Arduino midi controller

projectFor many years I’ve bemoaned the fact that midi controllers are either inflexible, too darn large, or simply too expensive! So, I’ve decided to go down the DIY route and custom build one. Based on the amazing Arduino chip, this has only taken a few nights of soldering and quite a lot of getting my head round the C++ required to program it. There are loads of existing scripts to adapt. You write the code in the free debugging environment, then simply upload via USB and test!

I’m using mine to send various midi CC messages to my rack jamman, to switch into fade, delay modes etc. I picked up an ART pedal for a fiver on ebay, a fee LEDs, wires and a midi socket and it’s actually working! I need to make it bullet-proof for live work, so will have to figure out how to mount the board firmly, with access to the power socket & USB.

Part of the fun is the little subtleties you can build in. For example, when I go from loop mode into delay mode, I want it to flash when I’m recording something, but stay constantly on when the delay is frozen. This is easily achieved with a few lines of code.

trollerHaving acquired an Echoplex Digital Pro which lacked the foot-pedal, I’ve extended my arduino to control it. The hardest part was finding a suitable casing – in the end, I bought a marshall f/s, covered the existing holes up and added new ones. I drew a visualisation of what I wanted (on the right), but as I started wiring the whole thing together, I found I’d run out of available arduino inputs.

troller4The finished delight is shown right. I now need to learn about multiplexiing, to merge more switches through a matrix (apparently!). However, the pedal works and has been used live. Occaisionally I manage to fool the programming logic and leds are on when they should be off, but I’ve coded a line to say long press=reset. I’d like to work on a mk 2, but need to find a suitable enclosure – let me know if you’re handy at bending aluminium!

There are shed loads of videos on youtube showing the potential of using the arduino with midi, such as this theremin and this 8 knob controller. Go for it – if I can do it, anyone can 😉


Comments

Arduino midi controller — 6 Comments

  1. Hi!! Great project.

    I am trying to make something similar. Could you share code Arduino? Or send me by email.
    Basically, I would like to record a midi signal and later play it when I want into my Arduino.

    Thanks anyways!

  2. I’ve made a keyboard with an 8×4 matrix with shift register to simplify arduino inputs. Each key corresponds to a midi note. And now, I would like to record a sequence of notes played and then be able to play it at any time without interruption (loop).

    Thanks for answering.

    And I’m sorry if my English is not very correct (google translator)

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  4. Hi
    I like your project Im looking to do something similar to control an app called DREAMFOOT where the foot pedals only need to map to buttons within the app. I have the physical part worked out for switches and the ARduino, but need to understand the code better. can you please share your code and confirm what libraries are required. Also did you flash with HIDUINO ?

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