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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
Thomas Henry Keyboard & sMs Integrated Keyboard Controller
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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:

Liked the food better in the south. Curdled cream - does it get any better than that?



Do you mean 'clotted cream'? The Cornish are very fond of this. With scones and strawberry jam (and butter!) - "Hmm fattening" as Homer Simpson would say Very Happy

Sussex Pond Pudding is another good one. Steamed suet pudding with a pond of syrup, butter, sugar and sultana's inside it Shocked Shocked Shocked Pure heart failure indulgence!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy - with Clotted Cream of course Very Happy Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Clotted, I think. Ate it on bread instead of butter? Oh, yes.

Don't know if it's a UK thing (never saw it elsewhere) but fried brie.....ohhh, maaahhhaaahhaaannnnnn......

Uncle K, did anybody ask your wife why her husband was curled up in a fetal position on the lawn? Very Happy

Cheers,
Scott
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antman,

Got BABMS in front of me - righto (and, Thomas, if you should cruise through, please correct me on any incorrect observations here) but, yep, note triggering is what this whole section is about. I think it boils down to Thomas' firm belief that triggering, in addition to gating, is essential in a keyboard. I would fall firmly into that camp as well, having been spoiled by this keyboard.

For brief context: the gate is a signal that remains high for as long as any note on the keyboard is pressed. Holding down one key, then pressing a lower key results in a constant gate signal. Triggering not only occurs any time a key is pressed, but also occurs when a different key (in this case, a lower key) is pressed while a higher key is still being pressed.
The chief applicaiton is that this allows articulation with an ADSR that has gate and trigger inputs - a new note is articulated with the trigger while the sustain is held by constant when one is holding a higher key down.

Another very cool application, should one have a Supercontroller, is that the trigger can be used to supply a bit of vibrato with every new note, or a delayed swell of vibrato. The Supercontroller also allows one to delay and hold the vibrato with the gate signal. The range of expressiveness with a Supercontroller is amazing.

Anyway, the 4042's, 4070s and 4011 are used to detect a change of note so that a trigger can be generated, the 4001 is used supply the logic required by the 555s (CMOS!) to generate the gate and trigger signals at the right time. The application of the 555's here is ingenious and works splendidly.

As an aside, I too prefer low note priority. I would imagine if the 4024 were replaced by an up/down counter(s) with the suitable number of outputs, one could switch between low and high note priority.

Another aside would be that the CD4050, while a handy accoutrement for further expansion, would not be totally necessary for the circuit. In fact, I spent most of November, December designing a series of sequencers that would take advantage of plugging the notes into a CMOS RAM IC for a multi-note sequencer. Feature creep and the hopes that Bill would design something much simpler and PIC based effectively killed that project. I called it 'Wall of CMOS', and it literally was. Made the Klee look like an LED blinker......

Cheers,
Scott
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott,

OK, thanks. Like I said, Thomas is usually darn efficient in his circuits. I'd suggest whoever does the board to keep as close to the original as possible. I'm convinced his circuit is the way to go.

Sounds like we're all going to have to start a thread on visiting each other's countries. I spent the 1980's with a third of my time here, a third in Western/Northern Europe and a third in the Asia Pacific countries. The 1990's were spent traveling to Asia Pacific and Latin America. So far in the 2000's I've only been visiting Mexico, Brasil and Canada. Some of my more memorable music moments were sitting 1 meter in front of Steve Hackett during his first acoustical tour in Sussex, UK and being dragged on stage in Stockholm to sing with a Swedish hard rock group after befriending the sound man.
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello all,

Yes, Scott got it right in his description. If anyone's interested in all of the gory details, the June 1982 issue of Electronotes (#138) was devoted entirely to an explanation of this design, and there are some additional comments by Bernie.

When I set about to create this thing, my goal was to make something that was 100% reliable, with no false triggering anywhere, anytime. At that time, the traditional AGO keyboard with single bus and resistor string circuitry was notoriously fickle when you least expected it. I found the digital approach completely got away from false triggering and the octave switching came along almost for free.

So, yes, there are a lot of chips. On the other hand, this was the circuit that I could rely on and so I felt the extra complexity was worth it. Anyway, most of the connections were simply output-to-input from gate-to-gate (very few passive components), so actually wiring it up was fairly easy. I remember that I built it up on two Radio Shack strip boards in a single night. (That was back at the U of Iowa studios when my nights ran from 6:00 to 6:00 almost every night!) I also remember that it worked right off the bat with no troubleshooting and was somewhat in awe at that. Damn, I like that gig! I got paid a whopping $12K a year but never had more fun.

I sold off the prototype some ten years ago when I was dead broke and out of work. I forgot who bought it, but I hope he's having fun with it! I remember that I built it in a black case with powder blue aluminum panels. It really looked sweet and was rugged enough for touring. Scott's comment about a multi-turn pot for the tuning is right on, and I took it one step further by using a 3 inch diameter knob---I could zero that thing in exactly for perfect pitch.

Anyway, it paid for a much needed camping expedition, so I can't complain!

Now, if we're going to keep talking British cuisine, then someone simply has to mention steak and kidney pie. On my first visit there in 1975 (when I became a confirmed Anglophile) I fell in love with the concoction and eventually learned how to make it very well at home, if I do say myself. Having returned several times thereafter, I must say that Whitechapel is my favorite destination now, since everyone knows that it's the curry capitol of the world. Seriously, American tourists do themselves a great disservice by sticking to the West End of London; I love the sights, the people and the food of the East End and that's where I always stay. If it was good enough for Saucy Jack, then it's good enough for me!

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Pies - you should all pop on through Bristol and come check the gourmet pies of Pieminister ---> seriously tasty
(& I think they show up at various festivals around the UK over the summer - they've been a bit of a hit)

Ps -- good thread & new forum!

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, you Brit's with your tasty, edible food and all..... Very Happy

Ditto on the S&K pie. And the breakfast - that'll last you all day. Beans! Who'd a thunkit?

The simple act of putting vinegar on chips is a breakthrough that still hasn't made it to at least my little section of the world. Well, I've seen bags of vineager flavored potato crisps, but that's as far as it's gone....

Of course, just about anywhere beats here - Antman, I spent the period of mid 90's through mid 2000's traveling and sampling the wares - UK, Northern Italy (yum!!), Germany (got to meet Rene Schmitz there!), Canada, lotta time in South Korea, lotta time in Taiwan, Argentina, Costa Rica, Malyasia, Vietnam (got married there), Okinawa, many trips to Finland (where a fellow synth DIYer turned me on to the fact that MAP *was* Thomas Henry), and too much time in Saudi Arabia.

Favorite place for food: Taiwan, hands down. Chiang Kai Shek not only took all the gold and national treasures he could get his hands on, but apparently also all the cooks from every corner of China.

Weirdest food: still moving squid that gripped the inside of my cheek with a suction cup when I ate it (required copious amounts of sauce and soju to get to that point, plus directions from my host not to let it grip the inside of my throat). Second runner up: dog.

I got out of that racket recently - I loved being where I was, but getting there became so much of a hassle after 9/11. I remember getting my *wallet* gone through in Sweden. How thorough is that?

Anyway, hmmm.....oh yes! The keyboard!!

I can vouch for the reliability. I think I've been spoiled by it, actually. I'm certainly glad I built it before anything. I believe a synth doesn't require a keyboard, but, even if you can't play/aren't trained on keyboard (like me), it's still a great thing to have to set pitch and trigger things when you're not using it in a keyboardly fashion.

Cheers,
Scott
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

out of the garden and into the lab again:
Question
i just wonder if a decoupling of the ICs as part of the digital/logic circuitry was important? i really don't know. what would be the drawbacks if one wouldn't decouple these ICs? are there any?

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
Uncle K, did anybody ask your wife why her husband was curled up in a fetal position on the lawn? Very Happy


I don't want to talk about it no more! Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Mad

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott:

Yes, malt vinegar on english chips truly rules! You are right about Taiwan: never went hungry there! Unfortunately, my best friend then, a Taiwanese guy, used to mess with me and push the food envelope to see what he could get me to eat. Another Taiwanese co-worker found out and told me what I was eating was disgusting and clued me in.

If you were in Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan during the late 1990's, you may have caught me in the local karaoke bars. I'm not that great of a singer but my business associates love to hear rock songs with the proper accent....plus I can pronounce the L's and R's!

I bought my Yamaha KX-1 remote keyboard and a small gong from Tom Lee's in Hong Kong, I bought a nice collection of Boss pedals for like US$35each in Tokyo's Akihabra district, not to mention a couple of sub-US$100 drum machines...all sold years later for considerable profit. There is an electronic component hawkers area in Akihabra that would be everyone on this list's ultimate dream. I even remember seeing new 3 to 5 octave keyboards for the Japanese DIYers!

Unc Krunk: take it from a experienced garage-saler, there's always that deal that just got away. My last one was a US$25 ARP Omni.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
because all of that digital/logic circuitry it will be hard to do a single sided layout which would be satisfying


I can keep the functionality the same BUT "maybe" put all the logic in a single IC but I need to get a look at the KBd schematic. I would use a PLCC package so that it can be socketed.

As for programming the "JEDEC" file (the chips configuration file if it's a CPLD) into the part, I can supply the part OR show you how to get free software (Xilinx Impact) and a provide a schematic for a cheap down-loader cable that will work off your PC's parallel port.

Bill
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

State Machine wrote:
I can keep the functionality the same BUT "maybe" put all the logic in a single IC but I need to get a look at the KBd schematic. I would use a PLCC package so that it can be socketed.
As for programming the "JEDEC" file (the chips configuration file if it's a CPLD) into the part, I can supply the part OR show you how to get free software (Xilinx Impact) and a provide a schematic for a cheap down-loader cable that will work off your PC's parallel port.
Bill

should i consider that as an commitment? Very Happy
to be honest, i don't think i could handle this now. actually i will start working with PICs at the end of the year (that's the plan)...
maybe you want to do this anyway? go ahead!

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Bill and Matthias:
You may be on to something. Going the PIC way, a pcb is probably not neccessary as the circuit would be so very small. There are many Midi PIC's out there that could be adapted to basically provide the same function. For example, the front end of a non-velocity Midi keyboard would be used to scan the diode matrix and the back end of a Midi to CV/Gate/Trigger would provide the note to CV/Gate/Trigger conversion.

Alas, my programming skills are a little rusty and my time is eaten up with the demands of work and family. Is there anybody out there willing to take a shot at this? If not, we may want to pool our resources and pay someone to program this. I'm thinking we could probably ask Tom Scarff in Ireland, Marc Bareille in France or JDP in Bulgaria to mention a few. THere's a few ways we could pay them: a lump sum or a nominal programming fee of say US$100 with them selling each of us a PIC already programmed for US$20. Tom Scarff no longer sells stuff, so he'd probably want a lump sum, but the other guys probably wouldn't mind adding another PIC to their collection to sell to whoever.
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
should i consider that as an commitment?
to be honest, i don't think i could handle this now. actually i will start working with PICs at the end of the year (that's the plan)...
maybe you want to do this anyway? go ahead!


Actually, what I had in mind was not to use a microcontroller but to take the original logic, I took a look today, and synthesize it in a CPLD device. It looks like there are about 8 or 9 IC's I can stuff into the device.

Another approach is what you suggest and take the firmware route and emulate the function of the circuit and write a chunk of code and stuff that into a microcontroller such as a PIC or AVR or 8051 derivative.

Both approaches are perfectly good but the CPLD preserves Thomas' original design, a proven one, but just integrates it onto fewer pieces of silicon. The intellilectual property is still his (TH's).

If I take on the task and put the logic in a CPLD, would someone be willing to build a breadboard? I can draft up a schematic with the PLD replacement in place of the logic. I will not have time for the testing. I don't want to take on too much then I will just be offering empty promises and I don't like to do that Shocked

Of course this is all very preliminary.

Bill
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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That all sounds very interesting; I hope someone will take Bill up on it.

I can see one advantage to going the microprocessor route instead of a programmable logic array, though: the scanning clock circuitry could be handled very nicely internally, eliminating another couple gates.

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

State Machine wrote:
If I take on the task and put the logic in a CPLD, would someone be willing to build a breadboard? I can draft up a schematic with the PLD replacement in place of the logic. I will not have time for the testing.

i could do a layout and maybe etch one if it turnes out to be single sided...
would this help anybody?

i did not intend to mention the PIC route for this project. i will start to do some experiments with a friend (professional software developer) on PIC based modules at the end of the year...

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Bill:

I can do the breadboarding for this especially with the reduced chip count. I've got a spare 4 octave keyboard already diode matrixed up and have an older 3 octave that could be pressed into service.

I've got more time now that my kid's schools are winding down for the year and I'm not chauffering and tutoring them 2+ hours each night.

I've got breadboards, DMM, logic probe, frequency counter, old tube oscilloscope. I'm a degreed EE with over 50 completed elec. music projects..including several of TH's. You can see some of my PAIA stuff on the PAIA hall of fame (under Dan Lavin)
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

do it, baby, do it
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Being the one asking for the board, not designing it, I really couldn't say go one way or the other. The gate, trigger section is IMO a triumph of designing with easily available logic, and provides not only a very good keyboard function in the end, but also a very good learning experience as well. Aside from the size consideration, it's elegantly simple and not a complex hook-up from part to part.

Part of the reason I eschew building with some components is that I know I either don't have a fair supply of the component, it's discontinued and difficult to get, itt may be "here today, most likely gone tomorrow", or it may be a programmed part whose existence is based merely on the whim of someone who may decide tomorrow to move to Tibet and become a monk.

That's why you'll never see a CEM or (original) SSM project in my synth, for example - I'm way too paranoid it may go tits up and I'll not be able to get the part needed. I do, however, build with BBDs, but only if I have a stockpile of a certain device. It's an irrational, neurotic fear, but a fear just the same. I don't know enough about PICs, etc., to know which are 'fly by night' or which are programmed once and then the programmer dies or moves on to better things. Being in the commercial test equipment business professionally, I have a deep distrust of many current programmable parts.

At the same time, however, a good design with a renewable PIC or something that will be able to be programmed on Windows 2525 without an EPROM burner is something that would be fine by me. It certainly would make a PCB designers life more enjoyable, I'm sure.

In either case, though, it would be a disservice of this forum if the PCB were offered with little technical description of the theory behind how it works, so if we go PIC here, a dissertation on the subject would be splendid (and I'd be an avid reader).

It's the old "you can lead a horse to water...." no, that's not it. Oh, yes, it's the old "If you love something, set it free...". Hmmm....that's not it either. Ah - "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat the rest of his life."

Or, the one I like better I learned from Anttii Huoveleinen's old sig on SDIY "Give a man a match, he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, he'll be warm the rest of his life".


Pertinent forum specific question: How much of the surviving design will be Thomas Henry?


Cheers,
Scott
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
How much of the surviving design will be Thomas Henry?


I took a look at the schematic and the logic is very straight forward. I can sink the logic into a single, small, CPLD (XC95108).

The analog switches, though, would be replaced by a 1 of 8 decoder and an (8 to 1) MUX. The GATE and TRIGGER circuits (555 implimentation) would be replaced by logic on the CPLD. The Counter reset and latch signals may be derived a bit differently. The rest would survive (offset/adder - equality detector - analog section) etc ...) .

Also, a problem might be getting the 5008 DAC. It might have to be replaced by a DAC08 or something equivilant. There are still pleanty of those around. This may change some of the analog stuff a bit BUT maybe someone has a good source for the 5008 ???

The OP-AMP may be substituted with TL054 or some other JFET input type amplifier.

I would provide details on the internal logic. In fact, I would use schematic entry rather than VHDL which will make the circuit description much easier for those not familiar with any HDL's.

Thanks,
Bill
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Bill:

Sounds good to me. I don't believe by changing the 5008 DAC or the analog op amps you're really changing the circuit. Maybe if this was a quirky vintage thing where you're trying to preserve the quirkyness of the device we might be against it. But essentually, we want this circuit because it works well. I've built a couple of Midi to CV converters and probably never used the same DAC twice so I have no issue with whatever DAC the group or you want to use.

I just did a quicky bit of research on the XC95108. For purposes of using this on a pcb, I gather any 84 pin PLCC socket with through-hole leads will work? Also, since there are 21 pins on each side, I can't use my usual breadboards, I'll have to jury-rig something. Any ideas anyone has before I over-engineer this are appreciated.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd say putting the socket on some variant of protoboard would be about the best way (which I'm sure is what you had in mind anyway).

There's really no analog quirckiness to the operation - that's what I liked about the keyboard (I think a keyboard is one place where quirkiness would not be the ideal quality Very Happy ).

Ooh, as soon as I wrote that, I must take it back - there is one quirk I rather like - the modulation comes before the portamento. So, as you increase the portamento, the modulation decreases.

Speaking of the DAC, that's the one part I did not use (couldn't find the original 5008). I used a DAC08.

Sounds good, Bill - a good way to learn this stuff. Being fairly ignorant of what you're talking about, is this something anyone can program from their computer into the device?

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
just did a quicky bit of research on the XC95108. For purposes of using this on a pcb, I gather any 84 pin PLCC socket with through-hole leads will work? Also, since there are 21 pins on each side, I can't use my usual breadboards, I'll have to jury-rig something. Any ideas anyone has before I over-engineer this are appreciated.


Hi Antman ! Check the URL I have one of the PL-84 [84] pin PLCC to DIP adapters. I will give it to you and a programmed XC95108 if you still want to take on the breadboard. If this goes anywhere, then a footprint can be made for a PCB if it's decided that anyone wants to do this. At the very least, you will have a pretty cool breadboard !! Very Happy

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=73568

Bill

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Or you could use a PL-84 [84] pin PLCC to DIP adapter. Laughing
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State Machine
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Or you could use a PL-84 [84] pin PLCC to DIP adapter.


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