Zynthian MIDI-UB Controller


#1

Hi @Zynthianers!

I’ve made a little stop in zynthian software development and have finished a little project that has been over my desktop from a few months ago. Here is the result:

It’s a simple MIDI-USB controller with 8 rotary encoders with led-ring, controlled by an Arduino-like board: the SparkFun ATmega32U4.

The firmware allows to control upto 24 MIDI-CC parameters arranged in 3 layers: red, green, blue. You can change the layer by clicking the top-left encoder.

The next step is fully integrating the controller with the Zynthian Box, so it can read the parameter values when loading a preset, for instance :wink:

You can find the schemes for the case and the firmware in github:

I will try to write a tutorial in the next weeks/months.

Enjoy!


#2

#3

Great job!

I made a midi foot controller based on arduino to control zynthian remotely:

I also made a midi controller with 16 potentiometers to mount in zynthian enclosure (19" Reack 2U):

<img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15388ff38f5c2d4badfe2c19b5303efde3ed0fdf.jpg" width=“333” height=“250"”>

For MIDI-USB conversion i’m using the hiduino with atmega16u2

The code (quite amateur, but works) is in:
https://github.com/rodamaralgeo/arduino_midi

A great idea would be to switch existing presets on zynthian via midi footswitches or buttons!

Regards!


#4

Hi @rod_amaral!

Excelent stuff! I really love it … :heart_eyes:
Please, tell me, what do you think is the better way of implementing this “preset switch functionality” for Zynthian. For instance … what MIDI messages are you using in your pedal switch?

Kind Regards!


#5

…I’ll have to build a bigger 3D printer to print a single case for my next zynthian with all the knobs :smiley:


#6

CONGRATULATIONS!

while I was still puzzling to get my basic ZBox up and running, I was trying to think about extensions like adding a number of poteniometers to the system - and now your controller developments catapults me into a completely new universe with the ability to make online and offline (not on stage) parameter input a real snap. your new Controller box opens the doors for a heap of exciting new parameter controls…

When you find the time, PLEASE
Tell me if you are going to offer this also as kit ?
… if yes - I’d already now want to order one;
… if no - please indicate where to find parts and building instructions
(I am having some problems to find a quote to thhe rgb led ring you have used.
In addition:
… would it be possible to use a teensy (3.2 or 3.5) instead of the ATmega ??

(anxious to hear from you)
Greeting, Tom


#7

Hi @music.friend!

I would like to write a “tutorial” for the MIDI-USB controller, but it’s still a prototype and i want to improve some things before. When it’s ready and i’d wrote the guide, perhaps i could offer kits, but it’s not sure.

Anyway, it’s a really simple device … but a mess to wire!!! :fearful:

Regarding your questions, yes, it could be done with a teensy. No problem with it. The code should compile with very little changes …

Regards!


#8

Hi again!
thanks for your answer - i’ll just wait for your tutorial to come about.
Maybe your prototype could be one prime example for shifting RPi GPIO to some external device / protocol which is currently discussed triggered by “good ole” C0d3man - anyway that ideahas some tough corners to get around…

Just reading your comment about the wiring, also found in a few other comments, I can say that I did not find it very difficult at all after I had puzzled out some part orientations, pin numbers ec which I did not find in the tutorial or in the wiki. I have then tried to upload / enter my so very clever comments (mainly pictures/drawings), but I have not figured out how to do that.

OMG, so many things to learn beforeI can become an efficient community member …
Maybe I need a kick to my butt from you directing me how to do that ;-))))) ?

regards …


#9

I’ve used the Nord Modular G2 a fair bit and it uses encoders and leds in a very similar fashion to this, with an x-y array of switches to select many, many parameters of it’s virtual synth’s.
It’s easy to get a little bit lost in the heat of the moment, and the LCD displays on the Nord help a lot.
Would you plan on putting any sort of display on the MIDI-UB controller to aid in such a situation or would this be handled by the zynthian display?


#10

I like the LED approach. LCD makes it more expensive. Not to mention all those different brands.


#11

Actually the LED colour changing aspect is very attractive…

User defined or generic …?

Could we be describing something as the mauve filter :slight_smile: or would we use different colours for different layers?


#12

Hi @mheidt!

Small OLED displays are really cheap. Not much more than LED rings. Take a look:

https://es.aliexpress.com/item/0-91-Inch-128x32-SPI-Port-Blue-OLED-LCD-Display-DIY-Oled-Module-SSD1306-Driver-IC/32792752936.html?spm=2114.12010408.1000023.1.WcCefT

Also, the wiring is more or less the same mess, jajaja! I really like the idea of having the assigned parameter name on each rotary, so i will try to build a prototype as soon as i have some spare time … :fearful: … perhaps never!! :grin:

Kind Regards!


#13

Been thinking…
24 knobs, sure that"s better than nothing…

But zynaddsubetc needs more…
But sure, as long as we can decide which parameters are concerned, it’s a geat add on…

But could we convert your module into a 24 analog input controller ?? 8 of them would even be enough… That would allow the use of external pedal, ribbon, joystick, breath controller, even an old ARP 16 note sequencer, or an envelope follower… Let’s dream : 24 envelope followers, to control 24 harmonics… A zyncoder…

Enjoy the sun…
Thierry


#14

Ooooops…
I realize how silly I am… These are encoders, you used, Not potentiometers… So of course, the conversion would not be possible… Sorry for disturbing…
Enjoy the day anyway…
Thierry


#15

No problem :wink:
Analog inputs are very interesting too … i’ve some ideas flying in my head …


#16

do you have schematic for this


#17

do you have schematic/wiring for arduino mega midi controller for zynthian please


#18

No, sorry! I’ve no schematics, although it’s pretty straighforward. All the pins are fully configurable in the code.

Kind Regards,