new open source midi controller

  • i just meant what software interface (...which is renoise, right?)

    sorry this is all new to me. i enjoyed the process of building this box with knobs on it but i have no idea how to use it (yet).

  • Ah, ok. Yeah its just renoise. I set up eight tracks, each with 8 send devices, and 8 seperate send tracks. each knob was mapped to the "amount" slider of a send device. The final send device was set to mute the audio on that track preceding it. So that only the sent sound remained. Put a load of different fx on the send channels. I then set some simple loops playing and twiddled knobs.

    You should be able to try that in any daw. Lots of fun.

  • kneet :)

    thanks for the hand holding

  • Finally got mine boxed up too. Thanks to oootini for that!

    Still got 4 kits left if anyones interested :)

  • Looks great. Going to be integrating mine with the sparkfun arduinome I bought, just trying to figure the layout for the mode switch. I had a question about that as well. In the assembly pics you show just two wires used. there are three holes, what is the middle for?

    Still considering a second kit...
    However, wondering what other modular stuff you and bjorn have in the works...

  • Thats the extra pin i mentioned you could use for multiplexing adcs. It was designed for an led to display the current mode, but in the end we decided it wasnt needed, and we actually wanted to hide the switch out of sight. If you look closely on you can see the momenty switch just poking out of the top left of the enclosure :)

    I am working on, as we speak, the modular eight board + firmware. All smd parts though so not amateur friendly! No fixed dates yet though im afraid.

  • Very happy to hear! I just got my share of smd beginners with those diodes on the mk keypad. I take it that means that these new ones will be 'stackable'? Sounds like I should wait for the second kit to maybe make an extended controller. I'm still planning on putting the original with my arduinome as the buttons and knobs line up perfectly.

    You mentioned that you used a momentary switch? I thought it called for a spst? I guess I figured it was toggle. Momentary makes sense though. If I wanted too, could I put an led on that middle pin and it would show the mode?

  • Lookin good stu!

  • Hi ST8

    I would be keen on one of the remaining kits if possible . . .
    Please send me details . . .

  • I'd definitely be interested in one of those kits too depending on the price. Throw my name in that message too please!

  • You need to message b(at)covertoperators
    Encoders and teensy (separate orders) will run about 50 used + 45 euro (think) for the kit. Pretty good for the bunch.

  • Yep email bjorn: b [at] covops [dot] org to place an order

  • ^what he said!

    @st8, thanks for the adc pin info, I think I will revisit the idea, 64 arduinome + Eight encoders + Eight faders/Rotaries, all in one nice package...

  • @shimoda
    i thought i sent you an email about what pins were still free, but i cant find it in my outbox. Did i imagine emailing you that? Will check the schematics again, pretty sure theres a single adc left on the teensy plus 3 digital pins which should let you use an analog multiplexer to read 8 faders / pots.

    Regards the modular system, we're not sure how thats going to work yet. It might be assembled units rather than kits.

  • @ST8 - are you using the same encoders? besides the nice built in LED, i actually found my encoders quite wobbly feeling. not very smooth. you know?

  • Ive got the rs ones too. Ive found the friction is not consistent between encoders, and the ones with very little friction do feel a little loose. Anyone tried the sparkfun ones, what are they like?

  • I'm using the Bourns PEL12Ds (red/green). I'll probably try the same only Blue/Orange if I build another set. They have plenty of friction and the detents are easy to feel. Thought about detentless ones for a second build, but think I'll stick with the PELs. They cost more, but you can get them for $2.88 each if you buy at least ten. Not bad price for good bourns quality.

    Regarding sending that info, you never were quite sure, I was hoping for the schematic, which I think bjorns sent me some dxf files, but they really aren't of use to me. So, yeah, I think it was imagined. It's all good. I'll have to figure out the whole firmware thing, though hopefully it won't be too much to learn how to add multiplexed faders to the firmware (yeah right...)

    Now I just have to order eight faders, as that seems the best route, rotaries are nice, but considering the encoders already serve that purpose, faders would be nice to have. What would be really cool would be four x-y type controllers that could be read as pairs of faders. That would be great so that I could control multiple 2-input effects. Something like a tandy joystick where it didn't always return to zero. Any ideas? Maybe I'll have to hack some fader to do just this.

    This would have been expensive but nice, unfortunately they are out of stock:

  • Just a quick update, ive fixed the firmware so its now arduino 1.0 compatible. It compiles here, but ive not yet had a chance to test it on an actual device.

  • Almost finished, just putting on my last touches:

    I decided since I was buying an accelerometer and wiichuk pcb adapter that I'd try the clear knobs from sparkfun, they aren't as fancy as others but they'll go perfect with this, low profile and simple.

    As for the arduinome, it's one I bought from sanders here on the forums. I couoldn't figure out what to do about the faceplates as they showed through and looked unfinished. They are actually two sandwiched pieces of laser cut acrylic so I spray painted the bottom side of the top plate flat black. It actually looks pretty cool.

    With the drilling for those encoders to be so precise, it was the perfect time to unbox my new drill press.

    Larger images and the inside of the beast and its maze:

  • That looks great! We are making good progress with the modular system, more info in the coming months!

  • are there any kits still available?

    i have been lurking on this thread for a while, looks so good.

  • I've got two left on my desk, unless Macizza still wants one? Drop bjorn an email, b [at] covops [dot] org

  • bootyful shimoda!

  • yeah, nice work dood.

  • thanks, after getting it screwed together I had two rows not working, screwed up wires, had to open up and redo the wire, it's okay though, they were getting worn from being moved about the shop too much. Unfortunately I have one button that likes to stick...Looks good though.

  • Yes - sending you a message. . .

  • So was anyone interested in pre-assembled version of the eight? I think Bjorn said he got a few emails.

  • in the ponoko style enclosures?

  • Well, it seems one of my friends has a cnc machine in his garage so we are testing some things. Probably top/bottom + deeper middle section to simplify assembly a little. Need to get some raw materials first, just gauging interest.

  • awesome. ponoko adds some serious expense. "cut" them out!

  • i would be interested in a pre assembled version for sure

  • As would I. Perhaps even several.

  • How much we talking? Even as a kit (enclosure included) without assembly?


  • Erm, this is in no way fixed yet, but somewhere around the 200 euro mark for the eight i think. I'll have a better idea about figures once we start making the new enclosures.

    Hopefully with the possibility for sixteen and thirty-two as well. Sixty-four ive not yet tested and will almost certainly require external power.

    These are unlikely to be kits as they are a new single board pcb design that is all smd based.

  • @st8
    I'd very much be interested in a premade unit. Specially with 16 or 32 knobs.

  • Yeah
    Kit arrived today - start building soon . . .
    Still awaiting Teensy and Encoders . .
    Must be patient . . .

  • Well,
    Bit distracted of late; lost a chip somehow, short supplies etc, etc . . .
    But 'job done' - or at least the raw electronics, except switch; uploaded pre-comped hex and all is fine. Now to build a case, pics when done . . .
    Thanks all . . .

  • i was doing some e-sleuthing over lunch and found these knobs with some clear panels (don't remember them being mentioned in here previously):

    ahh, now i see ootini has already seen them, haha

    sounds like we'd need a bulk order. might be a little late to the party on these. oh well.

  • or maybe not

  • Wow. Finally solder this thing up tonight. How long has it been?
    Being unemployed helps in clearing out my backlog of projects.

    Anyways, how do I get this dude to do stuff? I strolled back through this thread, but I'm not figuring things out.

    Plugged it in, the teensy led started flashing, turned on arduino ide tried to verify and got an error message. tennsyduino is installed. It's been a while since I've messed with any of this stuff really. just been making music these days.

    Any help from anyone would be awesome ;-)

  • if you flashed the teensy correctly, it should show up as a teensy midi device in your daw.

    use this to flash the teensy with the firmware:

  • good lookin out teeeeeeeeny!

    all is go!

  • w000t! what kind of enclosure did you make for yours?

  • enclosure comes next. I might just make a plastic one from scrap material i have as funds are limited. We don't want the limit of funds to limit the fun ;-)

    Anyways. I might try this out at a show on Saturday. We'll see tomorrow.

    Thanks again!