latigid on

MIDIbox SEQ new frontpanel idea

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Or stickers on top of the pads, see example from Novation:

2-Circuit-Overhead_0_1.png

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Btw.: advantage of the stickers - people can customize them easily if they prefer different button assignments

The font should be transparent

Best Regards, Thorsten.

 

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So how much flexibility is there for the BLM configuration (8x4, 4x4, 8x8) when it comes to assigning SEQ functionalities to the buttons? Do we need to recreate the original Wilba BLM in terms of schematic / PCB layout?

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With stickers that might be a very cheap and effective way to label things, nice idea! Hopefully the feel wouldn't be too plasticky and the glue sticks to the silicone okay. Would be nice to send the adafruit pads to Formulor and get them to laser cut directly, can use a v1.0 BLM PCB to hold 16 at once :).

I have the advantage of a 16*4 BLM already done for SEQ v4L, so I can always see if a layout is possible with all registers on one of the copies and connecting the matrices over ribbon cables. On the other hand, the registers could be split and just the SRIO chain extended. The layout and components would be present anyway, so it's just a few extra components to buy (plus the spare 0.5*595 could find use as extra LED drivers, beat LED etc

 

 

 

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No problem, button matrix could also be 4x16:

mbseqv4newfp_4x4.thumb.png.78be42045efa3

In order to switch between different modes (common button assignments, BLM) a special button will be required.
The encoder switches could be used for this purpose

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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I think we (you) had the idea first, but it's getting pretty close to the Deluge:

 

Have a laugh at the Kiwi "akksnt" :blush:

No, I'm not suggesting a full RGB matrix, but I do think we could "reclaim" some of the features, especially the zoom control for the 16*16.

 

For this 16*4 version, would it make sense for "BLM duties" with only a single colour for three of the rows? I'm not sure about doing another full duo BLM, plus one motivation was to go for a shorter PCB height to fit it into 3U Euroracks. I'll have a look anyway :).

 

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Zoom control is still on the agenda... ;)

If layout of 4x16 RGB LEDs is problematic, I would prefer 4x16 duo colour

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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I think the switches that feel the most reassuring / solid are the 909 / Sequentix Cirklon style, a quick google spat out that they are the same (the ones in the 909) as those used in old computer keyboards, Alps SKFL. 

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26 minutes ago, u-link said:

I think the switches that feel the most reassuring / solid are the 909 / Sequentix Cirklon style, a quick google spat out that they are the same (the ones in the 909) as those used in old computer keyboards, Alps SKFL. 

Also used on the Social Entropy Engine by the looks.

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I think that the Cirklon (and the Nava 909 clone) are using Cherry Mx. Those are nice and it's easy to get keycaps in any size and color. Plus, you have lots of different switch types with different actions, plus the Gateron clones to pick and choose from.

Anyway, you might want to avoid the more clicky variants.

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Just now, mongrol said:

Also used on the Social Entropy Engine by the looks.

No, that are more the 808 / Prophet-5 style ones. I bought a lot of those for absolutely silly prices when I first tried to build my own frontpanel for the sequencer (still V3 / pre-Wilba). I failed of course :-)

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10 minutes ago, TK. said:

Zoom control is still on the agenda... ;)

:)

10 minutes ago, TK. said:

If layout of 4x16 RGB LEDs is problematic, I would prefer 4x16 duo colour

Best Regards, Thorsten.

The adafruit pads have a 3mm cavity, meaning it's not possible to fit e.g. a 5050 LED underneath. There are new components around, I'll try a search. 

I assume that WS2812B will use too much memory? That would be an easier way to do it if there are decent mounting strategies. There are also newer APA102 LEDs that run over SPI (clock and data) -- easier to manage?

RGB and maybe even duoLED would need a 4 layer PCB, although the task is simpler with 4*8. In this case we could even consider splitting over 2 PCBs per 8*4, with SMT LEDs shining from underneath and the button pads/matrix on the top. 

 

46 minutes ago, u-link said:

 

13 minutes ago, mongrol said:

 

11 minutes ago, jojjelito said:

 

 

Re: Cherry MX: that could also work with the newer clear version (MX3A-L1NB I think), though they're still not readily available as far as I can see. Buy a keyboard and bust out the desoldering gear? The caps normally have different sloping angles too, but I see the Far East has bundles for cheap.

 

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43 minutes ago, latigid on said:

I assume that WS2812B will use too much memory? That would be an easier way to do it if there are decent mounting strategies. There are also newer APA102 LEDs that run over SPI (clock and data) -- easier to manage?

WS2812B is possible for V4+, but the LEDs consume so much power that the device can't be supplied from a USB cable (strongly recommended todays!)

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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3 hours ago, u-link said:

No, that are more the 808 / Prophet-5 style ones. I bought a lot of those for absolutely silly prices when I first tried to build my own frontpanel for the sequencer (still V3 / pre-Wilba). I failed of course :-)

Ah yeah, of course. Brain failure. Cherry MX's are great switches and as you say there's a ton of action types and support from various communities. There's also loads of "custom" keycap styles available and a few with different profiles (signature plastics do low profile caps)

Edited by mongrol

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12 hours ago, TK. said:

WS2812B is possible for V4+, but the LEDs consume so much power that the device can't be supplied from a USB cable (strongly recommended todays!)

Best Regards, Thorsten.

 

I tested the current draw for 16* WS2812 (5mm THT package):

"rainbow mode" rate 10 (average values)

  • brightness 10: 32mA
  • brightness 20: 77mA
  • brightness 30: 120mA
  • brightness 40: 164mA
  • brightness 50: 204mA

hsv

  • 120:100:10: 26mA
  • 120:100:30: 89mA
  • 120:100:50: 147mA (other single colours similar)
  •  
  • 120:0:10: 56mA
  • 120:0:20: 147mA
  • 120:0:30: 227mA
  • 120:0:50: 309mA
  •  
  • 240:10:50: 345 mA

 

Bright colours could still be done with POV to reduce current, but that's pushing more data and using memory.

 

Meanwhile, I tested the fit of 16*4:

16x4_whole.thumb.png.e243fcfdad7b804db3c

 

It might just squeeze into 110mm, maybe you'd have to file down the LCDs. Are the switch pads okay like this? No need to cut them then, and this would be the most stable arrangement.

A variation splitting each into two:

16x4_split.thumb.png.275dd12711a39267239

 

Cherry switches could also be nice, the MachineDrum uses something similar with 19mm spacing. Would be really tight though!

cherry.thumb.png.4f93e47258bd05ff8adaa6c


~1.50 US each on taobao.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, mongrol said:

There's also loads of "custom" keycap styles available and a few with different profiles (signature plastics do low profile caps)

they do "relegendable" keycaps:

cherry_relegendable_keycap.tiff

cherry_relegendable_keycap.jpg

Edited by u-link
wrong file format

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The re-legendable caps look great! I think the issue comes down to size though. With a cap of 18.415mm it needs a 19mm grid in each direction. That's fine for the horizontal and matches the encoders, but would add a further ~20mm to the overall height. And even then it's a very solid array of buttons with no room for mounting holes, and lots of through holes to avoid. A 16*3 matrix could work.

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I'd suggest to drop the 3U height requirement. IMHO it just doesn't make sense to have the SEQ mounted in a rack - it's clearly a table top device in terms of layout and functionality.

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They say a camel was the result of designing a horse by a committee ;).

I've had suggestions promoting 3U as a) it's appealing to modular DIY and b) it provides an avenue for premade cases. Some people prefer to have sequencers amongst their other modules, but mine is more tabletop. Some day it will live in a sloping rack with MBCV. 

A slimmer build doesn't preclude desktop case mounting.

Anyway, I duly note your point and welcome further discussion in this ideas thread.

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Madam Speaker,

  • Keep the 3U
  • Go back to 16*3 rows of MX with relegendable keycaps
  • Hold breath for RGB MX's at some point next year.
  • Use encoder buttons for top row.
    • Since Menu+Encoderbutton is a bit clunky consider swapping some row functions
    • Or rework the entire button layout. Embrace entropy! Change is good!

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What's the planned 4th row for? For the user to customize? I think 16*3 MX would be nice and griddy (opening it up for other uses ->BLM, muting of individual layers, etc), and with RGB LED, there is a potential for a lot more visual feedback, so secondary button assignment might be feasible, indicated by everything turning blue or whatnot.

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Down the rabbit hole of mechanical keyboards!

Apparently clones of Cherry MX are now being made after their patent expired in 2014. 

I found this:
https://zealpc.net/collections/switches/products/zealio

Essentially MX clones for $1 each. They also have custom RGB common anode THT LEDs made to fit. They have an open-source keyboard project too, with an old friend active there:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=81026.0

 

Also:
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/smd-led-compatible-gateron-switches
(needs a login)

 

Matias Quiet linear (uses ALPs mount):
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Matias_switch
 

 

I know there's a lot of love for Cherry MX, but the "ALPs-type" would give crucial vertical space on the PCB. Better still would be re-legendable key caps in a rectangular shape. Anyone know a source?

 

Re: using encoder switching functions for menus -- not recommended. Also with a 16*4 button matrix, there's no free DINs, normally they're bussed to FAST or similar.

Re: the extra row -- no new functions as far as I know, but you could consider all sorts of possibilities e.g. direct access to tracks, step view like the 16*16 BLM does, song positions.

 

There's a strong case for the fourth row and making a timeless instrument with high-quality switches.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, latigid on said:

There's a strong case for the fourth row and making a timeless instrument with high-quality switches.

Yes, 4 rows would be more logical for sure. 

Backtracking a bit, another plus for having encoders for selecting tracks and layer: if in the future there will be more than 16 tracks/layers, they will allow to control that.

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11 hours ago, latigid on said:

 

Re: using encoder switching functions for menus -- not recommended. Also with a 16*4 button matrix, there's no free DINs, normally they're bussed to FAST or similar.

Re: the extra row -- no new functions as far as I know, but you could consider all sorts of possibilities e.g. direct access to tracks, step view like the 16*16 BLM does, song positions.

 

There's a strong case for the fourth row and making a timeless instrument with high-quality switches.

 

I'm not getting it. If a fourth row is possible then using encoder buttons as that 4th row is also possible. The DIN issue is on the existing CS. Surely it can be removed. I realise this would remove the press FAST functionality but it may be a beneficial trade off.

I do agree that a 16x4 RGB button matrix with optional BLM mode would rock like a bulldog eating wasps but unless narrower keycaps can be found from a sustainabe supplier (important) it's probably not going to be 3U. 

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For sure, the encoder switches could act as row 4, but it's likely you'll mis-press and enter a menu instead of changing values.

For size, it depends on your definition of 3U

24.11.thumb.png.b702fdbb572570fa47167b5d

 

I would prefer 3U full panel, as I have a mind to rackmount. The whole thing could squeeze into 122mm (left-hand white block is a 3U panel -- slim margins!). For Eurorack fiends, they might try out your idea of a single encoder and overlap the displays in place of 16 GPs, if that's even possible from a UI perspective. (I can envisage that GP buttons would only toggle gates in BLM mode, and enter menus directly otherwise.)

The day's research found that the Matias switches could work. This assumes that the DSA family of re-legendable caps come in ALPS mount. Seems the LP caps are just for Cherry ML = no backlight. Matias are cheaper than Cherry but need to click into a "panel" to stabilise them. I figure a PCB will do, and it would have the encoders on to gain a bit of extra height (right-hand PCB).

The other has switches, LEDs, the 8*8*8*8*4 matrix and registers stacked underneath.

Let's discuss the case build. A tricky point is that there's very little room for mounting holes; in fact the panel would have four big cutouts for the displays and switch arrays, plus ~20-something holes for the GP/data/track encoders and a few LEDs, and not a lot else. I think it would need rear standoffs (viz. Mongbox) and a flat bottom. 

What are the other components? Core, MIDI IO (white oblong), Quad IIC or two, maybe AOUT/DOUT or line driver. The big question is how many standoffs are needed to prevent flex? With fewer, more things can fit inside a flat case but may cause bending. Desktop users could mount a smashTV Core sideways (mounting holes line up) with some extension to the right-hand side.

Another option is to redesign the Core carrier board so it can be panel mounted along the long edge and fix it to the right of the panel. SD card and a few other things could go on the front, USB can use a dinky adaptor cable and at the same time go for more robust Type B or OTG (USB Host) panel sockets.

With the switch PCBs extended, DIN sockets might fit, even 16 of them (2* MIDI IO, 2* Quad IIC, BLM. In that case the whole lot could be widened, but that's a story for another day. The PCB cost would go up because at the moment it's a magical Eurocard size.

What else needs to be crammed in?

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