Beat707 LE: A Button Pad-based Standalone MIDI sequencer


[Guilherme] picked up a SparkFun Button Pad and was taking a closer look at the device when he noticed that it was based off the ATMega328 microcontroller. Since he loves working with MIDI, he thought that the Button Pad would make a slick yet compact standalone MIDI controller.

Since his ultimate goal was to create a completely standalone controller aside from the power plug and MIDI interface, it forced him to work quite closely with the ATMega chip. He and his partners spent a good deal of time working through some serial communications issues so as not to block the LEDs or MIDI block timer during operation. Ensuring that the Arduino doesn’t block any other functions is obviously important when you are building a MIDI timer, and it seems [Guilherme] was successful in his quest.

The MIDI controller works quite nicely as you can see in the videos below, great job!

Continue reading “Beat707 LE: A Button Pad-based Standalone MIDI sequencer”

Kequencer 2.0 is cheaper and easier to build — still awesome

[Rich Decibels] decibels received so much interest in his original sequencer build that he decided to make another one that was a bit easier and less expensive to replicate. The original design, called the Kequencer, featured a nicely finished look for the user interface. For the Keyquencer 2.0 he decided that adding a lid to the enclosure meant not spending quite as much for controls (nice looking knobs tend to increase the cost of potentiometers).

A rectangle of protoboard serves as the panel face for the device. It looks like he painted it black on top so that it doesn’t distract from the neatly organized parts layout. He used point-to-point wiring to make most of the hookups, but he did create a board layout which will help to guide you when the number of wires starts to get out of hand. This was made after the fact and he regrets not having it for the initial build. Check out the demonstration video embedded after the break to hear how the second iteration sounds.

Continue reading “Kequencer 2.0 is cheaper and easier to build — still awesome”

Sequencer built on a Cycle II FPGA board

[Matt’s] finishing up his computer science degree. As part of a class assignment he programmed his own sequencer which runs on a Cyclone-II FPGA development board. We’ve embedded a video below the fold that shows you what it can do. The buttons and LEDs offered on the board actually allowed him to create a nice user interface. Each slide switch has a surface mount LED above it, giving feedback for which beats in the loop are on and off. There’s also a bank of momentary-push buttons seen in blue above. [Matt] uses these to tweak settings like the pitch that is stored for each slide switch. He even puts on a light show with the VGA output.

We’ve seen this Altera board before, used to drive a falling sands game. The hardware will run you around $200 but that’s not bad considering all of the fun things you can do with it.

Continue reading “Sequencer built on a Cycle II FPGA board”

Rich Decibel’s Kequencer

It’s totally excellent when a simple concept results in something inspiring and fun. [Rich Decibel]’s Kequencer is a good example, starting off as many projects do: “I had an idea the other day and I couldn’t decide if it was good or not so I just built it to find out.” Be still our hackable hearts!

[Rich] built this sleek little sequencer from scratch and while the design may not seem very novel to begin with–eight square wave oscillators with on/off switches and pitch knobs, played in sequence–but the beauty of it is in the nuances of interaction and the potential for further hacking. From watching the video you can see how the controls can be used in very interesting ways to create and mutate adorable chippy tone patterns. Check it out after the crossfade.

Continue reading “Rich Decibel’s Kequencer”

Programmable drum machine

This sequencer, called Drumssette, uses audio tape to churn out some beats. [Mike Walters] built this around a Tascam four track cassette recorder. The tape inside has a different drum sound on each of the tracks, with a corresponding row of red buttons. Pushing a button adds the drum sound to the loop on that beat. He’s using a series of digital logic gates to patch through the sounds as well as clocking the device from one of the tape’s tracks. It’s pretty  neat  to see the focus selector used in the video after the break to sync up the beginning of the repeated drum patterns. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Mike’s] work. If you missed it last year take some time to review the Melloman.

Continue reading “Programmable drum machine”

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.

Continue reading “Get serious about building a sequencer”

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.

Continue reading “LEGO sequencer builds sound in 3D”