Wise

The making of a Traktor 3 controller

91 posts in this topic

So, here we go..

First a little picture of how i'm going to connect everything together:

connection2.jpg

As you can see I will have a 2 core system as there are more than 128 DIN's.

Power will be distrubuted to the cores and other modules through a common PSU. The boards A1,A2, .. , Ax, Bx are PCB's that will be mounted under the frontpanel. These pcbs have surface mount DIN and DOUT shiftregisters on them. All panel pcb's have power from the PSU to supply the registers. This way I will chain each pcbmodule to another and minimize the cables running to the bottom in the case. In the picture you can see this connection as purple lines. To minimize the risk for talkover between the datalines i thougt that putting a GND wire between each dataline (flatcable) could be a good solution.

No need for AIN modules as I'm planing to use less then 8 potentiometers/faders. Just wire them direct to the core.

So my first question: Anyone see any problem with the wiring of DIN/DOUT, possible ground/interference/dataloss/other problems with this method ?

I will post some pcb designs soon so you can see what a typical pcbmodule can look like.

Back to CAD  :)

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So, here is the first pcb module:

The front graphics:

FX_front.gif

This is for controlling traktors FX section. Inc/dec buttons to select effect, 4 encoders and buttons for the effect parameters.

The PCB:

FX_pcb.gif

Single sided. Surface mounted shiftregisters and some resistors on the bottom layer. SIL headers on each side to chain the datalines to next module. Yiiii, so hard to route so many connections on just one layer !! So it's some jumpers on the board...

Component test1:

FX_test1.jpg

Component test with real components. Not much to say. Encoders from VOTI (ALPS on picture). Simple tactile buttons and LED's

Component test2:

FX_test2.jpg

Here you can se how i thought to do the lighted button. Similar as other here on the forum has done. 8mm plexi, cutted, drilled and glued.

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Looks good but you might want to do something about those airwires... Especially the ones in the bottom right corner that touch/cross over each other...

What PCB design software is that?

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I will use insulated wires for the airwires, so i dont think the airwires will cause any problem. Maybe I route the wires so they dont cross over each other.

The pcb cad program i use is the same as at my work, Easy-PC , http://www.numberone.com. So unfortanetly i can not save the pcb's as eagle files if someone should want them. But I'm more than happy to share gerber, pdf, dxf or whatever format someone can import to another program  :)

/Wise

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Working with the frontpanel layout, so far:

T3_a1_s.gif

Larger : http://www.gavle.to/~wise/MIDIBOX/T3_a1.gif

Someone maybe remember that i worked on a traktor 2 controller for some time ago, true. Well, that one was throwed in the bin when t3 came out... You see the similarities from the old front in this new design. 

Pretty selfexplaining.  Two set of deck controlls with FX, LOOP,  EQ and Transport/tempo sections. Possibility to switch to another deck. All four decks have their own prelisten/gain/prefx and volume to be able to adjust these parameters without switching deck. Master FX, prefx and gain. X-fader and knobs for headphone volume/mix.

The two dispays are thought to display deck parameters (hopefully traktor will have midi feedback in the future).

In the upper left corner of the panel it's a chassimounted bnc for connection a snakelight ?? . Going to add a switch and a knob for controlling that to.

Also I'm planing to add a headphone amp, so maybe there will be some knobs for that to somewhere.

Impressions, comments and suggestions are welcome

/Wise

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What a freakin monster! :D

If it were for me, I might try and bring the controls closer together, for fear of tiring myself out - it'd be like doing aerobics, running from one side of that controller to the other ;)

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What a freakin monster! :D

Heck, for that matter, T3 has four decks. You've already duplicated transport controls (which in my opinion is unnecessary). Why not duplicate ALL the controls while you're at it?

-drin

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Wise, how are you going to implement mid-low and mid-high eq kills?

Xone mixer doesn't have kills

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If it were for me, I might try and bring the controls closer together, for fear of tiring myself out - it'd be like doing aerobics, running from one side of that controller to the other ;)

True, but I like to have some room to so i don't accidentaly touch or push anything. But I'll see if i can cut some mm's in the mixer section.

Why not duplicate ALL the controls while you're at it?

To expensive, to large panel and I don't see the point of having four dedicated deck controllers. Most time you are just using 2 decks, then its handy to have them accessible without switching. And when I want deck 3 or 4, it's simple to switch to these like you would. And I think this duplication minimizes the risk for controlling the "wrong" deck.

Wise, how are you going to implement mid-low and mid-high eq kills?

Xone mixer doesn't have kills

Oh, didn't do my reserch so well i see...But...They will stay there. I'm thinking that i can send a command at first press that sets the EQ to -100%, then at next press resets or set the EQ to the value before first press. Something like that.

Thanks for the input ! :)

/Wise

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To expensive, to large panel and I don't see the point of having four dedicated deck controllers. Most time you are just using 2 decks, then its handy to have them accessible without switching. And when I want deck 3 or 4, it's simple to switch to these like you would. And I think this duplication minimizes the risk for controlling the "wrong" deck.

I guess my sarcasm was lost in that post. My point was you already have too many controls! In my opinion the transport controls are only needed once - you don't need two copies of them. Look at the Faderfox for an example of how easy it is to drive Traktor (2 or 3) with only one set of transport controls.

-drin

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I sort of see where he's coming from here. I like to have duplicated controls seperated by the mixer functions, just because I don't like "oops" moments where I control the wrong deck. It's already bad enough that you have lost that connection to the record label to double check what track you are on. Some of us ex-vinyl guys have a hard time juggling the single-interface-two-decks thing. For instance, you can technically mix a full set with just one Denon S-5000, but I would HATE to do it. Perhaps if the transport section could take on either a green or purple backlight or indicator light to reference which deck was being controlled, or a LCD label?

I guess my sarcasm was lost in that post. My point was you already have too many controls! In my opinion the transport controls are only needed once - you don't need two copies of them. Look at the Faderfox for an example of how easy it is to drive Traktor (2 or 3) with only one set of transport controls.

-drin

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Some of us ex-vinyl guys have a hard time juggling the single-interface-two-decks thing.

Heck, I'm not even ex-vinyl! I still use my 1200's regularly, as well as Traktor 2 (and if it ever stabilizes) Traktor 3. My point is that the software itself doesn't provide multiple transports - they consider one set enough for multiples decks - so why have redundancies that the software designers deemed unnecessary? I use faderfox and my Kombine ALL the time and I've never found it necessary to have multiple transport controls. They're extra space, extra wiring, extra cost, extra nuisance.... the list goes on.

-drin

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Some of us ex-vinyl guys have a hard time juggling the single-interface-two-decks thing. -drin

You can juggle with Traktor? ;)

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True, but I like to have some room to so i don't accidentaly touch or push anything. But I'll see if i can cut some mm's in the mixer section.

Nah don't do it man. I figured it was so you could get more room to breathe. it's YOUR CS, not mine - Do it YOUR way :) That's the beauty of a MIDIBox :)

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You can juggle with Traktor? ;)

Well I didn't actually say that, but I do juggle, and sometimes with Traktor. The trick is stopping the laptop from slipping and hitting the floor... :D

-drin

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Guess I should not that I meant "mentally juggle", not beat-juggle. When I play live, I just have too much in mind than to worry about whether a control is assigned to one deck or the other. Hell, if you have the space and the money and time, duplicate all you want! At least it'll be all yours!

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My point is that the software itself doesn't provide multiple transports - they consider one set enough for multiples decks

What do you mean that T3 doesen´t provide functionality for multiple transports  ??? ??? Ass I can se you can assign a MIDI command (or hotkey) to whatever deck you want (A,B,C,D, Focus).

Nah don't do it man. I figured it was so you could get more room to breathe. it's YOUR CS, not mine - Do it YOUR way :) That's the beauty of a MIDIBox :)

No worry, I'll do it MY way  :) But yet a good opinion

Hell, if you have the space and the money and time, duplicate all you want! At least it'll be all yours!

1. I sertenly have the space since I'm going to use the case that i already build for my discontinued T2 CS.

2. Money..just have to work some more  ;) 

3. Time is money.... so it's in comflict with nr 2.

Conclusion: I'll have to be more effective in my work with the controller and take a talk to my boss  ;)

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I'll do it MY way  :)

I hope you were singing that ;)

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I hope you were singing that ;)

Yepp, Frank "Wise" Sinatra totaly out of tune  :P

So, time for an update:

PCB for LOOP the sections

loop_pcb.gif

Front graphics

loop_front.gif

loop_test1.jpg

loop_test2.jpg

The square buttons has "rubber" feeling. I'm also going to drill a hole in the keycap for the led. Allso you can see the connections to the left and right, thats where i'm going to chain the other pcb modules (fx, transport etc).

I know, many airwires... But remember it's 4 Shiftregisters, 16 buttons, 16 LED's and ca 40 resistors at that card  ;)

Thats all for now

Over and out

/wise

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Looking swee-eee-eeet man. Two of the nicest buttons I've seen in ages. What's up with the LED under the square button, how will you see it?

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Thanks Stryd  :)

Just to clarify, when I said "rubber" feeling for the square buttons i meant the tactile switching, NOT the cap !

I'm going to drill a hole in the black cap so the led will light up from there (it's not done in the picture). Maybe fill the "hole" with some clear plastic glue, epoxi or similar that the led can shine through. In the picture below you can see how the button is build

loop_test3.jpg

This is the buttons:

http://www.rjselectronics.com/cms/html/modules.php?set_albumName=album16&id=Fujisoku_TM_TR&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php

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Wise, I think I love you. Do you know how many times I have searched google for lighted pushbuttons?I kept finding those huge "Car Starter" kind. This website is amazing in the choices available. Thanks again.

Edit: Seriously, this company makes the best switches IN THE WORLD, man - I love the CH series - easy but attractive panel mount, internal resistors - They even have a "guard top" attachment to prevent inadvertent presses (important for me, as I don't want to accidentally hit the "scene play" button on my unit - I want that to be a very deliberate action.

Edit 2: And now I know WHY I love them.... $25 a piece! Even the LP series is $7.50 usd... :(

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I really like your way of prototyping the component layout.  I'm totally going to steal that technique :)

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Finaly i got some cash at my paypal account, so now i'm waiting for

40 encs

10 10k lin, 100mm slides (for future boxes)

+ some other stuff.

SWEET  :P

I really like your way of prototyping the component layout.  I'm totally going to steal that technique :)

Cool  :)

Edit 2: And now I know WHY I love them.... $25 a piece! Even the LP series is $7.50 usd... :(

That sucks ! Maybe a grouporder someone ?

edit: encs and slides from Voti...

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Wow. that looks really *really* nice.

And now for the request! <grins>

I've got an Allan and Heath mixer that i use with traktor, so i'm not particularly interested in the mixer section. I was wondering if it would be possible to reuse your filter, loop and (possibly) transport control sections and make a 4-deck-no-mixer version of your controller?

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