Bastl 60knobs DIY MIDI Controller

The Bastl 60knobs was just released! I wish it was running a Teensy for USB MIDI, but a USB MIDI interface for Organelle isn’t a huge issue.

I am pretty interested in building an Organelle patch + lasercut enclosure for the 60knobs. So many possibilities! Still never enough LEDs, though :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh wow! Great tips! I am getting one for sure!

Something like this could really open up possibilities for organelle :smiley:
Anyone have any idea if this could send sysex to a volca fm too? Would be so cool to be able to control the fm programming parameters with knobs live.

It does have full sysex and NRPN support! The editor seems to be really well made for FM synths.

I have been thinking that it could be used to totally recreate the Moog Drum Machine voices + controls with the Organelle!

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One question would be: Both the Organelle and the 60knobs uses 9v center positive adapters.
The 60 knobs only requires 50mA. Do you think I could just use a Y-cable and split the power from the 1000mA power supply I am already using to power the Organelle? Would be so awesome to have one power supply less!

Something like this:

I built my 60knobs and got it running, but I have discovered that my $5.00 USB MIDI cable does not seem to work with it. It seems there is possibly an optocoupler missing in either the 60knobs or the USB MIDI Cables.

Does anyone have a compact solution? This link may be a decent solution, but why aren’t these just sold with the optocouplers…?

Thanks for this link, I remember opening one of these up after it wasn’t working quite right and noticed all the components just left off.

I read those cheapy midi USB don’t have proper buffering for Sysex to work.

The 60-Knobs definetly has opto isolation.

I’m surprised the 60 knobs didn’t incorporate a USB device port…
still quite temped to get one :slight_smile:

Id assume the newer roland um 1 conforms to spec. (should for the price)

I’ve also not had any issues with my Midimate II, no idea about the circuitry though.

however, my go to usb converter -> midi din is an Axoloti , part of the startup patch.
Organelle is happy to host it, and it means I get both DIN in/out and also another USB host port (from the axo)
of course Axoloti is a bit overkill for this, but I also have the patch running Clouds fx, and also either routing a midi clock or running a master clock (off an lfo) , so its a bit of a swiss army knife solution.

@widdly The 60knobs does have opto-isolation, but only on one side in or out. This is MIDI spec so it’s good, but the cheapy USB interface doesn’t have an isolator on either end! The footprint for the part is even on the PCB, they just straight up didn’t put it on! So ridiculous lol

Bastl went with using only an Arduino in their toolchain so no USB to MIDI. Easier to program that way I suppose. No dealing with bootloaders, although when using their previous Arduino toolchains it doesn’t seem like it would have been that difficult for them.

I went with the Mio 1 IO USB interface as a lot of people said it would send SysEx and has been super solid for them.

I really need to get an Axoloti! So versatile. I was thinking about using a Teensy as a USB to DIN MIDI adapter, but that was more effort and not as compact as a commercial one.

I am thinking of building an all in one generative groovebox that incorporates pretty much all of my patches with the 60knobs! My other gear has been neglected way too much since I’ve gotten the Organelle.

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Just got my 60knobs assembled this past weekend. Is it possible to share editor files for Organelle patches here?


Nice :slight_smile: These things look super useful!

Had to cancel my order…skint :confused: but excited to grab one of these next year. Hoping it’ll maybe coincide with the arrival of Organelle multiple page CC’s and Midi-Learn in VCV :wink:

what do you think of it?
how are the pots?
they are pretty small (as expected), but do you find them useable, or fiddly?
(Ive got a Bastl Kastl, so they will be the same, and think they are ok, but can be hard to find sweet spots)

hows easy/laborious is the programming?

I was pretty happy with the build and instructions - seems pretty well thought out. I only had minor issues during the build including a damaged pot in the mix (looks like it got crushed) that still works but is a little stiff. Overall, the pots are very fairly smooth and akin to what you find in their other modules or any other eurorack module TBH. The knobs are small to be sure but I didn’t find any limitations or find it to be fiddly at all for my average hands. There is no programming involved out of the gate but I’ve yet to experiment extensively with the editor software.

I do have an LXR and will say it sync’d up perfectly with it and definitely enhances the playability - especially for recording automations. I easily spent half an hour just mangling drum sequences while testing it out. Next will be testing with my Volca FM.

The 60knobs has me looking for a dedicated MIDI to CV module. Most options seem to be geared toward v/oct output with gates. What I’d like is something that could support 4-8 channels of CV that doesn’t require note-on messages to work and isn’t 20hp. Would be a perfect companion for something like the ER-301 or Ornament + Crime. And as long as I’m making my wish list, MIDI recording too.

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Actually, the Shuttle Control might fit the bill…

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Just buy a chunk of these bad boys, go nuts with the colours. :slight_smile: I think they should work ok with the 60 knobs but you’d probably best check.


yeah, thats a good plan :slight_smile:

@bradfromraleigh or anyone else…

does it come with the 9v PSU required?

is the difference in the LXR enclosure, just the size … looks a bit deeper…

also when you connect the LXR, is it just via the male jumpers? JP3/JP4
ie. you dont need to connect via midi?

Im actually thinking the LXR enclosure might be able to house an Axoloti internally,
then it looks like I could connect the midi in/out directly via the RX/TX on JP4 (2,3) , and get 5v power from JP3 (2) (or 9v off the power jack)

… this would mean it could double up as controller for the Organelle, but also as standalone instrument :slight_smile:


that’s a really really good idea!!

The 60knobs connects with MIDI. You can get the 60knobs in an enclosure style that matches the original LXR enclosure.

LXR has DIN MIDI + USB MIDI and fairly flexible routing options in the menus for MIDI thru as well as filters.

60knobs is only DIN MIDI. Too bad they left off the USB chip.

You could fit a few axolotls in the LXR lol!!!