I tried breakin' into microcontrollers before.
It appeared from a distance to be a 30' high, impenetrable wall of unknown words that extended to the left and right as far as the eye could see.
I imagined Power Supply board
, various chip boards that'd require debugging and a totally new set of debugging requirements, magic blue smoke clouding my view of poofing investments. A whole lot of consumption and very little outcome except the initial super hard whack a hack with reality type learns.
Then the open source hard/software of the Arduino popped into view.
Sensing, microcontrolling, reading values = analog output...doing all the tricks as well as a microcontroller can [ie does amazing tricks effortlessly].
All well and good, but it's the peripherals and the interface that make the applications "enabling beyond analog".
That is a lot of hardware, re-wiring, redesigning of circuits in some cases.
A whole new 1rackmount or greater sized undertaking? First, the plan...
Ok I can get barberpole LFO / phasing in 5 !...but how bad do I want it ?...not so much, the speed control has a photocell on it so the expanded analog function is cool enough to 'compete' with barberpole.
Ok I can get state changes and hook up relays/CMOS to control routing ! !
I can get those parameters to control lights or destroy the stage...big deal, there's no stages around here I'm all that interested in destroying, let alone dragging the destruction hardware and setting up all the wiring down there.
Basically if I had an application that'd 'pay'...not to say there isn't one in the stompbox realm [obviously there are already numerous examples of Digital and digital controlled/analog efx].
Here's the suggestion: start with goal of making flexible, easy to re-program [or...multi-route controllers in case one think-module needs time to mull things over, another can have the program ready-now].
Then it can be applied to fluently perform various functions of a morphable platform.
The suggestion is to use digital control chips in a similar manner to stompbox chip usage, one chip may be able to multi-task [such as leave the booster on when using other effects], other times it is easier to add another chip [ie you want TS sound sometimes and D+ sounds other times] than it is to figure out a way to make the TS become a D+ with all two [or more if modded] of the D+'s adjustable parameters.
For instance I noticed I might be able to power-code around the possible need for a second clock [UNO has a clock onboard], or simply add a clock, it seems often the easy route is fascilitated by hardware prices that make it easy to just ''cheat'' in stead of code-cheating, just throw more hardware at it. This may or may not prove to have the benefits similar to that of "add an analog chip to get all D+ and TS features" mentioned did.
I got a 'well wrappered' microcontroller to USB with the computer last week, I see the cost of the added chip and it's ability to be programmed and have additional feature/functions which are quickly accessible etc. as a possible 'add hardware' problem, as always, and since I'm new now, we will know more about it after. After some more is known about it !
Anyway that's the way it's looking...no problem to imagine getting anything I want in terms of controlling analog audio circuits: Routing, adjusting, re-routing, multiple-adjustment of various parameters, switching, LFO's all that...just not in the signal path [necessarily]. Easy to imagine, a bit more work to set up though.
I set some things up:
Servo-motor controls [to expidite testing of analog and memory reads] imagining virtual potentiometer would be easier/cheaper/much more elegant. Simple codes could be made more complicated and memory/pot location type programs could be applied, etc. cybertwin type deal.
Buncha sensors, had no problems sensing, supersensative to all forms of input I tried.
I set up a light theremin.
The O-Scope hack apparently extends up to 5khz, I wanted to O-Scope so I can't say how useful/good this'd be.
I have LED's that Ardie seems able to make do some of the easy to do and makes the hard to do analog LED tricks easy. I had Barberpole \\\ and /// LFO waveforms, no speed control [yet], and ramping is all +x per time unit, say +5 per 15ms, so flat ramps are N/P, curved ramps would require math I guess [analog does curvy 'naturally'].
Boils down to new set of stuff, a fresh hardware/software platform.
Wiring wires to my various other analog effects, finding a place to fit 'add on'...just doesn't seem the right scenario for a digital application approach to analog circuit controls.
It'd require a fresh platform, I would probably pull my D+, and fit the Chorus etc. just like last time I made a pedalboard or filled a rack unit, but the digital would be interfaced more elegantly if not hacked in-and-on-to [basically would end up 'all over] an existing multi-pedal platform as an addendum.
I'm sure any one of these micro-platforms can be built up or chosen as mainframe for master code-worker to do whatever it is a microcontroller can do.
I chose the Arduino because the platform is RTGo with the peripherals on board, PS and USB taking care of com/power needs, open source software, mass produced boards that are easy fits, and have the advantages that mass production offers.
It just seemed quite approachable, accessible, powerful, and with a much friendlier interface than what my reads had created as far as preconcieved notions about microcons. I did say new to being new to this since last week...