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Module connection for Mackie Clone


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Hello to all you MIDIBoX user. 8)

I am about to start making my Mackie Clone, (to use with Cubase SX), but are a little confused :-/ about the connection between the modules and the core.

My Mackie clone will have 8 motorfader, 9 encoder, 8 ledrings (of 11+1 LED), 73 LED, 89 button, 3 switch input and 2 2x40 LCD display. (And maybe a bankstick to change settings)

(I will bring a picture soon ;D)

Here is a picture of how I think the modules need to be connected.


The problem is that on the webpage for the core, it say the the MF module need to be connected to J10, but in the pdf for the MF modules it say J7.

Also I think I read somewhere, that the LEDrings are connected to the same chain of Dout module as the single LED, and the encoder is in the same chain of Din modules used for button input.

As I am only going to use 8 LEDrings can I just use a Doutx3 and not the Doutx4 in the pdf.

Hope to clear this up before I start making my box.

Thanks and see you all. ;)


PS. I have not looked that hard on the MIOS files for the LC yet, but I will do that in the near futura, I know some of my answer may be in there.

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Hi MrMusicman,

Also I think I read somewhere, that the LEDrings are connected to the same chain of Dout module as the single LED, and the encoder is in the same chain of Din modules used for button input.

That´s right, just put the DINs and DOUTs for the Encoders/LED-rings somewhere in the chain and configure them in mios_tables.inc (encoders/LEDs rings) and lc_io_table.inc (normal buttons/LEDs).

You can also use the open in/outs on the encoder/LED-ring boards for some more buttons/LEDs. It´s a good idea to have some spare pins for extensions like layer-switching, display modes, LED meters and future features ;)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey there ones more.

btw thanks for answer, Axel.

Tomorrow I am going to make the PCB board for my Mackie Clone, so her is a picture of it. 8)

LC mk2.jpg

(sorry for the size :P )

I am still a little confused with some of the connections between the modules.

Here is a new schematic of the connection.

If I have made a error in the connection, please let me know (and I will make a new schematic to put on your site, Thorsten, if you want it)


See you all around here :D

PS. just one more time, Thanks Thorsten for making the great site and project ;)

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A very impressive layout :)

Just a note: the touch sensors require an additional DIN shift register which can be connected at the end of the last DINX4

To the box layout: I would add at least one dedicated button for MIDIbox LC specific functions. Currently following functions are supported (see lc_io_table.inc):

#define ID_MBLC_DISPLAY_PAGE0   0x80    ; switch to page 0
#define ID_MBLC_DISPLAY_PAGE1   0x81    ; switch to page 1
#define ID_MBLC_DISPLAY_PAGE2   0x82    ; switch to page 2
#define ID_MBLC_DISPLAY_PAGE3   0x83    ; switch to page 3
#define ID_MBLC_DISPLAY_NEXT    0x84    ; switch to next page

#define ID_MBLC_SWITCH_LAYER0   0x90    ; switch to layer 0 (like radiobutton)
#define ID_MBLC_SWITCH_LAYER1   0x91    ; switch to layer 1 (like radiobutton)
#define ID_MBLC_TOGGLE_LAYER    0x92    ; like a "caps lock" key
#define ID_MBLC_HOLD_LAYER      0x93    ; like a common "shift" key

#define ID_MBLC_SWITCH_LEDMETER0 0x98   ; ledrings are working as normal
#define ID_MBLC_SWITCH_LEDMETER1 0x99   ; ledrings are working as meters
#define ID_MBLC_TOGGLE_LEDMETER  0x9a   ; like a "caps lock" key
#define ID_MBLC_HOLD_LEDMETER    0x9b   ; like a common "shift" key

just pick your favourite behaviour. I think at least a shift button with "hold" function should be used, this enables you to switch the LEDs and all other buttons (in later versions also the encoders and motorfaders) to an alternative layer.

Best Regards, Thorsten,.

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I'm a little confused....

how is the second LCD connected? is the second LCD connected in paralell to the first one, except for the data bus? where is the data bus? is it 4bit or 8bit? how do you know the pinout for J10 in relation to the second LCD?

any replies appreciated........Steve  ;)

btw, Thorsten is about to clock 900 posts! amazing!!

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Hey there ;)

Thanks for the reply. :)

Thorsten, I have made 4 dedicated button on my controller, one for shifting layer (name 2. FUNC) and 3 for other things to come (named EX.1 Ex.2 and EX.3).

I do not have dedicated button for "REC En." (Record enable) but will use 2. layer for that on the "Select" button.

A little thing I fund out, is that in Cubase SX (that my controller are going to be used with) you can enable more than 1 controller, so you can have the Mackie controller enable and a Generic Remote Device.

This and the use off 2. layer gives you access to more custom functions and thing you may not access by using only the mackie controler. :D

I know that if the faders have touchsens it have to be connected to the DIN module (to send the mackie touch message), but the fader I am going to use have not  :-[

Btw. does MIOS keep track off the status for led,so that when I switch to 2. layer and switch back to 1. layer again the led will have the right status?

To Steven_C and other, hope the picture help with making yours midibox. 8)

See you all


Ones again, Thanks Thorsten for making this great project, a ½ year ago I was going to make the code myself but then I found your site, and there it was 8) 8) 8)

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Hey there ;)

Btw. does MIOS keep track off the status for led,so that when I switch to 2. layer and switch back to 1. layer again the led will have the right status?

yes, the application registers all incoming LED status messages so that they are also saved during the alternative layer is active :)

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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  • 11 months later...

The block diagrams above are great - but how do I connect multiple cores together for having more than just 8 MFs with touch capability? It seems to cover everything else I need.

Also, what code do I put in the cores? Do I install the basic MIOS bootstrap and then download the standard build for all of the cores or do the MF only cores need some other code installed since they are not funcitoning for anything else?

I'm getting closer to understanding all that is needed to build a LC or mackie clone, but now I need some help with the software side of things so I know how to get it working with Sonar 2.2 once I build it! Any links out there on that subject? I've searched, but haven't found anything detailed enough yet.

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Guest psytron

try the third picture down on the mb link page.

mb link uses the same connection as the ltc and the gameport. basicly you are connecting the pics uarts with one another. dont forget it connects like   midi in --> midi out NOT midi in--> midi in

seek and you shall find

\good luck

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Thanks! I did find under the Core page under the connector listing table. I found after more careful reading that J11 is the port used to connect multipled cores together.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that on the "slave" core modules, the optocouplers should not be installed to avoid midi corruption. That way the "slave" cores only get their midi data from the "master" core and nothing else. Is that correct?

Is my understanding also correct that the "master" core power supply can feed the other cores or should I wire them all to the power supply independently?

Thanks again for putting up with the dumb questions!

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Guest psytron

no problem. learning often involves questions

just for laughs do a search on "dumb Questions" there are some interesting views on this one  8)

optocouplers are not needed except for the midi in and the midi out ( i am not 100% certain on this)

if you have a large power supply you will only need one

so you dont need the voltage regulator on slave boards.

as i under stand you want another core so you can have more than 8 mf's. motor faders need lots of power if i am correct so i think you will have to do a little research on this one.

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the MBLC project emulates the original mackie control And the new mackie control that can control Sonar, Protools, DP, etc is different, as far as I know. So I don't think the MBLC is compatible with Sonar, etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong. :o

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  • 5 months later...

I remember someone had already tried Sonar with some success. I've tried to search for that thread but can't find it. I know it works - but can't remember who it was!

I plan to build the beginnings of an LC unit - probably just the shuttle and zoom buttons for now. I'll add the other stuff later. When I get it built, I'll let you know how it goes.

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ive seen the midibox fix for Sonar allready.

The fix for sonar is part of MIDIbox LC v1.5

but im using Pro Tools and Logic. i guess theres not a large amount of people that use those recording programs and midi alot.  :-/

At least for Logic there are still a lot of people who are using this software (at least myself ;-) ) --- the possible interactions between Logic and Logic Control are the best I've seen so far. The Mackie Control drivers which are part of Nuendo/Cubase and Sonar are poor compared to the implementation from Emagic.

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Hi all, just nosing around, looking at the various modules and getting myself psyched up.  This is an awesome project.  I'm going to have to make one once my workbench gets cleared.

I'm curious about the mackie emulation.  The new "mackie control universal" (as opposed to the logic/mackie Control) is the same hardware

with a firmware update.  

Sorry for being unfamiliar with PIC, never used it before...

This should mean that the LC Clone should be able to mimic fully the mackie control universal in the future.

Or is this something that has to happen in the emulation software?

I just want to be sure this box wont dead end if LOGIC makes some change and stops supporting the old style hardware.

Looking forward to more posts.


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