Comparison of Hale to other DIY MIDI platforms
My last post got deleted, so I'll try again.
First, I want to say that I have a couple of records of yours on the Jump label and I absolutely loved them! I couldn't believe you're the same dude who made that music and now doing microcontrollers. That was from a long time ago...
I kind of assume that everybody in the scene burned themselves into bits after 5 years and disappear (although I guess there are a lot of DJ's who have kept their heads and are still making great music...)
Anyway, so based on that alone, I'm tempted to buy into your platform.
But I was hoping you could help me out with a few questions, too. I was wondering if you could talk about the comparative advantages of your platform versus other cheaper or more expensive brains, such as Arduino, Highly Liquid, or Livid.
I know it sounds lazy, like I'm asking you to do MY homework, but as a newbie, I'm learning about electronics while trying to build something at the same time. I can't really look at spec sheets and firmware manuals in a comparative, meaningful way, since I'll be learning to read them as I go! And I probably won't know what I REALLY want until I've gone through a couple builds. In the mean time, I'm trying to strike out in the most reasonable direction. I think this probably describes a fair number of people who are coming at this from a musical background, with a fair (enough) aptitude for mechanical or electrical hobbyist skills.
Comparing inputs and outputs are pretty straight forward, it seems, as well as expandability and/or ability to link boards. But could you describe the programming side of things? Like how the Hale configuration utility compares in terms of value. Is it a major step up from having to write one's own Arduino script, etc?
Last edited by townsend2005; 03-20-2012 at 11:49 PM.
Reason: Gotta keep my reputation clean!
Your first post is still alive, just in another area...
Unfortunately there's no right answer to your question of value as it depends on your level of skill, time and money and target. What did you have in mind for your first build ?
Well, I'm learning the Arduino platform, as a general educational basis and working through Nicolas Collins Handmade Electronic Music. I would say I have basic soldering skills. I'm interested in two different threads for my projects:
1. very experimental, in terms of analog input devices, from softpots to trying conductive body paint, to running current through junk (found objects, as one would say in a grant proposal).
2. I need more physical inputs for running ableton: run of the mill type stuff like button triggers, faders, rotary pots: like 16 channels with maybe 5 inputs per channel. Like what a normal analog mixing board does: one knob per parameter. I don't know how people keep this virtual shit in their head, it's completely counterintuitive to the improvisational/musical/tactile process for me.
Something like this
(For instance, why is this $900? Does it really represent a decent economy of scale vs a DIY version?)
I've sort of resigned myself to some degree of programming, but as I go further and further down the rabbit hole, I realize that I actually do want to USE this system as an end product. I don't think I want to spend time dealing with software debouncing if I can get away with it -- or those types of unanticipated things. Building the project is icing on the cake, but I don't want to get completely lost in the process. I have gigs and work to balance out, so time is somewhat at a premium...although, there really isn't a deadline, here, either.
I recently discovered Junxion, for instance, which appears to add a user-friendly GUI to the arduino board, I'm guessing similar to the firmware programmers that you guys include with your MIDI brains. So many options!!
PS, whoops, I guess I forgot where I posted the original question...user error as usual..
It seems to me that you may want to do a bit of both. Use the UMC for your brick and mortar ADC's, switches and USB-MIDI conversion. Then use the Arduino for the more exotic sensors that requires coding and input scaling. In the end you'll end up with a very fast and responsive system with a number of inputs and outputs. The linker header on the UMC has some serial I/O's for which you can connect an Arduino if you like. I haven't documented this yet but I have worked with a few companies on implementing this. I would not consider myself an Arduino expert but it is my understanding that the FTDI USB interface is relegated to being serial only hence the necessity for apps like Junxion. Having the Arduino perform it's dedicated task then sending it over to the UMC would work fairly well.
Thanks for your response. Interesting to know that the Arduino could function as an intermediary through the Hale... more food for thought.