Old 11-09-2011, 05:11 AM   #1
HOFX
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Default Control Surface - Reaper DIY Kits

There's been a lot of talk on here about control surfaces, compatibility, lack of support from manufacturers etc etc....

So, I propose a solution: we define a hardware control surface, package them as DIY kits (or sell them assembled), and define our own Reaper Control Unit protocol. Perhaps a starter is here: http://lividinstruments.com/hardware_builder.php

It would need:
- motorised faders
- transport control buttons
- rotary encoders
- automapping for ReaPlugs

Just putting this idea out there, very interested to see how it progresses with input from the forum!
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:37 AM   #2
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Those Livid units are INSANELY expensive. Better to make our own, I think.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:38 AM   #3
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highlyliquid.com/midi-controllers/midi-cpu/
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rictus View Post
highlyliquid.com/midi-controllers/midi-cpu/
That's a start. But I'm thinking we will need more than 24 signals. Can these be chained?
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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I don't know.

Let's forget about specific hardware and first settle on a design. What is it most Reaper users want in a control surface? I'm not fortunate enough to own one, so I have little experiece, but I think what I'd like is:
- transport: play, record, stop, seek
- ~8 encoders for plugins
- 1 fader for channel level and/or writing automation
- channel selection: next, previous

For something like that, 16 inputs is enough. What about other users? I realise some will want 48 faders and pan pots, but I think it's better to design something small first, a la Faderport.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rictus View Post
I don't know.

Let's forget about specific hardware and first settle on a design. What is it most Reaper users want in a control surface? I'm not fortunate enough to own one, so I have little experiece, but I think what I'd like is:
- transport: play, record, stop, seek
- ~8 encoders for plugins
- 1 fader for channel level and/or writing automation
- channel selection: next, previous

For something like that, 16 inputs is enough. What about other users? I realise some will want 48 faders and pan pots, but I think it's better to design something small first, a la Faderport.
Fair point.

- For ReaEQ, you would need minimum 9 pots (LP Freq, HP Freq, 2 x (gain, freq, q)).
- 8 motorised faders, each with solo, mute, arm, record, pan pot
- LCD display for track name and track level?

Maybe we branch to mini and pro surface? Hardware and control protocol.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rictus View Post
Those Livid units are INSANELY expensive. Better to make our own, I think.
http://www.ucapps.de/

i think that Midibox can be a good alternative but i don't see so simple..
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:27 PM   #8
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Ask NYM.

FWIW, you can use an Arduino as the brain if you want to do it through MIDI. http://arduino.cc/ (The new UNO may allow it to be seen as a UART over USB- don't know. I have an older one)

You can also use a Teensy http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensypp_pins.html It DOES show up as a UART over USB. i.e., Reaper SEES it as MIDI hardware

Just about any controls except motorized faders can be found for very cheap.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:40 AM   #9
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I was thinking maybe the TI MSP430 series could be a good bet... The Launchpad development kit is less than $5 so would be super cost-effective.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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For faders the best are here: http://www.pennyandgiles.com/Audio-a...-pg-27,2,,.php

The other alternative is ALPS, but P&G are the best for audio work I think.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOFX View Post
There's been a lot of talk on here about control surfaces, compatibility, lack of support from manufacturers etc etc....

So, I propose a solution: we define a hardware control surface, package them as DIY kits (or sell them assembled), and define our own Reaper Control Unit protocol. Perhaps a starter is here: http://lividinstruments.com/hardware_builder.php

It would need:
- motorised faders
- transport control buttons
- rotary encoders
- automapping for ReaPlugs

Just putting this idea out there, very interested to see how it progresses with input from the forum!
i was thinking about it too, i thought this would be a good start point ( http://www.element14.com/community/g...S|e|7875181988 )
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
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I think that taking inspiration from something like SmartAV Tango would be the way to go. Provide a set of hardware buttons, faders and encoders and delegate the software part to a tablet that would live in/on the controller. An Android tablet usually has a USB port that will talk to keyboards and mice. So make the controller appear as a keyboard/mouse combo to a USB master. Make it open source so that people can add features and support for various plugins and software.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuneau View Post
I think that taking inspiration from something like SmartAV Tango would be the way to go. Provide a set of hardware buttons, faders and encoders and delegate the software part to a tablet that would live in/on the controller. An Android tablet usually has a USB port that will talk to keyboards and mice. So make the controller appear as a keyboard/mouse combo to a USB master. Make it open source so that people can add features and support for various plugins and software.
That is really a neat idea, but i don't think that they should appear as keyboard and mice for the tablet, even if this would work (i don't see how you transfer simultanious movements of x faders via keyboard and mose) that would be really a ugly hack. I think a better option would be to connect the hardware to a controller that converts them to MIDI messages and that the controller register itself to the tablet as a generic midi interface (i hope Android come with a driver for generic midi interfaces, i'm not sure about this).
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