Sampler-only skin for Mixxx

I wanted to build a sample-player (“soundboard”) and decided to use Mixxx because it has all the necessary features that I was looking for (open source, runs on a Raspberry, highly customizable, …).

My target scenario for this installation is to use it together with a Midi-controller and the official 7″ touchscreen for Raspberry Pi. While Mixxx comes with a set of skins (i.e. user interfaces) with focus on different aspects all of them have in common that they are providing all the functionalities for DJ’ing: 2 or 4 decks for playing tracks, crossfader, mixer-section, library, etc. Many of these things can be hidden from the screen but even then there are still too many things left visible consuming precious real-screen-estate.

While every skin provides the functionality to hide the mixer section or the sampler there is (technically) no way to completely hide the decks via temporary selection. They seem to be seen as an integral part of every Mixxx-skin. That made it necessary to do some serious work on this. Since building a skin from scratch was completely out of reach I took the skin “Deere (64 Samplers)” as a starting point and worked my way up from there.

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Building Mixxx 2.1.1 on a Raspberry Pi

For an upcoming holiday with a few of my friends I needed a Midi-controllable software which allows me to play different audio-samples – some might call this a ‘soundboard’. On top of my wishlist were things like

-open source

-runs on Linux (Raspberry)

-fully customizable

Fortunately, before starting a new project myself I came across Mixxx. It’s an open source DJ-Software with a completely customizable user-interface that also includes a multi-cell sample-player. Mixxx version 1.10 is readily available for various platforms (“sudo apt-gt install mixxx” on a Raspberry PI) but has been superseded by version 2.1.1 (as time of writing). There are no precompiled binaries for Mixxx 2.1 on a Raspberry PI yet so the first step was to build a version myself. The necessary steps are documented in Mixxx’s own Wiki but it’s partially outdated and not everything is located in one place.

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Custom Volumio2 UI (pseudo party mode)

Use this to add songs to the Volumio queue without playing them instantly.

As you might have derived from the last posts I have become a fan of Volumio recently. However, one thing that I thought was implemented incorrectly (from my very very personal point of view) is how tracks are handled when they are added to the playing queue.

The image shows the results of the search for a track. Volumio is running on a Raspberry PI somewhere in my home network. The user interface is accessed with the browser of my current mobile phone. Clicking a track in the list of results will add that track to the active queue (which is good) AND will instantly play it regardless of what’s been playing at that moment (which is bad – insanely bad).

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Volumio box

Derzeit baue ich einen ganzen Stapel an Gerätschaften, um beim nächsten Festival-Besuch entertainment-technisch auf einem angemessenen Level zu sein. Dazu gehört selbstverständlich irgendetwas mit Musik. Bisher hatten wir immer ein Laptop mit einer uralt-Version von Virtual-DJ dabei. Das war halbwegs okay, aber bei der diesjährigen Vorplanung für’s Deichbrand Festival hatten wir Lust darauf, irgendetwas mit mehr CYBER zu machen: Steuerung per Handy und so’n Schiet.

Unsere Wahl fiel relativ schnell auf Volumio, das wir auf einem Raspberry betreiben werden.

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Quick ‘n Dirty USB Verlängerung

Für “so Sachen” benötige ich eine USB-Verlängerung. Irgendwas bei 7-10 Metern. Das kann man kaufen, da hatte ich aber keine Lust drauf. Aus einem anderen Projekt hatte ich noch RJ45-Buchsen und passende Adapterplatinen herumliegen und dachte mir, ich probier’s einfach mal. Der Plan ist also, eine USB-Leitung per Netzwerkkabel und entsprechendem Adapter passiv zu verlängern.

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Midi Fighter Clone

Es ist mal wieder soweit – Doktor Andy ihm selbst sein Vater dem sein Sohn baut einen weiteren Midi-Controller. Hintergrund ist, dass wir unsere diesjährige Festivaltour etwas mehr aufpeppen wollen, als es bislang der Fall gewesen ist. Und -frag’ mich nicht warum- im Kopf war das Flag gesetzt für ‘einen Midi-Controller bauen’. So ganz ist noch nicht klar, was damit eigentlich gemacht werden soll, der Gedanke kam mir aber erst ins Bewußtsein, als ich schon 4 Stunden dabei war. Die Zeit bis dahin hatte ich quasi aus dem Muskelgedächtnis abgespult.

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Midi Timecode Generator with Tempo-tap and Nudge

This post is about building an arduino-based Midi Timecode generator. It incorporates tempo-tap, nudge and a granular tempo-control via an endless encoder. It aims to providing nudge-funtionality (and improved tempo-control) for Native Instruments Maschine MK2 but can easily be used with other devices and programs as well.

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