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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Oliver Hagen’s DivingBoard Goals to Unleash the Energy of the Roland DJ-Xi Synth

Maker and musician Oliver Hagen has designed a customized MIDI controller to deal with perceived usability points on a Roland JD-Xi synthesizer — constructed round each a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W single-board laptop and an Arduino Nano-compatible microcontroller growth board: the DivingBoard.

“[The DivingBoard is] a home-made MIDI controller aiming to resolve the shortage of parameter accessibility on the Roland JD-Xi synthesizer,” its creator explains. “It differs from different options I’ve seen in that customizability and potential ease-of-use are larger, and basic use with a spread of synthesizers is feasible, quite than simply with the JD-Xi. It is a work in progress, at present present as a practical prototype in common use.”

The DivingBoard goals to make it simpler to experiment with the options of a Roland JD-Xi with out menu-diving. (📹: Oliver Hagen)

The issue, Hagen explains, is that the Roland JD-Xi is a strong synthesizer with over 100 adjustable parameters to form its sound — all accessed by way of simply seven knobs on its entrance panel, requiring the consumer to dive into nested menus on a cramped show. DivingBoard, then, permits the parameters to be accessed extra shortly — aiding musical spontaneity.

“The [Raspberry Pi] is linked to the synth by way of USB and exchanges MIDI messages with it,” Hagen explains of the system’s operation. “These messages inform the synth to regulate chosen parameters to particular values, thereby exposing all the inner controls for straightforward manipulation. The kicker is that the eight bodily controls on my controller will be assigned to totally different inside parameters arbitrarily, which means that I can all the time have the precise controls I would like below my fingers.”

Along with the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, a compact single-board laptop, the DivingBoard makes use of an Arduino Nano-compatible microcontroller to learn its inputs and drive the character-based show. “I [had] used a Raspberry Pi 3 [Model] B+ because the mind of this mission as a result of it is what I’ve available,” Hagen writes of an earlier prototype. “I’ve tried the entire setup out with a [Raspberry] Pi Zero subbed in, and whereas it really works, the latency is clear.”

Extra particulars on the DivingBoard can be found on the mission web site, together with a software program obtain; “I’ll attempt to put stuff on GitHub sooner or later,” Hagen guarantees, “after I can discover time to re-learn how GitHub works.” Extra data is obtainable in Hagen’s Reddit put up.

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