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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
MIDI Pedal Interface
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: MIDI Pedal Interface Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's something I had a bit of fun with over the weekend. My SH-201, as with most MIDI keyboards, has an expression pedal input. I don't have an expression pedal, but I thought it would be neat to hook it up to my modular and modulate the synth that way. I found a 4N26 optocoupler that I've had since my tech school days back in the 80's and rigged up this circuit. It doesn't do to bad - it produces a MIDI control range of 06 to 121 - doesn't quite go full of 0 to 127, but works really well for modulation purposes.

Right off the bat, I was able to modulate the Pan on the 201, which is not otherwise available. I then translated the MIDI out with MIDI-Ox and was able to control any parameter of the synth with this data stream, which was really cool - whatever modulation I can whip up with the modular can be applied to this or any other MIDI device using this stupid-simple interface. In fact - I converted the MIDI stream to note-on data and got a groovy/weird ambient thing going using the Klee sequencer as an input.

Anyway, I didn't include the input circuitry, which would require an adjustable positive offset mixed with the control input from the modular. I simply used my Mixer module to produce a positive offset and then mix whatever into that, and I plugged the output of the mixer straight into the control input of this circuit.

Note also that the control goes to the tip of the stereo connector (that's the Roland way) - other brands actually supply the voltage with the tip and the control voltage goes through the ring.

This setup keeps the voltage/ground supplied by the keyboard separate from the control voltage. If you try it, make sure you are careful to do that (don't fry your synth or controller with your modular voltages).

Cheerio,
Scott


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Thomas Henry



Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 298
Location: Southern Minnesota
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, that's a great idea. The notion of an analog synth controlling a MIDI synth is way cool.

Thomas Henry
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State Machine
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Joined: Apr 17, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott,

Pure genius ! I love this idea Wink

Bill
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Dan Lavin



Joined: Nov 09, 2006
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Location: Spring Lake, Mi, USA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Anybody remember Blacet's micro LFO for the Casio CZ line? It was a small LFO that one could wire into the CZ's pitch bend wheel output to provide a pitch modulation for the mod wheel-less CZ's. Not as versatile as Scott's set-up, but in the same spirit! The early issues of Electronic Musician had a number of CZ-101/1000 mods.

Dan
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's a sample I recorded of a slow Klee sequence driving the SH-201 through this circuit. I used MIDI-Ox to convert the data to note on data. The recorder was connected straight to the output of the 201 (the delay heard is the on-board delay of the 201).

Cheerio,
Scott


klee_midi_sh201.mp3
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SH-201 driven by Klee through pedal interface circuit.

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