Now that I'm back from break, it's time to kick this project into high gear. I spent a lot of time this week planning out hardware and ordering components. I've been working with my lab partner from my Embedded Systems class, David Glanzman, and we've designed an improved architecture for the project. Instead of the STM32F407, we're going to use a Cypress PSoC 4 as the hardware controller. PSoC stands for Programmable System on a Chip, and what's cool about this thing is that you can reassign all of its pins with a software package. So we can define a majority of the pins to act as analog input, simplifying our overall design. David already has one of these, and I've just ordered a backup. I also ordered 38 more thumbsticks and a back of 50 clear tops. I found a much cheaper source of digitally addressable RBG LEDs as well, so we can do two lights per thumbstick for about $30-$40.
I've been working with the PD patch, and I found a way to visualize the output waveforms (in the photo below), which will make debugging the patch much easier. I've been working on a mapping for the thumbstick controllers that puts the focus on timbre, as I've decided to put pitchbend on a global control.
I've been doing some design work with the actual layout as well. For playability, I think we might need to upgrade to as many as 58 notes, though we could get away with 40. I don't think 36 is going to cut it though. I kind of want this to be more than just a proof of concept, though I'll have to do a little more research to see if we can make it over the technical barriers.
I finally got new ink cartridges for the printer so I've been playing with the note spacing and thumbstick clearance to see how big this instrument will end up. I have some more details to add later!