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matrigs

midibox blog: making of "the massive"

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yes that's right - i will make this blog while doing my new, second midibox project called - "the massive". i hope that this blog besides being entertaining (you will later see why), will show a few problems and some possible solutions to them and maybe someone will get some ideas later.

the idea was to make a controller looking like a mixer used for ableton live, reaktor, and some other applications. 8 channels, lots of control.

so - this is the old project - my first ever midibox

1.JPG

yeah i know it's ugly as hell - all the holes and slides where made by myself by hand with a high-speed drill, but sure it worked very vell.

this black slider on the right is a crossfader from a reloop rmx-2 crossfader - it's stereo, it's about 50 kohms (dunno if it's liniar or logarithmic) but it works very very well.

so now to the most important part of my new project - this time i got my frontplate from a company which makes stands and signs out of plexi and plastic and send them my project so they would cut it out with their laser.

material is 3 mm milky plexiglass, special antistatic. here you have the plate like it came to me

2.JPG

the idea was to make a controller looking like a mixer used for ableton live, reaktor, and some other applications. 8 channels, lots of control.

it is very accurate made and very nice - and the price was ok too i guess.

there was just only thing that was bothering me when stuffing the potentiometers in. as you can see i was talking above about 8 channels. now it seems that i have made a terrible mistake when creating the project in autocad, pasting the channel rows too often which now resulted i having 9 channels...

the problem is that i have all parts counted for 8 channels so i will have to get the parts again which will result in massive shipping costs for just a few pots and buttons...

on the other hand now i came to the conclusion that it's not that bad - now i have an additional channel which i will use for the master channel.

i hoped that would be the only problem.

hoped too soon.

4.JPG

as you can see i have also made a mistake when making the ledrings which now resulted in having two of them in a slight narrower diameter... goddamn.

i was just hoping that they wouldn't collide with the encoder.

5.JPG

thank god it didn't

6.JPG

problably you just laugh about the mess of the cables at the leds but i mean - it works. i have bent and soldered one of the legs of the leds together round the encoder in a circle so i didn't have to solder them with cables also.

i just had to cover the encoder with some tape because the legs where to near to it and the voltage was jumping over to the encoder.

so, i will post here everyday posting pics about what i have done next - much work left. keep your fingers crossed for me !

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Nice work!

What are you running this on, Midibox LC or 64 or did you write something yourself?

About the leds : are they all seperate leds? is there no way to get a led-ring in one piece?

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you should use the ninth channel as a master channel!

you could assign some of those pots to aux returns, master eq/fx, etc.

of course, you probably need another AIN board, maybe even another CORE - but those don't cost that much considering how much work & money you've already put into your project.

when you get a lemon, make lemonade :)

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ok - next day - even more frustration.

i have completely false counted the amount of digital outputs! the led rings are 11 leds each and i have 10 of them making 110 digital outs. but the buttons are lighted too and there are 32 of them so i would need summary 142 outputs which are impossible to do with one core !

so i will need for sure another core which actually is a must when i also want to launch that spare 9th channel... my god what a dumbass i am :|

but that's not only the only of todays problems.

7.JPG

as you can see i have stuffed quite a lot parts today - it seems quite nice so far does it? it doesn't really...

8.JPG

on the above picture you can clearly see that most of the drills of the buttons are not really round an untight. the problem is the following:

10.JPG

you can see on that picture that for mounting the buttons i just used a big prototype-pcb which i have cut into pieces. when i measured it the distance between the drills where 0,25 mm.

but when i mounted the buttons i came to the conclusion that the board isn't really produced accurate and the drills are about 0,25 mm and a few 1/1000 mm away. so when i mounted them the first three rows fitted perfectly but the position of the next few just didn't match! so i again had to widen them with a hand drill which resulted in non exact openings. i didn't pay a few hundreds for this project too look crap again...

so, to have at least something positive today - here a picture of the buttons by night:

9.JPG

yeah this picture tells me that it's worth it!

to answer all questions:

1. i couldn't find any supporter in poland for some prefabricated ledrings so i have to make them by myself. the look good from the front-side and they work so i guess it's not that bad.

2. the software for this will mostly contain of the 64ain_128din_128dout software written in c by tk with a few small additions.

the big opening between the encoders at the top is for a 40x2 lcd screen which will show, in the upper line the name of the functions controlled by every single upper encoder, in the lower line the functions of the lower encoders. i have 8 signs for every encoder so i think most of the function names will fit.

the opening on the right of the lcd are for buttons which will change the functions of the encoders, and which will change the according function names on the screen.

all the function names have to be in fact programmed every time you change your setup but, as my setup is mostly not chaning anymore this is just perfect for me.

for example - for live use with ableton live the 10 encoders will control all the functions of the ableton reverb, and when i press a button, i can control a filter delay.

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i have completely false counted the amount of digital outputs! the led rings are 11 leds each and i have 10 of them making 110 digital outs.

This is way outta my area, but don't the LEDRings get wired in a matrix?

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yes that's right but i'm momentarily thinking about having them connected each one single just to test them out.

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a ok now i feel you - in fact i must have missed the pdf about the led rings. yeah they have to be matrixed and it seems that my 8 channel version will be ready on on core until the end of the week.

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:) Good luck!

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hi!

The problem is that the holes on the board are 2,54 mm away and not 2,5.

So when having 8 buttons theses difference is multiplied.

Michael

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is this because of converting mills into mm ?

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no its standard that the holes are 2,54mm away from each other. its caused by converting inches to mm.

One inch is 25.4 millimeters. holes are 1/10th inch away, so 2,54mm ;)

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Where did you get the caps for the buttons over the faders?

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those are quite common here in poland - every "better" online store has them.

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big update today although the pics won't show it:

11.JPG

added the lcd screen today, a row of knobs and as you can see the buttons are removed but just because i have to solder them altogether - tomorrow i should get my hc595 so i can light the babies up for sure !

12.JPG

as you can see i also am getting forard with the housing - although i have to admit that i might have made the whole thing too high - it's 10 cm at the front and 15 at the back.

it looks much more like a pinbal table than a midibox from the side but i won't lower it before i'm 100 % sure that all modules will fit and the whole thing is wired.

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yea way to go man cant wait to see it fineshed

regards kris

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hooray today is a wonderful midibox day !

i finally got the rest of my parts - 24 radiohm potentiometers, 32 fadercaps, all the hc595 and a few other parts.

i made a huuuge step today - i managed to launch all the buttons at the bottom, the faders and the first 3 rows of potenitometers and guess what - no troublshooting needed at all - even my weird soldering seems to make the think function right. oh and i also added the big 40x2 lcd!

here is the pic of the actual thing:

15.JPG

oh and i also added a movie of how the lights in the buttons work. in the movie you can also see the pcb which caused me so much trouble with the holes being too far away.

http://www.greenet.pl/mateo/martin/movie.mov

great day !

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Nice!

Where did you get the caps for the led buttons? Or did you make them?

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those are buttons with leds!

http://www.tme.hu/microswitch-pcb-mounting-monostable-led-white/arts/en/a25/pb6141l-1__2.html

the company is called "highly" and the model is "ks-01"

they are not cheap but i think they are worth it.

i'm saying "i think" because they seem quite delicate and i don't know how they will handle punching them in live sets - it may be that they collapse after a few sets so i'm not sure what to say about them.

they are hard plastic so they have a good feeling - i don't like rubbered ones much.

they feature a nice soft "click" when pressed - but you have to make sure that they are mounted stiff in the front plate so that they won't woble around  because they tend to jam sometimes when you press them at a hard angle.

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the pots are those radiohms

http://www.tme.hu/carbon-track-potentiometer-shaft-6mm-radiohm-10k/arts/en/a08/p20-100r-lin__2.html

they are quite cheap but they have a god feeling and there is another great thing about them - the plastic shaft - you can cut it with some sharp tool to the desired lenth so you can make sure they fit to any knob that you buy. this is a great feature also when you mount them in some different way that needs additional shaft length.

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i also use those knobs for the pots:

http://www.tme.hu/plastic-knob-for-shaft-6mm-fi-15-5mm-black/arts/en/a08/gw13b__2.html

they feel very nice and have a good grip. and one important thing in them: the white line is welded INTO the knob and is plastic and not just painted on them. so they will have some very good durability u guess. i had a problem with cheaper ones where the line was just painted on them - the paint just weared off after some time.

oh and additional to the pots - they also make those pots with 4 mm shaft - might be a neccessary info for those who want to make some very small midibox.

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Matrigs, those buttons looks really nice while illuminated. They looks the same as those DT6 used by TK for his boxes. I wanted to drill the cap of DT6 for 3mm LED, but it can`t be done because of different cap construction than I expect it is. Some stupid spring is where I wanted to put LED. :(

Highly KS01 have exactly the same out construction but inside is obviously different. To bad.

Thanks for the info about that hungarian shop.

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Those buttons are fairly cheap it seems in quantities of 25-100 they'e about AUD$.95 each, or about US$.70

hmmm.

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Sorry patstormont, but where did you find that price?

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