Perfect fit!


This week a few exciting things happened:

  • I ordered the top panel
  • The first oak frame is ready
  • I finally got a smooth signal from the controller
  • I started working on a programmer manual in order to make DAW scripts (mainly Ableton MIDI remote scripts)
  • I got some amazing responses from the Ableton communities on Reddit and Facebook

Top panel

After a lot of mailing back and forth, checking the dimensions, thickening the panel in the design, having to move all components again because of this and overthinking the logo positioning too much, I finally ordered the top panel! As mentioned, the panel will be a bit thicker than originally planned. There are two reasons for that: the panel will be stronger and they can punch in bolts to secure the panel with the wooden frame and PCB.

The panel is expected to arrive a few days after May 8th (considering the slow mail system in Berlin it might take longer). I already had a test panel made with the same dimensions which seems to fit perfectly.

First oak frame is ready

With loads of thanks to Nils and Clinton from Studio Sheldon and Hansen from Hoepner + Hoepner, the first oak frame has been cut and milled! 

Hansen risking his life by putting his hand in the CNC machine

Without even finishing it off, it already looks great. The PCB is a perfect fit, even the USB connector fits perfectly!

The PCB fits perfectly!

Finally a smooth signal (technical)

When I first got the controller working, I got a somewhat glitchy signal back from it. When I connected it to Ableton, sometimes the fader and rotary knob values would skip upwards or downwards. I was afraid this was a failure in the hardware. I even added a capacitor to smooth out the signal from the potentiometers but to no avail.

After investigating the numbers some more, I noticed that it always skipped the exact same values, revealing that it might be software related. After checking the code again, I noticed that I had set the ADC prescaler to 0, meaning the ADC was running at 16MHz, far greater than the recommended 50 - 200 kHz. When I set it at 128, which set the ADC speed 125kHz, the values were perfect!

Programmer manual

Since the KNTRL9 will work with not only a configuration app but also with various DAW's (mainly Ableton), programmers for the KNTRL9 need to know how to configure the KNTRL9. In order to do this, I started to create a programmers manual which will describe all signals developers can send to the KNTRL9 in order to setup the device. A few examples:

  • Set the color of the LEDs
  • Change the controller addresses
  • Update the firmware

The document will eventually be available online for everyone to download and create their own software for the KNTRL9 (at their own risk of course ;)).

Got some amazing response from social media

Last week I finally got the controller working in Ableton. This was a highlight for me and I decided to post it online. The responses where overwhelming! Very happy to get such good feedback from the Ableton communities of Reddit and Facebook.