pcbatterij

MB909 beta version PCB bulkorder

73 posts in this topic

Hey everybody,

I have sent all the packages for the 9090 kits, and already had time to update the design of the MB909 sequencer boards for professional manufacturing. I will be ready with this in a few days.

As I have already said to a few people, I'll only order 5 boards (if there are people interested) of the MB909 sequencer, because I would like to have them being tested by this testgroup on hardware and software level to see if the sequencer is working as people want.

Once the testgroup is happy, I'll then organize a big bulkorder for the MB909 sequencer.

The betaversion for the testgroup will be sold as a kit (PCB, components) and a frontpanel for the once that would like a frontpanel. I do not have an exact price yet, as I am also finishing the design for the frontpanel.

The list for signing up for the beta version is on: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av9ZyDwCt04MdFB6cTZKaV9uMDF1cWY0X1pBOWxqNXc

A few pics, video and info on the sequencer on: http://www.synthage.com/Sequencer/default.html

If there are enough people (at least 5) interested I would prefer people that :

already have a 9090 and/or TR909

will be able to upload an update of the firmware to the mainboard (this is easy with Tk's MIOS terminal)

would like to test the software and hardware and give me tips to improve the design (again soft and hard)

So if you put your (nick)name on the list, I'dd like to ask you to send me an email if you have a 9090 or TR909, etc.

Cheers,

Jef

www.synthage.com

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im quite interested in the idea of a stand-alone drum sequencer

where abouts in the world are you?

thanks, julian

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i was asking to see if you were eu...

if you think i can help you, parts wise, with your development, let me know.

we're moving at the moment, but will be setup again soon.

(in case its not clear, im not talking about trying to sell you stuff : )

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This is great news Jef! I just received my 9090 parts but I doubt I'll get it built in time to be in this beta. One question though, how is this sequencer different from the MB808 sequencer? Why a new design?

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Randy,

The differences between the MB909 sequencer and the MB808:

1. Until now and if I am correct the MB808 is a clone of the TR808 and not the sequencer.

2. The MB909 is based on the Midibox SeqV4 with all of its advantages (SD card, up to 4 MIDI in and 4 MIDI OUT, MIDI to CV possibilities,...), more up to date updates by Tk and the Midibox crew. The sequencer of the MB808 is based on version 3 of the Midibox Seq.

3. I'm not sure if the MB808 project is still alive when I read the info on different forum sites.

4. The interface PCB for the Midibox SeqV4 that I designed and currently updating is a 909 clone in looks and software (accent on individual instruments and notes,...)

I wanted a 909 looking sequencer with a nice graphical display and that is why I designed the interface. And I used the version 4 because everything is already on the LPC mainboard (USB, MIDI,...) which makes it easier to make and install. I did not make a price comparison between the V3 and V4 but I think the price will be almost the same taking into account that all the IN and OUTPUTS are already on the V4 board.

The disadvantage of choosing the V4 is that I need to program a lot of code and that already took a lot of time and will probably take more time to get it more TR909 like.

This is just my opinion, don't want to upset anybody. Once the MB808 standalone sequencer will be available people will have the option between the two and choose the one that fits their needs the best.

cheers,

Jef

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Me too!

I've added mysef to the spreadsheet. Thanks Jef!

Kevin

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My main desire is for an optomised drum sequencer, so it seems like what youre working on is just what im after : )

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Randy,

The differences between the MB909 sequencer and the MB808:

1. Until now and if I am correct the MB808 is a clone of the TR808 and not the sequencer.

2. The MB909 is based on the Midibox SeqV4 with all of its advantages (SD card, up to 4 MIDI in and 4 MIDI OUT, MIDI to CV possibilities,...), more up to date updates by Tk and the Midibox crew. The sequencer of the MB808 is based on version 3 of the Midibox Seq.

3. I'm not sure if the MB808 project is still alive when I read the info on different forum sites.

4. The interface PCB for the Midibox SeqV4 that I designed and currently updating is a 909 clone in looks and software (accent on individual instruments and notes,...)

I wanted a 909 looking sequencer with a nice graphical display and that is why I designed the interface. And I used the version 4 because everything is already on the LPC mainboard (USB, MIDI,...) which makes it easier to make and install. I did not make a price comparison between the V3 and V4 but I think the price will be almost the same taking into account that all the IN and OUTPUTS are already on the V4 board.

The disadvantage of choosing the V4 is that I need to program a lot of code and that already took a lot of time and will probably take more time to get it more TR909 like.

This is just my opinion, don't want to upset anybody. Once the MB808 standalone sequencer will be available people will have the option between the two and choose the one that fits their needs the best.

cheers,

Jef

This sounds awesome Jef! Personally, I am certainly not upset that you are building this on a newer version of MBSeq with more features and better support :)

My only concern is mainly a selfish one. I'm on the list to get a MB808 kit if/when it finally appears and it would be less brain work for me to have to learn 2 different interfaces for my 808/909 babies. I also thought it might be less work for you to work from the MB808 sequencer codebase since a lot of what you're doing to the MBSeqV4 code is probably similar to what has been done to the MBSeqV3 code for the MB808 project. Or that you could take design decisions from the other project where you see fit. It sounds like you're already past that point though...

One thing the MB808 sequencer does that I'm quite fond of is being able to choose arbitrary loop start/stop points for each individual part. For example, the kick might be a loop of 4 16ths (I make techno, that's all it does most of the time ;) ) while the hihat might be looping from note 5 to 12, creating some weird polyrhythm thing. Will this be possible on your sequencer? Clearly the MBSeqV4 is capable of this but will your interface make this accessible, even easy?

Thank you for all the time and work you're putting into this. I know it is a labor of love. I hope none of my comments sound demanding or too critical. And I also hope I'm not derailing the intended topic of this thread.

Cheers,

Randy

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Would be great to hardware control the 9090. I will pass on beta though but definitly intrested if you have youre final design ready.

Grtz

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is the final device going to be the same size as your prototype? Its kind of huge..

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Pondering the final version, but I'll most likely move some shift registers off-board, place them in the 9090 in order to get a compact, detachable seq panel with as few cables as possible running back to the 9099... Prophet-3000 stylee thumbsup.png

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If ya need another enthusiast, count me in!

9090 almost ready, fully assembled next week I hope. :yes:

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Jef,

Will your sequencer allow the parts to have independent lengths and loop points?

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Altitude, to which prototype are you referring?

Jef

the pics on the synthage site.

I appreciate the 909 style buttons and understand that has a size requirement but for me, I'd much prefer a compact device over a larger one. Right now I sequence my 9090 from my Beat707 which is very small (and battery powered) and I am quite fond of it mainly for the size aspect

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The original 909 had a vast area of wasted space at the top. I would support limiting that space or using it to spread out the pots so you can get your fingers all the way in between the knobs. You could also use bigger knobs. I don't think you'll find many "pro" devices that would make that design mistake these days so why repeat it? Otherwise the large size doesn't bother me.

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@Altitude:

Maybe a split of the PCB is possible.

When ya look at the one shown at synthage.com, ya'll see that the're not too many traces to reconnect then.

@topic:

I would like to implement some of the general seq.v4 features as well (like in the seq.v4-lite "effect-board"), will play around / code it if I'm one of the "predestinated", wee'll see... :-)

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The original 909 had a vast area of wasted space at the top. I would support limiting that space or using it to spread out the pots so you can get your fingers all the way in between the knobs. You could also use bigger knobs. I don't think you'll find many "pro" devices that would make that design mistake these days so why repeat it? Otherwise the large size doesn't bother me.

I completely disagree. First, regarding size, the 909 is as big as it is because of the component count, and the thru-hole style of circuit board. Have a look at the pics at http://hackaday.com/2008/06/18/tr-909-teardown/ which pretty clearly show why the machine is so big.

As for the grouping of the controls: I have used the 909 extensively, on stage (live programming on-the-fly) and in the studio. I find the spacing of the controls to be very comfortable (most mixing boards are more cramped than the 909), while the extra "white space" at the top of the machine is a great place to rest another small device, or my headphones, or my glasses. And it looks so BITCHIN!

IMHO The TR-909 has a tasteful, minimalist look that doesn't detract from its usability.

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I completely disagree. First, regarding size, the 909 is as big as it is because of the component count, and the thru-hole style of circuit board. Have a look at the pics at http://hackaday.com/2008/06/18/tr-909-teardown/ which pretty clearly show why the machine is so big.

As for the grouping of the controls: I have used the 909 extensively, on stage (live programming on-the-fly) and in the studio. I find the spacing of the controls to be very comfortable (most mixing boards are more cramped than the 909), while the extra "white space" at the top of the machine is a great place to rest another small device, or my headphones, or my glasses. And it looks so BITCHIN!

IMHO The TR-909 has a tasteful, minimalist look that doesn't detract from its usability.

My point was, either use that space or get rid of it. Putting a big blank space up top just to make it look like a real 909 makes no sense if the pcb's don't require the extra space. Just make the box smaller if you don't want to space out the interface. That'll be cool in its own way.

I think the knobs are cramped, see Jomox for proper knob spacing. Agree that it looks cool. I think a properly-spaced design could also look cool, depends on the artwork.

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My point was, either use that space or get rid of it. Putting a big blank space up top just to make it look like a real 909 makes no sense if the pcb's don't require the extra space. Just make the box smaller if you don't want to space out the interface. That'll be cool in its own way.

I agree with this statement. Function > Fashion

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Hey all,

I have tried to make my version look like the 909, but......everything does have a function (to me) including the space above the potmeters.

The case is so big (same size as TR909) because it houses:

1 all the potmeters

2 mains transformer

3 9090 PCB's

4 MB909 control surface for the

5 LPC17 core board

6 all the audio outputs of the 9090

7 MIDI IN's & OUT's USB, OSC,SD card of the LPC17 core

8 space for expansion with gate/CV output(s) and MIDI IN/OUT 3 and 4

It is correct that I might cut off a few centimeters at the top of the case, but that would not make a big difference I think. And I do not know what kind of mains transformer people want to use.

The firmware is based on the Seq V4, it is mainly the user interface that is different. I am still programming a lot and maybe I'll have to change the structure of tracks, groups, patterns and songs to make it more like the MB808.

I'll make sure that I have a working firmware for the betaversion, but it will (hopefully) be the people using the betaversion that will give me their tips, requests and suggestions for the final firmware.

The PCB's for the beta version are ordered and within the next few days I'm expecting a prototype for the frontpanel.

Cheers,

Jef

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Great news Jef. I'm looking forward to seeing the first pics of a completed, cased MB-9090. And I agree about the size - there are a lot of boards to accomodate, plus the transformer, etc.

Kevin

Edited by gslug

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I'll make sure that I have a working firmware for the betaversion, but it will (hopefully) be the people using the betaversion that will give me their tips, requests and suggestions for the final firmware.

As I said before, absolutly willing to help! :-)

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