wandering around


Water on the Appalachian Trail

I put together a few clips I took while hiking the Appalachian Trail from GA-MA in 2012. Most of these clips were from the TN/NC sections, but I think the last was in MA.

SynthTest3 – Midi Out from Arduino to Synthesizer

This is a test running the Midi out example code that is included with the Arduino IDE. It can be found under File – Examples – 04. Communication – MIDI.

Details on how to connect the Midi connector are here.

I like the versatility of having separate components, the Midi producing Arduino, the Midi synth, and then the amp. I want to keep the parts interchangeable. I can hook my Synthesizer up to the PC and run midi to it, but I could also hook up the other arduino to a different synthesizer or the pc.

I want to make a box of buttons to use for midi input to the synthesizer. I am thinking of an 8×8 matrix of light up buttons, and then at least 4 knobs. I want it to be able to do standard midi out so I could try connecting to different things. I’m thinking I want to mess with the knobs, then hit a set button and map the current settings to one of the buttons in the matrix, but this could change if I come up with a better idea.

Arduino Synthesizer

The first video is a test of the Arduino Nano based Synthesizer I built. It takes MIDI input and generates an audio signal that can go to an amp.

I used the schematic referenced here to build the Midi input circuit.

The audio out uses just a couple capacitors and a resistor and is detailed in this Instructable link, and also in the comments of the library.

The Arduino Nano is running the example Midi sketch that is part of the_synth library on github.

dzonline the_synth creator

The second video is a test of my synthesizer using a better midi example. This time I picked a midi file of some scales, and included the PC’s output at the end using the TuxGuitar synthesizer Gervill.

I know there are some more parameters that can be set on the Arduino Synth, but I haven’t messed with any yet. They might help clean up the sound some, but it sounds pretty neat as is.

Les Lius Guitar Pedal Build

Les Lius

Les Lius

I just finished another pedal tonight. The site calls it the Les Lius. I put the board together almost a week ago, but I finally drilled and painted it last night, and assembled it tonight.

This one is a tighter fit than the others, but I managed to get everything in, even the battery. I could use shorter wires, but it’s hard to tell how long they need to be when hooking them up and soldering the connections outside the box.

I didn’t get the holes just right on the template I made, so you can see there’s an extra hole just above the switch in the middle. I couldn’t fit the switch in because of how much the PCB hung down, so I had to carefully drill another just below it. Even with this, the battery still fit. I went back and adjusted the hole location in the template, so hopefully next time it will be better. I think I could cover it up by using a larger washer.

The template is up for download here. This time I based the hole locations on the suggested assembled image on the kit website, because there is more stuff so the spacing is even more important.

This pedal is supposed to simulate the sound of vintage Fender amps. I can’t tell how good it is at that though. The left foot switch doesn’t seem to do too much, I think it runs the signal through some diodes that are selected with the switch in the middle. This part isn’t boosted, so the effect isn’t as dramatic. The footswitch on the right turns on the boost, and it is certainly noticeable.

Eternity Tube Screamer Clone Build

Blue Eternity Pedal

Blue Eternity Pedal

When I ordered the parts for the amp from Tayda, I also ordered some extra stuff. If I have to wait a couple weeks for delivery, I try and make a bigger order, so I ordered parts to make a couple guitar pedals too.

The kits aren’t really kits, its more just pcb and parts list with links to the items. This makes it easy to just get what you want or change it up.

I ordered parts to make the Eternity guitar pedal, and I think it turned out pretty good. It looks like a tube screamer clone and is based on a NJM4558 op amp.

Eternity Circuit

Eternity Circuit

I did a better job putting the board together than the amp, with no real issues. However, I did find that after drilling the enclosure I found I could not fit the 9v battery in the case. I did not leave enough room between the footswitch and 1/4 jacks for the battery to fit. I drilled the holes for the jacks a little off thinking that they would be too close together once the plugs were in, but they would have been fine.

It sounds pretty neat. It adds a nice overdrive, but it is a little too much for the small amp I built. It can easily overpower the 1/2 watt amp, unless either the amp or the pedal is turned down. It does work pretty well with my Fender Mustang amp.

I also had to wire the dc adapter plug differently here too. I used center + because of the adapter I have, but the directions called for center -. I ordered some center – adapters off Ebay recently and hope to get them in the next few weeks. This should make building the next one a litter easier, but I will need to be careful not to get them mixed up.

Parts Fitting

Parts Fitting

I created a drilling template for this pedal like I did for the amp. It helped with the knob placement on the top, but next time I will add markers for the approximate location to drill the jacks and plug too. It can be downloaded here if anyone is interested.

After I drilled out the enclosure, I spay painted the pedal blue and then added some clear coat. It turned out nice and bright at first, but it wasn’t quite dry when I brought it in, I guess it was only dry to the touch. After I set it down on some newspaper to fit the parts in, it got a little stuck to the paper and some of the paint or the paper came off. I don’t mind, I think it looks pretty neat and a little aged.

The blue LED in it is pretty bright too.