Get serious about building a sequencer

This is the fourth generation MIDIbox sequencer which has a features set that’s several screens long. We’ve embedded the teaser video of this 16-track marvel after the break. You can use it via a traditional MIDI connection or with USB. Standalone Ethernet features are also in the works. It’s fully documented and you can etch your own PCB if you’re brave but it might be easier to get in on the group PCB buy if you just have to have one of these. There’s no all-in-one kit, but that will just make the taste of success sweeter once your soldering iron cools down.

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ProtoDeck – MIDIBOX based controller

[Julien] let us know about his ProtoDeck. A MIDIBOX based controller for Ableton Live using a Big Max for live patch interface.

One thing that we have seen is less and less hacks for are MIDIbox projects. It is no wonder, considering now a days we have touch screen and multiple other interfaces and sound creation tools – MIDI almost seems like a dying art.

The ProtoDeck uses 87 pots, 90 buttons, and 81 RGB LEDs all controlled by 2 PIC 18F4620s. [Julien] says his main goals where to have lots of color and buttons. We think he succeeded.

Harmonic keyboard controller

harmonic

[aris] is continuing work on his harmonic table keyboard midi controller. Instead of the traditional linear keyboard layout, keys are laid out in a hexagonal pattern. This is the same idea as the C-Thru AXiS, which you can find a video demo of here. Along the left edge is a row of buttons to transpose the layout up or down. Switches for octave up and down along with a generic slider are also included. The final controller will include a 16×2 LCD character display. The core of the controller is MIDIBox, and he’s using the SDK to write the custom C code. Embedded below is the first test with just four buttons wired.

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SyncMaster, home made modular midi controller.


[D.St-Amand] is designing the SyncMaster, a compact modular midi controller, from scratch. The design focuses on a modular build where you can swap out pieces like the one pictured above to achieve different layouts. Not only is it modular, but its very compact. Shown next to some common competitors, it looks very sleek.

Development seems to be moving forward, the pictures have been updated frequently. Lets hope to see a fully functional demo some time soon. Some more detailed information on the build might be nice as well. This may remind you of our story on MachineCollective. While there are similarities in that they’re modular, SyncMaster appears to be a much more polished and portable product. Keep us updated [D.St-Amand].

Custom modular control interfaces


Machinecollective.org is bringing rapid prototyping to every day artists and hackers. We’ve covered similar interfaces like the monome, MIDIbox, and Stribe. Machinecollective allows you to make your own input system using multiple blocks to get exactly what you want. The setup allows you to fit pretty much anything in a block that you can think of. They’re developing potentiometers, slide potentiometers, button grids, toggle switches, LCD’s, FSR/LDR’s, velocity sensitive pads, and touch screens.

Currently, they support software enviroments like: Processing, Max/MSP, VVVV, and Adobe Flash. That list will undoubtedly grow as the community plays with it. They envision the hardware connecting via MIDI, OSC, RS232, TCP/UDP, DMX, or USB.

They encourage others to design their own inputs. Community members can share modifications and designs, though there isn’t a forum or store yet. If you design a setup that you really like, they can even fabricate a single unit for you. Keep your eyes on this one, it could be a real hit.

A similar idea for general gadgetry can be seen over at Bug Labs. Starting with a base unit, you can add different input and output modules to create various useful functions. They currently offer GPS, a camera, a display, and motion sensing. Mix and match to make your dream gadget.

Building a MIDIbox SID


We’ve discussed MIDIboxes before (and once before that), but we’ve never really told you what goes into them or how to build one. We’ll take you through the process after the break.

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