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Old 04-29-2012, 09:04 PM
J.D. J.D. is offline
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Default MIDI Playback devices

Hi everyone --

I wanted to start a discussion on hardware devices for recording, storing, transferring, an playing back MIDI files. Both for posterity and because I have a project that would benefit from this knowledge.

Devices that have come up so far are the Yamaha QY series, and some older devices including the Alesis MMT8 and the Korg SQ8.

Theres also this beast, which would frankly be perfect for what I'm doing if it didnt cost as much as old laptop would. (An old laptop made out of solid gold.)

http://www.sdmidicontroller.com/

Does anyone have any experience with any of these, or have other ideas that future inventors might like to know about? I took a look through the blog, but if there's anything I missed please feel free to include it. I was frankly surprised that even the Great American Horn Machine runs from a laptop.

For my own purposes, it would be amazing to have something that could shuffle and playback midi files and output them to other devices.

Thanks --
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:09 PM
J.D. J.D. is offline
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Looking at the Door Chime project that Jeff made and it looks like he used a Yamaha MDF2 and says it uses floppy disks.

I'm also thinking of what might be possible with a cheap karaoke machine?

Last edited by J.D.; 04-29-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:32 AM
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John John is offline
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Jeff also pointed me to this:

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/artic...t_MMC/SD-Karte

I've been on the brink of developing some kind of device like what you describe for a long time now. I've already discussed it at length with Jeff--maybe we can get a discussion going about what features would make a potential product better/different than what is already out there.

I think it would be nice to have logic/switch inputs to trigger the playback of specific MIDI files on the card. It could thus be part of an animatronics control system (when combined with one or more MIDI decoders). Sort of a MIDI-domain version of what already exists for the "pro haunt" industry. The advantage being that MIDI is a natural match for audio playback, etc.

Even better--a device that simultaneously outputs messaging from MIDI files and synchronized audio tracks.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:23 PM
Jeff Jeff is offline
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Sorry for the long post with quotes; it's all interrelated, and makes for a smooth follow up. -Jeff

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
Hi everyone --

I wanted to start a discussion on hardware devices for recording, storing, transferring, an playing back MIDI files. Both for posterity and because I have a project that would benefit from this knowledge.

Devices that have come up so far are the Yamaha QY series, and some older devices including the Alesis MMT8 and the Korg SQ8.

Theres also this beast, which would frankly be perfect for what I'm doing if it didnt cost as much as old laptop would. (An old laptop made out of solid gold.)

http://www.sdmidicontroller.com/

Does anyone have any experience with any of these, or have other ideas that future inventors might like to know about? I took a look through the blog, but if there's anything I missed please feel free to include it. I was frankly surprised that even the Great American Horn Machine runs from a laptop.

For my own purposes, it would be amazing to have something that could shuffle and playback midi files and output them to other devices.

Thanks --
The UK chap selling the SD card MIDI Controller is actually marketing the design that Simon Lehmayr from Germany had published online. In spite of it being a relatively crude execution, he is quite proud of his PCB layout and packaging. I don't recommend buying it.
Simon Lehmayr is a very pleasant fellow, and even now years later will answer questions about his programming.

You can reproduce Simon's design on a breadboard quite easily, and the Atmel Mega 168 program code is essentially bug-free and fully functional.
I am also familiar with Simons original published source and object code, and can probably answer most any question you might have about the structure, and of programming an MCU.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
Looking at the Door Chime project that Jeff made and it looks like he used a Yamaha MDF2 and says it uses floppy disks.

I'm also thinking of what might be possible with a cheap karaoke machine?
Yes, my original breadboarded version also used a modified MDF2 filer. It worked OK, although it was very slow (floppy disk storage media).

I revisited the entire design a few months later when I was approached about providing copies of the MIDI Chimes doorbell system. I then discovered Simon's published work online (that John has provided a link to), and integrated Simon's MIDI player along with the Highly Liquid MD24 (rev F) processor into a compact packaged system.
I'd made a number of changes to Simon's original program code, so I'm able to help with questions about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Jeff also pointed me to this:

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/artic...t_MMC/SD-Karte

I've been on the brink of developing some kind of device like what you describe for a long time now. I've already discussed it at length with Jeff--maybe we can get a discussion going about what features would make a potential product better/different than what is already out there.

I think it would be nice to have logic/switch inputs to trigger the playback of specific MIDI files on the card. It could thus be part of an animatronics control system (when combined with one or more MIDI decoders). Sort of a MIDI-domain version of what already exists for the "pro haunt" industry. The advantage being that MIDI is a natural match for audio playback, etc.

Even better--a device that simultaneously outputs messaging from MIDI files and synchronized audio tracks.

Excellent John.
Besides supporting isolated trigger inputs (maybe four bits for 16 file selections?), it might also be useful to select the files or device functions with MIDI note commands; assignable via a sysex message. Also, full 16 channel outputs would be a must for the animatronics industry. And you'd likely have a corner on the market

Regards, Jeff

Last edited by Jeff; 05-03-2012 at 03:26 PM. Reason: dang typo's
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