Author Topic: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter  (Read 15847 times)

Offline TMaxElectronics

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #80 on: May 15, 2021, 08:51:28 PM »
So after much more time than I initially though I finally got around to finishing this version. And since there are so many more features it it I decided to call it V2.0 :D
I already have some more things planned but since I have some exams coming up they will have to wait a little longer again I'm afraid.

But I also finally made the how to video :) :

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #81 on: July 10, 2021, 03:04:52 AM »
Finally had some more time to play with the interrupter. No new code (though I do have some things planned as always ::)), but I decided to test how the phaser effect I added in the last release sounds on a coil. And well, what can I say other than I think it sounds amazing :P

Here's a short demo video:

I played the lower two tracks with the phaser effect. Since it effectively doubles the OT of notes (by playing two pulses instead of one) it makes the low notes very pronounced. So unlike what TCs usually sound like :)

It might be that it is just a sort of equalizing effect that offsets the tendency of lower notes to be quieter though. I've been planning to add correction for this pretty much since I started the project, but I (still :P) haven't decided which way is best, since dutycycle chances change how things sound significantly. So maybe just play with a constant duty cycle...? Or just add a volume curve that kind of compensates but only a bit to make it less obvious? IDK I'd have to give this some more thought. The max OT idea from Max's code didn't quite sound the way I like when I gave it a try (but that might be my lazy implementation lol).
I can actually add a volume curve in VMS so maybe I'll play around with that first. Final goal of course would be current modulation, but that will have to wait until I finally port VMS to the UD3 :P

Offline TMaxElectronics

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #82 on: December 04, 2021, 11:02:35 PM »
Oh hey, finally some updates again. Sorry about the project seeming a little dead over the past few months, uni has just been taking up all of my time so not much was left for hobbies in general. But I did finally experiment with some more features again.

One thing that always annoyed me was how the sound wasn't very dynamic when the duty limiter was active. When the dutycycle exceeded the maximum by a lot, any volume effects would be effectively worthless, as any changes would be removed as the limiter increased its own gain to get back to the maximum duty cycle. That pretty much killed all adsr effects in some songs, especially when using hypervoice which doubles the amount of pulses the stick generates, increasing the duty cycle further even with low on times. To fix this I'm working on a new duty limiter that works more like an audio compressor. Instead of having a hard limit on the maximum duty cycle, and only doing anything above that, it adds what is effectively a low pass filter to the gain register. That filter has adjustable attack and decay rates, as well as an adjustable release delay. If adjusted properly, the limiter will reduce the overall volume of a passage that has too high of a duty cycle, without affecting the relative volumes of the loud vs quiet parts. I am thinking if it might even be a reasonable approach to allow a duty cycle significantly higher than the maximum for a short time, so short and loud notes won't cause unwanted dips in the volume.
Any thoughts on how smaller coils might behave in a situation where they suddenly play twice the calculated maximum duty cycle for half a second or so?

Then I fixed a bug in the firmware that resulted in a lot of dropped midi events when playing with ardour5 on linux. Interestingly enough the midi drivers there don't seem to care much for the standard which indicates that every USB packet can have a maximum of one midi message and instead package multiple messages into every packet. They Somehow also ignore the message length and pad messages with less than 4 bytes with zeros. The stick now checks for that and will execute every midi command that is sent in a packet instead of just the first.

Oh and I also found a space to record a few videos with my large coil again. They only have a 3ph 16A outlet with fuses I can't replace though, so I didn't push it too far. Anyhow, here's how it turned out :) Both songs are SIDs:

The comic bakery theme is my absolute favourite chiptunes by the way ;)



Offline dbach

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2021, 12:20:13 AM »
Awesome I’m glad to see this project is still active! I was messing around with a smaller coil today and was having some trouble playing songs, it seems that higher frequency notes got decreased in volume to the point where they were nearly 1/10th of the lower notes? Is this something silly that I’m missing in software? Thanks so much and I’m excited to see how this stick will develop even more in the future!

Thanks so much, Davis.

Offline TMaxElectronics

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2021, 03:32:15 PM »
That depends heavily on the settings of the duty limiter, the on time and your coil. If the limiter is set quite low, high notes will play with a very short on-time, and if your coil (I'm assuming DRSSTC?) has a high primary circuit impedance the primary current just won't get high enough to create an arc in that time. I've been thinking about adding compensation for slow current gain into the duty limiter, but decided not to since it can be compensated for by allowing for a higher duty cycle.
I suggest you check the coil config for allowable on-time and dutycycle.

There is of course also the chance that the music you are trying to play has a lower volume on those high notes, to go around that you can try using vmpk and setting the volume to maximum. And then there is of course the chance that the song you are playing uses a midi program that has a fast decay rate (the "Bells" one for example has that).

Offline dbach

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2021, 11:51:07 PM »
Ah that makes complete sense, this is running on my QCW prototype so the primary circuit has quite high impedance. Thanks for the help and sorry I didn’t think of that!

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Re: MidiStick V2.0: Next gen tesla coil interrupter
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2021, 11:51:07 PM »

 


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