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DIY Stompboxes => Digital & DSP => Topic started by: vendettav on September 23, 2012, 02:48:18 AM

Title: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 23, 2012, 02:48:18 AM
Hey guys, I was thinking, has anybody built a control surface?!
I'd want to build one myself thinking it to have a transport control (play pause loop etc), at least a single motorized fader for volume control, some pots for pan and other assignable stuff like pads and switches.

would this be possible?
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: Gurner on September 23, 2012, 06:49:50 AM
Hey guys, I was thinking, has anybody built a control surface?!
I'd want to build one myself thinking it to have a transport control (play pause loop etc), at least a single motorized fader for volume control, some pots for pan and other assignable stuff like pads and switches.

would this be possible?

It's certainly possible (I've not built a control surface but have done basic pitch to midi) but the motorized fader would cost a lot (to the point it's probably way better to just buy a cheap secondhand complete control surface!)

A midi control surface is essentially ...... a physical sensor (switch, piezo sensor etc) ->Simple AtoD converter (to get the magnitude) -> an MCU (to map the incoming value to a midi parameter) ->A Eusart (to get the data from the MCU serially to your midi receiving unit).

A $1.50 pic has most of those elements - in fact I reckon you could probably source a pic that has all the (non tactile) elements needed (e.g. a PIC with integrated opamps to interface with your sensor etc)...but like I say your challenge would be to source the motorized fader (128 position needed)

Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: AdamM on September 23, 2012, 04:34:12 PM
http://www.midibox.org/
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: deadastronaut on September 23, 2012, 04:55:10 PM
^ that bass looks mad... 8)
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 24, 2012, 04:21:54 PM
Hey guys, I was thinking, has anybody built a control surface?!
I'd want to build one myself thinking it to have a transport control (play pause loop etc), at least a single motorized fader for volume control, some pots for pan and other assignable stuff like pads and switches.

would this be possible?

It's certainly possible (I've not built a control surface but have done basic pitch to midi) but the motorized fader would cost a lot (to the point it's probably way better to just buy a cheap secondhand complete control surface!)

A midi control surface is essentially ...... a physical sensor (switch, piezo sensor etc) ->Simple AtoD converter (to get the magnitude) -> an MCU (to map the incoming value to a midi parameter) ->A Eusart (to get the data from the MCU serially to your midi receiving unit).

A $1.50 pic has most of those elements - in fact I reckon you could probably source a pic that has all the (non tactile) elements needed (e.g. a PIC with integrated opamps to interface with your sensor etc)...but like I say your challenge would be to source the motorized fader (128 position needed)


Ok lets actually disregard the motorized fader bit. I'm a noob when it comes to the digital world, so could you please be more detailed in your replies and may be even get some links to get me started, because you're post is already helpful A LOT :)
I'm also seeing this as a small box not a huge controller surface really
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: wavley on September 24, 2012, 04:52:31 PM
I'm normally all about the DIY, but I have the Korg NanoKontrol and it's really hard to beat for $50, I'm pretty sure that I couldn't build such a thing for less than that.
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 24, 2012, 05:07:07 PM
I'm actually thinking of getting that too, but this was an interesting idea that popped into my head and I figured this might be useful as a piece of new knowledge/experience.

I'm still willing to at least plan the project even if it's still expensive to build at least I'll have some new knowledge :)


except I dont know where to start haha
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: Gurner on September 24, 2012, 07:14:11 PM
Hey guys, I was thinking, has anybody built a control surface?!
I'd want to build one myself thinking it to have a transport control (play pause loop etc), at least a single motorized fader for volume control, some pots for pan and other assignable stuff like pads and switches.

would this be possible?

It's certainly possible (I've not built a control surface but have done basic pitch to midi) but the motorized fader would cost a lot (to the point it's probably way better to just buy a cheap secondhand complete control surface!)

A midi control surface is essentially ...... a physical sensor (switch, piezo sensor etc) ->Simple AtoD converter (to get the magnitude) -> an MCU (to map the incoming value to a midi parameter) ->A Eusart (to get the data from the MCU serially to your midi receiving unit).

A $1.50 pic has most of those elements - in fact I reckon you could probably source a pic that has all the (non tactile) elements needed (e.g. a PIC with integrated opamps to interface with your sensor etc)...but like I say your challenge would be to source the motorized fader (128 position needed)


Ok lets actually disregard the motorized fader bit. I'm a noob when it comes to the digital world, so could you please be more detailed in your replies and may be even get some links to get me started, because you're post is already helpful A LOT :)
I'm also seeing this as a small box not a huge controller surface really

in the light of your post, I'm thinking here that such a project (midi control surface) would be perhaps biting off a little more than is chewable.

What I would say is that it will always involves some form of MCU ...if you're up to speed on programming, then buy a PIC & start doing basic stuff ....basic A to D, spitting serial data out of the PIC to your PC com port etc. once you've learnt all the various aspects in the chain (outlined in my original reply), then it's just a case of gluing them together so to speak.
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: deadastronaut on September 25, 2012, 03:59:52 AM
@V:   check out youtube vids for converting a usb game pad  controller to midi...cheapy cheap cheap... :)

Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 25, 2012, 07:12:29 AM
^^ well that sounds like indeed being a bit more than is chewable atm :/


@V:   check out youtube vids for converting a usb game pad  controller to midi...cheapy cheap cheap... :)



that sounds interesting Rob, I'll go see it now but do you think it'd be possible to glue a fader somewhere there? lol
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: wavley on September 25, 2012, 09:17:30 AM
I'm actually thinking of getting that too, but this was an interesting idea that popped into my head and I figured this might be useful as a piece of new knowledge/experience.

I'm still willing to at least plan the project even if it's still expensive to build at least I'll have some new knowledge :)


except I dont know where to start haha

I wasn't poo pooing your idea.  The whole thing is fascinating to me actually.  I was just giving you an alternative that's cheaper than building.  If you come up with something I would be quite interested in building one for myself.
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 27, 2012, 10:55:11 AM
I'm actually thinking of getting that too, but this was an interesting idea that popped into my head and I figured this might be useful as a piece of new knowledge/experience.

I'm still willing to at least plan the project even if it's still expensive to build at least I'll have some new knowledge :)


except I dont know where to start haha

I wasn't poo pooing your idea.  The whole thing is fascinating to me actually.  I was just giving you an alternative that's cheaper than building.  If you come up with something I would be quite interested in building one for myself.
actually thanks for the followup. I'm thinking at least trying and planning somehting would still be wiorth the time due to all the experience and knowledge gained. I just really don't know much when it comes to digital electronics, could you get me some good links to read or some other kind of guidance help? :)
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: wavley on September 27, 2012, 02:41:42 PM
I have a friend that built a DIY monome, it's more for controlling ableton.  Otherwise, my only real experience with digital is the Meeblip synth built around an AVR.  Though, the Meeblip site and diy monome searches might turn up some good info for you. 
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on September 28, 2012, 05:15:39 AM
Alright I'll have a look at them thanks

Hmm here's a question I've been wondering on for awhile now. Would making just a midi controller be easier than also implementing midi to usb?
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: Strategy on September 29, 2012, 08:06:45 PM
www.highlyliquid.com

makes a kit around $45.00 for a DIY midi controller basic thing, you pick the controls!

Strategy
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on October 08, 2012, 06:44:53 AM
hmm woudlnt an Arduino be cheaper and more versatile and also have straight usb connection?!
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: wavley on October 08, 2012, 09:33:14 AM
hmm woudlnt an Arduino be cheaper and more versatile and also have straight usb connection?!

I think that's what the DIY monomes are all about.
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on October 09, 2012, 04:25:06 AM
the reason im asking is cause I'd prefer a USB connection along (but not necessarily) with a MIDI in/out or thru

anyways, another reason is that I can easily find an arduino board for 20 on ebay plus shipping to my country which seems like a nice deal really

are there any dos and dont dos with arduino boards? like what kind of arduino board should I get?

Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: deadastronaut on October 09, 2012, 04:51:05 AM
heres a cheapy novel  idea....butcher a qwerty..... ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxaClh7FACw


http://createdigitalmusic.com/2007/08/get-loopy-with-the-diy-10-ableton-footcontroller-no-soldering-required/


in the right hands it could be fun+ useful....... :icon_twisted:

get hold of a mini qwerty/usb...and build a box with bigger buttons etc... :icon_idea:

Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on October 09, 2012, 06:46:46 AM
Hey Rob one thing I didn't get from the controller. is he basically just assigning keys from the keyboard in ableton? I'd want the controlls to send OSC or MIDI data. is there a software that can transform usb keyboard command sinto midi, while leaving my onboard keyboard (I'm a laptop user) intact? This way it'd have some good potentiial yeah!
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: deadastronaut on October 09, 2012, 07:16:48 AM
from what i gather, he is using a prog (the download link for it is in the text ) to assign keys to controls yeah....(there are 128 midi commands) so you might need to configure em for what you want.... e.g  midi 7 is volume IIRC)

not sure on the usb keyboard to midi, but i'm sure there must be something out there.....ive used my qwerty to play keyboard midi notes before..a long time ago..

i guess you'd have to download the appropriate qwerty to midi prog and try it...

i don't use ableton myself, or i would try it...

i use cubase/reason...but iv'e been out of the loop (pardon the pun) with midi for a while....


he tried his on pc and mac....and saiad it was fine....



Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on October 10, 2012, 01:53:53 PM
well to be honest I am not using Ableton either. I'm using Reaper for recordings and I record heavier music as you might remember, not electronic music.

Anyways, I think I should have some Gameport joysticks laying around, and even one with a USB jack... Is it possible to rehouse the PCB and get new controller buttons to it or even add sliders or something?!
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: deadastronaut on October 11, 2012, 04:28:18 AM
you might want to talk to this guy...i think he built this to use with guitar rig soft...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPZWuMsCa6M

but he has rigged up an expression/volume on it too.... :)


it doesn't matter what music you record, its the midi that turns stuff on/off etc...a universal language.

check out youtube theres plenty of diy midi controller projects...

you'll need a midi mapping prog , like midi yoke...there may be others..


Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on October 11, 2012, 08:49:40 AM
well I found a joystick and it turned out otb e a gameport joystick which is all analog inside... dayum

gonna try and the USB one.
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: potul on October 24, 2012, 11:06:33 AM
Hi,

I designed and built myself a MIDI foot controller some time ago. It basically sends MIDI messages based on the configuration (preset changes, continuous control, etc...). It has some buttons and can get connected to 2 expression pedals.
Same concept could be extrapolated to a table controller. although I can tell you it's not a simple task to build (and program) one of those. If you feel brave enought, I can help you getting up to speed.

You can see a test of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVphwkp_MQ&feature=plcp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVphwkp_MQ&feature=plcp)


Mat
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: vendettav on November 02, 2012, 05:40:41 AM
Hi,

I designed and built myself a MIDI foot controller some time ago. It basically sends MIDI messages based on the configuration (preset changes, continuous control, etc...). It has some buttons and can get connected to 2 expression pedals.
Same concept could be extrapolated to a table controller. although I can tell you it's not a simple task to build (and program) one of those. If you feel brave enought, I can help you getting up to speed.

You can see a test of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVphwkp_MQ&feature=plcp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVphwkp_MQ&feature=plcp)


Mat


thanks man, that stuff loooks quite neat to be honest.
I'm at a very financially bad situation at the moment so I'm not up for this project yet. I'll be purchasing an Arduino uno though once I get some more money coming along my way. I heard it easy to start with and has tons of support which would be really good for a starting point :) what do you think about it?
Title: Re: Has anybody built a midi control surface?
Post by: potul on November 02, 2012, 07:42:53 PM
Arduino is a good place to start. It has the advantage over PICs that it is easier to start with, and you don't need a programmer. On the other side is more expensive than a PIC based solution. But if you factor in the cost of a programmer... you are in the same page.