Sunday, 1 May 2022

Build a USB Midi Footswitch

Download the files for this project HERE

The best part of being a maker is being able to build the exact solution to your problem. I have spent the last few years building a musical playground that allows me to create jams on the fly when I livestream on my Twitch Channel. I've been slowly refining this process and learning how to be a one man band. I recently got to perform at Synthfest which put my skills to the test.

I discovered a great piece of looping software called Endlesss that greatly simplifies capturing my ideas in real time. You just play and hit a button to capture a loop. This works great - until I pick up my guitar. Then my lack of free hands makes looping an awkward proposition. The solution - a footswitch!

I designed a simple four button footswitch that puts out a Midi CC command when the switch is pressed. This is mapped into Endlesss to record the loops. Simple! I call it the EDLS-FS (pronounced as "Endless FS"). It's a very simple project that makes a great introduction into Midi controller design.

Watch this video for build instructions:


Parts List (with Amazon Affiliate Links)

1 - Hammond 1590BX2-BK Enclosure

1 - Teensy LC Microcontroller

4 - SPST Momentary - Normally OPEN Footswitches

1 - USB B to Micro USB Panel Mount Cable

2 - Rolls of 22AWG - Stranded Wire


Tools Used

- Soldering Iron

- Drill with 1/2" Stepped Drill Bit

- Automatic Center Punch



Thursday, 6 May 2021

Project C.H.E.E.T.A.H.

 

The goal with project CHEETAH is to build a box that makes you sound like a Synth Wizard without really knowing what you are doing. All you need to do is press a pedal (Major, Minor, Dominant) and ideas of that type will flow from your fingers.

Watch these videos for a full demonstration!



When you're ready to build one you can find the code and schematics at my GitHub Page 


Parts List (with Amazon affiliate links)


1 - Arduino Nano (clone version)
1 - 6N138 Optocoupler
1 - 1n914 Diode
2 -  5 Pin Midi Jack
3 - 220 Ohm Resistor
1 - 1K Ohm Resistor
1 - 470 Ohm Resistor
3 - Footswitch - SPST Momentary
1 - Adafruit Perma-Proto 1/2 Sized Breadboard
1 - Chip Socket - 8 Pin
1 - Header - 2 Pin - (or cut from longer Breakaway type)
1 - Jumper - 2 Pin
1 - Hammond 1590DD Aluminum Enclosure - Black preferred
1 - DC Barrel Jack - 2.1mm
4 - Rivets - 1/8" Aluminum - 1/4" Grip
2 - M3 PCB Standoffs - 10mm
4 - M3 x 6 - Button Head Bolts
4 - Rubber Feet - Adhesive


Tuesday, 2 February 2021

TEENSY-Synth EXTRA 2: GOLDEN Synth

In the last installment we decided to use the built-in 12 Bit DAC that comes with the Teensy 3.2 board. For the prototype I decided to try something different and came up with a Gold Edition of the TS-1.

You can download the code for this new version HERE



TEENSY-Synth EXTRA: Do we need the Audio Board?

 Here's an update for the Teensy-Synth project. The original project used the Teensy Audio Adaptor Board for it's audio output. This provided 16-Bit audio at 44.1 Khz.

The Teensy 3.2 also has a built-in DAC providing 12-Bit audio at 44.1 Khz so I wondered if this was suitable for out synth project. Watch the video for the results.



Thursday, 30 April 2020

Build a Mute Button for Discord

Prevent embarrassing audio mishaps on your next voice conference with the TALK-R - a mute button for Discord! It also does Push-To-Talk and has a foot-switch input for gamers.

DOWNLOAD the Schematic and Code HERE


Parts List:

1 - Teensy LC
1 - Arcade button with LED
1 - Toggle Switch ON-OFF-ON
1 - 1/4" Phone Jack - Mono
1 - 220 Ohm Resistor
1 - USB B to USB Micro Cable
4 - M3 x 6mm Screw 
4 - M3 Heat Set Threaded Insert - McMaster-Carr (94180A333)



Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Build a Circuit Board Faceplate for Electronic Projects

One of the most difficult parts of building a homemade electronic gizmo, is making it not look homemade. I have explored many techniques in my quest to come up with a cool looking enclosure for my projects, but this latest experiment may turn out to be one of my favorites.

I have been designing circuit boards for many years but for some reason I never thought to use a PCB for the faceplate of the project. It makes total sense when you think about it. Circuit boards come in custom shapes with precisely milled holes and cut outs. And silk-screened graphics are par for the course.   So, I decided to try to make a custom front panel using a black circuit board from my friends at JLCPCB. The results are amazing! And they do all the work.



I used Fusion 360 to design the board and Inkscape to draw the graphics. The final step was to import the files into KiCAD and finish the board. I have to admit, getting all these programs to work together was a challenge - so I documented the entire process in the following video! Take some time and follow along and you'll be designing your own custom faceplates in no time!

DOWNLOAD the Inkscape graphics used in the video HERE


Tuesday, 3 March 2020

DIY TRAKTOR Loop Controller - PART 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the LOOP-R controller for TRAKTOR S4 MkIII. In Part 1 I showed you the circuit and how to build it. In this part we'll take a look at how I came up with a custom enclosure to make it look pretty.