MegaDrum BSS

Anything at least distantly related to MegaDrum

MegaDrum BSS

Postby Ken Forgettable » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:48 pm

BSS is a 48 input headless version of the the MegaDrum - this means it has
no LCD or button hardware and it is exclusively controlled by software.

My intention was to produce a MegaDrum tailored for studio/live recording and
the impetus to begin came when elrules open sourced the MCT.

I intend this as SMT and don't expect to support the ATmega32.
There are three possible stages to the development.

Stage 1.
ATmega644p with Succ-U-Bus bootloader and a USB PIC variant.
This is backward compatible with current designs.


Stage 2. (Pretty much dumped this but it may have to wake up again)
ATmega644p (no bootloader) and USB PIC variant with Succ-U-Bus ICSP.
This is backward compatible with current designs at 20MHz only.


Stage 3 will be a single chip solution.
Atmel produced a DIP packaged USB part some time ago but killed it
before production became generally available. The problem with stuffing
USB onto something like the mega644 is that such a part is competing very
strongly with other existing lines. Even if such a device becomes
available in DIP packaging I can't see it competing.

Look at these Farnell prices.
ATmega644, 20MHz, 64K Flash, 2K EEPROM, 4K RAM, No USB - Qty 1 £8.07, 10-99 £4.39 (thats good!)

For an extra 80p a competing product will give:
A threefold increase in speed
4 times more RAM
Onboard Full-speed USB
and 50% more ADC inputs.

Hard competing with the worlds largest manufacturer, but we'll see what happens...

:? [REDACTED]

Succ-U-Bus has it's own thread here
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby dmitri » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:08 pm

Ken Forgettable wrote:My intention was to produce a MegaDrum tailored for studio/live recording.

Please, elaborate.

Stage 3 will be a single chip solution.

There is already a single chip solution...in SMD packaging.

Look at these Farnell prices.
ATmega644, 20MHz, 64K Flash, 2K EEPROM, 4K RAM, No USB - Qty 1 £8.07, 10-99 £4.39 (thats good!)

For an extra 80p a competing product will give:
A threefold increase in speed
4 times more RAM
Onboard Full-speed USB
and 50% more ADC inputs.

What are you comparing?
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby Ken Forgettable » Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:06 am

dmitri wrote:Please, elaborate.
I want bullet proof, but should other interested parties ever want to license your good work it needs to be idiot proof as well!

dmitri wrote:What are you comparing?
I was considering nxp - lpc2146 (only because I'm used to ARM).

dmitri wrote:There is already a single chip solution...in SMD packaging.
What part were you thinking of?
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby dmitri » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:32 am

Ken Forgettable wrote:
dmitri wrote:Please, elaborate.
I want bullet proof, but should other interested parties ever want to license your good work it needs to be idiot proof as well!

If ever interested parties want to license MegaDrum, I'll make it idiot proof, it's not a problem.

dmitri wrote:What are you comparing?
I was considering nxp - lpc2146 (only because I'm used to ARM).

As long as it is DIY it is quite bold to suggest anything SMD and which requires a special programmer.

dmitri wrote:There is already a single chip solution...in SMD packaging.
What part were you thinking of?

Same part as you were.
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby Ken Forgettable » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:50 pm

dmitri wrote:As long as it is DIY it is quite bold to suggest anything SMD and which requires a special programmer.
Synthex has the usual DIY project covered very nicely - this is different.

dmitri wrote:There is already a single chip solution...
I might have known you have Stage 3 covered, typical!
And I was saving up to buy your partner some flowers ...do you think she would mind if I got you one of these instead?
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby dmitri » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:57 pm

Ken Forgettable wrote:
dmitri wrote:As long as it is DIY it is quite bold to suggest anything SMD and which requires a special programmer.
Synthex has the usual DIY project covered very nicely - this is different.

What exactly is different?

dmitri wrote:There is already a single chip solution...
I might have known you have Stage 3 covered, typical!
And I was saving up to buy your partner some flowers ...do you think she would mind if I got you one of these instead?

Without knowing what it is for she would.
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby Ken Forgettable » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:04 am

dmitri wrote:What exactly is different?
BSS has no No floating pins. buttons, LCD or USB because of internal and external noise. It needs it's own MIDI driver because the generic MS MIDI driver is unable to prioritise interrupt servicing satisfactorily (in fact most windows users would have to change the BIOS defaults and reinstall to a different HAL anyway).
Oh and one day past, I sailed away as BT donated a mains suppressor ;)
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby dm9876 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:16 am

Hi Ken, this is an interesting project but is a little confusing for me.

Sure there are elements of the existing electrical design that are not exactly best practice and you want to have a bullet proof design for use in studio environments etc. But in practice the existing design seems to work fine and it kind of seems like you are trying to fix a problem that does not exist.

My questions are
*are you having problems with the existing design?
*are you planning to commercialise your design and you want to avoid potential issues when used in unknown environments?
*what exactly is the context of use for your new design that is not really addressed by the existing design.
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby dm9876 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:19 am

I should clarify that while I'm a little confused of the reasons, I'm still very interested. My background is industrial systems engineering. so I see electrical noise always as a design consideration. Are commercial recording studios really that electrically noisy?
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Re: MegaDrum BSS

Postby Ken Forgettable » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:02 pm

dm9876 wrote:... a bullet proof design for use in studio environments etc..
What about live gigging; beer pumps, overloaded sockets, loose wiring, earth loops, humidity etc, etc...

Many of the musos around my neck of the woods sneer at electronic drums :roll:
Of course they might feel different if they had to transport and mic up a kit three times a week.
I still wouldn't want to tell them they ain't going to get any money because the back line went down in the chorus!

dm9876 wrote:*are you having problems with the existing design?.
Not since I removed the LCD and buttons.

dm9876 wrote:*are you planning to commercialise your design and you want to avoid potential issues when used in unknown environments?.
Naw - I'm just stubborn.

dm9876 wrote:*what exactly is the context of use for your new design ...
I appreciate that I may appear to be dissatisfied, I'm really not at all but I think it boils down to this:

If you gave the average drummer a choice between a megadrum setup or an acoustic kit - could you expect him to choose a megadrum?
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