Four-N 128 sized knob controller

Agreed. If this was a product for a sensible price, I’d buy it.

From my experience with the illucia dtr, which also uses alpha pots, I don’t think 1024 would be a problem.

thank you. Brian & Kelli really raised the game when they applied their aesthetic to their products and when DIYing I have always tried (not always gotten there) to approach their simplicity and ease of multiple use. A good knob bank is an audio swiss army knife for me…

Video soon. I have set myself learning Supercollider and Aleph by November.

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weeeeeeeeeee! :smile:

these guys look good?

regular ol alps pot. presume the ohm rating doesn’t matter for this application?

Went with these in the end:

the snap in footprint kind of limits the choice of pot for this board.

very tempted to lay out a similar knob box pcb myself! would be a great little project to get to know eagle as tehn mentions…

The snap in holes limit the type deliberately so that the really comfy knob types fit this. The feel of the pots in mine are a lot better than most commercial knob banks. There are quite a few sketches that work with this that are out on the Internet, just search teensy and knob controller and you will find them. The teensy has class compliance and midi built in which makes custom sketches easy, if anyone has any they would like to share that would be great.

I still have a couple if boards left it anyone has any pcbs that want to trade…

This is a good place to start and to understand teensy usb midi, note that tehn’s design has a small poke hole for the reset button. I attack the board sideways in the gap between board and top plate.

Cool, thanks again Clive. Have just been reading up about teensy and midi - it really couldn’t be easier to set up the teensy.

i’ve got a strange short somewhere on on the board i think. i’ve been over it a number of times and can’t seem to find the issue.

i notice on the teensy 3.1 pin out card that there is an instruction to:

“Cut to seperate VIN from VUSB, if using a battery charger or external power for USB device mode” presume this doesn’t apply here?

it’s weird - i can get the board to function only when setting a single pin as my CC output. adding 2 or more pins causes the midi stream to get stuck in a loop.

any ideas? try harder yeah :confused:

sorry for clogging the airwaves on this.

but how are A10-A13 and A15-A20 even broken out on the PCB? they are broken out on the teensy as pads aren’t they?

I mounted the teensy on pin headers to the knob pcb. this elevates the teensy from the knob board - teensy isn’t touching the knob pcb. Should the bottom of the teensy board be completely touching the knob board?

that sounds silly i know.

you have to but a SMD header on those inner pads. it will stand off a small distance (same as other headers).

or maybe i’m confused?

nope, i’m silly. i just broke the pcb anyway. it’s a sign i think - i’m going to lay this out myself and start from scratch. will report back in about 6 months :slight_smile:

i’d never heard of or seen those smd headers before. had no idea they existed. i was looking at the teensy pads and the mounting holes and going WTF.

beer time.

Sorry Ootini I have been away from Internet, limiting myself to 30 minutes a day… I am learning aleph and getting my supercollider chops in order.

Okay there are SMD headers that need to be soldered to the underside BEFORE you solder up the pins on the teensy, also be sure to solder VUSB, do not cut the track for external power, the four-n takes its power from USB and it is absolutely trivial.

You can get the headers on eBay FISCHER ELEKTRONIK, SL11 SMD 062.40S, HEADER, PIN, 2.54MM

Fwiw I hard soldered mine to the PCB because teensy rarely get reused here… When it is in it stays in. The pins stick a ways though but I trim them with cutters and then reflow. It’s permanent but, frankly, it’s not going anywhere.

Cases next. I am amazingly without a laptop (having spilled tea all over my MacBook) and considering if I really need a laptop these days, so good are tablets… White whale/meadow physics/euro and aleph and a stack of breakout raspberry pis running supercollider does me fine for now.

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these look amazing.

@clivegrace or @anyonewhoknows

where does one get those fancy knobs that you’ve used on your custom controller, similar to the ones on the arc? got a part number?

and where did you get the custom aluminum panel made, and roughly what did that cost?

@tehn I’d love to diy myself something like this that exactly matches the dimensions of my new 128. does monome have any spare alum bases they need to sell?

The knobs are standard Chinese knobs I have two types: one to match the DIY ARC 4 the other to match the Aleph they come from an eBay seller and a website GD-parts.

The top plate comes from a design I knocked out in front panel designer weighs in at about £33. Cases wise I have a design that fits monome kits as well and these knob boards (I built two monome kits a few weeks back) but as they are machined from aluminium they are not cheap ($99 each for 4) unless I get the numbers down to about $55 by getting quantities up. This is with someone like emachineshop as it exceeds university facilities. But I sense that it’s so niche few people would buy them and I am not up for managing a group buy at the moment.

I also rather like the wood/metal thing that monome had going.

thanks for the info @clivegrave

i’m weighing up controller options for a portable live rig, and that info helps.

I need to think it through a bit though. custom monome-inspired four-N 128 controller? faderfox? kenton killamix? Native Instruments S25? bah! i hate decisions!

The journey is the reward in these things. Knowing its unique or few of a kind is nice. People still to this day and age ask me “what that button thing is” the other thing is you stand a very good chance of making something very good indeed with no interference from bean counters and their addiction to plastic!

I still have a couple left over so if anyone wants to swap for any euro kits or whatever let me know. I don’t want to productise or financially benefit from tehn’s design but if you really want one lets talk. I need to replace my 3 month old MacBook which is officially kerbuggered beyond repair.


Super curious about that stack of breakout raspberry pis running supercollider.

What version Pi?
Which OS?
Which version of SC

In general how are you using them in your setup?
Mostly control or mostly audio?
Audio out of the HDMI output?

Super curious for reals.

Go over to muffs and check out mxmxmx work also on GitHub he has made it as also a breakout for other boards. I run three model a+ machines. I hope to get them speaking to white whale and aleph in good time. Also got some home brew things with spark funs WAV trigger.

My old way of working was hitting a dead end so my way of working is all change right now.

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Are the PCB’s multilayered?
Ultimately I’m asking if a similar PCB could be made using CNC machine?