multi-track hardware sequencer, with MIDI, analogue and USB connectivity

Hi everyone

i was wondering if the people on this forum could advise me

Basically i am currently studying Audio Engineering @ SAE Institute London and i am just about to start my final year project

I want to build a multi-track hardware sequencer, with MIDI, analogue and USB connectivity (Say for a Korg MS-20 mini)

and have decided (well for now at least) to base it somewhat on a Sequentix Cirklon sequencer.
Please see the links below for the necessary information and functionality of this particular sequencer.

SEQUENTIX - CIRKLON WEBSITE
http://www.sequentix.com/cirklon.htm

CIRKLON OPERATING SYSTEM TUTORIALS

As maybe some of you can tell im really at the preliminary stage of my research

So maybe people can help me answer some of the questions or at least point me in the right direction

  1. was i correct to buy an Arduino Mega 2560 to power the sequencer?
  2. what is the maximum amount of MIDI ports i can have with an Arduino (5 is what im striving for)
  3. what should i be initially researching
  4. whats the most efficient way to learn the programming language to get this sequencer functional
  5. if i wanted to do MIDI as well as control voltage (CV) what would this involve? is it PWM??

any assistance on these questions or any offered relevant information, would be extremely helpful!!

Thanks
Nick

any help people?

Hi Nick!

While searching for any news about the next production run at sequentix, which hopefully includes my ordered Cirklon, I found your post. As I'm electronics engineer and also dreaming about doing something similar, I can give you some answers.

  1. was i correct to buy an Arduino Mega 2560 to power the sequencer?

Not if you really want to rebuild most of the Cirklon. Maybe you could control four (as you have 4 UARTS) MIDI-ports, but you will have severe optimization problems with processing speed to also include the Display, the LEDs, the rotary encoders, the analog outs and the USB. Furthermore, RAM will not be sufficient.

  1. what is the maximum amount of MIDI ports i can have with an Arduino (5 is what im striving for)

Easiest way is to use the UARTS. You have four. If you are firm with assembler, you may emulate one or two more. At cost of processing power for other tasks.

  1. what should i be initially researching

With a look at the next question: See http://www.ucapps.de/ At least to have a slight impression about what you plan to do. MIDIBOX is a similar powerful sequencer.

  1. whats the most efficient way to learn the programming language to get this sequencer functional

Do you have any knowledge about programming languages? And about programming microcontrollers? Get a good book and study example projects.

  1. if i wanted to do MIDI as well as control voltage (CV) what would this involve? is it PWM??

It's a voltage. I would not use the PWM-outputs, as sometimes fast and wide steps are needed. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CV/Gate

When reading "between" your lines, I would suggest to strip down your project. Try to realize something like Arturia Beatstep. Without velocity sensing in the first approach. That may fit the Arduino and your skills.

I for myself thought about Raspberry PI as the platform. There are some MIDI-libraries for Python. Maybe also an example Project using Python with MIDI. But ... A project like this may take years!

Once again: Think about Arturia Beatstep. Good luck!

Bye!
Andreas