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  1. #1
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    Default Which controls are essential, is 16buttons and 6 faders/pots enough?

    Hi All, I'm building myself and my son a midifighter clone each, I've got a mixtrack pro II, so I'm really just making mine to fill in the gaps for features I don't want to have to reach for the keyboard for.

    My son's unit however will really be his primary (only) controller for traktor for the time being, is 16 buttons and a handful of faders/pots + a keyboard enough?

    Do you think he'll need platters? Unfortunately I have zero experience with traktor, I use serato Dj, so I'm not sure if platters are even appropriate, I haven't seen anyone use them with a midifighter setup though.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor JudemanG's Avatar
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    In the software, there are 9 faders, 4 Volume Faders, 4 Pitch Faders, and a Crossfader. Depending on your style of mixing, you might not need a crossfader though. Unless you are scratching, I don't think that you would really need a platter, but some people like them just for navigating through tracks. 16 buttons should work for basic functions, although some features may be left out.

  3. #3
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    I was going to do:
    2 pitch faders, a volume fader for each channel, a master volume fader and a cross fader, so 6 in total for the time being. I'm sure he'll need a fader, doubt he'll be scratching yet but I found the platters incredibly useful for setting up cuepoints in serato but you can't midi map the platters in serato.

    The arduino leonardo board should take at least 6 analog inputs, 16 digital inputs and I think there might be some spares knocking around on the ICSP header too, I think there are 14 digital inputs on the standard headers, then 6 analog outputs, 4 pins on the icsp headers are actually digital IO as well, so in theory I could have 2 spare pins to handle shift/banks.

  4. #4
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    Ok, I guess it's problem solved now, I've made it so the controller software on the arduino leonardo can respond to midi via serial input, it's currently running at 115200 (midi runs at 31250) you could connect anything you like on the ttl serial input on the leonardo, currently I've got an arduino mega running, which would give us an extra 52 digital inputs (should be 54 but we lose 2 on the tx/rx pins) and 16 analog inputs to play with.

    I also sorted out using the extra pins on the icsp header for the leonardo, so I can have the serial input on D0,D1, 16buttons, and all 6 analog inputs. That gives us a total of 68 digital inputs (buttons) and 22 analog inputs (Faders, Pots) using 2 chips, not too shabby :-)

    I'm looking into addressable LEDs too, you only need a single pin but I'm not sure whether it would mess with timings on either unit if you wanted to play with effects, lighting individual chips would be easy enough but adding flashy effects might end up needing a 3rd mcu (although it would be something simple like an attiny85). I'd lose 2 pins from the mega for serial/i2c whatever

    You could just as easily add an stm32F4-Discovery board instead of an arduino mega, that would give acccess to a lot more pins + there are some interesting peripherals onboard that might be useful, like an accelerometer.

  5. #5
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    You can have easier setup using LED/Button matrix with shared columns.

  6. #6
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    Sure, I could but the software doesn't call for a matrix and you have to worry about ghosting, there's not too much point dealing with a led matrix in software if the leds have built in driver ICs, you just send them spi data using the adafruit neopixel library, it only takes 1 data pin + 5v/Gnd to drive them. Don't get me wrong, they're all valid ways of doing it but this is really a lot easier, I also didn't realise that the newer arduino mega 2560 has the atmega chip as a bootloader, so if it's possible to do usb midi via that, then I can simply use one of those boards instead of a leonardo + a mega1280. At the moment it's not that much of an issue, I've had the boards knocking around for a while.

    I think you're the guy that made the tannin controller aren't you? It looks really nice and well built :-)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReggieUK View Post
    Sure, I could but the software doesn't call for a matrix (...)
    I have no idea what you mean by this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReggieUK View Post
    and you have to worry about ghosting
    You do not if you put diode across each button. See: http://pcbheaven.com/wikipages/How_Key_Matrices_Works/

    Quote Originally Posted by ReggieUK View Post
    I also didn't realise that the newer arduino mega 2560 has the atmega chip as a bootloader, so if it's possible to do usb midi via that, then I can simply use one of those boards instead of a leonardo + a mega1280.
    None of the Arduino boards support MIDI natively, you have to emulate it somehow. Except for the HIDUINO project, see: http://www.dimitridiakopoulos.com/hiduino

    Quote Originally Posted by ReggieUK View Post
    I think you're the guy that made the tannin controller aren't you? It looks really nice and well built :-)
    Yes I am, thank you!

  8. #8
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    The software I'm using has already been written, I was adapting it to use for myself, so it doesn't use a matrix at all. That's pretty common, the midifighter is the same, just a bunch of shift registers but no matrix.

    Personally I like the idea of not doing a matrix, with the setup I'm using I have zero soldering, adding a matrix and a diode is adding more components and a fair amount of soldering.

    I'm using a leonardo and the 'arcore' hardware definitions, this adds native usb midi support to the arduino IDE. There is also 'Teensyduino' which adds a ton of usb based options and of course there is 'Hiduino' too.

    Everything as it stands works, the only question mark I have is on whether I can hack in midi support for the mega2560.

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