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Any D.I.Y. Guys making custom midi controllers for people? The VST clone type.

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:51 am

I was wondering because I'm not so handy with a soldering iron anymore and little parts and I wanted to see if I could get a desktop Synth1 controller built, but looking a little more classic and nice than the actual VST, but all controls in the same place and labels the same. Synth1 is probably the first free plug I got and that was so many years ago and I always use it.

Would love a controller showing v. 1.12 controls. I have Synth1 in on my Live default template. I think I would just enjoy that synth 10x more with an actual physical interface that matched it.
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addled muppet weed
 
33877 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass
 

Postby vurt; Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:25 am

yeah, although its far from cheap.
for a one off youd be looking at about a grand (with a basic off the shelf case. if you want something fabricated then perhaps add another 500.
this is presuming you dont want a kb involved, for this id probably say another 800.
this is just off the top of my head and parts only.

makes a free synth kinda expensive...
KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:33 am

vurt wrote:yeah, although its far from cheap.
for a one off youd be looking at about a grand (with a basic off the shelf case. if you want something fabricated then perhaps add another 500.
this is presuming you dont want a kb involved, for this id probably say another 800.
this is just off the top of my head and parts only.

makes a free synth kinda expensive...


I have been buying hardware lately again. Have an MS20 iC controller coming next week, bought a minibrute, bought a Venom, but its that hands on feel that makes it really fun for me. Synth1 is just one of those synths that I get and controls are easy, sounds good, I have used for years, I thought a controller, even if it costs up to $1000 might be really fun. Particularly if it can be class compliant as that rumor on Synth1 for iOS has me pretty excited. The MS20 controller works right out of the box with the ipad as long as you have a powered hub. I'm guessing a synth1 controller could be used many places too. Particularly if it gets ported to Mac also. I could use it with my netbook easy enough because it is so CPU friendly. That's why I think it would be worth it. To me anyway.
"I am a meat popsicle"
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addled muppet weed
 
33877 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass
 

Postby vurt; Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 am

yeah, i can definitely see the attraction (prob wouldnt choose synth1 myself, i have other favourites :) ) its probably more economical to purchase a decent midi controller with lots of knobs, faders and buttons so you can make up some templates. use some card to make overlays for your favourite templates. this would also leave you with some cash to buy the new ms20 :D
:hihi:

i built a controller for a friend a few years back, he wanted something to use with live on stage so it didnt look like he was checking email (his words) he managed to find an old hammond organ beig given away as it no longer worked. we built knobs and faders 16 of each, 24 on/off buttons and i think 10 3 ways switches. no keys.
for parts alone we paid in the region of 800 pound, worked nicely though until on the 3rd or 4th gig afterwards someone nicked the van it was in :(
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KVRAF
 
4448 posts since 13 Jan, 2003, from Kent, UK
 

Postby GaryG; Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:54 am

It'd be an interesting project. I count around 44 knobs so not so simple, don't know how you'd what the selectors (rotary switch or button and leds as the vst?) Buttons/leds would need logic which all adds to the cost.

Maybe make it like a moog source, one knob and loads of buttons to easily select which paramater you're controlling.
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KVRer
 
4 posts since 4 Feb, 2013

Postby foam_FORM; Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:37 am

Wormhelmet wrote:I was wondering because I'm not so handy with a soldering iron anymore and little parts and I wanted to see if I could get a desktop Synth1 controller built, but looking a little more classic and nice than the actual VST, but all controls in the same place and labels the same. Synth1 is probably the first free plug I got and that was so many years ago and I always use it.

Would love a controller showing v. 1.12 controls. I have Synth1 in on my Live default template. I think I would just enjoy that synth 10x more with an actual physical interface that matched it.


Did you ever get this figured out? I may be able to discuss some possibilities for a project if you are still serious about it.
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Beware the Quoth
 
20652 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:41 am

foam_FORM wrote:Did you ever get this figured out? I may be able to discuss some possibilities for a project if you are still serious about it.


well, he's only had a few hours so far, so maybe not quite yet. :)
To laymen, software development is something akin to wizardry. Neither time, nor effort are involved. If software is missing features they want, or has bugs, it is solely because someone has been too lazy to wave their magic wand.
KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:55 am

foam_FORM wrote:
Wormhelmet wrote:I was wondering because I'm not so handy with a soldering iron anymore and little parts and I wanted to see if I could get a desktop Synth1 controller built, but looking a little more classic and nice than the actual VST, but all controls in the same place and labels the same. Synth1 is probably the first free plug I got and that was so many years ago and I always use it.

Would love a controller showing v. 1.12 controls. I have Synth1 in on my Live default template. I think I would just enjoy that synth 10x more with an actual physical interface that matched it.


Did you ever get this figured out? I may be able to discuss some possibilities for a project if you are still serious about it.


I definitely would be interested and definitely serious about it. I just priced Nord Rack 2x recently, but even though synth1 is supposed to be an emulation, most people agree it can sound better with better fx and softer, warmer sound. Those Rack 2x's are over $1000, so a controller in the ballpark would be cool. Send me a PM and we can discuss.

It would definitely have to get most of the label, knob/button placement as synth1, but maybe instead of those drop menus, have individual buttons labeled for the options. And maybe a powder coated finish in the default color with some blue LED's and LED buttons in red for the same buttons corresponding on the vst. Nothing in stone though. I'm open to getting close, not getting perfect.

As long as functionality was there.
"I am a meat popsicle"
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KVRer
 
4 posts since 4 Feb, 2013

Postby foam_FORM; Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:36 am

Sorry I am not savvy on the term "PM". Is this "project manual"? It looks like this should be possible but I have a couple-of projects I need to finish in the next week in order to clear the table-- so I won't be able to continue with this one until then. If you are curious you can check out some of my other controllers at trigguitar.com...what do you have in mind for the material? I normally use wood or plexiglass since they look the best in the end and are easiest to purchase/work with.
KVRian
 
935 posts since 31 Oct, 2002, from the high desert

Postby Aural Chaos; Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:03 pm

PM= Private Message
KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:26 pm

I had PMs enabled for a week or so, but then disabled them again when I heard no word back. Then I saw that the person signed up to KVR the day I posted my question.

I don't see anything that even closely resembles the type of controller I'm looking for on that website.

But all in all, a pretty simple bit of research would tell me if you think you can build one....

Look up Synth 1 by Ichiro Toda.

Can you build me a custom controller that looks like the GUI, but done in Aluminum or laminate with hard surface finish that can be powder coated, but then have all labels put on in the right place. It currently has 44 knobs, but I think you would need more to accomodate drop down options available in the front pane of the vst.
"I am a meat popsicle"
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KVRer
 
4 posts since 4 Feb, 2013

Postby foam_FORM; Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:25 pm

I realize that you wouldn't want any of my existing controllers for these purposes. Those were just examples of the materials I have been working with. I am not sure about working with (or sourcing) aluminum-- but I can do a little research and see what might be possible. A frosted plexiglass surface with LED's is another alternative that may end up more interesting for the crowd. Just off of the top of my head I am thinking this will cost in the range of $400-$600 to produce, but again the design is not finalized so it is impossible to give an exact estimate right now. I would set up the transaction through the PayPal cart on my site if we come upon an agreed design.
KVRist
 
430 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:16 pm

I have compared prices for most of the solutions out there (livid, doepfer, hale micro) and any controller with 64 knobs is going to cost more than $500, just for the parts. It's not cost efective at all.

Hale micro seems to me the more friendly solution out there, since it doesnt requiere soldering to the brain board, and comes with software and doesnt need any programming. http://www.halemicro.com/wp/
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KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:14 pm

rod_zero wrote:I have compared prices for most of the solutions out there (livid, doepfer, hale micro) and any controller with 64 knobs is going to cost more than $500, just for the parts. It's not cost efective at all.


Yes I knew it would cost more than $500. Cost effective for who? I'm not looking for cost effective controller, I was looking for a custom vst controller with custom labels and graphic etc.

rod_zero wrote:IHale micro seems to me the more friendly solution out there, since it doesnt requiere soldering to the brain board, and comes with software and doesnt need any programming. http://www.halemicro.com/wp/


I'm not really a DIY guy when it comes to midi electronics, which is why I posted this. If I were, I would probably build off the Doepfer gear available. But this stuff looks good too. Maybe I'll get motivation someday to build this myself. More than likely I would end up with a half finished semi-working heap though.

I think I'll skip this idea. Doesn't look like people do customs controllers unless its that guy from Synth Project who only does them for himself or Touch that does the impOSCar2 controller.
"I am a meat popsicle"
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KVRer
 
4 posts since 4 Feb, 2013

Postby foam_FORM; Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:53 pm

Yeah I have an extra UMC32 ([b]brand new[/b]) I'll sell for 65+shipping and save you and me a few bucks if that is the route you end up taking. A private eBay auction is possible. Anyone else interested drop me some lines.[/i]

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