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AW: RC-50 and Speed Control

> My dream is a stereo EDP/Looperlative/Repeater like unit, 
> inside a USB/Computer programmable floor unit the size of the 
> EDP foot controller, complete with multiple TRS expression 
> pedal jacks for controlling volume, pitch, fades, etc, and a 
> USB connectors for hooking up more MIDI controllers to access 
> more features.  I'd pay $2000 + for that unit if it popped up 
> on the market.

You mean, like the thing I described in one of my last emails? ;-)

I'd like to explain some of the problems below (and also explain why some 
of the problems you see do not exist).

First, your description of "I sit all day in front of a computer, I don't 
want to wait one minute and then stare at a screen and type away on a 
keyboard to make music" is not necessarily true for the embedded system 
approach I described.

We did use e.g. the microspace computers to prototype embedded systems for 
automotive use. These are fanless embedded PCs with automotive 
qualification (meaning: no noise except from the harddisk, or no noise at 
all if you use solid state disks - what we did, and nothing like Per's 
overheating problems, even if air flow is somewhat restricted). (Don't 
know about prices for these, but they are fairly expensive...they don't 
offer quotes on www.digitallogic.ch. Another even smaller option ist this 
http://www.visual-data.de/VD-WWWVDCoreBox-Features.htm at 145x200x50mm).

You could (and I'm going to talk a little about the "could" below) set up 
a linux system on these with minimum mass storage and computer performance 
requirements from the OS alone (meaning it would run off a 8MB solid state 
disk and work with 16MB for the OS  including drivers for the necessary 
devices if that was really necessary) and boots up in less than 10 
seconds. Then you could run PureData on this system, which might do what 
you expect from your "favourite embedded looper" if you implement a patch.

For controllers, you could use e.g. this one http://tinyurl.com/2e9u6s 
(€129) to connect up to 12 expression pedals or analoge knobs and 16 
foot switches (or rotary encoders). 
Then your user interface might include this 
http://www.visual-data.de/VD-WWW-includ_usb.htm (€55) and a few of the 
LEDs I mentioned earlier ( http://www.delcom-eng.com/products_USBLMP.asp, 
but I believe there are better solutions than that).

You'll need an audio interface if you don't want to run with the 
integrated AC97 of these systems (which I expect you wouldn't for latency 
issues alone). Typical better-quality interfaces (like this  one 
http://tinyurl.com/2rpe2j) don't come much smaller than 164x148x44mm, 
unless you really want to spend money and search for tricky parts (the 
apogee digital PCXpress card combined with these miniature micpres with 
digital ports and then something small sized for D/A would come to mind).

Taking audio interface and computer together, the package size is 
something like 310x200x50mm. Put a few footswitches on top of it (take 
small ones), and you can add 5-10 foot switches, the LCD display, some 
LEDs and some rotary encoders. Plus you still have connectors for up to 12 
(twelve!) expression pedals. The thing will actually be smaller than a 
Boss RC-50 which you mentioned (472 x 64 x 198 mm) and have sooo much more 

The downside? You have to do that yourself. But once you get it running 
(and this will really be exactly what you want it to be!), it's really 
just a case of unpacking, connecting your guitar and the mains (and maybe 
the twelve expression pedals) and starting to play - it has booted up 
before you even strap on your guitar.

Just a thought...