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Builder Parts

While we're waiting for the Livid Store to restock the parts they used to sell for the Builder series, is there a consensus among "Builderfolk" on the best quality for the price that works well with Brain2/Jr.

Anyone know the stats on the pots, faders... I suppose those buttons are out of the question...




  • edited October 2016

    Nothing, eh?

    How about the specs on the faders, pots, resistors, capacitors, buttons.... anything else that Livid once sold. I have a bunch of the Livid stuff and would ranther not just order stuff that "works" but doesn't match.

    Also- this may be a dummy question- but I own a Livid CNTRL:R, and I really like the "endless encoder w/ LED ring and push button action. Is this something that can be replicated with a Brain/ Brain Jr.?

    Last question. I have a Livid Elements, that is put together with a Brain v2. I plan to take it apart and use a lot of the existing components* and add to them, either with the Brainv2 capabilities not yet utlilized, or- if it is possible, by adding a Brian Jr. to the mix.

    Is it possible to joing aBrian Jr. to a Brainv2? 

    What is these pins for on the Brian 2?



    So in my fantasy world, I'd like to be able to load my Brainv2 up with all the toys I want, and then add on a Brain Jr. (or TWO BRAIN JR.'S?!?!) to control all sorts of add-on sort of things. Like a box I made full of 1/4" inputd for pedals- both momentary and expression, with LEDS that react with the pedals- for exaple, for the "Loop" function, One pedal is used for all the functions, basically. Rec Arm, start record, stop record, playback- all one pedal. But a Properly placed RGB LED (or group of them) would be a great indicator of what stage in the loop process you're in.

    Just an example. I have many more that do not include totally sperte "add on" boxes, but would live in the cntroller proper, and maybe be controlled by a Brain Jr., Add on, maybe not. I just am interested in the possibility right now. 

    I know it's going to take me a while to design this thing right. And a while to collect parts, since what I have has come from Livid and they just don't seem to be selling them anymore. The last thing I want is a piece of technical marvel that looks like shit with mismatched faders and knobs and encoders.

  • Thanks. I guess that leads me to ask if there is any way to use more than one Brainv2 or Brain Jr. in any combination - Two Jr.'s, A Jr and a Brainv2, Three Jr.'s... is there a way and is this what the "alias" mapping is for? I am asking out of ignorance and trying to speculate on the "alias" term based on the context I have seen it mentioned in other threads.

    And I want to re-ask, how can I find matching parts to the faders, encoders, and pots that Livid uses/used and that were available for sale through Livid but no longer are? I understand you do not want to direct a sale or any traffic to another distributor- and I am willing to do some legwork. I just don't even know how to know how these parts are defined: by what measurements, ohm ratings, etc. I guess if I had hard numbers on what the Livid parts I own are- I would know by what metrics these parts are even identified as a standard, I would be able to search out my own replacement parts. 

    I should also say that I am not trying to cut Livid out of the equation on my builds and projects, and I would much rather buy OEM parts. I am glad to hear that there will be further Builder products, and I sense generations of these products. I will buy them. Right now, I have a CNTL:R with a broken fader I need to replace. I have several Builder units and a lot of parts, but need more and matching parts. Faders of both sizes, the encoders and pots. I want them to match the parts I have. 

  • edited November 2016
    Thanks Moon-

    This helped. I got my stuff in order, but have been doing a major studio build / reconfigure and I am just now getting to the actual build for the Brain Jr. Models. Lots of big plans. 

    I have been through the WIKI. Sheesh. 

    I went through all sorts of examples for the OMNI boards and I can't figure out 
    a) if the configureation I want is do-able since I do not see it in the examples laid out and I am even confused on which models have diodes, the outdates WIKI pics with older OMNI boards, when I need capacitors... and at one point I wasn't even sure which side of the board to mount parts on. Feel really dumb right now.

    If someone could direct me on how to get this wired up the way it should be... awesome.

    Here it is:


    2 Boards

    4F4E (faders above using 9 spaces, encoders on 4 bottom spaces)

    But those are all lines up with knobs filling all4 top positions, shorter faders in the middle 4 spots for two rows, and the encoders in 4 spots on the bottom. 

    Can I not mix up where the elements are? Do they all have to be the same component per row?

    I'm not sure what I am doing even after reading this stuff for a while and I am just turned around....

    I think I might be making progress on the one that is 4F over 4E

    I put two 10 pin connectors on over the "SLIDE 4x60mm" label and the "ENC ROW 2/4" label.
    And I put 4 capacitors in, which I think I have to do for encoders.


    I think I have it with this one so far... but the other one doesn't look do-able. 

    I am not soldering until somone tells me I have it right on that first board. Do I?

  • Pffffffttt.... WOAH. WOOOOAAAH. PPPFfffffFFfffffTTttTtTttttt... brain melt.

    I should NOT have gone into the reference guide spreadsheet grid. My head is officially on backwards, and I am now doubting everything I have done, everything I have read, and everything that has been told to me.

    For example, with the 4F4E OMNI setup, you directed me to install 8 diodes on DD101- DD108. That spreadsheet has nothing like that at all on a different board with the 4 encoders using up the 13-16 slots across the bottom of the OMNI. That example did not have 4 faders and I cannot remember what it had- the point was - I got easily turned around and confused looking at that.

    So I just followed your directions to the TEE.

    > Moon said: >

    4F4E (faders above, encoders on 4 bottom spaces)
    - 4F:
    --- PinHeader: (Slide1-4/Pot13-16) <-GOTCHA. DONE.
    --- Additional Parts: Capacitors: SC1-4 (0.01uF) <-OK. The capacitors that were sent with both of the Brain Jr. Kits I am getting the parts from included ceramic capacitors

    - 4E: You are putting the encoders in positions 13-16, so you need to connect to the ENCODERS 9-16 Header
    --- PinHeader: (EncRow2/4)
    --- Additional Parts: (You are using Row 4 only)
    ----- Diodes: DD101-108 (or SD111-118)
    ----- Jumpers (0-ohm Resistors): NONE for these encoders.

    So here is what I ended up with:


    You can see I put the 8 diodes in SD111- 118
    The 4 capacitors are in SC1 - 4
    The 2 Pin headers are in "Slide1-4/Pot13-16" and "EncRow2/4"
    and I have soldered on the faders and encoders.
    I've run the multipin cables like to:


    ENC 2/4 to BUTTONS

    and it looks like this:


    Did I plug the 10 pin into the right spots?

    Now if I wanted to throw a monkey wrench in, and have 4 individual LEDs light up independently when the encoder I place each LED under is pressed and turn off when it is pressed again... how would I do that?

    As far as part II, I am rethinking the non-standard arranging of parts. I ordered four really nice touch faders today and I think I will use the other board for those and some buttons / knobs.

    I actually have three Brain Jr.'s because of an insane deal an online electronics outlet had on kits. So the third one is already mounted in it's project box and it will simply be hooked to six - eight 1/4" jacks that keyboard pedals will plug into. All but two are momentary button-like pedals, while two of them are expression pedals that will act like knobs. I THINK I can handle that on my own. Maybe.

    Thanks for all the assistance. That spreadsheet messed with my head and made me think I was not doing it right, so if you can confirm that I did, indeed put this part together correctly, I would appreciate it.


  • edited December 2016

    I figure since I am going to end up asking more questions anyway, I should try to get them in as lumped together as I can.

    Like I said, I started with THREE Brain Jr.'s because an electronics website was selling Brain Jr. OMNI Kits and LED kits and one other kit I can't name.... but all expensive kits. For $27-$30. So I snatched some up. Without real need for ALL of them. I knew for sure what one was going to do- and that I explained above: the Simple box with 1/4" jacks for keyboard pedals, which I have a bunch of and am in the process of mounting them to a board / building a little angled floor stand for them. 


    So this is the simple box to plug the pedals into. The Expression pedals that act like knobs I know I hook up just like a fader and the momentary pedals I hook up like a button. Correct me if I am wrong or if you have a tip.

    The second one you all saw me put together today: 4 faders & 4 encoders. I would still like to put an LED below each encoder and have it turn on/ off with each encoder press. If I can. This is the third one I have left. It isn't a "naked" Brain Jr. It came with this cape and I still have another OMNI board...


    I have a lot of components that would work in a Builder project. And I ordered four touch faders today. So I know that the final Jr. Will have four touch faders. But here is a very small taste of the shelves of organizational cases full of this stuff in my shop:



    Wether they are in the picture or not, I have a ton of buttons, most are "push to complete circuit" type, but I have them all in some form. I have switches galore. LEDs for Days. Arcade buttons as simple and as complicated as you see in the photo there. I want to include at least one of those monster, light up arcade buttons in the last controller. Maybe the red one as a "STOP!" button. Buttons and switches with LEDs in them. Faders. Knobs of a dozen different ohm ratings. I've got cheap, plastic crap I bought for pennies in bulk from China, I have fancy looking chromed out buttons that look like NASA made them. Mono and Stereo inputs and outputs, knobs for pots. Tons of them. Fader "knobs" in half a dozen colors. So basically too much choice. I want something with the touch faders within the enclosure for the Brain I bult today. If I use the OMNI board , that goes in too.  I have a great powder coated, black aluminum enclosure that is flat on the top and bottom, with an angled front to poke the faders and knobs through..

    This is one idea I had for the OMNI board, since I have the rubber buttons and the LEDs that go in them, I figured it was a shame to waste that...


    So that is 4B/8E/4B (4 Buttons, 8 Encoders, 4 buttons)
    Not sure how I'd do that one and I want to be able to add the four touch faders, so if I couldn't add those for some reason, I would nix / alter this plan. It took me a while to find inexpensive touch faders, so if anyone is interested, here they are:

    $8.15 each. I saw a few in the high $7 range on eBay that would take 3 weeks to arrive, so I splurged the extra $3.50 or so to get them sent in a few days. Oh, while I am on it- this is the site that had the sale. There is only one kit type left, but it is $25.

    I want to basically max this thing out with various controls that I can map later. This one, I do not have a particular function in mind, like I did the other two. 

    So, I need to know if the picture above is do-able and how. Then I need to know how I can / if I can add the four touch faders. Then I will be able to move forward into creating something totally wacked out. 

  • Thanks, Moon.

    I have been crazy busy and had to leave my Livid Builds and repairs for a bit. But that doesn't mean they are "dead." I am known to have five to seven to twelve technical projects going at once. And Doing a major studio rebuild on top of it all means capernetry. So below is a draft I startwed WEEKS ago, after you replied. The "encoders backward" was a blow. But I just got them back on, following your advice in cutting them off and uttiong new ones on. How is this?


    That is first. So?

    Now I'll continue with my weeks old draft and edit where encessary with my planned next steps questions.....

    begin old note I never finished:

    OK. I'll start with where I am at now...

    You like pictures, eh? OK. Here is what I am still working on- Livid Instruments wise. I have plenty of other balls in the air as well, Livid and otherwise.


    Actually, this little table is about half of the Livid projects I have going. You can see my CNTRL:R is apart. I have to replace one fader, the far right one. Desoldering has proven to NOT be my strong suit. AT ALL. I really hope if the encoder remove/ replace didn\'t damage the other side of the board. It is certainily not up to my soldering standards, as it was rough getting the old connection points to become "holes" again. Some look a little "burnt."

    If you remember, I have three Brain Jr.'s, the CNTRL:R, and a Livids elements single row of four units wired to a Brain all nice and neat. Plan is for CNTRL:R to get repaired by replacing the far right fader. After replacing four encoders I am hopeful, but only if I fire up that Jr. and it works fine, Otherwise, I am terrified I will do damage to the CNTRL:R.

    Brain Jr 1- The 4 faders with 4 encoders along the bottom. 
    Brain Jr. 2- I waffle between ideas a lot, but have decided that I am going to first finish Jr. #1 & #3, that are already started, fix the CNTRL:R and decide how the Jr. 2 can best fit my playing style. I am toying with the idea of making a 4x4 button block that is simply an FX on/off  for 8 different channels. I do not need a drum pad, as I use a MIDIFIGHTER and a MIDIFIGHTER TWISTER that I love.

    Brain Jr. 3-  The Pedal box with 1/4" inputs jacks wired to the Jr. Expression and momentary switch type keyboard pedals. Yes, I have plenty of pedals to experiment.

    You also see my 1/4" input Brain Jr. box for pedals. Thanks for the heads up about pedals. I have made sure not to go overboard with buying pedals before I know what works. Luckily, I have gotten a variety of them for nothing or for dirt cheap. I have two that (I think) are very nice and hope those two work more than the others. One I got when I purchased a Moogerfooger from eBay and the seller just threw in the Moog expression pedal for no particular reason. The other is brand new and was also a freebie with something else I bought online. I have several that are decidedly NOT nice at all. 1/8" jacks for some reason, light as air, cheap materials, weird sticker on one that just says "PEDAL" - on a cheap sticker. Classy. Once I get the number of working pedals to where I want it, I have a design for an angled project box to put them on.

    Now if I wanted to throw a monkey wrench in, and have 4 individual > LEDs light up independently when the encoder I place each LED under is > pressed and turn off when it is pressed again... how would I do that?

    In Brain Configure,
    - Remap the desired LED to the same mapping as your button. (If your button is mapped to note 4, then your led should be mapped to note 4), then you enable Local Control for Buttons in the same program.

    > Moon said: > Hi Spaker

    Now if I wanted to throw a monkey wrench in, and have 4 individual > LEDs light up independently when the encoder I place each LED under is > pressed and turn off when it is pressed again... how would I do that?
    In Brain Configure,
    - Remap the desired LED to the same mapping as your button. (If your button is mapped to note 4, then your led should be mapped to note 4), then you enable Local Control for Buttons in the same program.

    About the touch sliders on digikey. Yes, we have had many users use soft-pots such as these. They wire up as Analog inputs, and work pretty well.


    I think I understand the way to Map the LEDs to get them to light when an encoder is engaged, I think.

    I have the supercool touch faders and really want to use them with the Last Jr. and OMNI Board. Just like a fader...? Because they have like three wires coming off of them...


    So now that I know the faders I installed already used FIVE soldering points.... how would these hook up?

    (remember I ahve another OMNI board, as well as an LED, Button and Analog breakout shield on the #3 Jr. itself.) Analog? It has three connection points....

    Looking forward to your next note ....

    And ANY- and I mean ANY tips on how to get that far fader off the CNTRL:R without royally screwing my favorite MIDI CNTRL:R!

    Want more photos? Just ask. This is a vacation week for me. Sorta. I have to play a 9 hour set on New Years, but am playing with my:

    Ableton Live PC
    Launch Control
    Launch Control XL
    Behringer CMD MM-1
    Roland TR-8, TB-3, MX-1, System-1m
    Arturia Beatstep & Microbrute
    and a veriety of Teenage Engineering PO units, Korg Volcas and various Lo-Fi gadgetry I run through a small mixer and route through various FX pedals either into a mix, on top of a mix, or exteemely minimally. 

  • Rehearsing yesterday without my CNTRL:R did NOT go well. I don't know why I thought I could just use my freakin Launchpad, Launch Control XL, Beatstep and MIDIFIGHTER instead of the CNTRL:R. All the mapping and sequencing and my sets are way, WAY too fluid and tattooed on my brain for the CNTRL:R and improvisation is proving impossible. I'm over thinking instead of just "playing." 

    To think I could take the one piece of gear that holds the elements I use to play together to substitute FIVE separate MIDI controllers for my CNTRL:R. Just because I have the same amount of buttons over those FIVE different MIDI controllers, doesn't mean I can replicate what I can do with the SINGLE CNTRL:R. Same Ableton crafted project files: the templates I have made and that have been constant works in progress over two years, since I started using the CNTRL:R -- and I thought I could just sub in second string players for the Superbowl of dance music in my tiny little city, and use the same playbook (to stick with the analogy) with the Beatstep instead of the Steppr, the Launchpad and Launch Control XL in for the meat of the clip launching, sends, and mixing... was dumb.  The dumbest of all, I can't use the Midifighter 3d the same way I integrate the center of the CNTRL:R 4x4 button grid. I don't finger drum- but I need that 4x4 physically in the center of the controller or I am all thumbs all the sudden. I am an idiot. I am not a good enough player to adapt this quickly.  I admit it. I am no "big time" professional, but I am getting paid to do this every weekend and I am expected to deliver on New Years.

    PANIC. I have to use the CNTRL:R, there is no doubt now that I tried to rehearse with the setup I planned on using Saturday. It must be repaired. No choice.

    Super frustrated, I dove back into trying to take off the broken fader only to decide I was too anxious and shaky to be "desoldering."

    I absolutely have to use my CNTRL:R in three nights and I still do not have the broken fader removed. I am at the point where I might just put the CNTRL:R back together without the repair and punt through all nine hours on Saturday night, avoiding the broken fader channel. Just typing that sentence made me break out into a sweat. It has to get done. I have to do it. Nobody is going to rescue me... I just have to do it and that is that. It's not like I can run out to Home Depot and grab another CNTRL:R, or bring it to my local custom electronics shop and ask to have faders switched out on my boutique MIDI controller. What have I gotten myself into?

    The Brain Jr. projects are coming along, slow but sure. I want to get opinions on the touch faders from anyone who has used them before. So the following is for anyone who has built a MIDI controller and used a touch fader, as I am about to do...

    Feel free to answer one, two - all of the questions. As many as you feel you have something to share on... I'm trying to get this kind of info in order to make best use of this type of sensor, which I have never used on a build before...

    • How long ago did you install your touch fader?
    • Is it still working the same as when you installed it?
    • Do you still use it?
    • Do you still like it? Did you ever?
    • Did it undergo mild / moderate / heavy use?
    • Did you put them inside some sort of cover plate with only the touch membrane exposed?
    • Was it directly exposed at all or did you have some kind of extra layer of protection so the touch membrane didn't get dirty or gouged or wet or greasy or whatever?
    • Was the touch fader recessed in the controller you made?
    • Got any photos?

    I have a Native Instruments Maschine Jam with touch faders and it seems they have an "extra layer" of protection between the membrane and the outside world. I could be wrong, and they just use a hearty plastic top layer to their touch membrane.

    This is roughly the controller I am making with the OMNI board on the left that uses 4 traditional faders, with one push encoder below each fader. The right side will be the four touch faders. I am also going to have an arcade style button on each side of the enclosure. Just one on each side. On the rear of the enclosure will be the USB port and a couple 1/4" jacks for pedals.


    I've never used these touch faders before, so it could be either cool as hell or a total disaster. I know I will not be cutting up any part of the enclosure until I test everything about them, wired up to the Brain to make sure I like them and they act how I expect them to. I still am unsure on how to wire them up, however. I think it is just like wiring a knob, with the middle pin connection being "wipe," but that's just a semi-educated guess.


    Then again, I might use that space I have the touch strips on for buttons and some LEDs. The touch faders kinda look too big, but I know they can be cut. Weird, eh?

    Moon? Thoughts? Did I get the encoders on the right way?

    Anyone have any suggestions or ideas on something I could throw in to any one of these creations? I have room on the Brain Jr boards and capes.... I was thinking I could make a row of three of my oversized, chromed out arcade buttons for "Play/Pause," "Stop," and "Metronome." Just because I have the stuff and why not? I can always map them differently later....

    OK.... back at it. I hope I don't break anything...


  • Moon? Thoughts? Did I get the encoders on the right way?ld

    I think I understand your explanation on wiring up some LEDs to be indicators for the encoders that will live above said LEDs on the controller. Well, I know I understand the part about how to make them turn on/off with the encoder using the editor. But I wasn't completely sure where I would wire leads from the LEDs to on the Brain Jr. Remember, I haven't used these capes before.

    Under your excellent guidance, I now have two 10 pin headers leading from the OMNI Breakout shield: one 10 pin ribbon cable to the "Buttons" header and another to the "Analog_1" header on the cape. That leaves "Analog_2," "LED_1," and "LED_2." I need to wire four LED bulbs to the Brain Jr. and assume the "LED_1," or "LED_2" headers will be involved. I run another ribbon cable from the "LED_1" to a header- I can make something - that will feed, what?? The positive leads to the positive LED legs? And probably string all the negative leads together and back to... hmmm....I have stuff like this (below) lying around I could throw together a makeshift board to join the negative leads and try to make leads to the positive LED legs a little bit organized. Maybe put a pin header in one of these boards and run wire out from each corresponding pin to the LED I want to use. Sound about right?

    this kinda board lying around

    I must be getting warm. Back to that freakin wiki I suppose.

    Thinking more about the touch faders... if I treat them like an analog knob, as they have three connection points, I guess the same type of solution could be applied from the "Analog_1" pin header on the cape. Make some kind of board with a 10 pin header soldered to it, run another ribbon cable from "Analog_1" to the board w/ the pin header and run the hookup wires from there to the four touch faders. Kind of like this....?



    Yes, I realize that I need to run two ribbon cables to two different pin headers - one for the LEDs and one for the Faders, and I need to meticulously match the pin locations to the right spots on the headers... but this plan, if executed correctly should do it... right?

    Tips are appreciated. If this is way overdoing it and there is some super simple solution I am not thinking of, hit me with it. PLEASE.

    Back to wiki to figure out which of the 10 pins would go in what location on each of the faders. If I am way off base, someone tell me- PLEASE!

  • This is very useful info for me as well - I'm planning to do some stuff with the SoftPots this year. I've done a fair bit of research on them and maybe I can allay your fears: from all reports they appear to be industrial grade and extremely durable (just don't bend them!). Also soldering directly to the pins can be risky so some people use a thing called a Riblet which you can find here for adapting them:

    Some folks have reported that they can feel "sticky" or "grabby" under the finger so they can also be covered with a thin fabric like thin ripstop nylon, or whatever else suits you, which can improve the "feel" without compromising the performance.

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