Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Digital Line Level DACs, Digital Crossovers, Equalizers, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th July 2019, 03:42 PM   #301
Markw4 is offline Markw4  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: California
Quote:
Originally Posted by ishizeno View Post
...buttons are needed for manually triggering repetitive actions, like playing a sound...
You might check out the buttons on MIDI beat box control surfaces at a local music store. Guitar Center in Sunnyvale has floor inventory of such things. The point is that one must be able to tap out a groove on a button used to play a sound, and to work well for that it must be possible to tap it very quickly with little movement, yet without any false triggering. Tactile switches may or may not be suitable depending on the particular switch characteristics.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2019, 03:52 PM   #302
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markw4 View Post
You might check out the buttons on MIDI beat box control surfaces at a local music store. Guitar Center in Sunnyvale has floor inventory of such things. The point is that one must be able to tap out a groove on a button used to play a sound, and to work well for that it must be possible to tap it very quickly with little movement, yet without any false triggering. Tactile switches may or may not be suitable depending on the particular switch characteristics.
Indeed, but the buttons I am talking about won't be used for that. Instead, what you are describing will be handled through pads, like the ones found on many MIDI control surfaces. That being said, I have not focused on bricks for these yet, for two main reasons: first, for the life of me, I could not find the right components for them, mostly because I must be doing my searches with the wrong keywords (pointers much appreciated); second, because I am planning to use a LinnStrument 128 on my reference setup (it provides 128 of these pads and comes with some awesome open source software; and Roger Linn is one of my heroes).
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2019, 04:02 PM   #303
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markw4 View Post
You might check out the buttons on MIDI beat box control surfaces at a local music store. Guitar Center in Sunnyvale has floor inventory of such things. The point is that one must be able to tap out a groove on a button used to play a sound, and to work well for that it must be possible to tap it very quickly with little movement, yet without any false triggering. Tactile switches may or may not be suitable depending on the particular switch characteristics.
Mark,

It's really great to have you follow the thread so carefully, especially with long posts like the one you've just responded to. I appreciate that very much. Thank you!
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2019, 09:46 PM   #304
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default More Bricks

Here is the follow-on post describing our remaining bricks.

S1, S2, S4: One, Two, or Four Switches
Unlike buttons, switches have a click/detent. Other than that, everything is pretty much the same, at the exception of the button's cap, which needs to support screen printing. And much like with buttons, the challenge for switches will consist in finding the right part. Of all the switches that I have used, the ones that I like the most are those used for the Pro Tools|S3 control surface (see attached picture). I really like their tactile feedback, as well as the way the illumination is handled through a thin horizontal window above the cap's label. I am still trying to find a matching OEM component in the form of a single button (not using a multi-button overlay like the S3 does).

Our instruments need three bricks with switches:

- 1 square switch
- 2 rectangle switches (one on above the other)
- 4 square switches (in a 2 2 matrix)

W1: One Wheel
What we call "wheel" is nothing more than a rotary encoder with an oversized knob like the one shown at the top of this module. Ideally, this brick will be the same as the E1 single encoder with LED ring brick, just using a larger knob. Alternatively, we will build it as a single-encoder brick without LED ring, taking into account the fact that it might always be used in conjunction with a display of some kind.

This brick should not be confused with a future wheel "block", which will provide a much bigger wheel with more control actions (back, forward, up, down, select). The wheel in question will be similar to the kind of wheel you find on luxury cards from brands like BMW or Mercedes. Unfortunately, these types of wheel usually come in the form or large OEM components with bulky enclosures that are not suitable to our application (suggestions welcome).

This is it for the bricks offering a single kind of control. Now, let's take a look at the composite bricks:

B2P2: Two Buttons and Two Ports
This brick will have two buttons above two ports. Here, it is worth mentioning that unlike blocks, bricks cannot be rotated. This is due to the fact that the mikroBUS form factor requires 16 different pins across two sets of 8 headers. Therefore, the layout of our non-symmetrical composite bricks needs to be considered carefully. In this particular case, the reason for putting the buttons above the ports is that most Eurorack modules do that, relying on gravity to pull the cables down away from the buttons when the modules are mounted vertically or at an angle.

B2S2: Two Buttons and Two Switches
This brick probably won't be used very often, but is required by one of our instruments. Here, the fact that buttons have round caps while switches have square caps will be quite helpful. The buttons will be on the left and the switches on the right, but I have yet to find a solid justification for this particular layout.

D1B2: One Small Display and Two Buttons
This brick will have a small OLED display (like the one used for the OLED W Click) mounted above two buttons. This particular assembly won't be very common, but this module could really take advantage of it. Down the road, we will also upgrade to a high-resolution display, as planned for the D1 brick. Here, the layout is justified by the fact that putting the buttons above the display would potentially hide the display when a button is pressed, while putting them on the left or right side would require that we mount the display vertically, making it very difficult to display any kind of text.

D1E2: One Small Display and Two Small Encoders
This brick will use the same display as the D1B2 brick, and the same encoders as the small encoders used for the E3 brick. It will be quite useful, being used by 9 of our 23 instruments. The only drawback is that the encoders will be quite small, but we will try to mitigate that problem by mounting them on a separate PCB alongside the screen, therefore allowing them to overlap the pin headers located on the PCB underneath.

D1P2: One Small Display and Two Audio/CV Ports
This brick will be one of the most complex bricks that we have to develop, because it will combine an OLED display and the two ports offered by the P2 brick described in my previous post. Depending on the complexity of the P2 brick, it is possible that we need to use three PCBs instead of two. If that is the case, we will need to plan all other bricks accordingly. That being said, such a requirement might arise for future bricks, especially the ones responsible for producing analog audio outputs (audio oscillators for analog sound synthesis). Bottomline: we will create working prototypes for all bricks before we settle on a definitive mechanical design. Furthermore, we might decide that different bricks could come in different heights (the control surface does not have to be flat in its entirety, and some blocks might be taller than others when a subset of the blocks come with an optional Sitara DSP base).

D1S2: One Small Display and Two Switches
This is the last display brick that we have to build, and it is quite similar to the D1B2 brick, but with two switches instead of two buttons. This particular assembly will be very useful for implementing selectors, like the one offered by this module. And so far, we have not found any need for a D1B1S1 brick made of a small display, a single button, and a single switch, but the need might arise in the future. And so far, 11 or our 23 planned instruments will have at least one display brick, two will have three of them, and one will even have four. Therefore, these little displays are a lot more useful than we were anticipating originally.

E1B1: One Large Encoder with LED Ring and One Button
This brick will have a single encoder with LED ring similar to the E1 brick, plus a small button at the top right corner. This is an unusual arrangement, but it will be very useful for this module. It will certainly be a really tight fit, but we'll give it a shot, and we'll keep this requirement in mind when developing the E1 brick.

E1P2: One Medium Encoder and Two Audio/CV Ports
This brick will combine a medium encoder with two Audio/CV ports. Because of space constraints, the encoder will not come with a LED ring. As a result, this brick should be used in combination with a display brick, or in close proximity to a smartphone. So far, we are planning to use it for a single instrument, which means that we might end up getting rid of it if we find a suitable alternative arrangement.

E2P2: Two Small Encoders and Two Audio/CV Ports
This brick will be similar to the E1P2, but will have two small encoders instead of one medium encoder. It is used extensively by two modules that both make use a display bricks as well. Therefore, it should be quite useful.

E1S1: One Large Encoder with LED Ring and One Switch
This last brick will be similar to the E1B1, but with a switch instead of a button. Because the switch will have a square cap, it will be an even tighter fit than the E1B1, but we like a good challenge, don't we?

That's all for now...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg S3.jpg (208.9 KB, 120 views)
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 01:24 AM   #305
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Updated Reference Setup

Another unexpected consequence of increasing the size of our blocks to 96mm 96mm is that we can combine the LinnStrument 200, Apple Magic Keyboard, Apple Magic Trackpad, and 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse across 3 grids on our reference setup, with a perfect fit. Doing so, we're saving a ton of space, allowing us to fit not only all currently-available Mutable Instruments modules, but also the OTO replicas of the five relevant Korg Volca modules (Cf. instruments). And all that was required to make this happen is a new E4 brick containing 4 small encoders, plus a 2-unit brick for the ultra cool Nutube.

Of course, these Korg Volca replicas do not have any built-in keyboard, but that's actually for the best, because they're placed right on top of the 200-pads LinnStrument, and 200 5-dimension pressure-sensitive pads surely beat 16 capacitive keys when trying to play some music...

And to top it off, the other knob next to the channel module will be the Grayhill Touch Encoder, used as master volume control knob (among other programmable functions).

Last edited by ishizeno; 31st July 2019 at 01:30 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 11:54 AM   #306
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Analog chips for modular synthesis

Over the past couple of years, with some patents expiring, there has been a sort of renaissance for analog chips used for modular synthesis, like the CEM3340 voltage controlled oscillator. I knew about CoolAudio and their V3340 clone, but I had not paid close attention to JSC ALFA, a 60 year old company based in Riga, Latvia. Their line of application specific integrated circuits is really impressive. I will get samples of the following chips to prototype some analog bricks:

- AS2164
- AS3310
- AS3320
- AS3330
- AS3340
- AS3350
- AS3360
- AS3363
- AS3364
- AS3372E
- AS3394E

The list of analog bricks that we will play with is maintained on this sheet.

Last edited by ishizeno; 31st July 2019 at 12:03 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 05:40 PM   #307
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Development Kit

Santa Claus disguised as a FedEx delivery man made a stop at my place this morning...

- MikroE Fusion development board
- 18 Click Boards
- NUCLEO-H743ZI2
- Silicon Labs Digital Isolators
- Bourns PSP Motorized Fader
- Various Controls and Hirose Connectors

I am happy to report that the MikroE Fusion is absolutely first class. The quality of the construction is amazing. The whole thing is essentially a massive 3.25mm thick PCB. It feels really, really good, and it makes me want to build our USB grid using the same process. Also, the MCU card is 61mm 61mm, which is perfect for what we need. Now, we just need to get the right MCU for the Thesycon U-Hear firmware, or build our own.

Time to play with all that stuff...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0446.jpg (1,008.1 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0448.jpg (1,001.5 KB, 99 views)

Last edited by ishizeno; 31st July 2019 at 05:52 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 05:59 PM   #308
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Click Boards

Here are the 18 Click Boards that we got. They are really, really well made.

And I was not sure whether they came with soldered headers or not. They do.

Having bricks in that form factor will be really awesome, not just for controls, but also for analog ICs. Being able to put together a complete analog synthesizer with vintage ICs using 9 bricks on a single OTO plate would be awesome. And combining 6 of these on a board (new name for "grid") should be a ton of fun...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0449.jpg (1.03 MB, 99 views)
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 11:21 PM   #309
ishizeno is offline ishizeno
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Mikroe Fusion v8 Up and Running

My Mikroe Fusion v8 development board is up and running. Since I have been using Macs for the past 20 years but did not want to take any chance with a virtual machine, I got a new PC running Windows 10. Now I need a compiler for the MCU, and I'll probably go for mikroC PRO, just to keep things simple. The large schematic printed on thick waterproof card stock is a really nice touch by the way... Mikroe originally started as a magazine and book publisher, and it shows: these folks know how to produce really good documentation for their products.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0452.jpg (1,005.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0453.jpg (1.04 MB, 29 views)
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st July 2019, 11:54 PM   #310
chris719 is offline chris719  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Connecticut
I've never used their IDE or compilers. For ARM MCUs I have used Keil many times in the past, they were purchased by ARM a few years ago. It's not cheap, so for a self-funded project I would look at using the STM32CubeIDE, which I think is Atollic TrueStudio that ST Micro purchased and made free for STM32.

I'm not saying the Mikroe stuff is bad at all, but I've never used it or know of anyone that has.

Last edited by chris719; 1st August 2019 at 12:03 AM.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AK4499EQ - Best DAC ever diyralf Digital Line Level 33 12th October 2019 08:19 AM
BrianGT LM3886 boards, Power Supply and Lightspeed Boards udailey Swap Meet 3 10th September 2016 09:02 PM
FS: CSX1 Boards, Semisouth R125's, Firstwatt F6 boards, Dx Blame MKIII boards. ravid Swap Meet 4 20th January 2016 04:54 AM
FS: Conrad Heatsinks;.... 'PASS' B1 boards w/JFETS;...... F4 AMP & PSU boards cowboy99 Swap Meet 5 25th August 2009 02:39 AM
Pass Aleph 1.7 boards, Zhaolu 2.5A, P700 VRDS, UGS PS boards, dac chips analog_sa Swap Meet 4 14th March 2009 05:29 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:38 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 14.29%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2019 diyAudio
Wiki