Bastl Instruments Releases 60knobs Control Interface

Bastl Instruments has introduced 60knobs, is a dedicated control interface for LXR drummachine, that is also editable and talks the DX7 SysEx protocol.

60Knobs might look like a shuttle´s control panel but at its core it is a MIDI controller, designed specifically for the Sonic Potion’s LXR drum machine. On top of that it is capable of controlling any device with MIDI input and external parameter control. It can also handle NRPN & SysEx.

Features:

  • 60 controller pots independently customizable through the editor;
  • MIDI messages supported: CC (Control Change), NRPN (Non-Registered Parameter Number), DX7 (Yamaha sysEx DX7);
  • Button for MIDI DUMP current value of each knob;
  • MIDI IN and OUT DIN connector;
  • 5 user customizable presets;
  • Indication LED shows setting changes
  • FTDI connector for firmware flashing (hacker friendly!)

Intro Video:

Pricing and Availability

60Knobs is available as a DIY kit for 129 eur excl. tax + 29 eur excl. tax for enclosure.

16 thoughts on “Bastl Instruments Releases 60knobs Control Interface

      1. > it will work with anything that can handle sysex and nrpn

        That’s not quite correct. It supports Yamaha DX7 sysex, CC and NPRN. Not arbitrary sysex, and the sysex support can not be changed.

        The device has 5 presets each which allow each of the 60 knobs to be independently set to any one of the following

        – A 7 bit CC controller with specifiable channel 1-16 and range of 0 to 127 or 127 to 0.
        – Any NRPN on the global channel only with 7 bit data with unipolar range from 0 to n, or n to 0.
        – Any NRPN on the global channel only with 7 bit data and bipolar range of either -n to n or n to -n, where 1 <= n <= 63.
        – Any NRPN on the global channel only with 14 bit data of range from 0 to n where n is either 164, 200, 1600 or 2000.
        – Yamaha DX7 sysex
        – off

        The device uses an ATmega328 (Arduino style) microcontroller combined with an array of nine 8-channel analog multiplexors to handle all the knobs . The ATmega328 features 2048 bytes of RAM and 1024 bytes of EEPROM for persistent settings. As it has 5 settings patches of 60 knobs, each knob setting must be stored with 3 bytes of data, for 900 of the 1024 bytes of persistent memory used. User specifiable sysex is clearly not possible at all with the current architecture. But it knows DX7 parameter sysex and can send those as an option. Advanced users could add support for their own sysex by reflashing the ROM with a new OS that supports whatever they wish. This would require some light reverse engineering of the schematics which are not provided, but could be determined by trace inspection, plus writing a new operating system, which would be straightforward enough. Either of these would be facilitated by the release of the schematics and code by the developers, but even without that it shouldn't be particularly difficult for those with embedded system experience. However, this is probably not the level of programmability most users would be looking for if they want something that supports any arbitrary device's sysex messages.

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  1. They should have consulted with Sonic Potion’s graphic design team – their stuff looks the business, this looks naff.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
    1. I’m over here thinking the exact opposite. Thinking about selling my LXR Erica Synths Metal enclosure to switch to some custom Bastl kind of acrylic case. I am editing the design for the 60knobs for my own case.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
      1. I should mention that the graphics on the Erica Synth enclosure was designed by Erica Synth, not by Papernoise (unlike the euro modules and the tilted metal enclosure by Hallik).
        This said, I think Bastl (or Animade Studio) did a good job with this enclosure.

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  2. Don’t know my sysex that well, I wonder if the DX7 sysex means you could use this to control parameters on a volca fm… that would be a fun combo

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  3. Bastl has certainly managed to achieve an excellent price for this kit.

    But if you want a bit more freedom, and if you can build your own enclosure and source a few parts, the open-source MIDIbox platform is still the way to go for a DIY control surface IMO. You can have as many as 128 pots or encoders or buttons on a single PIC microcontroller, and optionally have front-panel programmability with an LCD –

    http://UCapps.de
    http://midibox.org

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    1. According to the official Korg Volca FM MIDI Implementation documentation, the Volca accepts format 00 00 single-voice dumps and format 00 09 32-voice bank dumps, but does not accept format 10 00 single-voice single-parameter dumps.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  4. > “an array of nine 8-channel analog multiplexors to handle all the knobs”
    = 72 analog inputs.
    For 60 pots would only need 8 * 8 channel mux’es instead of 9.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    1. Fascinating. Where are you getting your ATmega328 chips which have 8 analog input pins? Or … would you need another multiplexor?

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *