Rock Band with Electronic Drums (HOWTO)

Comments

  • SystematicGravySystematicGravy Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    The ground on the controller should connect to each of the grounds on the opto-isolators.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Thanks :)

    I guess that means I'll need to split off 5 wires from the single wire coming off the controller?

    And from this photo (image
    it looks like the "B" connection is the ground? is that right? Or do I have it backwards?

    David
  • SystematicGravySystematicGravy Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Yeah, you'll have to split the ground into five seperate wires. I'm going to be using a breadboard for that part of the project, so that will make it pretty simple to split the ground wire.
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    As far as which is ground, I am not sure. When mine arrives I am sure there will be some documentation that will state which is which.

    Which should be around Monday as I didn't pay for extra shipping.
  • SystematicGravySystematicGravy Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I'm getting ready to work on the circuit between the lpt port and the controller, but I need a little clarifaction on how to use the lpt port. I was looking at Sandeep's code and noticed that he is setting bits for each hit drum for the data sent to the lpt port. How do those bits correspond to the pins on the lpt port?

    From a diagram I found for an lpt plug it looks like pins 2-9 are for data out and pins 18-25 are grounds. Can I arbitrarily choose one of those 18-25 pins for the ground? As for the bits being sent to the lpt port do those bits correspond directly to pins 2-9 (e.g. bit 0 would pulse pin 2, bit 1 would pulse pin 3, etc.)?
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    I've made some headway with the sysex command. I looped in with John at Highly Liquid for a few clarifications. But if you just want the goods, here it is.

    [HTML]F0 00 01 5D 02 01 03 26 03 24 03 16 03 30 03 33 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 4F F7[/HTML]

    Such that,
    03 = pulse on note "on"
    03 26 = midi note 38 = snare
    03 24 = midi note 36 = kick
    03 16 = midi note 22 = hh rim
    03 30 = midi note 48 = tom1
    03 33 = midi note 51 = ride
    00 4F = 40ms pulse

    Of course, the order and number of pads you'll be setting to output, and to which note is entirely based on preference. For example, if you wanted to have the msa output in the order of the rb drum pads (left to right) you'd use this instead:

    [HTML]F0 00 01 5D 02 01 03 26 03 16 03 30 03 33 03 24 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 4F F7[/HTML]

    I grabbed the note numbers from my module's manual (attached image). I converted the notes to hex with this page (and attached pdf):
    http://main.linuxfocus.org/~guido/javascript/convert.html

    To get the ph pl values (00 4F), I started with this page on highly liquid:
    http://highlyliquid.com/kits/msa-p/sysex-2-1.html
    But I wasn't getting to far. So I looped in with John.
    If you wanted a pulse length of 40ms, you'd want a decimal value of 79
    for pl, and a value of 0 for ph. In hex, the values ph pl would be: 00 4F

    So, your pulse length in ms = 0.5 * ((128 * 0) + 79 + 1) = 40

    Each increment of ph is worth 64 ms, and each increment of pl is worth 0.5 ms. For a 40ms pulse: since 40 is less than 64, ph is zero, and only pl is
    needed to get to 40. Or another way to put it: the pulse length is a 14-bit value, with 7
    bits each in ph and pl.
    I think that's everything. Hope it helps or at least gets everyone on their way.

    David
    347 x 280 - 18K
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Ok, to make things a touch simpler on that.

    This is if you want to use excel, ugly, but it works.



    A1 = PH
    A2 = PL



    Insert this into C1.


    =(((A1*128)+B1+ 1)* 0.5)


    This will cause C1 to display your total ms when you change the values for PH and PL.

    aka. if I insert A1 as 0 and B1 as 79 that changes C1 to 40.

    I am working on something to do the inverse, aka, enter in the time, and it will tell you the value for PH and PL. Unfortunatly, math is not my stronge point.

    I am also working on a way for it to display the hex values. It can be done, this will become easy. heh.

    Ok, got the HEX Value Converter.

    Insert the following into A2


    =DEC2HEX(A1, 2)


    Insert the following into B2


    =DEC2HEX(B1, 2)


    If you get #NAME! as a result.

    1. Click on Tools
    2. Click on Add Ins
    3. Put check mark in "Analysis ToolPak"

    That will load the pak that holds the HEX2DEC and DEC2HEX Functions.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Great tip zolon! That certainly will save us some time in case we need to tweak things.

    I need some down time right now, but I've got everything soldered, wired and ready. If I dont fall asleep I'll post all the pics tonight.

    D
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Hey guys,
    Got everything done tonight.

    I wont re-hash the steps, as they've been thoroughly documented throughout this thread. But I did find soldering much easier - with good solder. My friends introduced me to the good stuff ;) It had flux in the solder so things slipped together very easily.

    On another note, can someone help me with this breadboard. I think it's a good idea to use it to split the ground wire from the controller. (Unless there's a simpler way?) But I just have no idea how to use these things. I could google it... but i haven't left this thread in weeks. I'm afraid of what the internet has become.

    David
    800 x 600 - 94K
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Very nice solder job.

    As far as the breadboard, I'm not all that sure. I actually have never used one.

    This link looks like it might have everything you need to answer the question though.

    http://www.iguanalabs.com/breadboard.htm
  • SystematicGravySystematicGravy Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    That's the exact breadboard I am using. The copper on it is layed out exactly as it's shown in that link that zolon provided. plug things into the holes such that you use the different copper strips to connect things you want to connect. For the ground, you could run the ground to one of the outside 4 sets of holes and then run the ground from each of the 5 leads into that row also.
  • superchudsuperchud Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Ordered my MSA-P with the beta firmware yesterday, however my rockband drums took a dump last night every time I plug them in they lock up my XBOX so it looks like I will be waiting for a new drum kit to hack up. :(
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    The board arrived. Excellence. A big thanks to John at Highly_Liquid.

    I also confirmed a few more details. Some may seem blindingly obvious. But with parts so rare and experience so low, it's not worth guessing.

    Regarding powering the MSA.
    You'll need somewhere between 7.5 and 12 VDC to power the MSA. This can be from a battery (like a 9V battery), or from a DC power supply, such
    as a wall wart.

    Connect the negative (-) terminal of the battery or supply to "POWER IN"
    "G" on the MSA. Connect the positive terminal to "POWER IN" "+" on the MSA.
    Then for hooking up the outputs. I'll be plugging each controller wire into the "A" socket for the first 5
    outputs. Then I have a single ground from the controller. I'm splitting that
    with a breadboard and running 5 wires from those into the "B" for each
    socket.

    John can't really speak to anything xbox controller specific, but in response to this he did say,
    The MSA-P A/B terminals have no polarity--so you'd have no problem grounding either side.
    Tonight I'm going to chill out. This mod concludes tomorrow.
    David
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    That suck SystematicGravy. Sorry to hear that.
    My first kit came doa. It was a sad day.

    Thanks for the tips guys. I think we've covered all the bases.

    David
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Well, I may not be the first to get the MSA-P solution working, but at least it was my idea. :p

    Good work Blanko. You are making me wish the MSA-P would get here faster.

    I'm going to rip apart my drums Sunday night and get it all prepped. As I have some strange parts laying around already, my goal is to get all of this working as a stand along box with controller being part of it so it becomes just the wire from the drum kit going in, and the wire to the xbox going out.

    Clean, tidy, and mounted to my drum rack.

    I would start the tear apart sooner, but I got suckered into going to a dog show with my lady.
  • superchudsuperchud Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Did you guys order your MPA assembled?


    I didn't so I am wondering if its going to come in kit form (a bunch of pieces for me to solder WOOT).
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Ok, quick summary of this thread for people new to it.

    Aelius27 - Started the thread with a working solution. All hail Aelius27 for starting these paths for us.

    Solutions Provided:
    • 1. Breadboard Project with MicroController - Worked with minor issues.
    • 2. Computer System with Breadboard for wire handling - Worked with custom software.
    brianwi - Solution using prebuilt hardware.

    Solution Provided:
    • 1. Midi-Solutions R8 - Worked right out of the box with some settings tweaked. Quick easy, only requires enough knowledge to solder wires to the controller.
    Zolon - Solution using self assembly hardware.
    • 1. MSA-P hardware solution. - Not all that unlike the Midi-Solutions R8 and the Breadboard Micro-Controller Solution. Requires more knowledge to build then the R8. STILL UNTESTED.

    ThePro2001 - Solution with just useing the piezo triggers.
    • 1. Piezo Triggers Taped to Drum - Quick, dirty, simple. Requires mesh heads or real drum heads. Only allows the 4 pads.
    mikejl46 - DIY Drum Set
    • 1. DIY Drum Set directions that don't require buying a whole new MIDI setup. Will currently only work with the ThePro2001's solution. (I could be wrong about this, let me know and I will fix this summary.)
    People part of the thread currently working on one of these methods.
    • SystematicGravy - Computer System with Custom Software Solution - I think.
    • Jack Fuller - R8 Solution
    • Blanko - MSA-P Hardware Solution - Still in progress
    • Sandeep - Computer System with Custom Software Solution - Wrote his own software.
    • superchud - MSA-P Hardware Solution - Still in progress
    Quick List of Information needed:
    • 1. There are two known types of controller boards in the RB DrumKit.
    • 2. The best working pulse length is ~35ms.
    • 3. Wireing directly to the piezo connections will not work as they expect voltage spikes too high.
    If I missed any one, or known methods, or something I didn't think of, please let me know and I will update the summary.
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    superchud;264663 said:
    Did you guys order your MPA assembled?


    I didn't so I am wondering if its going to come in kit form (a bunch of pieces for me to solder WOOT).
    I ordered mine the same way as you. So my bag of silicon granola mix will arrive around monday.
  • SystematicGravySystematicGravy Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I'm working on the code that will run on my pc now, but I'm not sure how the switch works in Sandeep's code. What type of values should I be expecting from midimessage in b[1] ?
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Welp, I just cut my drums apart and got it all down to just the control module.

    Funny thing though, I finally got the RMA box for my drum kit. Should I ship them back the peices with a note saying not to worry about it?

    I have the blue board, rev3. So it might be a regional thing.

    Anyways, I'm at a stand still until I get the MSA-P now. So this project is on hold until around Monday. :)

    Oh, and I have no clue on the software/computer method. Sorry.

    Ok, I repacked the box, and wrote a letter to EA that is taped to the drums missing the control module.

    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b9/zolon/IMG_2125.jpg

    Dear EA,

    Here is what became of my RockBand DrumKit. You will notice the control module missing. I have decided to use it for hooking my MIDI Kit to the game. I was tired of waiting on your RMA Service. The kick pedal and mounts are good and included. Do what you wish.

    Jason
    I took pictures of that also.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Yeah man - it's all you. We should name the mod's after their founders.

    I've mounted the controller the same way. I'm also checking out other project boxes today. Ideally I have the controller and necessary hardware all in one unit. I have a cloverfield engagment then dinner plans. But after that it's time to wrap the Zolon Midi Rockband Drum Mod!

    D

    PS: Amazing note to EA. Should have wrote it with newspaper clippings ;)
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    To avoid a going off on a tangent I posted this to another thread.
    http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23987

    D
  • superchudsuperchud Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    zolon;265216 said:
    Welp, I just cut my drums apart and got it all down to just the control module.

    Funny thing though, I finally got the RMA box for my drum kit. Should I ship them back the peices with a note saying not to worry about it?

    I have the blue board, rev3. So it might be a regional thing.

    Anyways, I'm at a stand still until I get the MSA-P now. So this project is on hold until around Monday. :)

    Oh, and I have no clue on the software/computer method. Sorry.

    Ok, I repacked the box, and wrote a letter to EA that is taped to the drums missing the control module.

    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b9/zolon/IMG_2125.jpg



    I took pictures of that also.
    LOL that is funny, I agree with blanko newspaper and magazine clippings would be the icing on the cake. :D
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Hey guys,
    I got everything hooked up and plugged everything in. But my drums just weren't triggering the MSA. I spent hours troubleshooting.

    Then I set everything up through the computer (usb-to-midi-to-msa). Hit the kick drum note, and success!

    I'm 99% sure my module is setup correctly. So it's more likely that my ancient midi cable is busted. I'll be running out to grab another tomorrow.

    I promise to report with details as soon as I get the drums connected properly.

    At least we know it works.
    David
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Drums are done!

    It wasn't the midi cable it was the midi channel. For some reason I thought the msa received notes on all channels. Not the case. My drums output to channel 10 by default. So I just had to flip the 1 and 4 switch on the msa.

    So far, this is farking amazing. Even if you just use 4 pads - they're a breath of fresh air compared to the unresponsive plastic. I did have to re-calibrate. But it was only by a few ms. My girlfriend didn't notice a difference. But evidently it helped. Another great thing is that even though I'm switching multiple pads to the same note - the module still plays the right sound.

    I'll wait until after zolon wraps his mod to post any media of my drum setup and the mod in action. For now, here's the project box.

    I need to pickup a serial cable with 9 pins... I thought a vga cable would work but it was 15. Can I get a 9 pin serial cable retail? Or do I have to build it?

    David
    1200 x 480 - 73K
    1200 x 480 - 96K
    1126 x 845 - 94K
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    VERY NICE Blanko!

    I just got home from the dog show, and got a nice suprise. My MSA showed up.

    So I will start working on it tomorow, and as I have to actually assemble mine, this will be interesting.

    Welp, I started assembly for a moment, and then stopped. My soldering gun is having issues, so I am going to pick up a coldheat pen tomorow. Strike that, just read up on cold heat. I'm going to pick up a real iron. Cold Heat aparently can fry electronic componets because of how it work.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited January 2008
    Blanko;268455 said:
    I need to pickup a serial cable with 10 pins... I thought a vga cable would work but it was 15. Can I get a 10 pin serial cable retail? Or do I have to build it?
    Serial cables are 9 pins...the ports you put in your box and 360 drum controller are standard DB9 serial plugs. How would you plug a 10 pin serial cable into a 9 pin port? :)
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Yeah, as per Aelius suggestion I grabbed a $7 iron and it works amazing. It was the solder that made my original tests suck. Maybe this is old news, but using a solder infused with flux changed my whole outlook. I even ended up building the pc-relay board for the heck of it. -- anyone in to Toronto want to buy it off me (at cost)... the pc solution will still work when Aelius drops the software on us.

    D
  • superchudsuperchud Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Great news blanko, my MSA should be showing up today or tomorrow.

    Cant wait...
  • joshmxpxjoshmxpx Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Blanko;269899 said:
    Yeah, as per Aelius suggestion I grabbed a $7 iron and it works amazing. It was the solder that made my original tests suck. Maybe this is old news, but using a solder infused with flux changed my whole outlook. I even ended up building the pc-relay board for the heck of it. -- anyone in to Toronto want to buy it off me (at cost)... the pc solution will still work when Aelius drops the software on us.

    D
    what would cost be? in just outside of the gta, but would be interested. i was planning on doing this, but this way i could keep my original rb drums intact...
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