Get serious about building a sequencer

This is the fourth generation MIDIbox sequencer which has a features set that’s several screens long. We’ve embedded the teaser video of this 16-track marvel after the break. You can use it via a traditional MIDI connection or with USB. Standalone Ethernet features are also in the works. It’s fully documented and you can etch your own PCB if you’re brave but it might be easier to get in on the group PCB buy if you just have to have one of these. There’s no all-in-one kit, but that will just make the taste of success sweeter once your soldering iron cools down.

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LEGO sequencer builds sound in 3D

[Yoshi Akai] built a sequencer that is part steampunk, part injection molded plastic. The LEGO sequencer MR II has eight steps in a loop that is manipulated by adding the colorful blocks to a green base plate. Each color corresponds to one particular sound which can be modified by building skyward. On the other side of things he’s added a beautifully crafted control area for knobs and switches. We didn’t see much info about what is inside the device so, watch the clip after the break and then feel free to start the speculation in the comments.

This is a similar concept to the coin sequencer. From the picture above it seems the blocks have been altered and perhaps use light to identify the different blocks.

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Steampunk sequencer

[Moritz Wolpert] built this gem of Victorian hardware by hand. It is a sequencer and features beautiful detail work as shown in its MySpace gallery. Other than that we don’t know a lot about it. You can also take a look at [Moritz's] main page, but prepare to be annoyed by the hideous web-styling that really undercuts the beauty of his physical product.

[Thanks Freax via Schaltzentrale]

Turntable light sequencer

[Benjamin] built a sequencer that uses a turntable and light sensors to lay down a funky beat. If you like creepy videos with repeated gratuitous corderoy-clad rear-ends we’ve got you covered after the break. Art film aside, he’s got an interesting project. Four light sensors are mounted below the turning record with LEDs hovering above. His hatred for old LP records is apparent because holes must be drilled in a disc for the light to shine through. The four notes in the sequence can be altered in voice and color, along with controls for motor speed and direction. The project also has four manual inputs to add some variety to the repetitive beat sequence. It’s a bit less practical than the penny sequencer but fun none-the-less.

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Turntable sequencer scratches with coins


[tvst] has an interesting take on a sequencer. His design uses coins on a turn table to trigger midi events in a loop. There are four tracks available, each having its own sensor above the spinning platform. The sensors consist of an IR transmitter and receiver setup as a voltage divider. When something passes below the IR transmitter and reflects the infrared waves back up to the receiver, the output of the sensor moves to digital high. The four sensors are connected to an Arduino which is used in conjunction with ttymidi, which converts the Arduino data into midi events.

We like projects that provide a more tangible interface for the user. Coins work well for this setup. They reflect infrared enough to trigger the sensors, and they’re easy to pick up and move without upsetting the rest of the tracks. It would be great if this could be expanded to differentiate between coins (pennies versus dimes, etc.) in order to increase the resolution from four different events to eight or more. Check out the video after the break. [Read more...]

BBox MIDI drum sequencer


We’ve covered sequencers before, but reader [Johan] sent in his latest project that is much more minimalistic approach. Dubbed the BBox, he based his drum generator on an Arduino and an LCD display. Rather than synthesizing sound, the Arduino just outputs MIDI which is then interpreted by his Roland Juno-D. In building the device he used a favorite trick of ours to keep the interface clean. He then found an awesome banana box to use as a case. Although, the project may not be as functional as some of the others out there, it certainly has flair. Video of it in action after the break.

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d-touch tangible drum interface

yes, drums are tangible. We know. What this is, however, is a tangible interface that is a drum machine. The software is freely available for download, after registration. For hardware, all you need is a webcam, a computer, and a way to print out the pieces. D-Touch is cross platform which is very nice. Please note that the software will not run until you activate it by putting in your user account from their site. If you like this project, you might also get a kick out of the Go Sequencer.