Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

For fans of synths, pianos, organs or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Ouch. Get yourself a reel of multicore solder and throw what you've got away.

The situation is recoverable - just.
Iit looks like you used solid core wire - get rid of that too. You want very fine mulitcore flex. I cut up an old Centronics printer cable for this sort of thing - it's perfect :)
You won't be able to solder to the resistor element itself but there is enough of the tab left to make friction contacts. For this I would make a tiny clamp out of a couple bits of insulating board (paxolin) with something like M2 holes just beyond the width of the tape, then carefully scrape way the insulation from one side of the tape, lay this on one clamp piece insulated side down with a tiny dab of glue. Lay the bared wires on the strip and the other clamp piece on top, and bolt it together. Very fiddly, but I've done similar before.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

...right, thanks for that. I wasn't optimistic about being able to solder wires directly to the traces, so clamping sounds like a better idea. :thumbup:
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

These people at the local Hackspace are going to be handy to know. They use a Slack workspace. I just posted up some thoughts wondering how to assemble that Persephone-esque shape out of laser cut parts, and less than half an hour later someone had modelled it as a laser design using OnShape, and posted up a link to the files. :thumbup:

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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Martin Walker »

Wow - your local Hackspace is being extremely helpful Ben! :thumbup:
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Martin Walker wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:14 pm Wow - your local Hackspace is being extremely helpful Ben! :thumbup:

They are indeed!
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

After pondering this knackered sensor for a couple of days, I've decided to abandon it and get another one. I've been reading about soldering these things, and in fairness they do seem like delicate creatures - especially the FSRs; good job I read about that before it turned up.

I hadn't realised that the pins on the sensor are designed to be plugged directly into a breadboard. I just want to get on with the Arduino testing stage without extra complications, so, I've ordered a replacement...and a breadboard.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Psst!
Want some 60/40 solder :shh:
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

I'm done with soldering for now. I've got a pack of crocodile clips. :D

I'll probably use these 'Amphenol CFI clincher connectors' for the final version, based on the clamp principle.

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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by adrian_k »

Folderol wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:42 pm Psst!
Want some 60/40 solder :shh:

I might have misunderstood, I frequently do, but I’m just about to buy some and would be happy to buy yours, if that’s what is going on here!
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Well it was intended as a joke, but I do have some if you fancy a bit of lead poisoning (although I've not come across anyone who eats it). How much do you need and where are you? I wouldn't charge for it unless you want a lot.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

Folderol wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:42 pm Psst!
Want some 60/40 solder :shh:

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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

:bouncy:
The only thing I'd challenge is the cigarette - I don't smoke!
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Wonks »

Unfortunately the green reels indicates lead-free solder. You’d want red reels for 60/40 (or at least non-green).
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

This is true... My reels are not green :smirk:

P.S. The only reason I have two is that I couldn't find one and thought I must have left it somewhere. Of course as soon as I bought another the first one magically reappeared!
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

Folderol wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:05 pmThe only reason I have two is that I couldn't find one and thought I must have left it somewhere. Of course as soon as I bought another the first one magically reappeared!

Not magic. Solder reels have feelings too.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by adrian_k »

Folderol wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:36 pm Well it was intended as a joke, but I do have some if you fancy a bit of lead poisoning (although I've not come across anyone who eats it). How much do you need and where are you? I wouldn't charge for it unless you want a lot.

Haha no you’re alright, I somehow imagined a situation where you had accidentally ordered 100 reels instead of 1 and was trying to get rid.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

I made ridiculously heavy weather of assembling this trivial circuit on a breadboard this evening. All it takes is:

FSR - two pins, +5V and analog input (1) with pull-down resistor
Membrane - three pins; +5V, GND, analog input (2) with pull-down resistor

All working now, the FSR giving readings of zero to a few hundred on pressure, and the membrane potentiometer with readings on a similar scale based on position. Make a sandwich with them and you have finger pressure/position. With Arduino/Teensy it's fairly straightforward to generate note-on and pitchbend from this, and there are various projects to adapt, like this one.

Those ribbon connectors are small and delicate though; I'm not going to attempt any more soldering with them, so I've ordered a few of those clinchers, and another ribbon. I'm planning to build a couple of these and sell one to cover the cost of the parts. That's the theory anyway.

Time to start learning OnShape now while I'm waiting for the clinchers...
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Now you've got it working. Have you had another try at using it with Yoshimi?
If so, and if you get sensible results, hows about bringing one along to Synthfest?
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

So far I only have sensor readings, but I'll document the next stages in the DIY section and post up a Yoshimi demo when it's done. (I was hoping to try that sooner, but I can't get a reliable connection without the clinchers and I've had to order those from the US.)

(If you and Elf are both at Synthfest, maybe you could test the Roli...? I've never tried one, but I'm optimistic it would work straight away.)
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Well that would certainly be fun to try, but I thought the Roli was MPE - which we haven't found any way to support yet on Yoshimi.

Having said that, I'd like to see what (if anything) we can do with it :)
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by BJG145 »

I don't know much about MPE, but I would imagine that it would also be possible to use the Roli as a controller for non-MPE instruments...? The Rise manual notes that:

"The receiving instruments that you use must be multi-timbral for you to experience the full expressive capabilities of the RISE. They should have a pitch-bend range of at least +/- one octave and be able to respond to aftertouch."

I'd have thought it may be possible to play notes and slide them around on Yoshimi with the pitchbend set to 1200 cents.
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Re: Questions for synthesists with ribbon controllers

Post by Folderol »

Yes. That sounds quite promising.
Paging the Elf :D
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