LaunchPad MIDI synth


[NatureTM] sent in a writeup for the MIDI synthesizer he recently built using a TI LaunchPad. The construction is pretty simple overall, consisting of little more than the MSP430, a handful of resistors, and an optoiosolater. Of course, a MIDI controller is required, but he already had that on hand.

Once the MIDI data is read from the optoisolator, his code takes care of the rest, adjusting the square wave sound generator to get the proper note. He does mention that since the synthesizer is monophonic, special care is taken to ensure that simultaneous notes are processed properly. You can route all of the sound into a single speaker, but he used the optoisolator to send the sound data to multiple LaunchPads instead, resulting in a fun little MIDI quintet.

He provides code and plenty of video on his site, but keep reading for a sneak peek of his synth in action.


  1. Simon says:

    Actually there’s five speakers which makes it a quintet..

  2. Matt says:

    From what I can tell, it’s not a quartet but a quintet (see 1st vid @ 0:09 or 2nd vid @ 0:19).

  3. svofski says:

    Thanks for not playing the SMB tune on this!

  4. woutervddn says:

    +1 for simon :p

    I’m going to dive into midi stuff in a few weeks.. hope I’ll get something fun out of it xD

  5. Tea@ict says:

    One microcontroller for every speaker seems a bit overkill to me, but still a great built! (It is definately a lot easier and faster built like this.) I enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing!

  6. Gui Priaulx says:

    This music is in a NES or SNES game!!!! :o Possibly Mario 3 at some point!

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