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midiphy SEQ v4+


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We're just about ready for launch of the new SEQ v4+. This thread serves as a proper introduction, you can also ask questions on hardware etc. 

I first became aware of the SEQ around 2008. This was about the time of the migration point of V3 to V4 and the Wilba design. I finally got my hands on a Wilba front panel in 2012 and I was rocking the hardware soon after.

Around the end of 2016 I felt there was room for improvement. 

  • a number of my TL1100 buttons were failing on my unit
  • there was still no "standard" case available, also the rear panel was not well defined
  • the PCB supply situation was (IMO) non-transparent and confusing for new users
  • I had ideas about hardware changes

What started as a simple question morphed into a multi-page idea thread.

It was clear that the idea of incorporating a 16x4 matrix was not feasible from a software perspective, but it at least catalysed the idea towards a flexible "selection row" and other handy features. i liked the idea of mechanical keyswitches for their quality and very reasonable price. I then worked on a concept of illuminating these, finally settling on a misused superflux LED through a Matias switch. It became clear that a "complete solution" would require redesign of all of the boards, so I spent the winter of '16/'17 doing that. This entailed sourcing hardware items such as high-quality OLED displays, Matias switches and keycaps, a new Core breakout board etc. I periodically checked in with @TK. to confirm the right direction for the hardware (matrix routing and button features). Without saying, the SEQ platform is an incredible piece of work and TK. deserves a lot of credit and praise.

From the start, I was in contact with @AdrianH about potential case designs. He has taken all board outlines and done the CAD work himself. I think you will find the case an excellent solution to cramming a lot of hardware inside while keeping the panels clean. 

Peter @Hawkeye is the co-partner of MIDIphy. He handles the business side and also webdev. Perhaps more importantly, he is a very enthusiastic builder and documenter of all the designs. Normally I will do a test version, but the product photos and demos are usually his. I have spent endless hours discussing and debating/reasoning with him and there is always a positive and fruitful outcome. Hats off to you!

 

So: thanks for all of your interest so far. The aim is to provide you the best opportunity to build your very own SEQ.

Andy

--- Video Build Tutorials ---

 

--- MIDIbox NG Downloads (for testing) ---

SEQ_L.NGC

fluxtest.ngr

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I'm interested,... but the LED window is way to small for me. So I don't think this is an option for me, although I understand the feeling about the shining through the neighbour knobs. Last week

Here is mine :) Only heard about this project last week and now I'm the owner of this beautiful beast. Thanks Peter and Andy for all the help (me spamming you) in the last few days :)

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This is a really beautiful gear!!!
This sequencer could have the same success as the Sequentix Cirklon.
It would be great to have an official builder in each country to allow everyone to become a owner!

Bravo les gars!!!

Edited by Antichambre
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This sequencer could have the same success as the cyclonix.
It would be great to have an official builder in each country to allow everyone to become a owner!
 

I have wanted to do some building for people who find it a challenge and want to experience the power of Midibox. Where and how would I apply for such a position? I guess I’m making my formal application now, my area is Canada/North America.

This new sequencer looks fabulous! A real work of art, kudos to Andy TK & Peter and anyone else involved.

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Thanks for the nice words, Andy, Bruno and slo!

@lacuna regarding your questions:

Encoders: Alps STEC 12 with push button - these are really high quality and super-reliable. Used them in my first SEQ built somewhen in 2011 and abused them a lot in the last years - they are still like new, my absolute favourite encoders, nearly unbreakable.

Smaller (illuminated) buttons: MEC switches, as the Matias main switches, these are also high-quality and rated for a lot of key actions before they will give up. These MEC switches allow to access secondary, utility and certain menu functions, also start/stop/pause/record and the mode wheel on the right-hand (jog wheel) side are triggered by the illuminated MECs. It will all get clearer, once we have the key labels ready, which will also be posted to this thread, when ready.

Regarding the preordering question: there will be availability updates right in this thread, we plan to provide this for quite a while, as it has just been too much work for everyone to not do that, so you could get parts whenever available and it is convenient for you. John from Modular Addict said, that he would want to sell the v4+, core and auxiliary PCBs in the U.S., if you are not from Europe and want quicker and cheaper shipping.

@slo regarding your idea to have a list of official builders - great idea, maybe not to be discussed in depth in this thread, but it sure would be an option for people wanting a unit and not being able to build it. Additionally, we really strive to bring the "i can't build it barrier" down and make an extensive video documentation of the whole process (my biggest video project so far), so maybe more people can be pulled back into the fun of DIY, that would be at least my personal hope and motivation!

Many greets,
Peter

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Just now, Hawkeye said:

@slo regarding your idea to have a list of official builders - great idea, maybe not to be discussed in depth in this thread, but it sure would be an option for people wanting a unit and not being able to build it. Additionally, we really strive to bring the "i can't build it barrier" down and make an extensive video documentation of the whole process (my biggest video project so far), so maybe more people can be pulled back into the fun of DIY, that would be at least my personal hope and motivation!

I have friends who are very good musicians and they have no problem to use an electronic gear but they do not know in which direction to turn a screwdriver! hihi
you will surely succeed in reassuring some and they will succeed, for others it's just impossible!

But your right, we will talk about this later and elsewhere and avoid to pollute this fresh and new Andy's topic... Sorry Andy ;)

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This looks so good. Thanks to everyone involved for all the hard work! Really looking forward to building (and using) this.
Also very happy about a Europe based supplier of Midibox related stuff!

The text in the pictures mentions the 16x8 TPD Led matrix. Does this mean every SEQ v4+ will have a TPD by default? Is this the 'last-minute idea' Hawkeye mentioned in the other thread? Would be a nice add-on if that is the case!
Oh boy! :-)

Just out of curiousity: would such a thorough redesign not warrant a new version number (v5), instead of adding a +? Or are the major versions more related to the software than the hardware?

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Stunning work indeed.

Are you planning an "Analog Expansion Box" with CV/Gate/Triggers/Clocks in the same design? And what's the green illuminated port underneath the USB B? And the 1/8" jack? Footswitch input?

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3 hours ago, Holyver said:

This looks so good. Thanks to everyone involved for all the hard work! Really looking forward to building (and using) this.
Also very happy about a Europe based supplier of Midibox related stuff!

The text in the pictures mentions the 16x8 TPD Led matrix. Does this mean every SEQ v4+ will have a TPD by default? Is this the 'last-minute idea' Hawkeye mentioned in the other thread? Would be a nice add-on if that is the case!
Oh boy! :-)

Yes, Peter requested a TPD-like addition. Still have to test and clear it with the case-master.

 

Quote

Just out of curiousity: would such a thorough redesign not warrant a new version number (v5), instead of adding a +? Or are the major versions more related to the software than the hardware?

SEQ V4+ will run also on a Wilba panel if the Core is STM32F4. The previous ideas thread had something like a v5 (e.g. RGB 16x4 matrix) but in the end it was mutually decided to make only subtle hardware changes to put less software support pressure on TK. 

 

1 hour ago, u-link said:

Stunning work indeed.

Are you planning an "Analog Expansion Box" with CV/Gate/Triggers/Clocks in the same design?

There's a line driver DB-25 port, so all expansions are external. E.g. Altitude's AOUT, I will probably do one as well or remix my current design

Quote

 

And what's the green illuminated port underneath the USB B?

LEDs, same as on the Discovery but broken out on the front rear panel. One is acting as a Beat LED, three left for other functions (not assigned yet)

Quote

And the 1/8" jack? Footswitch input?

Yep! And a stereo jack to boot, so one channel is defined to work as a 0-5V gate.

1 hour ago, modus0perandi said:

Looking forward to order kits asap. Just need to remember to check in frequently from now on. :)

We'll get going as soon as everything's ready :)

Edited by latigid on
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15 minutes ago, latigid on said:

it was mutually decided to make only subtle hardware changes to put less software support pressure on TK

I just wish it would be possible to implement sth like a numeric keypad, such as the Yamaha QY700 had one.
Maybe with a shift-key-function (button-labeling 0123 would be required). 
Or by addding an external computer-keyboard or USB-numpad...

Edited by lacuna
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33 minutes ago, lacuna said:

Or by addding an external computer-keyboard or USB-numpad...

33 minutes ago, latigid on said:

There's a USBA host port, could be doable?

It needs to implement HID on USB HS(As FS) but it's pin PB12->PB15 which are used for J8/9
https://stm32f4-discovery.net/2014/08/library-31-usb-hid-host-for-stm32f4xx-devices/

Good night!
Bruno

 

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10 hours ago, lacuna said:

I just wish it would be possible to implement sth like a numeric keypad, such as the Yamaha QY700 had one.
Maybe with a shift-key-function (button-labeling 0123 would be required). 
Or by addding an external computer-keyboard or USB-numpad...

+1 for keypad - or even better, full ASCI keyboard support!

 

10 hours ago, latigid on said:

Yep! And a stereo jack to boot, so one channel is defined to work as a 0-5V gate.

Nice one - I often wished to have just a single trigger out 'on board' to trigger a ducking gate for some sidechaining on a mixing desk bus insert!

Edited by u-link
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3 hours ago, u-link said:

+1 for keypad - or even better, full ASCI keyboard support!

 

Nice one - I often wished to have just a single trigger out 'on board' to trigger a ducking gate for some sidechaining on a mixing desk bus insert!

 

one channel is defined to work as a 0-5V gate input!

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Hello!  Been watching this and the original thread for a couple months - Very excited for this even though I've started a to gather PCBs and a front panel for a Wilba style build.

For those that don't want customization (which I gather is part of the concept of v4+ ?), a Single kit order option along with a Single Mouser BOM (or for Europe equivalent) would be amazing.  I think this possibility was mentioned earlier but WOW that would make things so much more accessible for purchasing.

But slow methodical planning of each area is also fun, in a different way :)

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Was just saying to Hawkeye that I might do an SMT soldering tutorial using hot air and solder paste if you guys think it would be useful. That might make it more accessible for people as I don't even trust myself with the drag method using an iron!

Hot air stations can be bought for pretty cheap these days (about 30 euro) and it certainly takes less skill imo. It was actually recommended to me by Sauraen for the MIDIbox Quad Genesis and I quite like it. 

I can't wait to build this guys, the MB-6582 set a benchmark for eye candy for a MIDIbox project, the eye candy and feel of the SEQ V4+ has set a new benchmark imo. 

 

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We're still finalising the pricing. There are more PCBs involved than for a Wilba version, but also less shipping cost (and less hassle).

I have a solder paste gun but I've never used it. But alternative build methods are appreciated! I try not to drag/wick as you can damage the solder mask and cause unintentional shorts. I find hot air is really useful if you've made a total balls-up though!

As long as your iron is decent (small tip and temp. control) it's all about heating the SMT pad and wetting the joint properly while not applying too much solder nor overheating the chip. To do this, I hold the iron at a low angle (closer to the PCB) and just go half a chip row at a time. 

We will also make a "practice board" available that has examples of 1206/SOT-23/SOIC. Actually it is a MIDI thru splitter with DIN/3.5mm sockets, so if you do a good job you get a nice utility :). 

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