Interest Check: Faderbank Run


Yes. It’s a straight-up MIDI faderbank. You can plug it into any midi host - ie a computer, or something like an FH-1 - and it will spit out MIDI. This is how @shellfritsch is using his.


Okay so I’m solidly on board with getting one of these when and if they should become available, but that’s something I’ve not seen talked of here - any idea when these might be made?


Patience padawan, patience.


This I know something about…I have the ER-301, ER-101/102, and someday I’ll have a Landscape HC-TT with recording capability…someday. Adding a Faderbank to that list :slight_smile:


These things are definitely worth the wait!


Sounds interesting but I would also be more interested if this thing could output OSC instead of midi…
(with a higher bitrate than 0-127)


it’s 16 faders connected to a teensy 3.5 (basically a powerful arduino.)
so you can make it put out whatever you want.

by default, the provided code (linked in top post) will set it up as a usb-midi device. there are at least two ways to get 14b values over midi:

  • pitchbend on 16 different channels (universally supported)
  • double-width CC (less common support in host software)

that would mean lightly editing the linked code to use pitchbend methods or raw packet methods instead of .sendControlChange.

[ its been a while, but i think for double-width CC you just send two messages: the first is a normal CC message with the MSB of your data, the second has 0x20 added to the control number and your data’s LSB as the value. so maybe you can just use .sendControlChange().]

if you want OSC you have to make more decisions because OSC is just a data format, its not a protocol. of course you can up the teensy to act as a usb-serial device and send OSC formatted data over it, basically rolling your own protocol. (but TBH i think that would be a bad engineering decision; you don’t need message routing before the data gets to the host, so just send raw data bytes - with framing if you intend this protocol to work over hardware serial as well as usb.)

you could also make it speak the monome serial protocol and put out /tilt messages. (which are 16b IIRC.)

for something more flexible and off-the-shelf you could use CNMAT’s arduino classes for OSC over serial. this is a pretty robust implentation using SLIP for the transport layer. kinda overkill IMHO for a simple unidirectional connection. (it needs a SLIP decoder on the other end, and its inefficient for the same reason that rolling your own OSC-serial would be inefficient - too many bytes on the wire.)

NB: by default, analogRead() with the arduino library defaults to 10b resolution. on teensy 3.5 you can get up to 13b by using analogReadResolution(13). bear in mind that you can expect the least-significant bits to be pretty noisy.

and to be clear: i agree, IMO 7 bits is OK for volume if scaled correctly, for sensitive parameters its useless. 10 bits is more like it, and 12 is just peachy (that is the max usable resolution i’d realistically expect from teensy ADCs.) i don’t really use any midi software and would configure something like this as a serial/twi controller exclusively.

and finally: this is an interest check on a parts run for a straightforward DIY project. it’s not a product announcement. if you don’t want one it just means less work for the nice people who are offering to put the buy together. (not me; i’m not that nice)


ok, jut a quick thought: given the substantial investment in fader hardware this implies, my plan is to use extra long headers on the teensy and mount an audio shield under the main pcb. thus the thing becomes a (simple, experimental) synthesizer as well as a controller (because for $15 more, why not.)

(its an unorthodox mounting arrangement but i’ve found similar hacks to work fine… photo to give idea of dimensions. this is ugly and scary but has weathered a couple years of hard service:


wow this is such a cool idea. i’m definitely trying this myself!


Time for an update! I’ve been working with Sean on the revised board-layout of this object. Say hello to 16n, version 1.1:

Or, rather, a render of a 16n circuit board. A few things have changed in the design of 16n, and as we go into manufacturing prototypes, we thought it’d be good to share what’s new with the community.

Let’s do a feature rundown:

16n is a bank of sixteen faders. It has four kinds of functionality, which all occur simultaneously:

  • it outputs 16 different MIDI CCs over USB MIDI. No drivers needed. Just plug it in.
  • it outputs those same 16 different MIDI CCs via a TRS minijack at the right of the board. A toggle switch (front) allows you to swap this jack between the two “minijack MIDI” standards: ring-is-data (Arturia, Novation) or tip-is-data (Korg, Makenoise). We call these K and A. So you could either connect to a 5-pin DIN adaptor (either from a product or build your own), or take a 3.5mm TRS lead straight into your device (eg a 0-coast, Circuit). With a power-source, you could use 16n as a faderbank for a hardware synth with no computer. (You could easily alter the code to spit out different CCs and channels from the jack and the USB socket. There will be code samples for this).
  • It outputs 0-5V CV for each fader over individual 3.5mm TS minijacks. Voltage output is buffered by an op-amp, and has a 100 ohm impedence resistor on each output. With a power source, you could use 16n as a fader bank for a modular or analogue synth with no computer.
  • It can output fader data over I2C. There’s a jumper header at the front of the board with SDA,SCL and GND pins, as well as a 5V pin (meaning you could power the device from there). (This feature is work-in-progress so details TBD, as is any potential II compatibility).

The board gets power from the micro-USB connector - either via a connected computer, or from eg a mobile phone PSU. It’ll be open-source, hardware and software. Because it’s based around a Teensy, it’s very straightforward to modify the firmware to your own needs (eg: MIDI cc/channel assignments).

You can see from the prototype that it’s now a little deeper to accommodate the CV jacks; it is exactly the same width as before (namely, the width of a 128 grid).

This is a bit more than it was doing when original pitched. The obvious changes are: there’s now a bunch of passives and ICs to deal with CV out; there’s now 16 minijacks; and the board is a little bigger. These have a relatively small impact on cost - the bulk of the BOM cost is still the PCB, and faders.

The complexity of manual assembly is now a little higher: we’ve gone from faders, Teensy headers, and a switch and jack to also adding about 50 SMD parts (0805, SOD-123 and SOIC packages). It’s still not that hard to hand-solder, but we’re aware this makes the feasibility of a DIY product much lower for some users.

So, question time:

  • what do you think?
  • if you were possibly interested in a 16n: are you still interested? More or less?
  • if you were interested in DIY: how interested are you now that there’s 50-odd SMD components to add? would you be interested in a ‘partial DIY’ kit, ie, all SMD already done, with just the through-hole components left to do?
  • if you’re an I2C/II hacker: how are you feeling about our pinout, location of the pinout?

And what’s next:

  • @shellfritsch and I have both built dual-channel mockups and confirmed all our firmware and circuit designs work
  • …so unless there’s strong feedback we need to address immediately, we’re probably going to order prototype PCBs very soon.
  • we’re going to have to start pricing up an Actual BOM and investigating PCB manufacture/assembly (because we’d ideally like the SMD components to be done for us).
  • once he’s had a break from Telexes, @bpcmusic is going to look into writing some I2C code for it.

That’s everything for now - ignoring the “other 90%” of any hardware project. But wanted to keep you all in the loop and encourage community discussion!


I think it’s a great update and I’m a lot more interested than I already was before. Particularly the CV-outs would make this amazing for me!


in the still interested / more interested camp


Wasn’t super interested before, but I am now!

I’d be happy with the partial DIY you mentioned.


it’s looking great. thank you.
i’d be still interested in a kit.
i’ve never done smd, so i guess i’d have a lot of questions if it’s not a ‘partial diy’…
very interested in i2c, how it works, what can be done, etc. it looks like a good introduction.


I’ve become much more interested!

Cv outs are great ( I never sorted my passive version I planned earlier in this thread ) but I2C is really awesome! If Teletype could read the fader levels then that would just be fantastic!

I’m quite new to SMT but would consider going the DIY route.


Still/more interested! I’m ok with the SMD parts also. Exciting!


The i2c stuff is definitely what interests me for the same reason, I’m hoping that the midi tr jacks could be asked nicely to send i2c instead… I’d like to see more ‘things’ built to interact with i2c and the monome environment and an easy to use connection would facilitate that…imo.


Wow!!! Very interested in the partial DIY option!


This sounds awesome! I would be interested in a SMD-less DIY option.


Still incredibly interested, but would appreciate someone else finishing the build for me.