So here is my first step into my plan to make my own mixer. The idea is in the next few months I want to built a complete USB mixer (I say months not to get anyone hopes to high 😉 )t . This mixer will be used to play with mixxx, which by the way will paticipate in the next google summer of code, where young programmer are giving the opportunity to code for few weeks on a certain project. These events in the past has help mixx to become quite solid mixing engine with a lot of neat feature and I am quite happy that it will again have a boost of new codes. That makes mixxx my prefered software for mixing – even if it’s not as solid sometime as other pro dj software – it’s open source and really easy to configure with a diy mixer for example :).

I chose Mixxx because it’s open source, it work on puredyne really well (far better than on ubuntu and a lot less ressource intensive than on mac) and work really well with my netbook with a 7inches screen. It’s also feature full and the midi mapping is really simple and kool.

The hardware I choose is the USB64 from doepfer that offer 64 connections that talk directly in MIDI trouh it’s usb port. But I soon realize that Doepfer make dyi gear that are not aimed toward the beginner in electronic, so my first step will be to start prototyping the device with my arduino mega board a sensor shield and 6 knob, 5 fader, some buttons and led.

One of the problem with arduino and midi is that the device itself is registered by the computer as a serial device, which create the needs to have a driver or a software that translate the serial output to midi output. I will probably use Processing to receive these serial message and display them as visual entry, or I might move that project to puredata ~ we will see what make more sense, puredata seems to be built to receive serial inputs, but I am more familiar with processing for now.

Once the prototype will be created and I will have some sort of casing and figured out the interface, I will jump on the soldering an cabling of the USB64.

Stay tuned for the development of this project, meanwhile enjoy some gear porn with these pictures of the parts I will be using. To keep it simple I got some pre-assembled knobs and fader that will connect directly to a sensor board that connect to the arduino mega. It’s a solder free prototype so I can focus on the software implementation.