Old 11-19-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default Pedal bored 2.0

Hi fellow live Reaperites,

After much M and FA these last few months, I'm now at the stage where I'm happy with my working prototype platform for live usage. The attached pix give insight into the physical. Principally, the Behringer FCB1010 is the midi foot controller to drive the workflow. Internally, the three compartments consist of:

Processor bay: Intel NUC D54250 i5 with 16Gb RAM running W10. WiFi and BT module and 120Gb M2 SSD.

I/F bay: Tascam US800 8 in 6 out audio and midi in and out/through. Short audio cables route to the rear patch panel. Additionally, there's a 4 port USB2 hub.

BT bay: BT5 transceiver for IEM using buds.

Latest Reaper [v5.986] and Reapack scripts loaded. I use RealVNC to link into the NUC which currently allows me to develop the workflows and provide a graceful shutdown procedure [using my phone, for example].

Power is currently delivered by the NUC's wall wart via a socket on the patch panel and a switch. On order is a 19vDC power brick that claims to deliver 3.5A at 40000mA/H. I think I'm drawing around 500mA at present with everything up so hopefully, it's ample for gigging. This will be eventually mounted inside the BT bay. The external switch will then allow for internal or external feed should that need arise.

The FCB1010 is powered by a 5v/9v buck converter and modified following the instructions offered by Pipeline Audio. Again a switch allows for the mains to be used should the need arise.

The Tascam US800 is 5v powered via a USB port. The BT5 transceiver has a largish internal battery it seems but again is hooked up to a USB port for charging.

Initial monitoring of the heat inside the NUC is showing mid 60 deg C after running for well over an hour. Whilst there is a quiet fan in the NUC, I'll probably implement a blow and suck pair of small 40mm fans to provide an airflow within the plinth.

The base and the FCB are both attached using neodymium magnets and offer enough holding strength to allow for transport and kicking the unit in error [part of my testing!] and to ease the base off to enable startup [for now].

I can route my guitars in on 4 physical ports and have 2 more set up for mics [balanced cables so phantom power can be used if needed]. This isn't set in stone merely a starting point to see what works best.

I can now see the FCB spitting out midi PC info so I'm getting myself set up for live configs as well as other workflow models I'm looking to test out.

Today, I set myself up an FX chain to use my acoustic guitar to play bass. After a few iterations I've landed on a combo that appears to work reasonably latency free [to my ears at least?]. I've also loaded in the fantastic SM Drums collection though I'll go through the other popular drum VSTs to see which work the most favourable.

There's much more to get through such as:
* use the RasPi3B+ [mounted in the processor bay] as an Access Point to provide a controlled entry into the environment. The Pi will then hotspot to my phone should the t'interweb be needed. The NUC would then use the Ethernet port to communicate whilst the WiFi is temporarily disabled.
* the RasPi will also be used to capture performance data of the box using Node Red & MQTT borrowing techniques from the Home Automation world. Monitoring the health of the NUC and M2 SSD as well as Reaper info can be captured into a mySQL db or webbed into Go Ogle.
*with the CSI project now moving closer to beta then the FCB1010 needs looking into as a control surface if not done already? I also like the look of the micro controllers such as a Behringer X Touch Mini.
* performance tuning the W10 environment and
* using Kali linux on another RasPi to perform pen tests and harden the environment for use out in the real world.

I'm beginning a document to describe all the steps I've gone through and will share at some future point if anyone is interested. I'll also provide a materials list of the items used.

Should anyone have info to share on their best practises, workflows components etc. I'd be grateful to receive. Cheers

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Old 11-19-2019, 05:10 PM   #2
Dave 2099
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impressive sounding rig. Did you say you have pics?

I'm curious about your fx setup to make your acoustic sound bass. I've been mucking around with that for quite a while and finally have found something I'm happy with using a 4-way splitter and ToneLib with bass head/amp sims, eq's and octaver dialed up. I'll show you mine if you show me yours : )
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:07 PM   #3
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Two pics seem to be there but they are not shown in my browser due to seemingly inappropriate (Mac only ? ) file format.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:57 AM   #4
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Hi Dave & Micheal,

I did attach some pix but seems the BB gremlins got me again... they're .jpgs

The bass fx chain was rough and ready and not scientific by any means; Reagate, JS pitch down shifter, Bass Professor II & JS convolution amp modeller. I stated with a block size of 500 and wound it down to 32 in the audio prefs. Upon testing again this morning, the latency is not super brill so back to the drawing boards I fear. I thought that ReaGate seemed to be introducing some distortion artefacts even with all settings at 0ms and just using the threshold. Maybe I'm diving down the wrong wabbit hole again? I did try the JS Smooth Expander Gate that seemed a little more cleaner.

I do have a copy of MiGiC so that's next up to see if there's less latency detecting audio to midi then to a VST or sampler.

I realise that the Tascam ain't RME but that's what I have for now. I'll see how ASIO4ALL changes things too?

Over the summer I've been round the houses with RasPi4/Raspian Buster and a NUC with Ubuntu. Both have been tortuous in various degrees mainly due to my lack of knowledge but have been a kind of sick fun in reminding myself of Linux [actually Unix when I started out....]. At least now I'm much more content with the NUC/W10 combo.

If the pix don't work this time I'll keep trying. Cheers
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yorky View Post
I thought that ReaGate seemed to be introducing some distortion artefacts even with all settings at 0ms and just using the threshold.
If literally all of the time constants are 0, then it's sample-for-sample gating, which is basically just about the harshest version of crossover distortion you can find. It can work for noise reduction on signals that can stand that distortion, and can be interesting effect in it's own right, but yes it'll distort. I'm not completely sure why you're using it here, but if you don't want distortion, you need to dial in those time controls so that there is some averaging and smoothing of the gate action.
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