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Topic: Is Arduino suitable for creating something like Mackie Control Pro? (Read 4841 times) previous topic - next topic

rinaldojonathan

This is Mackie Control Universal Pro.

It comes with motorized fader, LCD, and is connected via MIDI.
I was thinking to make this because MCU protocol is used everywhere, ranging from their own MCU, icon QCon Pro or even virtual ones such as TouchDAW

Anyone can guide me where to start? and is Arduino a compatible board for this kind of stuff?

EDIT : If this succeeded, I will post every journey I got here on GitHub! 

DVDdoug

Maybe...  But, I'd recommend starting with something a lot simpler...

The basic MIDI functions don't require much processing power and you can expand the number of digital & analog inputs with multiplexing.   

For example, the ATmega chip only has one multiplexed analog-to-digital converter so there are multiple analog inputs.  By using external digital or analog multiplexer chips you can have an almost unlimited number of inputs.

However, the displays on the Mackie unit make me think there is some more processing power in there.

And, it's probably impossible to build anything that looks that good.

rinaldojonathan

Maybe...  But, I'd recommend starting with something a lot simpler...

The basic MIDI functions don't require much processing power and you can expand the number of digital & analog inputs with multiplexing.   

For example, the ATmega chip only has one multiplexed analog-to-digital converter so there are multiple analog inputs.  By using external digital or analog multiplexer chips you can have an almost unlimited number of inputs.

However, the displays on the Mackie unit make me think there is some more processing power in there.

And, it's probably impossible to build anything that looks that good.

I almost sure that MCU talks with DAW with 100% MIDI.
I've seen another icon product that also emulates MCU, but without LCD.

I'm not worried about the build quality. Hehehehe

Grumpy_Mike

Yes you can do all that with an Arduino, it looks like you will need to squeeze in a lot of code and memory is needed for the LCD so I would go for a Mega.
How much about MIDI do you know?

rinaldojonathan

Yes you can do all that with an Arduino, it looks like you will need to squeeze in a lot of code and memory is needed for the LCD so I would go for a Mega.
How much about MIDI do you know?
Not that much, I only played with MIDI CC and MIDI notes. I myself used MIDI almost everyday on stage and at studio with Ableton Live, and have done some complex MIDI routing.
I know that this thing should have SysEx or something that makes the MIDI code unique, but I haven't debugged them.

I still have about one year to complete this project, so I'm not in rush. To be honest, I'm planning to use this project for my thesis, and we just started learning arduino related stuff this semester :D

Grumpy_Mike

In that case I would recommend this book http://www.apress.com/gb/book/9781484217207
Ok so I wrote it so I might be biased but it gives you a firm introduction into what MIDI is and how to use it along with lots of projects both small and very big.

You only need SysEx messages to communicate your controller specific things, I can't see you needing any in this project.

Chagrin

The big cost is in the buttons and knobs. Motorized faders are ~$20-$50 each.

If I were you I'd start by figuring out how to build a fader module. It'd be a great ATTiny project involving the mechanics/enclosure, analog read of the pot, a motor driver, and I2C addressability so you could eventually build up a bank of faders that would be controlled be a separate, "master" Arduino.

rinaldojonathan

In that case I would recommend this book http://www.apress.com/gb/book/9781484217207
Ok so I wrote it so I might be biased but it gives you a firm introduction into what MIDI is and how to use it along with lots of projects both small and very big.

You only need SysEx messages to communicate your controller specific things, I can't see you needing any in this project.
So you wrote that book? hahahaha nice. I'll put that in to my shopping list.
And yes, I'm also not quite sure if MCU uses any SysEx.

The big cost is in the buttons and knobs. Motorized faders are ~$20-$50 each.

If I were you I'd start by figuring out how to build a fader module. It'd be a great ATTiny project involving the mechanics/enclosure, analog read of the pot, a motor driver, and I2C addressability so you could eventually build up a bank of faders that would be controlled be a separate, "master" Arduino.
Yes, just realized that price :( Is there any DIY solution?

Just realized that your idea is great! I mean, I could make one uno that talks with the fader only, then control the rest with mega, then make the uno and mega talks with MIDI. sounds cool :) 

Grumpy_Mike

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Just realized that your idea is great!
Well as the writer of that book I would not go along with that, it sounds more trouble than it is worth.

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Yes, just realized that price :( Is there any DIY solution?
They tend to be more expensive that getting them on eBay.

rinaldojonathan

Well as the writer of that book I would not go along with that, it sounds more trouble than it is worth.
They tend to be more expensive that getting them on eBay.
I think MIDI is freedom. We can make something trigger totally different thing and nobody would complain.
Also, why I think this is a great idea, I can make (almost) modular thing and know where to debug if things gone wrong. Or am I wrong?
Care to elaborate?

I'm still thinking about that motorized fader. Do the cost actually worth it? Or is there any cheaper solution?
It does not make sense to have the fader more expensive than the arduino itself :(

Grumpy_Mike

Often the Arduino or processor is a lot cheaper than the box you put it in, that is the way of things these days. You can make chips in vast numbers in a small time with few people. Mechanical things can take time and you don't sell them in the same large numbers.

Sure you can do what you want but this forum is about advice. Over they years I have seen many many beginners think that a smart solution is to have multiple processors. This is only because their limited knowledge of how to do things makes that solution look appealing but it often causes more problems than it solves.

rinaldojonathan

Often the Arduino or processor is a lot cheaper than the box you put it in, that is the way of things these days. You can make chips in vast numbers in a small time with few people. Mechanical things can take time and you don't sell them in the same large numbers.

Sure you can do what you want but this forum is about advice. Over they years I have seen many many beginners think that a smart solution is to have multiple processors. This is only because their limited knowledge of how to do things makes that solution look appealing but it often causes more problems than it solves.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

But then, my lecturer requires me to implement network support!
One thing that comes in my mind is rtpMIDI.
But is that even possible?

Grumpy_Mike

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But then, my lecturer requires me to implement network support!
So this is the first mention of a lecturer, therefore I assume that is is some sort of assignment.

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One thing that comes in my mind is rtpMIDI.
But is that even possible?
It might be but you will have to look into it. What is wrong with OSC?

rinaldojonathan

So this is the first mention of a lecturer, therefore I assume that is is some sort of assignment.
It might be but you will have to look into it. What is wrong with OSC?
no, this is for my thesis. I still have a year to complete it.

I have no experience with OSC.

rinaldojonathan

My lecturer also told me to try consider using Raspberry Pi.

... well, okay. sure we can send MIDI output, networking is already there, and sure I can shove anything inside since that is basically a computer.
But then, how can I use 8 motorized fader (I think the pin would not be enough), and giving USB MIDI to computer without involving arduino as a MIDI to USB converter?

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