madriaanse

Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« on: March 22, 2021, 08:13:55 PM »
Yeah me too! I started doing studio work in the 90’s when tape machines were still being used quite a bit (along with ADAT) and I always appreciated having a big tape remote sitting off to my left side. I enjoyed the immediacy and feel of pressing dedicated buttons versus being a mouse/keyboard jockey which can feel a bit like filing taxes.

So I set out to build an Arduino project that functions like a tape remote for Reaper. This HID uses an Arduino Leonardo and Mayhew Labs Mux Shield II multiplexer and it is completely USB powered.

Programming (and some much needed guidance) was handled by my friend Aaron Cendan and circuit board and product design were done by me.

So far it is working great, feels solid and it’s pretty fun to use. On power-up it automatically boots Reaper and opens a 16 track template which makes things pretty efficient also.

Below are some build pics. I can provide more information if anyone else is interested.

Best regards,

Martin







« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 08:18:14 PM by madriaanse »


squarewave

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 09:30:16 PM »
Nice. I love hacks like this. Yeah, messing with a mouse and keyboard is a real mojo killer.

I once made a tiny hand-held remote that was just two layers of PCB separated with standoffs, some momentary buttons and a pcb mount RJ45 jack for a conventional ethernet cable as a control cable. No arduino. Worked great (unfortunately the tape machine did not).

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2021, 10:28:53 PM »
Ever heard of the Alesis BRC ? yours remind me a bit of it
Absolutely a channel record arm button per track and transport controls in its own dedicated box is a winner , now your spending a lot less time screen gawping and more time on the job itself ,
'Autolocator'  style cue point memory is a very nice feature too , must make tracking a breeze on Reaper. 

ubxf

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 11:05:22 PM »
That's why i still have my old Pro Control working with Pro tools. Until i bring back my 2" tape machine out of retirement :)

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 01:44:57 AM »
Yeah me too! I started doing studio work in the 90’s when tape machines were still being used quite a bit (along with ADAT) and I always appreciated having a big tape remote sitting off to my left side. I enjoyed the immediacy and feel of pressing dedicated buttons versus being a mouse/keyboard jockey which can feel a bit like filing taxes.

So I set out to build an Arduino project that functions like a tape remote for Reaper. This HID uses an Arduino Leonardo and Mayhew Labs Mux Shield II multiplexer and it is completely USB powered.

Programming (and some much needed guidance) was handled by my friend Aaron Cendan and circuit board and product design were done by me.

So far it is working great, feels solid and it’s pretty fun to use. On power-up it automatically boots Reaper and opens a 16 track template which makes things pretty efficient also.

^like^

abbey road d enfer

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 06:53:13 AM »
I can provide more information if anyone else is interested.
I am definitely.
"On power-up it automatically boots Reaper and opens a 16 track template " Can this be easily changed?
What case are you using?
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

MatthewF

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 08:36:08 AM »
This looks fantastic!

I've recently created my own multitrack recorder on an embedded linux system. I've been controlling it with a Raspberry Pi equipped with a touchscreen and a simple GUI, but have been yearning for some real buttons. Does your controller talk a standardised protocol, or is it easily customisable in that regard?

Cheers,

Matthew

rp

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 10:07:30 PM »
I can provide more information if anyone else is interested.
Also interested! This is so cool. How does the Arduino talk to Reaper? Midi? OSC? Other? I'd imagine you send a simple message out from the arduino, then all the function assignment happens in Reaper?

Edit: realized I'm just asking the same question as MatthewF above.

PermO

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 08:10:47 AM »
Wow !, so clever, and well executed, I really love the design / look / feel of this  8)
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

madriaanse

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2021, 09:46:49 AM »
Thanks for the positive feedback! This thing is nice to use! Tubetec; funny you mentioned the BRC (Big Remote Control) for the ADATS. The BRR (Big Reaper Remote) name is a tip of the hat to the ol' BRC.

Wanted to answer a few of the questions here:
The remote essentially works like a computer keyboard and spits out custom keyboard shortcuts that trigger 'Reaper Actions'. This was done to keep latency extremely low. The unit functions fast and reliably like a light switch. Aaron who handled all the programming also made an Autohotkey (.AHK) file for me that loads up Reaper and starts up a 16 track template. The efficient programming of Reaper combined with the low latency of the BRR make for a pretty sweet, analog like user experience.

The software on the Arduino could very easily be modified to suit individual requirements, or you could simply re-assign a button's output on the BRR to any Action in Reaper. Therefore any standard 'Action' in Reaper is fair game.

Here are some files explaining what's going on behind the scenes:
https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/Remote+Concept.pdf

https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/Remote+Actions+List.xls

Also, here is the BOM detailing all the parts and cost:
https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/BRR+BOM.xls


abbey road d enfer

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2021, 06:18:52 PM »
Also, here is the BOM detailing all the parts and cost:
https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/BRR+BOM.xls
Are you sure? Standoffs at $6.11 each and M4 screws at $4.70? Amazon sells a box of 100 for this price...
Do you make PCB's available?
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

madriaanse

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2021, 07:43:16 PM »
Are you sure? Standoffs at $6.11 each and M4 screws at $4.70? Amazon sells a box of 100 for this price...
Do you make PCB's available?

Hey, slight misunderstanding here. Those are subtotals. It's $6.11 for qty 12, and the $4.70 is for a bag of 100. ;)

I do have a few extra boards I can sell off if anyone's interested in tackling this project. It's a pretty straightforward build actually.

M.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 07:48:36 PM by madriaanse »

Whoops

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2021, 11:07:46 PM »
I personally have no problems whatsoever with a mouse and keyboard but congrats for you built,
it looks really nice and seems well though of

madriaanse

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 08:05:08 AM »
I personally have no problems whatsoever with a mouse and keyboard but congrats for you built,
it looks really nice and seems well though of

Thank you Tiago! There's definitely nothing wrong with using a keyboard and mouse. Being a bit of a fossil at music production I just prefer using a tape-style remote; it speeds up my workflow and and I feel more creative using it. :)

For anyone looking to build one of these, I've uploaded the frontpanel design. This plate is a direct bolt-on for the Par-Metal 10-19083B 2u case. (order panel from frontpanelexpress.com):
https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/BRR+panel.fpd

And here's the backplate design that the PCB is mounted to. I had this plate laser cut out of some 11 gauge A36 steel. Note that you'll still have to tap the #4-40 holes for the standoffs. (order from oshcut.com):
https://uploadz.s3.amazonaws.com/Remote+Backplate.dxf

-M
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 12:41:07 PM by madriaanse »

Whoops

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 08:51:23 PM »
Nice Martin, it's very nice of you sharing the docs.

I would like to ask you how does the arduino communicates with Reaper?
Whats the protocol used?

I never done something like this, so basically how does Reaper know that when you press the unit REC button it should activate REC?

Thanks

Ricardus

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2021, 09:22:38 PM »
Gotta have a remote to do proper sessions. It's a rule.   :D
Audio mastering for hire..

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2021, 08:27:18 PM »
Plenty of simple 'transport' remotes out there , definately beat mouse/keyboard ,
multitrack record arm/locate buttons puts it into a league of its own ,
The fact that it jams with Reaper nicely , templates for other DAWs are very do-able ,
You should seriously consider turning that into a commercial product , even in kit form , your onto a winner  ;)

RuudNL

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2021, 10:15:23 AM »
Very nice design!
If there will ever be a kit I am really interested.

(I don't know if it is the best idea to have a 19" frontpanel.
If I would have it, I would like to have it close to me, on a trolley. But certainly not in a 19"rack!)

Is the code/source for this project avaliable for those who would like to build this controller?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:48:51 PM by RuudNL »
There is a solution for every problem!

http://www.vansteenisaudio.nl

abbey road d enfer

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2021, 04:42:47 PM »
Very nice design!
If there will ever be a kit I am really interested.

(I don't know if it is the best idea to have a 19" frontpanel.
If I would have it, I would like to have it close to me, on a trolley. But certainly not in a 19"rack!)
I have bought a PCB from the OP, just received it today.
I intend to put it in a house-made wood box, because I want it shallow enough to put on the desk.
I have started purchasing various components. Some are a tad problematic, in particular the switch caps, that come from the US, and sell in 10 pieces MOQ.
I will give a try with the 3D printer.
The original build has the Arduino protruding at the back of the front PCB, I intend to connect it with ribbon cables.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

john12ax7

Re: Anybody miss having a tape remote?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2021, 05:40:52 PM »
I've always wanted something like this.  Would it be possible to add midi time code?  Having min:sec and bars:beats is super useful imo.


 

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