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Every Roland MC-202 needs a Tubbutec !
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Tubbutec  
Author Every Roland MC-202 needs a Tubbutec !
goldplate
Hey,

This message is for Tubbutec directly but is IMO interesting to have in an open thread.

Quote:
Seeing what you did for the SH-101, I can't resist to insist (because yes I know I'm not the first one) to say that all the MC-202's are needing your work !

I so much already thought and talked about the subject that I'm too much into it = I'm too much subjective and so I don't know where to begin. Please excuse me if my message could sometimes look not convincing in its own because would looks like some things already talked or thoughts somewhere, but I need to say that I feel there is something to do here ! This is my last request to someone else for this subject.

I know the main told issue is that the CPU is a surface mounted device (SMD). When I talked to the subject to various pretenders for this job, they always replied that this was a no way issue, but I know sometime (maybe on the Social Entropy (Quicksilver 303/606) forum now deleted) someone brought a technical workaround for it. It was a kind of SMD to thourgh-hole adapter and it seemed to be a way to look into.

Finally I felt that the technical barrier was a pretext to hide the fear that the thought-to-be-a-fact that "the MC-202 is not so popular" would result in a commercial flop. But there I have to reply something:

The MC-202's sequencer is so much unpleasant to use that anyone would want to buy a nice replacement one. I think this last speculation is the counterbalance to the "MC-202 is not so popular" one.

Also the work would include a suitable and final well thought and built and not-so-destructive replacement for the connectability (MIDI and proper CV/gate) which also is a huge and needed improvement that any MC-202 needs.

Finally I know that Colin Fraser (Sequentix) and John Kimble (Social Entropy) were interested in this idea, but I also know they don't have the time to do it, but as anyone they always have some time to talk to interesting requests, so maybe they could share some very good ideas from their love and experience with those kind of Rolandish gear.

Thanks ! You rocks ! SlayerBadger!
tubbutec
goldplate wrote:

I know the main told issue is that the CPU is a surface mounted device (SMD). When I talked to the subject to various pretenders for this job, they always replied that this was a no way issue, but I know sometime (maybe on the Social Entropy (Quicksilver 303/606) forum now deleted) someone brought a technical workaround for it. It was a kind of SMD to thourgh-hole adapter and it seemed to be a way to look into.


The problem here is not so much, that it is impossible to design a CPU replacement for a surface mount part. The way I would probably do it is to design a PCB with edge connections, so it can be soldered directly in place of the original CPU.
The issue here rather is that potential customer (and I believe this even includes some synth techs) are not fit to desolder a 64-pin SMD cpu and solder something equally complex in its place.
From what I have seen some people already have problems with through hole.

Quote:
Finally I felt that the technical barrier was a pretext to hide the fear that the thought-to-be-a-fact that "the MC-202 is not so popular" would result in a commercial flop.


Given the obstacles of soldering described above, the fear of a commercial flop is not quite unjustified, imho.
See, the first question a developer might ask is: "Is this mod needed? And will it improve the synth significantly?"
But the second question usually is: "If I spent several months of my life developing this, will I get paid?"
goldplate
Thank you for your reply! I'm pleased to get this talk in this way.

About the soldering and the "being paid" subjects, I could add that many people buy DIY or modding kits before even thinking about how to assemble or install it. The more the result seems to be great and fun and beautiful, the more you are ready to pay and also the more you will do whatever will be needed to get the result.

I think the balancing subjects are here and I think there is a viable way for the MC-202. But then of course there is this last thing:
Quote:
I spent several months of my life developing this

You have to like to do it ! And that's why I asked you ! You seems very passionated to add more options that anyone would ever do !
rv0
In my experience, desoldering an smd ic is much easier than desoldering a through hole chip. Of course using a heat gun, which a lot of DIY'ers dont have
I'd buy a mod instantly. Imo the mc202 is one of the most underrated instruments of all time, only because of the limited sequencer and lack of storage

So yes, please be a hero and save the 202 Mr. Green
Id even consider getting a 2nd 202 when it ever happens
nutjob
What about leaving the existing uP in place and adding a tiny board that interfaces with CV, Gate, Buttons/Display, and sync boards?
goldplate
Interesting idea !

The DIYer would have to cut the tracks connecting the CPU to various parts, then he would have to solder wires of the new CPU to those parts.

The best would be to have both possibilities available (along with the SMD adapter). So there is a way to do non-destructive job for the ones who feel able.
razzmtazz266
I am also up for paying waaay to much money for a mc-202 upgrade.
The size and weight, plus two channels, plus modding, and euro compatibility make it a no brainer. To offset tubbutec costs, could this maybe be a kickstarter project. Where the first backers get it a cheaper price, to give the man the money he needs to waste some of his life to make mine more awesome?

Just a thought.
jjq
This is also very interesting for me!
trainspotter
i would also pay into a kickstarter or something to that effect to support and guarantee payment for tubbutec researching and developing.
warmtape
trainspotter wrote:
i would also pay into a kickstarter or something to that effect to support and guarantee payment for tubbutec researching and developing.


i would also pay into a kickstarter.
reverberation
Yes. My 202's and I really need this.
Now, do it. Thank you! wink
polysixer
Count me in for a kickstarter of this the minute it's ready.
maxwellravitz
I would also pay for this or a kickstarter.
polysixer
Sorry for the side-topic but they've made a poll on Gearslutz to vote for the interest in an MC-202 mod. Vote if you can: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electroni c-music-production/1162589-roland-mc-202-users-unite.html
tubbutec
Hi,

thanks for the poll and to the rest of you supporting this cause.

We were actually working on this as a side-project in the last months and believe we have found a solution to create an 'easy'* to install CPU replacement.
Wanted to go public later with this, but what the heck..

As soon as we have a proof of concept ready and some time, there will likely be a crowd funding campaign... so stay tuned please. thanks

*Easy means: There is some SMD-level soldering skill necessary, but nothing impossible. Pitch is 1mm, so this is absolutely doable. If not by you, than certainly by a tech - and it is cheap to ship the 202.
maxwellravitz
amazing news! very excited MY ASS IS BLEEDING MY ASS IS BLEEDING MY ASS IS BLEEDING
warmtape
i didn't poll, but am very excited for this and will contribute to a crowd funding campaign for sure. cheers
biam
we're not worthy
jjq
Happy joy
tron23
keep it on! w00t
jjq
Excited It's peanut butter jelly time!
BugBrand
I'd support a kickstarter or buy one direct, surething.
jjq
It's peanut butter jelly time! It's peanut butter jelly time! It's peanut butter jelly time!

Any news?
tubbutec
No news as yet. Still a few unfinished projects / products to be done before we can start with the 202. We want to be able to spend as much time as possible on this project once we start.
goldplate
thumbs up
tron23
tubbutec wrote:
No news as yet. Still a few unfinished projects / products to be done before we can start with the 202. We want to be able to spend as much time as possible on this project once we start.


Thank you for the update. Looking forward to your work. Guinness ftw!
reverberation
Looking forward! I might need this for my (five) 202's eek!
minime123
reverberation wrote:
Looking forward! I might need this for my (five) 202's eek!


really looking forward to this too. but FIVE 202s? the 202 can only make 3 good sounds! what do you do with the other 2 of them?!
lol
mini
jjq
Still exited, any news?
tron23
jjq wrote:
Still exited, any news?


Still silent, hope it is moving forward, every 202 needs those features. Guinness ftw!
jjq
Any news? Tiny or great?
polysixer
Yes, it would be great to have an update on the project, if there's anything new. This said, summer tends to move slowly for people so it's understandable if things are stale.
warmtape
just pushing this to the top, very excited about the possibility of this
jjq
All I want for christmas is a Tubbutec 202
tron23
jjq wrote:
All I want for christmas is a Tubbutec 202


Same over here. hyper w00t
maxwellravitz
still excited at the prospect of this!!!
biam
Bump!
Coffee Addiction FTW Enjoy the show!
smile
jjq
New year... any news?
tubbutec


dnigrin
Lookin' good guys, eagerly awaiting! And that's from someone who will lose business on his MC-202 Hack software, but I don't care!
tron23
It looks like you are already there! w00t
tubbutec
tron23 wrote:
It looks like you are already there! w00t


No wink
jjq
Will it include the original sequencer functions?
biam
Thank you for the update!
thumbs up
tubbutec
jjq wrote:
Will it include the original sequencer functions?


Usually we always include all original functions in our CPU upgrades and then add features on top.

However - given that the original sequencer is difficult to use and the main point of criticism of all people I have spoken so far, it will be replaced.

It will become a 2-channel 1oh1 style sequencer. This means:
- step based
- accent, glide, length per step
- you can create multiple patterns
- you can chain the patterns live to create songs
- sequencer can be clocked via midi, din sync or external trigger in via TAPE IN
polysixer
tubbutec wrote:
jjq wrote:
Will it include the original sequencer functions?


Usually we always include all original functions in our CPU upgrades and then add features on top.

However - given that the original sequencer is difficult to use and the main point of criticism of all people I have spoken so far, it will be replaced.

It will become a 2-channel 1oh1 style sequencer. This means:
- step based
- accent, glide, length per step
- you can create multiple patterns
- you can chain the patterns live to create songs
- sequencer can be clocked via midi, din sync or external trigger in via TAPE IN


This is an excellent way to repurpose the tape jacks, very nice idea thank you!
While pattern chaining is very adequate too, a true song mode would also be desirable if possible. If not on release, later after the basics have been ironed out.

You also mentioned noise source is in the works, great news. Is the noise generated digitally? If so it would be ideal if the noise profile is similar to the SH-101. It'd also be ideal if the noise level can be controlled within the machine and not only via MIDI.

If you're open to ideas I would also propose the following:

- Pattern transpose.
- Master or slave modes via MIDI/DINsync/trigger.
- Additional LFO waveforms (syncable or not) controllable within the machine.
- Filter only accent (additionally to amp accent and filter-amp accent of the original).
- Keep battery operation if possible.

However if none of these are to be carried I'd be equally happy. Good work!
tubbutec
There are a lot of feature ideas, some of the ones you suggested will be in the final product.
If you look at our 1oh1 mod, you will get an idea (additional LFOs and ADSR, Accents, no battery needed, various clock modes, etc...)

However I am deliberately not listing any features right now as I would like to wait till they are implemented and running.

There will also be a couple of awesome and surprising features, one of which I am working on right now..
polysixer
tubbutec wrote:
There are a lot of feature ideas, some of the ones you suggested will be in the final product.
If you look at our 1oh1 mod, you will get an idea (additional LFOs and ADSR, Accents, no battery needed, various clock modes, etc...)

However I am deliberately not listing any features right now as I would like to wait till they are implemented and running.

There will also be a couple of awesome and surprising features, one of which I am working on right now..


This is totally understandable and I'm super excited and badly teased by this!
biam
SlayerBadger!

It would be great if you get the tempo-pot to act as a (assignable) data-knob. hyper
You've probably allready thought about this. wink

The noise + features of the 1oh1. w00t!!
jjq
tubbutec wrote:


Usually we always include all original functions in our CPU upgrades and then add features on top.

However - given that the original sequencer is difficult to use and the main point of criticism of all people I have spoken so far, it will be replaced.


Sad to hear, the sequncer is a bit painfull but also unique with its individual step-length. Would it not be posible to keep?
polysixer
jjq wrote:
tubbutec wrote:


Usually we always include all original functions in our CPU upgrades and then add features on top.

However - given that the original sequencer is difficult to use and the main point of criticism of all people I have spoken so far, it will be replaced.


Sad to hear, the sequncer is a bit painfull but also unique with its individual step-length. Would it not be posible to keep?


Length per step is a parameter of the new sequencer, apparently.
goldplate
Fantastic... so promising !

For this kind of retrofit it's always better to keep the original working while giving more flexibility, better ergonomy, even maybe some visual feedback...

The most difficult in my experience with the 202 sequencer remains the fact that it's not handy to manage a pattern meant to be looped while its length is forced to be the total of all steps lengths. So an additional option to be able to choose the pattern length could be very useful.
rv0
just take my money Guinness ftw!
tubbutec
Sequencer early test
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtgY4LlI1rd/
dnigrin
Awesome!!!
synthi
Have my two 202s waiting!! applause
biam
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuWYOA5FpmU/
LazyCircuit
Super excited by this. As a (fairly) new 202 owner, I can’t wait to see the final features. Are we close to a release date?
tubbutec
LazyCircuit wrote:
Are we close to a release date?


While there is a working hardware prototype now, implementing all the features in software will certainly take a while. Don't expect 2oh2 to be released too soon.. software takes time
Newrocklad
Very excited because I love my 202!
bradpickapiper
any mods exist that would allow me to simply input an external signal into the 202?
alexosm
Is this maybe a year away from release? Trying to figure out if I should get an mc202 now or later... very excited for it.
biam
Tubbutec update;

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2BeteWHuaf/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2MgGn7gdz3/

Drum sequencer/sounds in 2oh2? Excited!
tron23
Hope it's getting close, one of the few old things I need to fully integrate with the old. Plus like many, I have more than one so got work to do when this is out. hihi
biam
https://tubbutec.de/mc-2oh2/
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