Friday, October 16, 2009

viva-la-dslr !

I got around to kitting myself up with a nice DSLR this week - so can finally uploade some nice pics of the deck and fan the feathers a bit! I'll be uploading some HD videos next week that will walk through the deck layout and explain some stuff...and maybe a decent quality short mix while I'm at it...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Here's some short demo videos, sorry about the rubbish quality but I only have a mobile phone for a camera. There's a longer explanation video on the way once a decent camera becomes available. This only shows the first song in one set so isn't very expansive.

If anyone wants to donate a HD video camera I promise I'll make better videos.

Video 1    Video 2

Saturday, June 27, 2009

studio creative

Have been busy working on the music side of things finally. Am putting together a DnB set & a Prog/House/Acid set, each will have around 8 songs to stuff about with. I'll keep the links here updated with the downloads but the downloads won't contain the WAV content files (too big - mail me if you want them). Watch this space in the next couple of weeks for a psychill/ambient set download. Also next week I'll be uploading a mix down of both the DnB and Prog sets (will just be a rough draft mix).

Also - here's a late post of a short video me and a friend took before I got the deck finished (notice theres no top plate/etc).

Sunday, May 24, 2009


That's it - the project is complete!

After 12 months and $2000, spawned from a simple idea that was inspired by Robert Henke and made possible by TK and the Midibox community; I've given birth to a real life working MIDI controller deck! I don't know what else to say except to thank those who helped and I hope this blog serves as an inspiration or assistance to others wishing to embark on such a project. Well - now it's time to get down to business and work on some sets...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

almost done

Finally got around to ordering the front plate! I ended up getting laser-cut mat-black acrylic, mostly because it was going to cost around $400-$600 to get in black anodized ali and I've ran out of money and need to be realistic. It ended up costing around $150 for supply and machining which is very fair, Jason @ Plastix was a great help and the job was delivered well above expectations. I basically provided them with my Visio layout, exported as a DXF which they fed that into their laser cutter and the finished product looks great.

I'm yet to decide on getting any printing/artwork done on the face plate or not - it will do plain matt black for now. Also I need to annodize/paint the frame sides so they're black like the rest (annodized will cost around $70, paint will cost around $20). Also I might get some nice stained timber side pieces to compliment the overall design and match the look of my Virus KB, but maybe not. There's a lot more I should write here but I've lost momentum in the whole documentation process, my apologies.

I had to also open her up today and fix some broken solder joints and fix hardware bugs, hopefully that's the last of them. Software-wise she's now running about 99% stable so that's very cool...I'm spending most of my time now working creative on the sets. There's a dnb set and a proggy set so far - I'll post both of them up here once they mature a little.

As promised, in a few weeks I'll clean this project doco up and move it to a wiki page on midibox site so it's where it belongs. I'll post a link here when I do...till then there might be more to come....but some nice pics for now.

Friday, April 3, 2009

major code refactor

have spent much time this week and today working on getting all the code functional & tight...can say after some great input from the midibox community and liveapi group i've managed to get a handle on it...big ups and cheers to bugfight, ultra, dee & julian for your help guys 

all my code is downloadable from the right hand side in the download section


Monday, March 23, 2009


am moving mouse in a week and it's good timing because i've finished the 2nd led matrix and did the mountings for the top plate when it arrives, which basically means the deck is finished all but the top plate and bug fixing - so it's time to pack up the ol' workshed...

in the beginning there were don't wanna be back there

during the madness...was a lotta fun and a lotta pain

cleanup time...kinda feels good

cool...a thats why I pay so much rent

another shot of the perpetrator

Saturday, March 7, 2009

rough draft of first set - dnb

an unfinished rough outline of things to come [80mb]

Friday, February 27, 2009

the bling matrix

Finally got around to finishing the 64 button clip matrix...giddy up! The whole process has taken me like 2-3 months to finish, mostly because I have developed some kind of RSI in my neck and back and cannot solder or do much work, and have been seeking massages and therapy from an Osteo so I don't become a cripple (all a result of both this project and sitting down coding all day for work). Anyways I achieved the end result and are totally stoked with the fruits of these labours....would I do it To recap what I did for the clip matrix;

  • Ordered 128 cheap tactile APLS momentary switches for the buttons.
  • Had 128 15mm opaque perspex cubes laser cut by Plastix.
  • Made a drilling jig up and drilled about a 1/4" hole in each cube for the LED.
  • Ordered 128 cheap RBG LED's direct from manufacturer in Hong Kong.
  • Sanded the ends of each one on an angle so I could mount it diagonally upwards in the cube.
  • Stuck blank electrical tape to the sides of each cube to prevent light from spilling in/out.
  • Glued each LED in eachcube using Araldyte.
  • Glued each resulting cube to the top of each button switch.
  • Soldered all the common cathodes (rows).
  • Soldered all the red annodes (columns).
  • Soldered all the green annodes (columns).
  • Soldered all the blue annodes (columns).
  • Soldered together the DOUT module with the darlington modification.
  • Connected it all up to the MB core.
  • Designed a system for communication between LiveAPI and Midibox app.
  • Wrote the software driver for the Midibox app in C (download and download).
  • Wrote the software for the LiveAPI in Python (download).
  • Debugged all the problems, swearing and cursing.
  • Sat back with a satisfied grin as I finally got everything working.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Well it's been a while and I've mostly been working on the software (LiveAPI driver and MidiBox firmware) - also been working on the LED matrix and all the buttons, which has turned out to be a nasty biatch of a job. To be honest I'm over it and just wanna get the thing finished now. That aside, I've also been working on the Live sets and nutting out how the sets will work musically so there's been some creative work in there too which is making it all worth it. Next wekend once I get things more complete I'll post update pics and all that crap - I'll also be sharing my Live sets and all the software too. 

So here's a couple of short vids I took tonight after I got half of the LED matrix going (red and green only at the mo) and still no face plate yet. Sorry for the poor wuality but at least it shows what I'm trying to achieve with the whole damn thing.

Download the 2 movies (10mb zip) here if you want.

Friday, January 2, 2009

assembling stephanie

Had a couple weeks away and was a welcome break from soldering, cutting and filing. Day 1 of 2009 and was back into it with half steam and a cracking hangover but, that's the only way you get shit done!

Success! We have liftoff for Phase 1!!!

All that's pending now are the RGB button tops and the top face plate. The faceplate I'll have in the next week or 2 - the layout for that is ready to go but I think the guys I'm outsourcing it to are not back till another week so I can wait. The buttons are another thing - I've decided to put this into "Phase 2" of the project - as there is a bit of work to this but I've pretty much mapped it all out in my head so shouldn't be more than 2-3 weeks work to complete.

So now I'm spending time with the deck assembled and working and getting to understand it, programing it and work with configuring my music apps to interface with it, so there's some weeks just there alone before I'm ready to bling it up with nice LED's.

Have to say I'm well chuffed with where it's all ended up at - it's been a milestone and I can't say how pleasing it is to have come so far and have a positive outcome! I've put some pics here of the final assembly stages, hope it helps!

Starting with just the housing, rear MIDI & power mounts and power supply.

Adding DIN modules.

Adding AIN modules.

Adding the Cores.

Bolting in bulkheads.

Adding master section pots and button channel strips. Things start to get complicated and beginning to notice a lack of space for wires and so on...holding breath and hoping for the best.

Adding channel strip pots. Now I'm shitting myself and are in a sweat about how many damn cables there are - I guess I didn't give this enough thought because there just isn't enough room for everything to fit in it seems - and it's too late to go back and re-design the layout! This is one of those lessons that no matter how much you plan and prepare, you're gona screw shit up at some point if you're not experienced!

Well after some serious cable management I finally got the channel strips to sit flush down on the bulkhead mounts. At first the whole thing sat about 1cm above the mounts which was disaster really, because it would mean a total re-work of the housing to allow the front panel to mount. I ended up having to put a lot of force down on this in the end and are not entirely happy about it but nothing else has to go in that section now so I should be ok (DOUT modules will sit under the master section buttons).

Bolt everything in tight and we have liftoff! Programmed it all and got the MBLink feature to work and a shitload of debugging (had to rip it all apart and put together about 5 times to fix solder shorts, resolder pot connectors, replace blown pots and other crap) -in the end it was a lot of work but TOTALLY worth it! WOOHOO!!!