bcbox

The making of a Midibox64

83 posts in this topic

I just got back from a short vacation yesterday afternoon. My new PIC arrived in the mail! After many long hours of testing and debugging I got the news I was hoping for....

Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one

http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-complete1.jpg

yes, my PIC works and my LCD is working :D

I'm now going to use some test programs to test my knobs and buttons and stuff. Then I can hopefully get the full midibox64 application going. While I was installing the PIC and cleaning up some other things I added bypass caps to my boards...

Here's a pic of what the box looks like now on the inside. I moved things around from the way I had it set up before to try to decrease the changes of any noise or interference (I really tried to get everything away from that transformer too).

Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one

http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-aug9-1.jpg

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... I can only say once again: NICE.... VERY NICE!!!

Greets, Roger

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I made alot of progress this weekend. I've got most of the wiring tested and working. I'm still getting some ranndom data because of some missing grounds or something - probably something related to one or more of the 64 pots. I have trouble shooted and fixed a number of small problems. I feel like I'm getting close. I was hoping to finish it this weekend becuase I wanted to use it for a show next week - but as of Saturday night I have decided to give it a break and come back next week. I've got a 4 hour show so I need to spend time working out some music and auditioning a bunch of new stuff this week - so no time for the midibox. At any rate I'll leave this post with what else, another pic. This is the finished midibox, all plugged in and working. I do not have the DOUT module active yet - I'm taking the testing one step at a time - so you won't see any DOUT related led's lit up...

Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one

http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-complete3.jpg

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Hi bcbox

Your work is really excellent !!!

I have one question about Panasonic faders. I'm interesting if it sliding is fast or slow. If a moving with fader is tough or light.

I plan to buy it, but I don't know characteristic of moving.

Thank you for reply.

Best regards

LX

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Hi, the faders are in the middle. They are no where near those super light ones, like the ones on an allen & heath Xone92 or a typical crossfader. They aren't stiff either by any means. They are in the middle somewhere.

Brian.

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Thats a very nice controller you got there.  How do you get Ableton configured for use without a mouse or keyboard?

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Hi Bc. That is one mean controller. Like yourself i have realised that i am not going to find the controller i really wish for for ableton live. I've searched and searched and there's just always something missing. I have now decided to build one myself, irrespective of how long it takes me and how much it costs.

I watched Sasha close up (very close up, i was in the box most of his set) using maven last week and was soooooooooooo unimpressed at how he's using it. no loops, hardly any fx, just simple blending tracks.

the pitch function you have in there is excellent and one of the main things i've been looking for. can you actually get it to work pitching correctly like a cdj type digital pitch? if so, what's the smallest increment you got it to go down to?

Also, your post here is pretty damn good to follow, and i guess i'll be using it to build mine, my only problem is i am completely new to electronics (i'm a web man myself) but i'm willing to give it a go.

I have a favour to ask. If i send you a screenshot of what the final design is going to look like, can you help me by telling me what parts and bits i need, coz there's a hell of a lot going on in here to get to grips with.You seem to know what you're doing when it comes to ableton live controllers.

Hope you can help, oh and where can we hear what your mixes sound like using this controller . (the proof of the pudding they say.....)

Dizzy

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and the core of the A&H Xone 92??? I hope the case of this wonderful midibox is only temporary, or a fantastic mixer will be decapitated  ;D

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the pitch function you have in there is excellent and one of the main things i've been looking for. can you actually get it to work pitching correctly like a cdj type digital pitch? if so, what's the smallest increment you got it to go down to?

The increment of the pitch changes depends on how you set up the midi controller in albeton.  In 5 when you assign a controller you can set the high and low value, so can set it over a 5 BPM range and the increment will be small, or you can set over a larger BPM range and the increment will be large.  It is possible to do the same thing in 4 but the set up is a little different. 

I use this function over a 5 BPM range, assigned to one of the knobs on my Xone 92, and the increment is about .1 BPM.  It works well when you want to adjust the tempo of ableton to a record.

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I have a favour to ask. If i send you a screenshot of what the final design is going to look like, can you help me by telling me what parts and bits i need, coz there's a hell of a lot going on in here to get to grips with.You seem to know what you're doing when it comes to ableton live controllers.

why not upload it to imageshack and let us all have a look at it? In a separate thread? You're likely to get a bit more help that way, I think...There are a bunch of Live users here.

Andreas (enthusiastic Live-user)

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Has anyone heard from this guy recently? I mailed him in December asking him about his source for switches and caps and he replied, saying he had extras he would sell to me for $10 sent via Paypal. I sent him the cash and he replied on December 26th saying he was sending the switches. I haven't heard from him since, despite repeated emails to him asking about the mailing. Nor have I received any switches.

-drin

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a very impressive & professional project !

On the note of transparent MEC switches.. i have used them in the projects im working on ...got them for free from a boxload of demo boards. They are great switches; however a little bit stuff on actuation for some peoples liking maybe..

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Yeah....these have been on the cards for a long time. Not a patch on what a midibox can do to be honest.

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I am also working on an ableton controller, non-motorized pots, with a twist - I am hacking a USB keyboard for the buttons. Your controller looks really great!

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where have the pics gone on this thread?

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where have the pics gone on this thread?

In my opinion the maker of this MIDIBox either suffered a nervous breakdown or was a con artist. I asked him a question about some switches he had used and he replied to me privately that he had more of them and would sell them to me. I PayPal'd him cash (after all, his box looks legit, right?) and the switches never arrived. Followup emails went unanswered for months, then he replied and told me the switches had been returned by the USPS for some reason and that he was resending them. That was in February. They never arrived and he hasn't answered a single email since.

-drin

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hmm thats not too good Drin. sounds kind of strange though, the box looked great & all the build info & stuff, weird that it would be a con of some sort. I guess money reveals a lot though.

Its a pity the pics have gone, i was using as a reference for my box  :'(

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It has also been sugeested to me that perhaps he changed jobs and lost his old web storage space so the pics are gone. That might also explain my not receiving the package. That could be, I guess, but I still think it would have been nice if he replied to my emails.

I don't think the entire box was a scam - I'm sure he built it and that it worked. Things just got a little weird after that.

-drin

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Hi this is Brian here  - the guy who documented this midibox. Apologies for not keeping it up. I had to transfer everything to new web hosting - I have all the pics and everything. When I get a free moment I will update. You have my word my box was not a scam and works and everything ;)

After finisihing my Midibox64 I completed another midibox that I integrated into a "real" Xone92 (not just the chassis). I ripped out the mic and aux send/ret system that I don't use and put in 20 pots and 20 switches to control ableton live. This one works awesome when there's lack of space at a venue.

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hey bcbox, nice one for putting the pics back online, its a beautiful looking box!

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Holy cow huh!

That's freakin serious :)

Hey yell out if you wanna sell some of those buttons  ;D

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In my opinion the maker of this MIDIBox either suffered a nervous breakdown or was a con artist

I was just reading the thread again and I saw your post Drin. That's funny, I'd like to think at worst I just had a nervous breakdown ;)

you should get your switches today or tommorrow.

I think my girlfriend almost had a nervous breakdown when I was building this box. I designed and built it pretty fast - about 12 weeks. That's a lot of spare time disappearing into the "lab"! Actually when I finished my box I got an email from this marketing lady from Allen & Heath. They came across my box somewhere and were somewhat upset, partly because it is so similar to their xone stuff and partly because the Xone:3D was delayed 6 months and here was this kid making an A&H style controller in 3 months! Little did they know I worked for a sister company of there's (and hence the access to their parts).

If anyone has any specific questions or request for pics or something just send me a message I'm not that scary  :-X

It's really not that difficult to build a nice midibox if you have a technical background and if you do a bunch of research first and take your time, the hardest part for me was figuring out what exactly MIOS was and how to configure the firmware part (it took me about 3 weeks to figure out if I 'needed' a bankstick or not!).

I would post pics of my other midibox that's built into my xone:92 but it looks exactly the same as the stock one. I'm thinking about doing a little video with my DV camcorder showing it in action.

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yea im diggin it man, keep up the good work.

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just an update on the midibox. I am transferring all the pics to my new web hosting so some of the pics may not be back up yet.

As for the 60,000 mile update it is still working very well. I have been using it quite a bit and it has taken a minor bit if abuse you could say. Everything is holding up fairly well. The MEC push-button switches had me worried as they didn't seem very robust. Some of them seem to have lost a little bit of their 'click' action - they maybe don't click as snappy. They still work fine but if I'm really paying attention I can sometimes feel a variation in the amount of 'click force' from one to the next. Something definitely to consider if your midibox or other hardware project is going to take abuse. The only other complaint I have is the Panasonic 9mm pots. The action on some of them after they wear in become 'loose' or lighter than the majority of the others. They're just not the highest quality part I have used. I was restricted with size and orientation in this project and the panasonic 9mm was the best choice. Ideally though an 11mm or 12mm pot would be best for most situations. Other than those two gripes the midibox is hanging in there quite well...

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if you could upload those pics that would help me out ALOT

thanks

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