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eufex

Newbie: A couple of questions

22 posts in this topic

Finally thanks to the genius of uCApps I've found a solution to my needs. I've been looking for a controller suitable for live PA for the last 2 years and have tried many commercial controllers. None have come up to scratch.

What I'm planning to build will have (roughly) 120 buttons, 41 sliders and 60 rotaries (current count). Now...this is too much for the MIDIbox64 spec and on first glance 64E won't do it either. However, looking at the scematic it looks like it's possible to have both rotary encoders AND pots on 64E. Is that the case? Is that implemented in the firmware or would it require additional programming?

Next question (last one, promise). Is it possible to send several MIDI controllers out from 1 button push  - i.e. I press a toggle button and it sends on 8 commands for the on state, when I press it again it send out a different 8 commands for the off state?

MMTIA.

Will be getting started bilding this baby and geting teh show back on the road in teh next couple of weeks if this is all possible.

V excited by the prospects  ;D

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Right..

can someone tell me if I'm going wrong with this please?

Spec:

Large faders: 11

Rotary pots: 58 (1 must be an encoder)

Large Buttons: 3

Lit buttons: 160

Small sliders: 32

By my reckoning I'll need to use 3 cores - 2 as Midibox64 and 1 as 64E - I may add a few more bits as this will leave some spare capacity.

I've had a good look around on the forum to see about linking cores and while it looks perfectly possible (and people have done it), there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer about mixing cores running different apps. IS it possible to do this and run them from the same LCD?

Thanks.

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Doesn't anyone know this?

Design has changed a bit (again) only need to use 2 cores core - one 64 and one 64E. The illuminated buttons are going to cost an absolute fortune...but there you go. Going to be as nice job wheel to thew left. Will be putting up a quick graphic I've done of it within the next day or so. None of it is to scale or measured, it was done more so that I could get a handle on layout and colours of LED's etc (so not all of the buttons fit correctly in some places in the picture, ahem).

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sorry. gotta be patient around here. not a super populated board at all times. people are spread out over all the world so be patient. i know it sucks to wait on a question...

about your 'small sliders'.. what do you mean by sliders? like an un motorized sliding potientiometer (unmotorized fader)?

where are you getting your lit buttons? got a link to share?

t

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;DYes I can be an impatient devil. I get a bee in my bonnet and tehn it's wham bam until the job is done. The 'sliders' are just 10k linear pots. 100mm for 8 channels, a crossfader and a couple of other controls and 45mm for 2 fx send non each channel. I'm going for sliders rather than rotaries on the sends so that I can change multiple sends by hand very quickly at the same time - the controller is for live PA. I'm having trouble getting some smaller knobs for those at the moment (using standard mixer ones on the main faders). They don't need to be motorised for my needs and (great) I've managed to get the design down to 2 cores - originally I was going to have 4 sends on each channel but I think 2 will be enough. LED switches were from Farnell ( http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/searchPage2.jsp?showImages=true&Nty=1&N=401&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=illuminated%20switches&No=175#results

3113579 and others plus caps higher up the page)

but for the amount I need (160 or so) the cost got too much - £2.33 per switch and £60 per cap. So that was well over £300 for the buttons - crazy. I've found some more at Farnell and have ordered a few to see what they look like.

Links:http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/searchPage2.jsp?showImages=true&Nty=1&N=401&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=led%20switches&Nto=illuminated+switches&newSearch=true&No=25#results

TLL62BR

caps available are square or round in a variety of colours

Colour          Round          Square

Ivory             5370565       5370632

Red              5370553        5370620

Green           5370589        5370655

Blue              5370541        5370619

Other colours available: Black, Orange, Yellow.

HOpefully these will look Ok and be up to the job - switches are £0.60 and caps are £0.24 - volume discount.

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This is a (very) quick mock up. I'm not decided about the square buttons and may go for something else. Ideally I want to get a USB trackball and 2 buttons into the case as well so I don't have to touch the computer at all when in a club but it depends on how much real esate this will all take. It may fit into the bottom left - I'll know better when I've decided on final components, measured and laid them out properly.

control mock layout.jpg

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Hey

Re mixing different apps via midibox link

No problem as far as the actual connection goes (I was running a MB64 & a MBMF together) it will work just fine.

If you want to use just 1 LCD screen to view both Cores data then you are on your own this would require you own programming.

I just used one LCD to set-up the cores and troubleshoot then left it pluged in to the MB64 core as I didnt really need the MBMF messages on the LCD for the final design.

Make a cheap & simple design first use it a couple of times.... your almost sure to pull it to bits and redesign it again :( Ive seen some designs in a cardboard box as a start point!

Ive never built it but I dont think you can have Pots on a MB64E, encoders only??? You better read up on that.

Cant help you on the sending of several controllers at once? but I'd be very surprised if it wasnt possible (once again it will require your own programming I think?)

Most of all, have fun & welcome to the Midibox world (watch out its really addictive)

pEaCe

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Hi Lo

Thanks for the info.

Doing some programming doesn't scare me too much  - I did a degree in microelectronics in the late 80s and early 90s and was quite handy programming 8 bit assembler  on 68xx and 65xx systems plus the usual Pascal and C. Very rusty though. From what I've since gleaned it looks possible to have 1 LCD on a dual core box  - the LCD goes on the 2nd core but as you say will probably involve some coding. The cardboard box sounds good  I need to do some wood drilling too to get the correct sizes for the led buttons because according to the datasheet the caps are the same dimension all the way down but they feel (and logically) must be slightly tapered.

I've got a good grasp of the hardware side of things now - I've got to do some reading on the soft/firmware side to get buttons/leds doing what I require etc and I'm still trying to get hold of that blasted data wheel. It will arrive...

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Boards and kits have arrived from SmashTV - I could have etched boards here but time is precious. The boards are fantastic - extremely well etched and silkscreened - I would recommend them to anyone. SmashTV has been really helpful with a couple of questions I had and with an error I'd made in the order. Great stuff   :)

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Finished the boards yesterday after about 24 hours solid soldering.

The-boards.jpg

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Been really busy lately with the box - have also started a 2xLC box. The house is basically a MIDIbox production site at the moment. Here are some pictures of the work in progress, please excuse some of the photos as my camera is a bit dodgy:

The frame for the live box

frame4liveboxbetter.jpg

The frame for the 2xLC box:

frame4lc.jpg

Cooking a light meal:

cookingalightmeal.jpg

Some lovely Ferric in the kitchen - place in oven at 80 degrees to keep warm. Yum.

cooking.jpg

The board after etching:

etchedboard.jpg

Front panel for the live box:

livefrontpanel.jpg

2xLC Front panel (not including meter bridge panel)

forcutingpvc.jpg

A selection of boards for the live box front panel

moreboardsb4cleaning.jpg

PVC arrives - hmm have I ordered too much?

pvcarrives2.jpg

So, at the moment apart from work (what am I doing on nights in slack time...yes MIDIbox!), MIDbox is my life ;D The kitchen, bedroom, garage, garden, dining room, living room and studio are all full of tools, components, boards and bits of midiboxes in progress. I've got a B side that I must complete before December, remix projects and 2 collaborations with other producers to arrange but there's no room for making music when you're making these babies it's full steam ahead with the MIDIbox madness.

Government health warning: MIDIbox will take over your life. MIDIbox will take over your family's life. You have been warned!

:) ;) :D :)

Edited by eufex

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I thought I'd get round to posting a few more photos up:

Fitting the front panels to the chassis (these were taken at night so apologies).

The live controller:

Liveboxpaneltestfit.jpg

2xLC

studioboxpanelfittest2.jpg

Mounting led rings for 2XLC box:

rearofledmeters.jpg

(Later changed for circuit boards)

2xLC Meter bridge:

rearofmeterbridge.jpg

That's all for now folks....got to go and route all the wood out now because of that design mistake.

Edited by eufex

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That lIve box is SIMPLY WOW!!! Keep it up it looks great!

Who did the drilling? Or do you have your own cnc router for that?

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I got the panels cut at Schaeffer - mega $. My strengths are with electronics/programming etc but I'm not very good at the manual things. I figured that with taking 2 large projects on and having a schedule on the live box I would be much better off getting the panels cut professionally as, expensive as they are, it would work out cheaper with cost against time. At the moment I've actually got 2 live box front panels - the first one arrived damaged on one corner. Shaeffer asked if I wanted to have some money refunded or have the panel recut - I decided for a recut because with the thing being so expensive and a one off I wanted it to be perfect. I was expecting Schaeefer to pick the other panel up but they haven't done so yet. If it turns out that they don't want it back I may have a pre cut panel for sale if anyone is interested (it will have to be the same layout design etc, natch but I can supply a parts list for what it has been cut for). I'll also have some expanded PVC for sale at some point too if anyone wants it - it's 3mm thick and I've got around 1.5 square metres left (I think - I haven't measured it yet).

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Nice work!

So you are using LED strips instead of rings?

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very nice indeed - looks like an Ableton Live controller, yeah?

Could you elaborate on the assignments and such? I see A/B buttons?

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Yes I've gone for strips rather than circles for the led rings and have used square LEDS. The LEDS are mounted on a piece of veroboard and the strip is glued to the PVC backplane via a small strip of PVC at either end of the LED assembly.

Re assignments on the live box - yes it's for good old Ableton. Those are A\B buttons at the bottom of each channel - you'll be able to see the assignments better when I've got the graphics on the front panel - I'm just doing those at the moment. Not every control on the panel has actually been assigned yet - I've a few spare for future enhancements in the software. Basically though, the 7 rotaries with buttons on the right are encoders. The two rows of 4 next to that are pots on the returns (4 levels and on/off buttons). The central section of rotaries are mainly pots  - the ones with larger holes next to them are encoders. On the left all the rotaries are encoders, each with a corresponding button. The square buttons underneath that for transport etc (Stop, Play, Keep, Scene Up, Back, Fwd, Revert, Scene Down). A jog wheel underneath that for moving through scenes I wrote a patch a long time ago in Max that varies note data across a keyboard with what scene is selected  - in this instance with the play buttons on the channels this allows the 10 play buttons to move up and down the scenes and also stay synced with the screen. If possible I'm going to code this in MIOS but if not I'll just slightly alter the MAX patch to what I'm doing now.

Then, each channel has a button for record, channel on/off,,solo/cue and stop. In combination with the A\B buttons this allows any channel or combination of channels to be recorded in any other channel and also allow tricks etc to be done 'out' of the mix while cueing (depending on crossfader position) and then be brought into the mix when needed.

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I can't believe I missed your post, eufex. It looks very, very nice, and extremely well thought out. Do keep us posted.

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Cheers.

Still at it - just getting back into it after a couple of weeks off over Christmas. There's a niggle with sticking tact switches for the LC box when the caps are on the switched which has been driving me nuts so I'm doing wiring work on the Live box at the moment. The front panel graphics are finished for it except for a few final details, which I won't be sure about until the box is up and working so I will have to unmount everything from the panel (all rotaries are panel mount) to get the graphics on - a felt tip pen and a camera are in order. I'm just having a bit of trouble locating someone that will print on lazertran locally at the moment - I need to use A3 sheets, as they won't allow anything other than plain paper to go through their machines...

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I am still at it, honestly :) I've been concentrating on the live box more recently as that's the priority. Everything is now mounted on the font panel bar the play switches alongside the faders where there has been a slight hitch - the boards weren't quite correct due to a typing error!  ::)- The spacing between 2 holes was 12.07 instead of 12.7 mil - boards are re etching at this very moment and busy desoldering the 80 buttons from the incorrect boards.

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nice box,

but please, please, please, make the pictures smaller! much smaller!

I've got a simple analog Modem and I'm sorry that I can't have a look at all the pictures, because

I won't live long enough to load it. ;)

Matthias

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;D I didn't realise they were THAT big - they're reduced in size a lot from the original images. I'll see what I can do but maybe everyone can see better what's going on when they can see a bigger picture?

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