Sunday, 16 February 2020

Jasper Midi interface - build notes

JasperMIDI is a simple MIDI interface to allow you to connect Jasper or other EDP link enabled equipment like the vintage Wasp and Gnat Synths or Spider sequencer to modern control equipment

If you buy from the manufacturer, you will get a pre programmed ATMega328  microcontroller

"It provides a pretty robust translation from MIDI to Jasper’s Link port, and converts notes on the Link port to MIDI enabling Jasper’s touch keyboard to be a very limited 2 octave controller."

i'M building this for a friend and he hasn't chosen the type of case the Jasper will be housed in.
This choice is impt as it will dictate how we power it, what voltage regulators are needed , and what connections to use.

"JasperMIDI has an optional 5V regulator allowing it to be powered with a 6V - 12V supply, or this can be left out and it can be powered using an existing regulated 5V. It can also take power over the Jasper mini DIN connector."

The PCB uses a MCP1702-5002 5V voltage regulator TO-92.
So this can be left out if powering from the Jasper main board.

I think the last and first options are out if it is to be installed in the case.

"If you built Jasper with a case including a speaker, then there will be enough room to install JasperMIDI. You can omit soldering the mini-din socket, and the power regulator components. Use hookup wire or ribbon cable to connect JasperMIDI to the Jasper main board. Use the 5V header
on the JasperMIDI PCB to the 5V pads (or connector) on the Link2 header."

+ Jaspersynth
+ Jasper Midi

Hue - Imperial City - Vietnam

The Imperial City in Hue , Vietnam is an impressive structure.
Hue is yet another former capital of Vietnam.
The history is interesting as it's establishment is connected to France under Louis XVI, the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte.

 You enter through the Meridian Gate, which is off Le Duan street.

Travelling through Vietnam, one can't escape the huge influence France has had over this nation. From, the food to it's architecture, French culture is everywhere.

Hue is located near the border between North and South Vietnam of the 20th century. The capital was chosen by Gia Long. He was the first ruler from the Nguyen dynasty. The Nguyen name is everywhere btw. Most of my Vietnamese friends living in Australia, have this surname.

The Nguyen dynasty was the last Vietnamese imperial dynasty.  It started in 1802 with Gia Long and came to an end in 1945. The last Vietnamese emperor was Bao Dai. The Nguyen Dynasty lasted 143 years.

Under Gia Long, the Vietnamese Empire expanded. At his death in 1820, it covered the areas of the current states of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. It seems that Gai Long relied quite a bit on the French to achieve his empire.  Even before the French Revolution, he collaborated with Louis the XVI.

This Empire was gradually absorbed by France over the course of several decades.... eventually becoming French Indochina in 1887. (Laos came under French control in 1893 and became part of Indochina in 1899).

These pics are of the old Imperial City of Hue. Its an enormous complex. The square fortress is known as the Hue Citadel. The walls are 2 kilometres long. There is wide moat on the outside.

The site of the citadel was chosen by experts in "geomancy". It's a science that looks at the landscape
and determines how buildings can be placed to enhance good luck, protection, spirit, etc.
They chose the site as it lay by the Perfume River and was surrounded by mountains. They apparently looked like snakes and lions.

There are lots of temples, palaces, offices, gardens... all the things you would find in a capital city..
At it's centre lies the  Purple Forbidden City. ... this was once shut off to the general public.

+ The Nguyen Dynasty

For more travel postcards click here

Deluge - Basic Freeform Looping & Sampling of Audio

There are 2 ways the Deluge can record:
1. Freeform .
2. Precise

This post covers the Freeform method.
It's the basic way to record and sample audio into the Deluge.
This is using firmware 3.0

You can sample into Song or Arranger view, but this post covers song view.
The method is similar to basic looping and overdubbing..... which also use the song view.
I'll cover precise looping and overdubbing (using a metronome) in another post.

I'm using an unbalanced cable. Audio is from a Doepfer Dark Energy synth. Just a simple drone.
It's plugged into the left mono input. As there are no existing tracks, there is nothing telling the Deluge what BPM to use. Thus it will use auto BPM mode.

The loop timing will be set by the first audio clip

1. Turn on your Deluge.
     If its already on, press SHIFT + NEW 
2. Go to song view. The button will light up blue.
3. Press any PAD in the row you are recording into, and at the same time press the SELECT knob
    You will see the words AUDIO 1
4. Press LEARN & tap any PAD in the row you are recording into.
5.  You can now select the recording channel.
     I'm recording into LEFt(dot).
     This is the mono, unbalanced  monitoring/recording channel.

Other options are
      Off (oFF)
      Left / Left (dot)
      Right/ Right (dot)
      Stereo (StEr) / Stero (dot)
      Balanced (bALA) / bALA (dot)
      Mix -- sources audio from the deluge's output.
                  There is no FX (pre FX) or level adjustment
                   Use this for "bouncing" everything to a single clip.
                   This is different from the Deluge's resampling option
                   which can be used for recording the final output.
      Output (oUTP) -- sources audio from the deluge's output.
                                    Similar to MIX, but this is post FX.
                                    It's the same as resampling.

 6. Hold the RECORD button for a couple of seconds.
     This checks the arming status.

     A flashing coloured magenta launch button means that the clip is
     empty and ready to record.
     Magenta also means it will record to the next available row and that all
     the past recording rows will play while the new recording is happening.
     (the options for this launch button are blinking Magenta, blinking Red and not blinking)
     If blinking Red is picked, only one row (the current recording) will play at a time.
     The other rows will be silent.
     Just tap the blinking button if you want to change the colour

7. When you are ready to record, press the RECORD button.
     This arms the track.

8. Press PLAY

    You are now recording.

9. Press the LAUNCH pad of the grid row or RECORD to stop recording.
     Press play to listen to your recording.

That's basically it.
Your loop is recorded.
You can record new loops into the lower  rows.
The first recorded loop will determine the general BPM. It also determines the length of future clips.
Future overdubs will follow the first loop.
Setting the arming state (Red vs Magenta) will determine where overdubs play together or individually.

The recorded files will go into a temporary folder in the SAMPLE section on the SD card
under CLIPS

The files will be saved there even if you don't actually press SAVE. (eventually however, they will be overwritten). If there are any loops you like , it's probably best to back them up to another folder.

I'm still new with the version 3 firmware so do let me know if there are any mistakes, omissions or errors.

Many thanks to Ron Cavagnaro.
His videos are awesome.

Precise looping 2 - using a recorded internal kit loop

This is one way of sampling loops to a selected BPM
This uses the deluges own internal kit or synth engine
In the Guide Book (3p0) it's it's under " Creating an Audio Clip in Song View" (p133)

1. Song view
2. press any pad 1 - 16 in a row
3. use kit view
4. set a 4 x 4 drum loop
5. select your tempo
6. press song
7. in the row below
    a. press 1-16 + select
    b. LEARN + 1-16 --  mix
    c. hit select
8. Rec + Launch (2nd row) -- check arm status
    Flashing purple or red is OK
9. press REC
10. Press play

11. Press Launch to stop

The recorded clip will set the tempo of your future loop samples

Deluge - Precise Looping & Sampling (Metronome)

There are 2 ways the Deluge can record:
1. Freeform - see previous post on sampling.
2. Precise

This post covers the Precise method.
We need to engage the metronome. This will lock the BPM of the clip/track to the song tempo.
(Note: I'm using a older model Deluge where Track = Clip)

1. Setup your audio track as in the freeform method
    a. Press Song View button
    b. Set the track to Audio ( press any button of the active row + select knob)
    c. Adjust the clip length in Clip/Track View before recording a loop into that clip.
        Press & hold SHIFT + turn the LEFT/RIGHT KNOB.
    d. select input source (press LEARN + any button of the active row)
    e. press the select knob to confirm the input source.
    f. Arm the track (hold the record button to check arming state
         - flashing purple/red/etc launch button)
    This engages the metronome.  Adjust your tempo.

3. Start Recording.
    Press RECORD
    Press PLAY

4. The metronome will count 4 bars,  then recording will start.

5. Press MUTE/LAUNCH to stop recording.

6. Press PLAY

You can continue over dubbing loop upon loop.

Audio clips/tracks within the looper can have different lengths.
You can even have polyrhythms.
You can see & adjust the clip length in Clip/Track View before recording a loop into that clip.
Press & hold SHIFT + turn the LEFT/RIGHT KNOB.
Once we set the track/clip length, all other tracks will follow this.

If the loop sample doesn't fit the track then we can use time stretching.
Eg: What if the track/clip length is two bars, but the sample is less that two bars.
The Deluge can time stretch the sample to fit the clip length and the BPM of the song.

In Track/clip view we can see a representation of the waveform across the deluge's buttons.
We can zoom in and out to get a better look at the waveform by pressing down on the left-right knob
and rotating it.
We can use the same knob to move to the end point of the sample or to the end of the clip.
Press the last step in the sample to illluminate its endpoint.... look for the vertical red buttons.
Pressing a button to the left will move the end point. (It trims the waveform).

Note, the view in clip view is not the same as waveform view (though they look the same)
You can tell them apart by the colour.
Waveform view is always white.
Clip view takes the colour of the track/clip

I'm still new with the version 3 firmware so do let me know if there are any mistakes, omissions or errors.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Jasper build notes - Part 2

This is part 2 of my Jasper build.
Part 1 is here.
The Jasper a a very very close version of the EDP wasp synth.
I have a couple of vintage ones so I'll try to calibrate this one as close as I can to the originals.
The originals are so fragile (and too expensive) to take outside the studio. Thus I'm building one Jasper for myself to gig with, and one for a friend.

This is where I left off in Nov 2019:

I had a lot of trouble finding the correct pots.

esp the double gang 1M.
The Mouser and Ebay  ones i bought were all the wrong size.

Small Bear is the place to get them.

 The pots need to mirror their PCB outline, or they wont slot into the faceplate correctly
 You will probably need to bend leads.

Avoid shorts at all costs,  .... use heatshrink

The BOM uses 17mm spacers. If the legs of the pots aren't long enough extend them with spare wire.
Be careful if you are bending them as they easily break.

tHIS is the reverse log pot. It's labeled C1M.
Almost there
Lining up the pots with the faceplate is tricky

iT'S time for the 9mm mix pots and the hold switch.
+ Potentiometers - Basic info for DIY

The Mix pots consist of Oscillator 1 & 2 volume controls and the external audio input.

Osc 1 & 2 use 50K log
Solder 3 wires to the pot

The ext audio input gain is a 100K log pot.
 "only solder 2 wires to the pot – this is used as a variable resistor in the gain
circuit of the input amplifier.............. as there is a 3 pin
header on the PCB – the third conductor is for a shield or gnd wire"

The Hold switch is a sub-miniature On-Off SPST or a DPDT on off on

"you have a choice when wiring up the Hold switch. There are two hold variants on the PCB:
•S8 Hold1: This holds the envelope open, and allows use of the Envelope repeat function.
•S9 Hold2: This was the hold feature on the v1 Jasper PCBs. It prevents the envelope from decaying. 

It's quite nice in that you can switch it on without playing the keyboard, and the hold only comes on when you hit a note. However it prevents the VCA repeat function from working.
If you're using a single SPST on-off switch, then you probably only want to wire it to connect to the S8 Hold1 header.
If you want to use both hold variants use a sub-miniature DPDT on-off-on toggle switch"

I'm using a DPDT

The Ext Trig Mod header connects to a switched jack socket.

The tip connection is marked as T, the switched is S and the ground/sleeve connection is G.

Decided to solder the pots direct to the PCB

Almost there..... powers up

to be continued........................

+ Jaspersynth
+ Build notes
+ Knobs
+ Elby Knobs 
+ Potentiometers - Basic info for DIY
+ Muffs 
+ Muffs - 1 
+ Muffs - Build thread 
+ Buying Jasper
Mouser cart

Programming a Roland TB-303 - Part 1 - Setting up

Programming a TB 303 can still sometimes be confusing and if you don't use it often, you can easily forget the details.
So I thought I'd add my 2 cents on how to program this silver box.

Setting up the TB-303

Before you begin anything, to need to decide if you are writing a track or a pattern.
A pattern is the basic sequencing unit. It can have up to 16 steps.
(In the manual patterns are also called measures).
You can create longer sequences by chaining patterns.
A track is like a song. It's a collection or chain of patterns

The Mode Switch  (on the right) has 4 settings.
1. Track Write
2. Track Play
3. Pattern Play
4. Pattern Write

The Track Patt.Group Switch on the left has 7 settings.
The tracks are highlighted in black.
It lets you choose:
1. one of the 7 tracks
2. one of the 4 pattern memories (I, II, III, IV).
     It's a bit confusing as there are 7 poles to the switch.
     Memory I = 1, 2.      Memory II = 3, 4.      Memory III = 5,6.     Memory IV = 7.
     Each of the four pattern memories are further divided into parts A & B
     Each part is again divided into 8 cells.
     In total, there are places for 64 patterns.

The 303 uses non-volatile memory.
In order to save any patterns when the 303 is turned off you need to insert batteries.
You can keep the batteries in the housing, even when using a AC adaptor.
I'll update these notes over time.
Do let me know if there are any mistakes, or omissions.
Cheers jono