Arduino based hardware to control a podcasting DAW.
By now this project is far from being useful. It might be interesting to other developers though.
We are developing and constructing an Arduino based hardware box to control our DAW while podcasting. The following features are planned:
mute buttons for all speakers
buttons to start, stop and prepare the recording
LED indications of the meter levels of the voices
buttons to start jingles and other clips
displaying the current time
First prototype on strip board
The first prototype was soldered and wired completely manually on stripboards using magnet wire for every single comnnection. It was quite a tedious work building it but it has the advantage that we could test and develop it actually while building the first prototype. In the end the prototype worked but turned out to be far to unstable for serious work.
Second prototype on an etched PCB.
With what we've learned from the first prototype design, we designed the circuit in KiCad and then designed two PCBs, one for the front panel and one for the actual circuit. These PCBs we had produced by a professional PCB manufacturer. It turned out that we had some bugs in the circuit design which we for the second prototype fixed using a grinding tool and again a bit of magnet wire.
Right now we have the second prototype up and running and plan to use it in actual everyday podcasting for a couple of months. Depending on our experiences we will either have new PCBs produced or we will add some features, that need hardware modifications.
The hardware is build around an Arduino compatible board, probably the Arduino nano. We are using parallel shift registers SN74HC165 and SN74HC595 to get and set the states of our hardware items. On the software side we speak OSC to our DAW and also probably MIDI to other software. The meter levels we get via jack. The software is written in python.
We are developing on Linux/Ardour. It shouldn't be too difficult to port the stuff to Mac/Ardour or even Mac/Reaper.