New Misa Kitara-like

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

...now, that's exciting...

I've got this knackered old Cibox monitor I use as a second display, but I find I have to switch it off and on repeatedly to get it to stay on. I Googled it once and found an explanation about how it indicates failing capacitors, which gradually charge, or something. I should chuck it out and get another but I'm a cheapskate (in ways).

The screen flashes on the Misa reminded me of that, and I wondered whether, if I just kept turning it off and on again enough times, it might stay on. Success!

Image

I still don't know if it works yet. I was so pleased with myself I had to break off to update this post.

*edit*

Wow, it's actually working. Sweet. :thumbup::D
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by Drew Stephenson »

I think we need a video of it in action! :)
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by Martin Walker »

blinddrew wrote:I think we need a video of it in action! :)

Indeed we do!

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

Would be happy to oblige, but this thing isn't quite out of the woods yet. This morning I tried the same multiple on/off trick to try and boot it up but wasn't getting anywhere. So I took the lid off the controls and found that a couple of wires had come loose in the process because the on/off dial was loose and turning in the socket.

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Gonna have to take this to a local electronics repair place.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

...wait, what...?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MISA-DIGITAL-T ... 4515656454

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I am an established artist chosen to be one of the first 10 artists to get the new Misa Digital Kitara (which is called Spectra). Unfortunately I didn't have the time to deal with it at all and it's been dusting for the last month so I decided that maybe someone else can enjoy their new amazing model.

I've been Googling/following Misa avidly for a long time, and this is the first I've heard of a Spectra in the wild. Meanwhile my Tri-Bass is dead in the water. (Replacing those two wires hasn't solved it.) How the other half live eh.

My local electronics shop turned down the opportunity. I tried emailing Adrian at Synth Restore to see if he might be willing to investigate. Otherwise I'm going to have to butcher it and try turning it into a Raspberry Pi-Bass.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

blinddrew wrote:I think we need a video of it in action

OK, here's a quick demo. Including the warm-up act. ;)

https://youtu.be/mcmZEmRWpRM
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by Drew Stephenson »

BJG145 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I think we need a video of it in action

OK, here's a quick demo. Including the warm-up act. ;)

https://youtu.be/mcmZEmRWpRM

You really just need to add a beat to that warm-up act and you're good to go. :)
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

I've found a new annoyance/challenge with this thing now. I've got used to the fact that I have to turn it on and off 200 hundred times to get it to work in the morning; that's OK. But what's more troubling is that the capacitive touch sensors, under their layer of clear plastic, aren't very responsive. It seems impossible to play with the speed and dexterity shown in some of the videos.

I've discovered that there was a firmware update that made them much more sensitive, and tracked it down on Wayback. I then spent hours tinkering with this on increasingly aged machines - Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP, with different USB cables, but no dice. And I think the blue cable pictured in case shots of Tri-Basses and Kitaras has a trick up its sleeve.

Image

The firmware update page for the Kitara talks about a "cable driver" with a link to a Prolific PL2303 download. So I think this cable must be some kind of custom job with a chip in it.

Finding one of those is gonna be difficult. If anyone sees this post and has one kicking around somewhere, hit me up, and I'll buy you a beer.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by DigiBass »

Hello hello all!!

Much like you guys I was DESPERATE to get my hands on a tribass, Kirara, Spectre or anything even slightly similar only to see threads like this where the only remaining ones seem to be damaged beyond repair.

Then while lying in bed I realised - the premise is actually very simple of how it works. So I grabbed a bunch of convertor cables, a MIDI app for a 10.1 tablet and an arduino. Put a couple of buttons and add a sprinkle of logic to the arduino and you end up with something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78JPp60tq4Q

That's proof of concept done. So next step is to make something I can hold! 1 3d printer and a lot of burnt fingers later I can now say I am at this stage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ermzl1ID0

I have a fully playable DigiBass (my own phrase I coined for it). The only problem it is flimsy and weak! Also the keyboard switches for buttons are too bulky and wobbly to get any decent speed/intricacy.

I've tried contacting luthiers, CNCers etc and no one wants to work with me on this. So I took the only logical step - spend £500 on tools and learn to make a guitar body!

So here I am. 2/3 of the way to a real usable product. This project has absolutely ripped a hole in my pocket and I'm still waiting back for a quote on the PCB design, print and assembly (for capacitive touch buttons).

Quick specs/info:

Single touch - Channel 1
Second touch - Channel 2
X Axis - Channel 11
Y Axis - Channel 12

Android 10.1 Tablet (with custom made app)
Arduino Mega

Power is drawn from tablet. Charging is just a case of charging the tablet (it actually slides out, So I can make multiple 'shells' and continue to use the same tablet as I swap).

Happy to answer any questions.
In terms of selling - I want to get it to a place where I would be happy to buy one before I think of selling any. I'm also petrified of being responsible for warranty-esq consumer rights - I'm winging this whole process!

If I don't reply here you are welcome to message me or comment on the DigiBass YT channel (linked above).

Cheers guys! I'm gonna try and not only keep the dream alive, but refresh the dream with a brand new mode, with completely replaceable parts!

Peace xo
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by giovamono »

Hello everyone, I own a Misa ri Bass and unfortunately I too have encountered problems with the touch. Unfortunately the HF804F-V1.3 panel is not around, I tried to contact Michael from MISA but he couldn't help me. Has anyone who has the same problem found solutions?

Best,

Giovanni
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

giovamono wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:30 pm Hello everyone, I own a Misa ri Bass and unfortunately I too have encountered problems with the touch. Unfortunately the HF804F-V1.3 panel is not around, I tried to contact Michael from MISA but he couldn't help me. Has anyone who has the same problem found solutions?

Best,

Giovanni

Hello Giovanni.

Welcome! :D

Do you have a blue USB cable?

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by warbear907 »

Does anyone on here have any advice for a screen issue on the kitara. I have a kitara that I bought about 10 years ago from Sweetwater. I’m the original owner. I used it once or twice and it has been in the box ever since. I wanted to sell it, and I just took it out of the box and powered it up and the “Ball” seems to be stuck in the corner of the screen.
Any advice? Is this something that misa digital will fix?

If you email me I can send a video of what the screen is doing.

Any help would be super appreciated.
tyrbjorn907 (at) gmail.com

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by warbear907 »

Disregard my last. I used a hairdryer for a couple minutes on the corner that was giving me problems and my Kitara is now working 100%.

With that said, is anyone in the market to by a Misa Digital Kitara? It is number 0057 out of 1000.

I’m wanting to sell to buy or trade for an old fender jazz or P bass.

Let me know.
Very respectfully,
-TB
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by zenguitar »

Welcome the SOS forums :thumbup:

The forums are for conversations not advertising. However, elsewhere on this site we have a free reader's ads section where you are very welcome to put a sale or swap advert. Here's a handy link...

https://www.soundonsound.com/readersads/free

Andy :beamup:
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

For several months I've been trying to beg, borrow or steal one of those custom USB cables to upgrade my Tri-Bass, without success. However, I recently came across a similar-sounding version on Alibaba that looked worth a try.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 97886.html

I got hold of one of these and dug the Tri-Bass out of storage today to see if it might work. But sadly, it's now developed the dreaded screen flicker. :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAlmJCxsH48

Disappointing. Oh well. I thought it was only a matter of time.

I might try the hairdryer treatment described above. I was interested to hear that it worked; I've heard this recommended for other touchscreens and once suggested to someone that they try it on their Kitara, but it's the first success story I've come across. Not sure if the "ghost touch" problem on these is the same as the "flicker" problem, but I'll give it a go.

I blame the British weather. Need to sort out a pad in Greece.

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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

There are three screws on the back which can be loosened with an allen key, and then the screen lifts out. Here's an exclusive; AFAIK this is the first time someone has posted pics of the inside.

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The bundle of red wires heads off towards the 60-odd capacitive touch sensors in the neck. I'm thinking, Teensy, touchscreen, 8x8 button matrix.

I tried blasting it with a hairdryer for ages to no avail. There's also a touchscreen hack that involves showing it the business end of a piezo oven lighter, so I just ordered one of those to try. But this might be another rebuild.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by Folderol »

That's a nasty nest of caps there :(
And what's that thermistery thing doing?
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

They all go the same way. The general consensus is that the touchscreen goes bad, but the part is no longer available and no-one's ever figured out if there's a compatible alternative. So if the piezo trick doesn't work I think it'll need gutting and starting again.

https://aliexpress.ru/item/2055851748.h ... 4376593901
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

*sigh*

Oh dear; this Misa Tri-Bass is such a sickly child.

* * * * *

Capacitive touchscreens are a horrible amalgam of glass, LED displays and digitisers, glued together in a sandwich. Something goes wrong with these old discontinued ones, but the jury's still out on exactly what.

It looks like chronic "ghost touch" to me; the thing seems to detect multiple touches when there aren't any. There are various hacks for touchscreen ghost-touch issues. Some involve hairdryers (passim). These melt the glue between the layers. You might then try pressing them together, or pulling them apart. I tried hairdrying it until it was hot to the touch and applying pressure, which did nothing. I'm waiting on delivery of a suction cup to try pulling them apart.

Another alternative is piezo; YouTube videos abound of people torturing touchscreens with oven lighters. I tried this yesterday but it seems to have done more harm than good; I can't even turn the thing on at the mo. I'm going to try leaving it on charge for a few hours.

Rebuilding could be a challenge. Construction details are vague. The best source of information is probably the patent, which reveals that the mechanism for reading the fret sensors is based on scanning and I2C. But exactly what and how are anyone's guess; it would probably be easier to start over.

If I can turn it on again, I've discovered there's a mode of operation which is still available, and which reads note-on/note-off from the fretboard with no need to interact further with the epileptic display. I could work with that. Just need to turn it on again. If I can't get the Misa logo by the end of the w/end I might try Synth Restore.
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Re: New Misa Kitara-like

Post by BJG145 »

This is my last post on the Kitara, just to wrap things up in case any wandering MIDI minstrels stumble across the thread.

I don't know if they'll ever release a new one, but I reckon all the old ones go the same way. If you find a working one, you should be prepared for it to develop screen flicker at some point.

Capacitive touchscreens are tricksy things. I've tried all the home remedies to no avail; I've subjected it to hairdryers, oven lighters, pressure and suction, and none of it has made any difference. The "tails" are hard to handle; no compatible digitisers can easily be found, and you'd need considerable expertise to adapt a different type.

Image

Rebuilding it entirely would be difficult because even the fretboard scanning is complicated, inaccessible and undocumented.

* * * *

I've rationalised it like this. Consider a vintage Alpine White Les Paul. Over the decades, they take on a dirty cream colouration. But nobody minds that.

Likewise, the Misa Tri-Bass takes on its own vintage characteristic, in the form of a defective, epileptic screen. But via the "fretboard trigger" mode, it's still possible to wring some notes out of it. And in a perverse way, I still like it.

The 'button' fretboard implementation makes it possible to play polyphonically on a single 'string' in a way that's not possible with other approaches. But although other button types are available, like the Ztar, the touch-sensitive capacitive approach is nice (even without the sensitivity upgrade; I've given up on ever acquiring the cable) - and it's unique in that respect.

This is a dumb "look it flickers but it still works" demo showing that with a bit of MIDI note filtering there's life in the old dog yet. (The mode that enables you to play via the fretboard also has flickering touchscreen pads playing other random low notes you need to screen off.) Some day I'll do something musical.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN3LtEhRdKQ
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