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Please help choose an evaluation board

Question asked by roche.justin.001 on Nov 29, 2016
Latest reply on Dec 1, 2016 by roche.justin.001
Hello, I am new to embedded electronics MCU's.

However, I am hoping to start working on a prototype for a tactile physical control surface that incorporates a number of simple analogue controls (see below) that is plugged into a MCU which is then connected to a PC or MAC (via USB or MIDI interface) so that it can be used to control a host software application (most likely DAW).

Now, i think that the analogue components aren't going to be too complex in nature although I do plan to connect quiet a few.

So I would be really grateful for any advice regards to what prototyping board to use.
I ideally want to use a board with an ARM ST32 on, as I plan to program in either C or Assembly but also because i have a few books that explain how the architecture works and how to program boards using this MCU.

At the moment, my first proposed design will require a total of about 80 outputs
and a total of about 60 inputs. But that's without any clever electronic devices to minimize things.
The analogue components that i plan to incorporate are as follows:

endless rotary encoders
latch buttons
loads of led's
an LCD display
LED rings for some of the rotary encoders (visual reference of settings). 

Would be grateful for any advice regarding to what prototype boards i could use,
and perhaps even any software environment to use to program the board.

Please just bear in mind, I am running to a tight DIY / inventors budget, so don't have the same amount of money that perhaps a big company has to spend on developing a product.

Would still really appreciate any advice.
Kind regards