What is S-xxx?
system is a control equipment to control Roland S-Series samplers over
a windows PC using the PC screen as video screen for the sampler video
output signal, the PC mouse for simulation of the Roland MU-1 mouse and
an emulated RC100 panel on the PC screen as a remote controller. It
also opens up new possibilities such as using optical and wireless mice
and trackballs, midi control of RC100 functions and the ability to
control the RC100 functions via a web connection from a laptop,
net-book iPad, iPhone or similar web enabled device.
the system requirements?
|PC running Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or
Directx 9.0c or later
1.5 GHz processor
50 MB free disk space
1 Directshow compatible video capture device
1 S-xxx hardware interface
3 Button or Wheel mouse
How does it work?
S-xxx is able
to replace the functionality of the standard MU-1 mouse and RC100
controller by sending instructions generated via the S-xxx, RC100 and
WebRC100 software to the Sampler, it does this by using the Roland’s
mouse/RC100 communications protocol via an interface device (RC100-USB-Interface) connected between the
sampler and host PC. It converts the data sent from the PC's USB port
and outputs it to the sampler via the 9 pin D-sub socket found on the
back or front of the sampler marked 'EXT CTRL'. The interface contains
a programmable microprocessor that reads data via an USB serial
converter chip, translates it and sends the correct digital I/O signals
so the sampler can understand it.
RC100-USB-Interface is based on the open hardware Arduino Nano 3.0
boards. Also our interface hardware schematics are open source and the
user has to build his own interface based on our schematics. (If
is really no way for you to build it on your own then we can also offer
ready made interfaces).
is achieved by calculating the PC mouse relative movements across
S-xxx’s video window and transmitting them to the interface, we call
this 'mouse control mode', when in this mode the PC cursor is hidden
and the user controls the sampler via the sampler cursor in the video
window. Once editing is complete or control needs to be returned to the
PC the user simple clicks the middle mouse button (mouse whell button
for a PC wheel mouse) to toggle between mouse control mode and normal
RC100 functionality is achieved in a similar way, a separate program called RC100Controller is used to interpret on screen button presses and PC keyboard input and transmits it to the S-xxx software. S-xxx acts as the hub for communications with the sampler and so it is mandatory that this software is running for communications with the sampler. RC100Controller also allows the user to map key and encoder input to midi note on/off, midi CC and other midi messages, a midi learn facility allows each control within RC100Controller to be triggered by the specified midi event.
is a program called WebRC100, this must run on the same PC as S-xxx and
acts as a web server. When running, a mobile computing device such as a
laptop, a netbook, tablet PC (ipad for example) and even a web enabled
phone can be used to control the sampler remotely by entering the IP
address of the host PC and the correct port number. This will
open a web-page representation of the RC100Controller screen on the
remote device and the sampler can be controlled via this remote device.
functionality is not available when using WebRC100, but values can be
incremented/decremented by using the INS & DEL keys in the same way
as when using RC100Controller, and of course numeric values can be
entered directly via the on screen keypad.
How to use a web device for controlling
your Roland Sampler:
S-xxx software in action
select video host:
select video host:
As standard video monitors that can work with the samplers are quite rare these days and it is getting very hard to find the sampler control units MU-1, RC-100 and DT-100 some Roland sampler users around the world were thinking of solutions to solve these problems.
Some people already use video grabbers on their PC to view the video output on their PC screen. Others designed their own mouse converters that converted a standard mouse into a Roland/MSX mouse (me too...) or just built one of the available mouse converters taht could be found on the web. With these two units a quite confortable sampler control could be achieved but you always have one mouse for the PC and one mouse for the sampler.
The Roland RC-100 remote control has never been cloned or emulated as far as we know. So the only way to have one was to find and buy one. The same is with the DT-100 graphic tablets.
S-xxx V1.0 (developed 2010, based on a 89C2051 microcontroller)
About 2010 Andrew Cielecki emailed me if I were interested in a common project to emulate the Roland Mouse via a PC mouse by the use of an self designed USB interface (this interface used an FTDI USB serial cable and a 89C2051 microcontroller). The PC software showed the video output (resizable but also fullscreen) of the Roland sampler and sent the PC mouse movements to the external USB interface that converted the mouse data into MSx mouse compatible signals so that the Roland samplers could understand it. This first development worked quite fine for us but never found the way to other sampler users due to lack of time. A PCB for the USB interface should have been designed, soldered by hand, programmed, tested and sent to the customers.S-xxx V2.0 (developed 2012, based on Arduino Nano open hardware)
In January 2012 Andrew contacted me as he remembered that I have a RC-100 remote control unit and asked me if I were interested in a further cooperation to design RC-100 simulator that could eventually also be controlled via external MIDI controllers. After some brainstorming I decided to start this project with him based on our previous project but instead of using the 89C2051 again we wanted to use a ready made hardware for the interface so that the interface hardware manufacturing process could be skipped. We choose the widely available Arduino open hardware platform and selected the Arduino Nano 3.0 to be the candidate for out interface hardware.
The mouse interface is well known as it is the standard MSX mouse interface but we knew nothing about the RC-100 remote control interface that also allows a mouse to be connected to the RC-100. So the first big task was the analysis of the Roland mouse/remote control interface. Our interface and software design is based on the analysis results. The software on the Arduino Nano has to convert the mouse movement data and RC-100 button presses coming from the S-xxx software into the analysed data streams needed by the Roland samplers. As our hardware concept is based on ready made boards that can be bought in electronic shops or via Ebay the only hardware task the customers have to do is to solder a cable that goes from the Arduino Nano pins to a female 9 pin D-sub connector. This task should be possible for most musicians that have a soldering iron and have at least soldered some of their MIDI or audio cables on their own. If some customers neither can't do it on their own nor find a friend that can do it for them then we can offer a special service that delivers ready made interfaces with cables to them. We will charge a small amount for our effort, time and postage for sending it.
You wonder how an interface bought from elsewhere should work with our PC software? It's simple: Our PC software package includes the tools and code for the interface programming task. So after you bought your Arduino Nano you solder the cable to the D-sub connector and install the FTDI drivers (that are also included in our software package). Then you start the PC software but no communication to the interface can be established as the Arduino Nano board is still unprogrammed. Now all you have to do is to select the menu entry "interface update" and your Arduino board will be found on the USB bus and will be programmed with the interface code that is also included in the software package as Intel hex file. This way the interface software could be updated in the case of errors or software extensions.
How to build
your own RC100-USB-interface:
the wires to the pins mentioned in the schematics
wires are soldered to the pins and the cable shield is fixed between
the metal cable fixture and the metallized housing.
housing closed and crews fixed.
isolation and shielding conductor on the other side of the cable
(about 25mm from the end) and prepare the sires for soldering.
the 6 wires to the correct pins shown in the schematics and on your
wire connection note.
Arduino signal names are printed on the top side of the PCB.
the cable with two acble straps on the positions shown in the following
interface wiring is ready! The cable on the right hand side is the
Mini-B-USB cable delivered with the Arduino Nano board.
To protect the interface from electrostatic discharges when touching it and to protect
the interface from shorts to surrounding electronic or metal parts it is recommended
to mount a transparent heat shrinking tube around the interface.
(Remark: The heat shrinking tube is not shown in the pictures!)
four LEDs on the Arduino Nano board and their usage.
The power LED should be on all the time.
The Reset LED is activated during startup and when an interface reset is selected in the S-xxx software.
The receive LED is activated for a very short time during all mouse movements and RC100 panel button presses.
The transmit LED is not actived as the current S-xxx and interface software doesn't use it.
protect the interface electronics against shirt circuits or damages due
to surrounding parts some
kind of housing is needed. To keep the costs down and to give a look to the onboard LEDs we decided
to use a transparent heat sink tube instead of a solid plastic housing. Even the reset button can still be
used as the heat shrink tube remains elastic.
The suitable diameter of the heat shrink tube is 20mm with a shrinked diameter of 10mm.
your interface hardware is ready for programming.
For this you need the S-xxx software as the programming tool is integrated in the software package.
The detailed programming task is described in the following PDF "Sxxx Interface programming manual"
|Do you have
Have a look at our
Frequently Asked Questions - maybe you can find the answer there!
Personalization of the software can normally be done in a few days and
will be emailed to you or a download link will be sent to you by email.
PC Software installation package
(The PC software is copy protected and can only be run on the registered PC. As you might have more than one PC in your studio/at home you can register up to 3 PCs under your name.).
version and software specialities
to ordering the PC software we highly recommend that you load our demo
version th check if your video grabber is able to work with our
software and your Roland sampler. You can load the S-xxx demo version
as packed RAR-file or as EXE-file (about 16MB each):
If you decide to order the software then you need the Demo software for the registration process as then Demo software evaluates your unite Hardware ID. You can then start the order process direct from the demo software or just copy the registration data for the online order process via our webpage.
|Hardware availability||It is intended that you can
build the interface on your own.
The project is based on open hardware and so is our interface (RC100-USB-Interface schematics above). If you are not able to build the interface on your own then we can deliver a ready made and tested interface but this will take some time as the interfaces are not stocked - they will be built on demand. The delivery time will be some weeks as the fulfillment of Arduino orders from China alone takes about 3 to 4 weeks. Then your interface will be customized with the cable and connector, programmed, tested and sent to you.
|Price for one software package (can be
installed on up to three PCs - a personalized version for each of the 3
PCs is necessary)
Remark: The software will be sold on a private base only.
Payment accepted per Paypal only.
12.50 € (Euro) / 10.- £ (GBP) => no postage costs (except your also order an interface)
Software on CD:
13.70 € (Euro) / 11.- £ (GBP) + postage (or together with an eventually ordered interface)
|Special service for customers that are
not able to build the
USB-RC100 interface on their own:
Interface hardware with cable, D-sub connector and connector housing, programmed and tested.
|36.- € (Euro) / 29.- £
+ postage (see below)
Order will be fulfilled from the United Kingdom or Austria
(depending on time, storage of parts,...):
Postage and envelope costs
for one interface or interface and software CD (untracked):
Postage and envelope costs
for one interface or interface and software CD (untracked):