Floppy Creators and a brief diversion

I thought I’d take an opportunity to post a couple of videos from users in the forums who have been working on their own floppy audio creations.

Forum user Paleorama has just posted this up, these sounds bring back a lot of memories:



And forum user Zool posted this last October, particularly cool is his use of a slide-potentiometer to reduce spindle speed:




On an unrelated note, a friend of mine asked me to take a look at their Korg nanoKONTROL which had its USB mini connector break off, so I grabbed a screwdriver and opened it up:

It’s a nice simple piece of construction, designed with fairly inexpensive generic components, except that I was a little surprised to see that it has an AVR ATMega32 pulling the strings inside of it.  I say surprised because AVR has a reputation for being a little over the cost-margin for products like this; normally one would expect to see something more generic, or even maybe something with USB in the micro, saving the cost of the extra part.

So, in addition to the Mega32, there is a PDIUSBD12 handling the USB interface, a handful of 4051 muxes, some transistors and such, and a bunch of pots.  I didn’t get a good look at some of the other chips, but there shouldn’t need to be much else in there.  The main reason I post about it though is because of the unstuffed header (on the left in the above photo) which I continuity checked and can verify is a breakout for ISP, although the pins are just a bit mixed up from the normal arrangement.  Everybody I know loves these little Korg nanoKontrollers, but  I’ve always thought it would be cool if they could be made to output something a little more detailed than MIDI’s 0-127.  Anyone want to take a shot at an OSC over USB controller project?  If so, there’s an inexpensive, ready-made project board right here, plus it screws together into a nice and easy to use finished product.  Just a thought!

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  1. Alex
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Thanks for good information. It’s very interesting for me. Is it difficult to reprogramm NanoKontrol to make it possible to recieve Midi messages and toggle its leds?

  2. daniel mcanulty
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Hi Alex, it’s not too difficult, I’ve got the USB and midi working, I just need to have the time to sit down to rewrite the rest. It is about as difficult as programming any other microcontroller, it takes time and effort, but is very rewarding, in my opinion!

  3. Alex
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi, again! I’m a musician – and i use nanoKontrol to control my sound plugins in realtime. So i extremely need some feedback to nano. I have a little expirience in programming microcontrolers (not Atmega) and i ready to spend some time for implementing my idea. But i need some starting point. May be you have some schematics, disassemled codes, links for programming ATMEGA32… Thanks anyway. You give me the chance to realize my ideas)

  4. daniel mcanulty
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Hi Alex! They’re not totally ready for prime-time, so to speak, but I put what I’ve got so far here: http://www.openmusiclabs.com/files/korgNano

    These are the things I made for myself while I was working, but I have had to put the project to the back burner while I’m super busy with another project at my day-job. There are three pdfs, one schematic, one pinout, and one labeled picture of the isp connector that I made to keep things straight for myself. The code in the zip file is an AVR Studio project folder which is made from code that I found on the net (after much much searching!) that works well with the specific usb chip that is on the board I have. I would recommend checking out AVR Freaks (the website) and poking around a little they have a lot of helpful people there. I also recommend googling ‘getting started with avr’ or something like that, the avr 8 bit processors are a big family with a lot in common, so learning a little bit will take you a long way. Doing usb and midi is a complicated beginning project, but if you work your way up to it you ought to be able to do it. A lot of the hard work is done, but there still remains to set up functions to control the hardware and bring in the analog data from the rest of the board. I’ll set up a thread in the forum so we can put this discussion somewhere a little more public.

  5. Alex
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Oooh! It’s much more then starting point. I believe the subject would be popular so it’s good idea to move discussion to some forum. I’m just starting to know a little bit more about programming AVR. At this point i don’t know – should i find some development kit for trying funny things or i can do it with my nano?

  6. siebenhirter
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    thanks for that informations.
    Is it difficult to complete Nanocontrol with electronic parts to be used with its functions, but without using an USB-Hub?

    It would be nice to use a midi- keyboard, connected its Midi-In with an DIY-Midi-Out of Nanocontrol, to use functionality of Nanocontrol without USB-data-through and without need of an USB-hub. Could it be possible to send data from Nanocontrol midi-formatted?

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