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Hardware Sequencers => KeyStep => KeyStep - Feature requests => Topic started by: Grrrr on August 09, 2018, 07:24:45 pm

Title: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: Grrrr on August 09, 2018, 07:24:45 pm
Hi,

It would be much appreciated to be able to turn of the flashing octave leds. It could be an option in the software for those who wants it not constantly blinking.

For me it is distracting to have a white very bright led flash at a constant rate when it is not in sync with the music playing at the moment. I really don't benefit from different flashing intervals for different octaves. A steady light (or no light) would be enough. I have my ears to hear the octave.

Please make this an option in the software.

Thanks for listening
Gr
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: DrRhythm2030 on August 10, 2018, 12:42:10 am
Please consider adding this option to a firmware update, too.

I currently have electrical tape covering the KeyStep's bright flashing LEDs, and it doesn't look pretty. :-)
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: Grrrr on August 20, 2018, 03:52:35 pm
DrRhythm2030, same here :) Mine is also covered with ugly tape...
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: walzzz on January 17, 2019, 07:57:16 am
 :) :) :)
YES! I want this feature too! the flashing light hurt my eyes in the dark. btw you don't need the flash light to remind you the octive. let it flash when you setting it is enough.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: puremusic on January 21, 2019, 07:06:29 am
Put me on the list as requesting this too. I thought the brightness of the stop button was a little annoying until I saw the blinking octave button and realized what true annoyance was.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: rossisdead on January 25, 2019, 01:45:00 am
Seriously very distracting to have it constantly flashing.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on February 27, 2019, 10:01:11 am
I signed up here just to say this but I see it's already a topic.

Two minutes after unboxing my Keystep I pressed one of those buttons and I was, like, NOOOOOOOOOO! How could they? Who on earth thought it was a good idea to make those buttons flash like that?

Apart from being very, very annoying it simply doesn't work. Can anybody really tell at a glance the difference between one or two octaves up/down by the flash speed? Nope.

One octave up/down should be lit up permanently. Two octaves? Flash then, but not before, and do some sort of flash that's obvious where the octave setting is at (maybe fast 50Hz flashing for two octaves, slower flashing for three).

Can you do PWM on these LEDs for brightness? Make them increase brightness as you go up/down the octaves, eg. 25% brightness for one octave, 50% brightness for two, 100% brightness for three.

PS: Need any help? I'm a freelance programmer of these sort of devices, expert at controlling LEDs.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on February 27, 2019, 10:04:01 am
Put me on the list as requesting this too. I thought the brightness of the stop button was a little annoying until I saw the blinking octave button and realized what true annoyance was.

Yes, these LEDs are far too bright for most situations. I'm betting not many people compose outdoors at noon.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: MajorFubar on February 27, 2019, 01:03:09 pm
A rotary selector, same style as the Arp Mode and Time Division selectors, would have been superior to the buttons. But that would have put this product at odds with the KeyLab controllers which also use octave buttons.

My biggest bugbear with the product is the micro USB socket. I go through cables like they're going out of fashion because they all become loose and fall out with repeated insert/remove over time. It should have had a full-size USB B socket, there is plenty of room on the circuit board.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on February 27, 2019, 07:14:21 pm
A rotary selector, same style as the Arp Mode and Time Division selectors, would have been superior to the buttons.

Sure, but we haven't got that.

We can't upgrade the hardware but we can upgrade the firmware to make it work better. Maybe.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: puremusic on February 28, 2019, 11:56:14 am
Anyone try opening theirs up and modifying it yet?
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on February 28, 2019, 04:33:56 pm
Anyone try opening theirs up and modifying it yet?

I might open it up and paint over the LEDs with something to make them dimmer (I can't stop them flashing but they'll be much less annoying).

Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: puremusic on March 01, 2019, 01:09:15 pm
Yes I was thinking of doing the same thing.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on March 01, 2019, 02:35:15 pm
I wonder if there's space for an Arduino inside?

It could time the 'flash' signals and make the LED do something more sensible.

(...seems a bit extreme for something that should be a simple software fix)
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on March 01, 2019, 03:50:28 pm
I just popped the case off my Keystep to have a look at the LEDs. The bad news is that they're hidden behind an awful lot of screws and little ribbon connectors, quite hard to get at.

All the LEDs are being driven by a small 74HCT595 shift register chip, on the two pins circled below. They only used a 100 Ohm resistor for all the white LEDs so it's no wonder they're so blindingly bright. The two pins driving the octave buttons are circled in red n the image below.

(nb. I didn't trace it all out but the two 220 Ohm resistors will go to the red LEDs for the Rec/Tap buttons)

If you're awesome at soldering you could replace the resistors with a different value to make them much dimmer. Annoyingly, four of them are inside a resistor "4-pack" so that makes it impossible to replace those resistors selectively, you have to replace the whole thing (eg. you can't replace only the resistors for octave buttons because one of them is in the 4-pack, although ... maybe you could resolder the pack one step lower down and put an extra resistor in the gap left behind )

FWIW: The main CPU is an STM32F103 (https://www.st.com/resource/en/datasheet/cd00161566.pdf) - a medium-power ARM chip. I bet I could get it to PWM those LEDs and dim them in software if I had access to the firmware (under NDA, naturally ;) ), make each octave show as different brightness instead of different flash speed.

(https://forum.arturia.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=93150.0;attach=129473;image)
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: puremusic on March 02, 2019, 07:49:40 pm
The Internet sure helps a person's electronic's education!

Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: gphantom on March 04, 2019, 04:55:54 pm
As for the micro USB cable, I have the Keylab Essential and, although it uses a USB A connection, I have a USB extender cable and I simply disconnect the female part so that once the cable is no longer working, simply replace the extension USB cable which will be done once every year or two.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fungus on March 05, 2019, 08:36:07 pm
The Internet sure helps a person's electronic's education!

The keystep is quite simple hardware on the inside, just the STM32F103 CPU and a few basic peripheral chips. ;)

It would be cool to reverse engineer it and make a new open-source firmware.

I'd have one of the rotary switches to select the octave, the 'Tempo' knob as a MIDI controller and the four buttons above the pitch/mod strips as pads. We could keep the sequencer, that seems useful but I'm not a big fan of arpeggiators.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: morphik on July 18, 2019, 09:22:15 am
The Internet sure helps a person's electronic's education!

The keystep is quite simple hardware on the inside, just the STM32F103 CPU and a few basic peripheral chips. ;)

It would be cool to reverse engineer it and make a new open-source firmware.

I'd have one of the rotary switches to select the octave, the 'Tempo' knob as a MIDI controller and the four buttons above the pitch/mod strips as pads. We could keep the sequencer, that seems useful but I'm not a big fan of arpeggiators.
Well maybe reverse engineering isn't needed. I found this page  https://idyl.io/arduino/how-to/program-stm32-blue-pill-stm32f103c8t6/ (https://idyl.io/arduino/how-to/program-stm32-blue-pill-stm32f103c8t6/) explaining how to program a STM32 with the Arduino IDE, so you could just write your own code (and release it to the public domain  :) ). Note that you need the 1.6.5-r5 IDE in order to be able to use other than 'official' boards.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: jaytee on July 19, 2019, 09:03:14 pm
Just adding to the chorus here. Would love a different option. Iím using CV/gate, and if I want to play any bass, I have to have a bright blinking light going at all times. I may do the hardware mod listed above to just kill those LEDs but it would be nice to just get a software update.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: puremusic on August 09, 2019, 10:52:09 pm
The good news is I just downloaded the latest updates and found an option at the bottom of the MIDI Control center to dim the LEDs. :D

Hurrah!

The bad news is that the octave buttons still flash and I don't see any option to disable that still.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: jimlapbap on August 16, 2019, 08:05:42 am
Created an account here just to chime in. I bought this today. I wasn't sure about this product at first but willing to give it a chance, but the flashing is what put me over the edge, and since it looks like there's no solution to the flashing, I'm going to return it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: gphantom on August 16, 2019, 06:08:47 pm
I don't get it.   People get upset over a flashing light which is supposed to let you know which octave you're in.  The latest firmware update let's you dim down to 10% brightness which is barely on.  If you want to get rid of a great product because of a flashing light, get an 88 key keyboard and you won't get an octave button at all...  Although, it wouldn't have a sequencer or arpediator... Maybe you can get such a keyboard at a nice price of -  Let's see, a yamaha 88 key workstation MODX8 goes for 1800.00, a yamaha Montage for 4000.00 etc etc etc...  Or you can use a 1.00 electrical tape roll and tape it on your offensive light.  On the other hand, just return the product and go for that nice 2,000.00 (U.S. Funds) keyboard and then find something to complain about it....

One man's opinion
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: MajorFubar on August 17, 2019, 11:42:38 pm
Created an account here just to chime in. I bought this today. I wasn't sure about this product at first but willing to give it a chance, but the flashing is what put me over the edge, and since it looks like there's no solution to the flashing, I'm going to return it tomorrow.
Read the post above yours which explains there is now a facility to dim the light to 10%
If a flashing light is pushing you 'over the edge' I'm not sure how you cope with real life.
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: midenok on January 08, 2020, 07:08:07 pm
If you're awesome at soldering you could replace the resistors with a different value to make them much dimmer. Annoyingly, four of them are inside a resistor "4-pack" so that makes it impossible to replace those resistors selectively, you have to replace the whole thing (eg. you can't replace only the resistors for octave buttons because one of them is in the 4-pack, although ... maybe you could resolder the pack one step lower down and put an extra resistor in the gap left behind )

I think it could be possible to drill that 4-pack. If the drill is big enough and placed correctly it can rework both resistors at once. We should figure out the exact point on top of the case so that users could drill the keyboard without disassembly. The only problem is precise 90 degree, but I guess the warranty could be expanded to cover that.

P.S. No more Arturia keyboards for me. Just tired of drilling them...
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: masi on January 11, 2020, 06:44:30 pm
You are right, just blinking is enough.

Idea, when you press the buttons the will flash like they do now, but only for a limited time to signify the change. Then they will simply blink.

Masi
Title: Re: Option to disable the octave button flashing
Post by: fato on May 02, 2020, 10:58:17 pm
I've owned a MiniLab mk2 for a few years now and the flashing Octave buttons have always bugged the #### out of me.
After searching/hoping for a firmware fix I decided to open it up and deal with the LED's directly. (no Midi Control Center dimming options on the MLmk2 that I see)
The LED's that sit under the (silicone?) octave buttons are quite fragile and easy to crush with my flush clippers. (I was going to desolder but they shattered as soon as I plier'd them)
Put back together the unit works exactly as before but without led's lighting up under the button. Blessed relief.

- tried taping over the LED's with black tape directly on the PCB board but they light up so strongly light still get's/spills through.
- teardown/rebuild is very straight forward. i.e. all screws and plugs - no desoldering etc. (Just watch the ribbon connectors.)
- spent about an hour on the project.