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                                     How to build a display and meter unit for Tascam US2400 and Nuendo


The display and meter unit provides the following functions:

1. Track name for 24 channels.
2. Pan settings for 24 channels.
3. EQ settings, displayed on 4 of the 6 displays, if you push the EQ button on the US2400.
4. Effect settings if you push the effect send button on the US2400.
5. Metering for 24 channels.
6. Time code bar digits.
7. Settings for dynamic and instrument is currently under construction.
The costs for the display and meter unit are about 600EUR.

For hyperlink to the different sections click on the pictures and on the blue marked words!

The hardware and programming for the display unit is based on the core modules and different interfaces of the Midibox Forum . Before you start with your display unit read through the basics of the midibox controller. 
Here you can find some good descriptions what is midibox and how it works.


 If you are completely confused now, don’t worry it sounds more complicate than it is.


At first you have to build the core module. You can find the schematics under  MB Hardwareplattform Core Module. Here you can find the schematic,  the board , the order list and a detailed description for the core module.
For schematic and board you will need Eagle 4.0 or higher. You can get it here. 
You will need three core modules for 24 channels and an USB midi patch bay  with 3 midi in and out ports for three core modules (see details on picture

You also need a power supply that provides you a voltage of 7-10V and a current of 2A. Before you build the complete setup, try to get one core module with two displays working.
Attention! You have to ground the pins on the core module which are normally used for
the fader pack (A0- A7 on pin board J5) otherwise the core module gets confused.

At next you need the displays. There are 6  “2x40 dot matrix LCDs” needed. One display cost about 40Eur. I know this is expensive! It is very important that you buy displays with background lightning otherwise you won’t see enough because the contrast is very bad at cheep LCDs. I tried it with 5Eur LCDs from eBay, it was horrible. Here you can find the plan for wiring the displays to the core module.  under Connection diagram for 2 2x40 displays. Here is a general specification for 2x40 LCDs as pdf document.

If this work is done read throw the trouble shooting page for the core module

If everything is correct you need to connect the core module with your midi interface. Now you need to burn the mios software (download here  ) on the PIC via PIC programmer. If you can not get a pic programmer you can also buy a pic with mios on it at the midibox forum. When the mios software is on the PIC you can program it via midi ports. At next you have to download the Mios Studio ( ) and my updated version mackie control emulation for the core module . I have done a lot of changes in the original software to get it compatible to the US2400 controller. You can also download the original software from   ( ) and program it by yourself, but it is a lot easier to use my version. At the end of the document I will
describe what I’ve changed in the original software.

With the Mios Studio you can copy the mackie emulation software to the PIC in the Core Module. Under this link you can find a detailed description of the Mios Studio and how to handle it.
When this is done you should see on the displays “
TASCAM US2400 Display Unit ”. If nothing works go back to the trouble shooting page.


At next we go on with the “time code bar digits” and the metering. You can find the schematic under in midibox_lc_leddigits.pdf and midibox_lc_ledrings_meters.pdf. Here you can find my board and my schematic that I’ve developed for the digits. The layout and description  is under  For the time code bar and the metering we need the dout module which is connected to the core module. The time code bar is connected to the first core module. I programmed the software in a way that the dout module for the metering is first connected to the core module and the dout module for the time code bar is connected to the dout module of the metering. (see picture below).


 Attention! In the midibox_lc_leddigit.pdf is a mistake in the schematic. The pinning to the digits dot,a,b,c,d,e,f,g on the module is wrong. It has to be flipped g,f,e,d,c,b,a,dot ! If the digits show stupid signs you have connected them with the wrong pinning.

For the metering Dout Module you just need the pins which go to the meter leds because we don’t use the rotary encoders.(they are also disabled in the emulation software). Here is the schematic and board of my metering section. If  the first core module is working with the displays, digits and metering you can build the other core modules in the same way. 


How to test the modules with nuendo.

Start nuendo or other recording software, go to the controller settings where the US2400 is installed. For the first test, change the midi out ports from US2400 to the ports of your core module. Now you should see on the display a graphic of your recording software.

If you want to use it in combination with the US2400 you have to use ‘midi ox’
and ‘midi yoke’ (download here ). Midi yoke is a virtual midi port and midi ox can split the midi out of your recording software to two midi ports, for our use, to the US2400 and the core module.

1. Install midi ox and midi yoke.
2. Change the midi out ports of your recording software from us2400 port 1,2,3  to midi yoke port1, 2,3 and close the program.

3. Start midi ox.
4. Load in the midi input directory midi yoke port1 ,2 ,3
    In the midi out directory, the Us2400 ports 1,2,3 and the
    3 ports from the core module.

5.  In the split window you can route now the midi yoke port
     to the US2400 port and to the core module.

6.  Switch off the us2400.
7.  Start the recording software again, don’t close midi ox
8.  Open a project.
9.  Start the us2400
10.  Now it should work.

Be sure that you don’t confuse the midi pots of  us2400 and the midi interface of the core modules .
Under Nuendo the midi ports have often similar names.
If you would use the midi in port of your midi interface instead of the us2400,
Nuendo would crash complete.

Why do I have to switch off US2400 when I start the recording software?
This is a bug that I have not solved until now. It is because US2400 send nuendo the message to switch off the display function when you start nuendo or a project.So if you start nuendo and the us2400 is switched on, you would see nothing on the displays. But if you switch on US2400 after opening nuendo and the project, us2400 has no possibility to disable the displays. I`m working on a bug fix!  


How to build the Case,

In the following pictures you can see how I did the placement for the displays and the metering.

The metering is between the LCDs.
You can program the position of each channel sign on the display if you edit the mackie emulation software. So you are free to arrange the displays as you like. The reason why used two 2x40 LCDs for 8 channels and not one 2x55 LCD like the mackie control, is that the 2x55 LCDs are just produced for the mackie control and there is no possibility to buy them.The Case is made of steelplate, and on the front I used plexiglass. The graphic on the front is printed out on paper and glued from the back side of the plexiglass. The display section is mounted with screws on the US2400.


The short-key part of the mixer 

 For the short-key part I have used an usb keyboard controller and instead of the
keyboard keys I have built a board with switches and arranged it in a logical way
( this is a lot better than the confusing steinberg keyboards). The case is also made
of steel plate and it was built in the form of the mixer case. The graphic around the keys is a laminated print out.


That’s it!
Good luck
, and best regards,
Dietmar Spitzer


Great thanks, to all the people of the MIDIBOX forum which made it possible that every one can build his own daw-controller!
This people are doing a very good job and hopefully I could help with my description for the US2400 controller too!


If you have any problems with your display unit contact the Midibox Forum, you can find  a lot of trouble shooting descriptions there .

If you have special questions on US2400 and the display section you can contact me.

How to edit the mackie emulation software.

Edit the position of channel signs on the display:
In the file you have to edit the position value under the
Row Charcter LCD Position Definitions

Switching the main functions on or off ( metering, fader, knops, digits)
All this functions can be edit in the main.asm file. There is a good description
for all functions in this file. 


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