Building Hardware? A Few Questions
Jul 2, 2008 at 11:44am
Building Hardware? A Few Questions
Well i have finally decided on the Macbook Pro 15″ version (which was in a a post i done a few weeks ago). It just has to be done
So anyway, i recently received the kit version of the monome 40h. Which i am happy to say i have done the soldering for, except for the LED lights, which i have to order tomorrow, because no-one here in Dubai knows what a LED is, im not kidding, no-one knows.
But since building the monome and before that i have been pondering building a custom built midi controller. And as the name precedes only I will know how to use it properly for me, because it is custom built.
But the question is not what should i get, but, how hard is it to build firmware for a midi controller. Or will firmware be needed at all?
I have a passion for building things, anything that can make a sound. But recently (about a year) i have had a burning urge to build my own controller that can control anything i want in my programs or even max patches (preferably).
So if anyone knows any way to either build the firmware, please let me know. I would like to get up and running to build my own controller.
Keep It Easy, Keep It Cool
Jul 2, 2008 at 5:37pm
I highly recommend thinking about what you want to make before laying down too much money, as electronics components add up.
Jul 2, 2008 at 7:01pm
On 2-jul-2008, at 13:44, Lewis G. Edwards wrote:
doepfer sells ready made printed circuits boards, where the DIY
ucapps (MIOS) is open source. there is no limit (other than the time
Jul 2, 2008 at 7:19pm
your email has many interesting sides to it, but a few pop out, so to speak.
First off I’d recommend that you spec out what your controller has to
Once you’ve done a full specification for the controller THEN I’d
The Arduino system Andrew mentions does require a bit of code, but it’s
Hope this helps, if only a tiny bit.
Lewis G. Edwards skrev:
Jul 3, 2008 at 5:03am
Cheers for the replies, keep them coming in.
I will clear a few things first.
I was not referring that Robert Henke uses just Doepfer. That was in his first monodeck that he built. He then moved to Ucapps, because it is more open sourced.
As for what the controller, i am planning to build.
But all in all, to get to what i truly want it to do is quite much. And plus i have just mainly thought of really getting into gear with doing something. This is something i have to think about a lot.
Jul 3, 2008 at 7:53am
As said before, the arduino is low cost but requires some coding. The good thing is you don’t necessarily need to do it yourself. take a look at these links
and little-scale is the master of arduino and midi interfaces:
I don’t know if it’s possible to use both midi and usb at the same time in these examples…I haven’t tried
Hope it helps
Jul 3, 2008 at 8:08am
On Jul 3, 2008, at 12:53 AM, Daniel Henriksen wrote:
I would bet not. The USB port uses serial output from pins 1 & 2, as
Jul 3, 2008 at 8:59am
Quote: Chris Muir wrote on Thu, 03 July 2008 02:08
Cool, that’s good to know. Thanks.
Jul 3, 2008 at 2:59pm
On 3 juil. 08, at 10:08, Chris Muir wrote:
But there is a library allowing any pin to be used as a serial port:
As stated there, there are some limitations…
Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie asbl
Jul 3, 2008 at 8:10pm
If your ultimate target is a computer, there is no real benefit of using MIDI instead of serial, since you will be limited by the expectations of the MIDI protocol. The benefit of MIDI, if you are building your own hardware from scratch (with microcontrollers), MIDI is very simple to program using the UART pins and doesn’t require very much investment in interfacing. Since the arduino already has a serial-USB chip built-in, there is no point in going to MIDI unless you need to control a MIDI device directly. There are several very good examples of how to communicate between arduino and Max on the Arduino page.
Jul 3, 2008 at 10:21pm
On 03-juil.-08, at 22:10, Andrew Benson wrote:
> If your ultimate target is a computer, there is no real benefit of
USB has limitations too, one of them being the length of a USB cable. I
Jul 3, 2008 at 11:43pm
Yeah, USB cables are way more expensive too, for longer lengths. This isn’t a big deal if you’re right next to your laptop, but if you plan on thrashing around on the floor or throwing your controller at people, you’ll be happy to have that extra bit of cable. I’ve also had similar experience with MIDI cables being a LOT more forgiving when it comes to maxing out length than USB.
There are ups and downs to every choice. A lot of it is personal preference. Unfortunately, it often requires making bad decisions first before you actually form these preferences…
Jul 4, 2008 at 6:38pm
USB is fine but there is already too much of it in the world. I have 3 USB ports on the Mac, a 4-port and a 9-port USB hub and still only 2 or 3 jackets free. In such a situation you are not interested in more USB but rather in a multiport MIDI interface with just one USB connection.
Jul 5, 2008 at 6:00pm
Cheers for all the replies guys.
I had a look at Arduino (i knew about them, but had not looked into it).
I do like the fact some programming is to be needed to get it up and running with the Arduino. And it does excite me to think that, my imprint on a coding scale is put into what i built.
So even for just a bit of a hit and miss method, i am going to go for Arduino. If something good happens, i will pat my own back. If it messes up, then back to the drawing board.
As for the controller itself. I would like to keep it open source. Just so then it can be customized to certain tasks i plan to do. I plan to do a quick preset button method, to change between different settings.
I would like to build a a simple 16 step drum machine in as well. This would then communicate with a drum machine i am currently working in Max/MSP
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