Thorsten Klose's MIDIBOX
The huge number of virtual instruments with dozens of virtual pots, and the difficulty of working with them with only screen faders, lead me to find a solution of this problem, possibly an economic solution! In 2001 I found the site of a genius, Thorsten Klose, which put on the net the complete schematics for building a MIDI controller unit, based on Microchip PIC 16F877. This unit connects directly to the MIDI in of the audio sound card, and has am input with MIDI merge function, to which i connected my masterkeyboard.
In the 2005 this unit was seriously updated. Now it supports 16 pots and 16 encoder, along with a single LED fader which monitors the status of a single encoder. It integrates also a breath controller unit and a joystick, useful for generating vector synthesis, or to control the cutoff/resonance of an analog synth.
The sensation you feel when you work with "real" faders is hard to describe, but it's even harder to descrive what you fell once you finish your box and you realize that it actually works!!
For schematics and details of this unit I suggest you to go to Thorsten's site, www.ucapps.de where you can find the lastest informations, tips and tricks for the constructino. This project is really interesting, and over the last years it improved really a lot: now it supports motorfders, rotary encoders, 64 pots, arpeggiator... and it has funcions that you will not find even on 1000 euro commercial units!!!
Moreover, you can customize it as you like it: for example, i added an expression pedal and even a breath controller! (more info on Thorsten's site)
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