next up from SynthTech: E620 USB Host/Device Midi/CV Thingy

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next up from SynthTech: E620 USB Host/Device Midi/CV Thingy

Post by paults » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:07 pm

Panel too narrow to put that long name on it. I call it the USB Thingy for short.

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a) Have the prototype pc boards running test code.
b) dual channels of 16bit DAC -2V to +8V range
c) dual GATE/trig outs of 10V
d) CV outs can also be set to trigger outs
e) 4HP wide, only 1.8in (4.6cm) deep
f) supports either Host or Device mode (not both at once). As Host, can supply full 500ma @+5V current per USB spec
g) FLASH storage of setup
h) Class Compliant: no drivers needed!

When available? Depends on how long the code takes. We are pretty picky about testing all the USB issues that might crop up. The MIDI code itself is 90% running and debugged.

Cost? I am striving from $249 or less retail. $229 would be nice I think.

More detail later. Yes, I will need beta testers. No, please don't PM me now, I will have a post when ready (maybe around Thanksgiving).

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revoltcrews
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Post by revoltcrews » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:10 pm

Nice !
is this CV to Midi
or
Midi to CV ?

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Post by waveglider » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:15 pm

Host mode with class complaint MIDI controllers will be awesome!
:sb:

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Post by paults » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:21 pm

USB MIDI data in. CV/Gates/Triggers out.

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Post by exper » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:25 pm

Very, very cool. Just when I was thinking of getting a qunexus. Is there mode options? Like the ability to turn the outputs into pitch cv, gate, cc and perhaps clock?
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Post by paults » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:29 pm

Yes, it's not trying to be as extensive as a Yarns, but it will have multiple modes. In fact, please suggest say your top 5 MUST HAVE modes here in this thread. In order to keep cost down, using a 64K MCU. The USB stack is around 19K so we still have some room to have lots of modes. Just not 117 :sadbanana:

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Post by ether » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:20 pm

I need this.

Other than maybe a wider version with 4 CV/gate outs for some polyphonic goodness I can't think of much else I'd need.

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Post by paults » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:22 pm

Well, this is 2 note polyphonic goodness. So buy 3 and get 6 voices in about the same width as a Yarns. And a $20 USB hub :nana:

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Post by ether » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:28 pm

USB hubs are evil and not to be trusted :twisted:

I'd rather live with a simplified duophonic setup with one cable, rather than have a rats nets of USB alongside the modular.

On another note, have you seen the USB-ified Monome euro modules?

http://monome.org/modular/

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Post by logicgate » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:35 pm

more infos pleeeease!! :hail:

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Post by sempervirent » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:08 pm

I'd been wondering when this would surface.

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http://www.modulargrid.net/e/synthesis- ... ost-device

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Post by tikami » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:46 pm

Not good news for my CVpal!

Device hosting is awesome!
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Post by tikami » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:03 pm

paults wrote:Well, this is 2 note polyphonic goodness. So buy 3 and get 6 voices in about the same width as a Yarns. And a $20 USB hub :nana:
Any chance of being able to daisy chain multiple units by USB? (i.e., no hub)

Stealing an idea from MI, but I love CVpal's mode where the second gate can output a square wave. If it were possible to daisy chain multiple units and output square waves at the same time then we'd have a very simple polyphonic ability.

Please shoot me if I'm being stupid. :hmm:
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Post by spacessound » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:11 pm

That's smart. Always a pain to power a little midi device from an ipad when there is no computer around or on.

I guess that's the prime benefit or?

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Post by paults » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:19 pm

a) A prime benefit (besides the fact it's a SynthTech product) is yes: it can power (up to 500ma) any MIDI USB class-compliant device. And it's small. And it's cheap. And it's a SynthTech product.

b) there is no "chaining" in the USB spec

c) this is primarily to generate CVs, but things like Silent Way software can be used to make LFOs, EGs, all that good stuff.

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Post by spacessound » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:26 pm

got it. ta.. :tu:

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Post by The Disquiet » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:38 am

EDIT: never mind, deleted

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Post by karmadelic » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:12 am

it can power (up to 500ma) any MIDI USB class-compliant device
:yay: :yay: :yay:

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Post by mick » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:37 am

Do I understand it correct when I think you can plug in an midi-over-usb device in the usb port, and it will generate CV?

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Post by insula » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:55 am

don't forget the clock!!! :hail: :hail:

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Post by logicgate » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:35 am

mick wrote:Do I understand it correct when I think you can plug in an midi-over-usb device in the usb port, and it will generate CV?

I wonder that, too. Would like to know the difference between host and device mode.


I thought that, in order to send MIDI over USB, we needed some kind of software (similar to the ones you have install to make the MIDI keyboard controllers to work with your DAW)

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Post by alamandra » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:48 am

logicgate wrote:
mick wrote:Do I understand it correct when I think you can plug in an midi-over-usb device in the usb port, and it will generate CV?

I wonder that, too. Would like to know the difference between host and device mode.


I thought that, in order to send MIDI over USB, we needed some kind of software (similar to the ones you have install to make the MIDI keyboard controllers to work with your DAW)
I'd have thought this module has some sort of software inside it's computery bits to sort that out.

Anyway Paults great module as ever, a question if I may though. Are you able to run audio from an ipad for example through one of the cv outputs, potential idiot question from me there lol. I only understand the difference in cv and audio so far as go low enough in audio it becomes lfo.
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Post by tikami » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:39 am

paults wrote: b) there is no "chaining" in the USB spec
So no concept of "MIDI thru" where USB is concerned? (I'm no expert)

You can still shoot me for being stupid, or I'll do it myself :russian:
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Post by os » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:15 am

Gah. This is the third time this month that someone's announced a product that I had on the drawing board.

Good work, sir.

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Post by paults » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:21 am

Answering questions below.
Do I understand it correct when I think you can plug in an midi-over-usb device in the usb port, and it will generate CV?
Yes, this is the point of the module. :sb:

You can either (just NOT at the same time!):

a) plug into your PC/DAW/IPAD. The E620 is a Device, the PC side is the Host.
b) Plug a MIDI USB keyboard into the E620. The E620 is the Host and powers the Device.

Note: a Monome is NOT a Class Compliant device. You have to buy the White Whale modules for it.
Are you able to run audio from an ipad for example through one of the cv outputs,
No, that is a different USB Class (the Audio Class). And that class is pretty restrictive in terms of sample rates/bit lengths. Which is why MOST USB audio interfaces use their own custom drivers.
So no concept of "MIDI thru" where USB is concerned? (I'm no expert)
This is what a USB hub is for in Host mode. The PC (Host) sends 1 USB MIDI stream out it's USB port to the hub. The hub (usually 4 ports) then sends it out the 4 ports (like a mult). So there is no need for 'Thru'
I wonder that, too. Would like to know the difference between host and device mode.
This is USB terminology not a MIDI term. A Host can provide power to the Device. The Host is usually a PC/DAW. The Device is like a USB mouse, thumb drive or in our SPECIFIC case, a MIDI thing (like my M-Audio keyboard).

Either Host or Device can send and receive USB data.
I thought that, in order to send MIDI over USB, we needed some kind of software
It depends if the USB Host/Device is 'Class Compliant' or not. Again, an official USB term.

The USB spec has pre-defined Classes. The intent is that these devices need no additional driver. All the messages are pre-defined, you cannot add to them. The E620 is such a device, the 'drivers' are executing inside the PIC microcontroller. This means that we cannot add to the USB commands for the MIDI class.

Now, if your Host application has it's own "MIDI driver" for say sending MIDI, what does the E620 do in this case?

The messages added to the MIDI portion are ignored. However, the MIDI class is pretty much the entire MIDI spec so I doubt any functions are 'lost'. The added drivers are usually for the Audio side of things.

Official spec is here: http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/

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