Also, I didn't see any cases large enough for that ring encoder board. Anybody have any suggestions?


 

Edited by sneakthief

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For a cheap case I would suggest to make sure that all necessary parts fit on a Ponoko/Formulor P2 format, i.e. 384x384mm. With sneakthief's design this seems to be just about possible, although the total inside height will only be about 31mm - very tight, I guess. Every mm you save in terms of width can be added to the height...

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Thanks for the good starting point!  :thumbsup:

 

Actually a mixed CLCD/GLCD configuration is currently not supported by MIOS32, but now where I see how nice they fit together, I will enhance the LCD driver accordingly. This will require a MBHP_CORE_STM32F4 module, so that enough IO pins are available for both LCD types.

 

However, due to the CLCD the 5th OLED display is redundant, please remove it. There are only 4 scope screens.

 

I agree with Ilmenator, that common dimensions should be considered.

Due to the LED rings it's probably better to use an acryl frontpanel (either transparent or matt) anyhow, otherwise it will be very difficult to mount the LRE8x2 (and all the drilling holes will be pretty costly)

 

 

TK: I don't know if you wanted to use encoders with switches... there could be a lot of dedicated buttons for specific modes, thus eliminating menu-diving!

 

I don't have switches in my encoders, but I could provide this as an option to cycle between the assignments (banks).

 

 

Buttons under each OLED are a good idea.

We could use it the following way: press the button under the OLED, then a special menu page at the CLCD will appear which allows you to change the waveform assignment, oversampling, trigger point, etc.. with the main encoder.

 

It makes sense to add more buttons.

E.g. the two spare buttons could be used to increment/decrement the current CV channel.
But I'm sure that people would also like to have dedicated buttons for
- a "fast" button (for the encoders)
- encoder bank +/- (for the case that they don't have inbuilt switches)
- patch +/- buttons
- Start/Stop sequencer (and arpeggiator)
- store button to save the current patch
- change directly to certain menu pages
 
So, at least 8 additional buttons (user-configurable)
 
Best Regards, Thorsten.
 

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(see my later post with the updated layout)

Edited by sneakthief

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