MIDIbox NG

Created 2012/13

MIDIbox NG is the "next generation" controller, running on a MBHP_CORE_LPC17 or MBHP_CORE_STM32F4 module.
It replaces the old PIC based projects MIDIbox64, MIDIbox64E and MIDIbox LC

The firmware is currently in beta state. Details can be found in in this forum article.

Meanwhile also the creation of the User Manual is in progress.

Concept

  • MIDI messages received and sent over multiple (traditional) MIDI IN/OUT ports, USB-MIDI and OSC (Ethernet)
  • up to 256 buttons which are directly connected to MBHP_DIN modules
  • up to 8 button matrices with 4x8, 8x8, 4x16, 8x16 or 16x16 configuration which are connected to MBHP_DIN/MBHP_DOUT, or to the MBHP_DIO_MATRIX module -> up to 2048 buttons accesible!
  • up to 256 LEDs which are directly connected to MBHP_DOUT modules.
    Individual brightness levels for each LED with 16 steps!
  • up to 8 LED matrices with 4x8, 8x8, 4x16, 8x16 or 16x16 configuration which are connected to MBHP_DOUT modules -> up to 2048 LEDs accessible! Duo and RGB Colour LEDs are supported as well!
    Supported brightness levels for each individual LED in the matrix: 8 steps in a 4-row matrix, 4 steps in a 8-row matrix, 2 steps in a 16-row matrix.
  • up to 64 WS2812 (LED strip) based RGB LEDs with 3x8 bit resolution
  • up to 128 rotary encoders connected to MBHP_DIN modules
  • up to 128 pots/faders connected to MBHP_AINSER64 modules - the MBHP_AINSER8 module is supported as well.
  • up to 32 motorfaders connected to MBHP_MF_NG modules
  • up to 32 CV output channels connected to MBHP_AOUT, MBHP_AOUT_LC or MBHP_AOUT_NG modules
  • up to 64 character or graphical displays can be connected!
  • up to 2 velocity sensitive keyboards can be connected (like known from MIDIbox KB)

It doesn't matter if you are planning a Mini-Controller or a huge Monster-Controller. MIDIbox NG can be used as a simple MIDI->USB or OSC->MIDI router or just as a MIDI processor based on a single MBHP_CORE_LPC17 or MBHP_CORE_STM32F4 module without additional hardware.

But it could also consist of multiple cores which are linked together either at the host or client side, either via MIDI, USB or Ethernet, to scale the hardware indefinitely.

In order achieve the highest flexibility, the .NGC configuration format:

  • allows to process common MIDI messages, such as Note, CC, Aftertouch, Program Change, PitchBend
  • allows to process NRPN events for higher resolution (14bit)
  • allows to process SysEx streams - it's even possible to print LCD messages from SysEx dumps, or to map the SysEx dump of a MIDI device to multiple control elements to implement a "Synthesizer Programmer" (!)
  • allows to trigger multiple actions when a control element has been moved or a MIDI message has been received
  • allows to combine actions in "radio groups"
  • allows to ouput to character or grapical LCDs with a printf-like format - the .NGL format enables you to name each value!
  • allows to pass LED patterns to LED Rings, and BCD digits to 7-segment displays connected to LED matrices.

All control elements, such as buttons, LEDs, encoders, pots/faders, can be banked to multiply the access to MIDI parameters.

Additional features:

  • Optional Control Surface
  • MIDI Router with 16 nodes
  • MIDI Monitor for all ports
  • MIDI Learn function for common MIDI events and NRPNs
  • Snapshots of the control element values can be stored, restored and dumped (e.g. to use the controller as synth programmer with patch storage)
  • Supports a (primitive) script language (.NGR scripts)

For a more detailed impresssion, please have a look into the First Steps chapter of the User's Manual

Planned Features

  • improved documentation, example setups with pictures (users have to help out!)
  • "Morph" function to fade smoothly between two snapshots
  • SysEx receiver/dumper to store and "fire" SysEx dumps to/from SD Card
  • complete support of Logic/Mackie Control and Motormix protocol
  • integrated test modes for all control elements to troubleshoot hardware issues

Already known Design Limitations

  • no support for big GLCDs, no support for touchpanels. Re-inventing Lemur, an iPad or similar tablet PC is out of scope. However, second-hand iPad1s are cheap today, and you could connect to the MBNG via OSC


Last update: 2016-11-04

Copyright 1998-2016, Thorsten Klose. All rights reserved.