Author Topic: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals  (Read 5569 times)

g_u_e_s_t

seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« on: May 12, 2012, 01:03:54 AM »
i am thinking about designing another reprogrammable effects pedal, but this time i want it to be as easy to program as possible.  and as cheap as possible, so lots of people can use them and swap programs.  but, im struggling with some design decisions, and any help would be appreciated.  here are my main questions:

1. what programming platforms do you think is most common?  im guessing arduino, but maybe thats not the case for the audio community.  i really cant write my own programming/uploading thing, so id like to use an existing one.  in my mind, the ideal would be something that you could write in max/msp, and then upload to the micro, but i dont think that exists.

2. do we need another pedal?  there is already the tonecore and other such things, why havent these caught on?  or is there already a thriving community around one of them?  i feel like most people have a pretty specific idea of what they want, and end up making their own thing.

at any rate, all feedback is encouraged, including wish lists for what it might have.  right now im thinking about mono / 40ksps / 8bit / 1s sample time / arduino based / 40$ price point / can hold 20 programs or so.  im also up in the air about a few general purpose mod knobs versus a rotary encoder/led display thing.  since it can hld multiple effects, i think the led display might be necessary so the user knows what going on.

Jdansti

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 02:37:39 AM »
Although I'm not too up to date on the different multi-effects processors out there, I thought I'd share my opinion.  What comes to my mind is a unit that is easily programmed via its front panel and then users could share settings instead of programs. For example, assume that the unit is like a virtual pedal board containing a number of different effects. The parameters of each effect can be set and then these settings are stored as a memory location/address. Each memory location would be told which effects are active and the settings of each active effect.

So memory address #1 might have the compressor, distortion, chorus, and reverb turned on with certain settings for each. Memory address #2 might have just distortion and autowah, etc.

You would have to decide how to switch between memory addresses during use. This could be done with foot switches or just by scrolling through the addresses using the controls on the front panel.  MIDI control is also possible, but I don't know how easy that would be to integrate.

If you want to be able to download/upload programs, it seems to me that it would need to be idiot proof for people like me. Maybe you could stick a thumb drive in it and press a button on the panel to download/upload programs.  Sorry I can't help out with platforms and other programming specifics.

You might want to look at this manual for the Sony HR-GP5: http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/STARINMANUALS/Sony%20Consumer/Manual/HR-GP5.pdf. These were manufactured in the 90's and operate in a manner similar to what I've described above.

Good Luck! :)
R.G. Keene: EXPECT there to be errors, and defeat them...

earthtonesaudio

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 12:12:38 PM »
Pie-in-sky but I want a guitar pedal that I can program in Python.

g_u_e_s_t

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 04:50:44 PM »
thats a cool idea
ive been thinking that maybe the better route
is to put a beagleboard or raspberry pi on there
which would allow for pretty much anything
although it would cost twice as much

slacker

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 05:44:19 PM »
Maybe not that pie in the sky Alex http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=96073.0

Personally I like the Spin FV-1 chip, the programming language is pretty easy to learn, with a nice little community already in existence to help you. Programming them requires some hardware, like a PIC programmer but they're cheap or you can make your own, not very elegant though, someone clever could probably come up with a nice USB based solution though. The only real downside is that the programming software is Windows only.

I don't think the technology or programming language you use is that important though, for a project like this to succeed you need to create some "killer effects" to show it off, something to grab people's attention and make them want to invest the time in learning to use the thing even if it's just for that one effect. Once people buy into the idea, they'll think if all sorts of cool stuff to do with it, but you've got to get them interested enough in the first place.

earthtonesaudio

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 08:42:36 PM »
Woot! Very interesting. Thanks for the link Ian.

g_u_e_s_t

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 08:44:23 PM »
ill look into the fv-1
it seems pretty powerful
perhaps building an easier uploader wouldnt be too tough
i really want this thing to be idiot proof

Ice-9

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 12:23:06 PM »
ill look into the fv-1
it seems pretty powerful
perhaps building an easier uploader wouldnt be too tough
i really want this thing to be idiot proof

The FV-1 is a great chip and well worth looking into.

I'm busy right now with my "mark2 FV-1 project" which i'm hoping to incorperate a neat very easy to use patch programmer with it. It consists at the moment of main PCB which is the complete effect unit that will fit as small as the 1590b enclosure. the add on board #1  has a footswitch for patch change with a 7 segment display while add on board #2 will be the patch programmer to program the Eeprom. i hope to post the first 2 boards of the project very soon.
www.stanleyfx.co.uk

It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

g_u_e_s_t

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 07:33:58 PM »
are you using the all-in-one board from OCT
or are you building your own mainboard
the OCT board is pretty cheap
considering the lowest price ive found for the chip is 17$

whats your plan for programming the eeprom
for my project i think its critical that its easy to load new programs
so i was thinking of having a usb port

Ice-9

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 03:49:02 AM »
are you using the all-in-one board from OCT
or are you building your own mainboard
the OCT board is pretty cheap
considering the lowest price ive found for the chip is 17$

whats your plan for programming the eeprom
for my project i think its critical that its easy to load new programs
so i was thinking of having a usb port

I have built my own boards, the main pcb is a full effect , ie it has all the buffers and mixing op amps on board it also has the connections for the 3 control pots and a dual gang mix pot for stereo outs.
My way of loading in a full set of 8 effects to the eeprom can be done live at a gig without the need for any computers, even a drunk guitar player could program it on a dark stage in seconds.
www.stanleyfx.co.uk

It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

slacker

Re: Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 05:51:35 AM »
Plug in modules?

The eeproms use I2C so using USB shouldn't be too hard. You can buy USB to I2C chips or there's pic/avr diy versions. It's on my todo list.

Ice-9

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 08:12:18 AM »
Sort of like a module but not exactly. The idea I am looking into now which I also brought up a long time ago on these forums is the use of these.


I wouldn't be too difficult to add a card slot to send data directly to the Eeprom when a smart card is inserted into the slot. I am looking into this but can't do anything until July as I am not going to have time to start the card reader until then.

There are plenty of smartcards ou there like the funcard series or  the Atmel atmega 163
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 08:14:26 AM by Ice-9 »
www.stanleyfx.co.uk

It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

slacker

Re: Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 08:52:40 AM »
Cool

g_u_e_s_t

Re: seeking input: reprogrammable effects pedals
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 07:02:07 PM »
it sounds like the fv-1 project is already being done
so i will probably explore another option