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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Arduino
AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
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mrkva



Joined: Jan 25, 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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AudAVR (codename)

Dear friends,

I would like to share a project idea I have for some time (and probably has been thought of by many of you as well) with you - and hear your responses, comments and criticism!

Little about me - my name is Jonas and I love modular synthesizers (obviously). I works as a performer/artist and study in Netherlands at Institute of Sonology. I am not engineer, but I love working as one for interesting projects. I programmed and designed circuits for bunch of artistic installations with Arduino code, but I also work in C, Supercollider, MaxMSP and others, most recently trying to figure out Asembly code. Here is my web for those interested: http://mrkva.ovecka.be

Idea of the project is to create universal and open design for utilizing AVR microcontrollers as various modular synth modules. One could say, "Arduino for musicians" - AVR controllers with combination of Arduino platform offers quite interesting possibilities for our musical purposes. By using DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis from filtered PWM signal as low cost option) or dedicated DAC chip with combination of 32kb of Atmega328 chip we are confronted with a lot of space to experiment and play.

After designing the board, the plan is to start designing our own musical software, which can be than easily transferred via USB right to the board. If one would get bored with his module, he/she could easily rearrange functions of pots/outputs/inputs (basically the whole module) by uploading new program to the chip.

Wiki with all the schematics, PCBs and codes will be available and open for collaboration. One of the ideas is to create a little code snippets which would allow you to combine your own module with ease. And by combining bunch of modules - create our own instrument.

There is no financial gain planned on this project - everything will be licensed with GNU/GPL and free for download. There will be possibly some professionally made available PCBs after prototyping, sold for the cost of the board + postage.
Main rules are to keep everything simple, open and as SMD-component-free as possible (so - easy to assemble).

Planned 'example' specs of low cost (DDS) module:
4 potentiometer / sensor inputs

2 'audio' inputs
2 trigger inputs

4 'audio' / cv / trigger outputs

2-digit display
4 RGB LEDs

The better-config module would have external 12-bit DAC chip, multiplexers (therefore more I/O) and possibly matrix display.

Possible uses I can think of (some I've even tried with Arduino): easy sensor-to-CV convertor (light, pressure, temperature, whatever you can think of!), random trigger generator, advanced tap-tempo, envelope generator, strange oscillator (gendy anyone?), random CV generator, weird LFO with all kinds of shapes and many more (waiting to be discovered by you!)

Since the whole project is open, I am now inviting you all to collaborate and discuss. Currently I am designing the schematic for the first low cost prototype (and waiting for the DAC chips for other prototype to arrive) - so if you feel like it, send me a PM, I can send you the Eagle files. Later on, I will make a wiki for this project and make the collaboration a bit easier.

Thank you for reading!
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jonas, this sounds like a great project. I'm personally not too familiar with Arduino programming; I wonder if it would be possible to build VCOs and filter modules.

Anyway, if your project takes off, or even before it does, you are welcome to have a dedicated sub forum here on electro-music.com to help with member communications. Sometimes, a WIKI isn't enough.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, and keep us informed.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

At another member's request, we have created a new Arduino sub-forum in the DIY section. I have taken the liberty of moving this topic to there.
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MusicMan11712



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool! Thanks for setting up the subforum. I have been thinking about playing some more this summer with my arduino. So this forum should inspire me!!

There are a number of posts in various places here at electro-music.com. Perhaps I will post links to some of there here so they are easier to be found.

I read a little about programming the AVR directly last summer, but that is way beyond my present abilities. I seem to recall seeing a circuit somewhere (perhaps arduino playground) for getting different waveforms from the Arduino's pulse waves. It sounds like there's lots of potential.

Looking forward to seeing what others are doing here!!

Steve

PS: I just looked this one up, so thought I'd post the link.

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/SecretsOfArduinoPWM
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emeb



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sounds like a great project. Just wondering how this is different from the Ardcore?

http://20objects.com/ardcore/

There's also a Euro-format version:

http://www.analoguehaven.com/snazzyfx/ardcore/
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mrkva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

emeb wrote:
Sounds like a great project. Just wondering how this is different from the Ardcore?

http://20objects.com/ardcore/

There's also a Euro-format version:

http://www.analoguehaven.com/snazzyfx/ardcore/


I anwsered the question on muffwiggler already. I recommend the discussion there: http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/post-857968.html
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
At another member's request, we have created a new Arduino sub-forum in the DIY section. I have taken the liberty of moving this topic to there.


About time too! Nice one Howard. Very Happy

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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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[quote="mrkva"]AudAVR (codename)

Dear friends,


Quote:
option) or dedicated DAC chip with combination of 32kb of Atmega328 chip we are confronted with a lot of space to experiment and play.


When I read the above, I took that as though you feel the 328p is too limited.
Why not start with the Arduino 2560 or better yet a Maple Leaf?

The 2560 has 256K of flash, and 4 times the sram of the 328, more hw interrupts, timers, hw serial as well as many more I/O lines. Why not begin with a micro that has a more capability?

I assume that you already know about this project- which takes a different direction.
http://www.maxuino.org/

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mrkva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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[quote="cappy2112"]
mrkva wrote:
AudAVR (codename)
When I read the above, I took that as though you feel the 328p is too limited.
Why not start with the Arduino 2560 or better yet a Maple Leaf?

The 2560 has 256K of flash, and 4 times the sram of the 328, more hw interrupts, timers, hw serial as well as many more I/O lines. Why not begin with a micro that has a more capability?

I assume that you already know about this project- which takes a different direction.
http://www.maxuino.org/

My aim was also to have it lowcost. Maybe will move to something bigger later on for more expensive modules, but for now 32kb of Atmega are enough I think. I/O can be multiplexed.

On the other hand, I mean - this is open project, feel free to join in with Atmega2560 design Smile I don't mind!
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mrkva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey guys,

so here is what I designed so far: http://f.cl.ly/items/1j2Y1F3Z473v0y0u1I23/audavr_0.1.1.png
(too big to be displayed here)

few comments:
* not sure about 5V input for microcontroller - here I am using lm7805 to reduce the input 12V but that is not cool, since it can get hot and it is basically wasting energy. i know there are some modular power supplies which can deliver 5V, but how common is it? what do you guys think?
* still need to design trigger inputs - any ideas for good debouncing?
* still need to design rgb LED circuitry (not sure if i shouldn't skip that to keep it lowcost)
* still need to design 2 digit display circuitry - any tips for good multiplexer? before i used one dedicated for 7-segment displays, but maybe it could be handy to use something which can display other things than numbers Smile

All comments welcome! If anyone feels like contributing, I can send the eagle files no problem Smile
Have a nice day!
Jonas

Edit: Whops I already see a mistake at potentiometer header! Please tell me if you see some others!
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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mrkva wrote:
but for now 32kb of Atmega are enough I think. I/O can be multiplexed.


Remember, the AVR architecture is a modified Harvard architecture.

32k is for code space, not data.

2K of stack & heap space is very limiting.
It's easy to run out of space if you're not careful.

It happened to me on my first project, but was easy to fix once I found out why my micro was rebooting itself Wink

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mrkva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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cappy2112 wrote:
mrkva wrote:
but for now 32kb of Atmega are enough I think. I/O can be multiplexed.


2K of stack & heap space is very limiting. It's easy to run out of space.

Depends on what you do of course. As I said - feel free to join in with Atmega2560 design! But keep in mind that those smd chips are pain to solder for DIY folk (and this is meant to be DIY project).
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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mrkva wrote:

Depends on what you do of course. As I said - feel free to join in with Atmega2560 design! But keep in mind that those smd chips are pain to solder for DIY folk (and this is meant to be DIY project).


The Arduino projects are all open source. That's one reason why they have taken off so well.

SMDs aren't intended to be hand-soldered. They are typically done via machine. The users shouldn't be doing that anyway.

Look at the Nano. It's an SMD 328 that will plug into a breadboard or socket.

It looks like the Ardcore project metnioned by another user has the Nano board plugged into the external interface board.

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mrkva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: AudAVR (or Arduino for musicians)
Subject description: project proposal
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cappy2112 wrote:
mrkva wrote:

Depends on what you do of course. As I said - feel free to join in with Atmega2560 design! But keep in mind that those smd chips are pain to solder for DIY folk (and this is meant to be DIY project).


The Arduino projects are all open source. That's one reason why they have taken off so well.

SMDs aren't intended to be hand-soldered. They are typically done via machine. The users shouldn't be doing that anyway.

Look at the Nano. It's an SMD 328 that will plug into a breadboard or socket.

It looks like the Ardcore project metnioned by another user has the Nano board plugged into the external interface board.

Well I agree with all the things you say, but I guess I miss the point? This project is open source as well, and I believe it could be nice that (at least at this point) the project could be hand soldered at home (as many others made by people at this forum). That is all.
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mrkva



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello,

I am finishing first prototype. What do you guys think?

http://cl.ly/MGBl

Jonas
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elmegil



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm not sure I understand the analog input section, particularly the arrangement of the pots. And the zeners on D101 through 104 inputs, shouldn't they have some kind of current limiting on them?

I like the use of the 4922, I've actually been using those for some of my own Arduino projects lately.
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mrkva



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elmegil wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the analog input section, particularly the arrangement of the pots. And the zeners on D101 through 104 inputs, shouldn't they have some kind of current limiting on them?

I like the use of the 4922, I've actually been using those for some of my own Arduino projects lately.


hey man, thanks for the comment! the current limiting wasn't necessary because of the voltage dividers (and this can take up to 1W of dissipation)

anyway, I've made a new version, more tidy now Smile http://cl.ly/MQEG
I added adjustments for turning 10Vpp (-5 - 5) range to 0-5V and the other way around (turning 0-5 back to true AC).
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elmegil



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Looks nice.... so do you plan for this to be its own standalone board, rather than a shield or something?
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mrkva



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elmegil wrote:
Looks nice.... so do you plan for this to be its own standalone board, rather than a shield or something?

Indeed. Thus the atmega chip, crystal, ICSP header...
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