Arduino-controlled MIDI Sequencer


[Christian] wrote in to tell us about his third-generation Arduino MIDI sequencer (translated) called the AM808 VX3. He had already laid a strong base for the project in his previous versions. But the user interface was still frustrating at times and that’s where this version comes in. it features a nice clean dashboard like interface, but also includes a configurable virtual interface.

The obvious components seen above include the slider and potentiometer band, as well as the repository of buttons mounted below that. But in the center of the board is a touchpad which [Christian] pulled out of an old Laptop. It interfaces as a PS2 device which makes it pretty simple to use in conjunction with the Arduino. But that’s not the only touch-enabled input device. The rectangle to the right of the touch pad is an LCD screen with a touch overlay. As you can see (and hear) in the clip after the break, the touch screen made it possible for him to rework the controls until they became simple and intuitive.

34 thoughts on “Arduino-controlled MIDI Sequencer

    1. Go to google search for Korg Electribe or Akai MPC or Yamaha Motif , and leaf the price of one of this devices here as a comment , and after this i write you my price for this device with the same and some better functions……. case opened

      1. Arduino Raspberry Pi projects always draw these types out of the woodowrk, because it’s not a hack unless you’re making your own discrete logic chips from raw silicon you mined from your own back yard.

    2. what it your problem?! this is really better than any of these little projects anyone could do in <1h
      this is the best arduino based musical build i've ever seen.

      I would love to know the price because any similiar product you can buy is just crazy expensive.

      Good Work! it is getting better and better.

    3. I agree that using an Arduino is often overkill, but there are a lot of people who find it too much trouble to become familiar with the architecture of a microcontroller family or the 1st-party libraries, or they don’t need anything too special to get their project off the ground.

      Personally, I find it a pretty crazy that there are so many people (hobbyists or otherwise) that don’t seem to get ANY enjoyment out of designing software that isn’t concerned with the UI for their projects. In fact, the mere idea seems to piss a lot of them off. I don’t know if it’s defeatism or denial or both, but it seems like they’re letting all their frustration out on you. :-)

  1. The one day I decide to try and reuse an old laptop touchpad I start looking for a pinout and load up HaD for no reason and the first article has a laptop touchpad in it.

    Same thing when I decided to hack an ATX powersupply to make it variable.

    Would like to see the post on your mind-reader, Hackaday. :)

    1. Reimecker, Thanks for your project! I was actually looking into midi for a live setting. I have limited knowledge of this, but I really see its usefulness.
      Re: the comments, let me ‘splain…

      When someone in the regular world has a short shifter he buys a big huge truck and lifts it with big ol’ tires. He then proceeds to laugh at the kid with a more humble car(who usually owns his outright… NOT the bank). The afore mentioned person is known as a douche.
      Comparatively, when someone in the geek world has a small hard drive, he makes his hacks the only ones relevant by cutting down on the guys who try easier stuff, but is applying his mental energy the best he can …Douche.

      …Ironically, both guys forget why there’s a beginner and advanced concepts. Linus Torvold didn’t just wake up one day and have Debian the next day. Also, some people are able to perform brain surgery, yet are socially inept. Inversely, some are brimming with social prowess, yet strain to tie their own shoes. The commentors should give a guy a break and be nice.

      Arduino is a gateway… I wish people would go to forums to b**ch about hating its accessibility.

      1. I really don’t see the point in Arduino-bashing in this case. Yep, if a project is “Arduino flashes LED”, it’s hardware overkill. But people use the skills they have, and learn new ones by experimenting. And it’s better they’re making something than nothing, because making things is k2wl.

        In this case a microcontroller is obviously the best option. And Arduino means he can have his MIDI controller, which is actually useful, without having to learn a particular micro’s machine language.

        In fact, not having to learn machine language has been quite a big drive over the last 30 years of software development. That’s why there’s a thousand different languages and tools available. To actually get things done, quickly and easily. Arduino’s sketch-thing is a tool. Tools are good! What idiot would snark about someone using a power drill when he’s a master of bashing holes with an awl?

        “Guy uses available tools to make useful thing and saves $100s”. Top hack!

        1. Even when someone does use an Arduino to flash an LED, why is that considered overkill? Just 1 unit ever built, one LED, blinking in some complex way? Really, why is that overkill? Because the official Arduino board sells for $30?

          Why is driving to some store like Radio Shack or Frys or needing to order special parts from Digikey, building all the circuitry from scratch, troubleshooting and likely revising the design rebuilding parts not considered overkill? Even for experienced people, that takes an incredible amount of time and effort, all to blink just one LED.

          First, it costs at least a few dollars in gas or postal shipping and takes at least an hour round trip, or involves waiting days. There the small matter of selecting those non-overkill parts, which are much cheaper than an Arduino, but still not free. Unless you’re perfectly sure what’s needed, you buy extra stuff, at more cost. Then you start building, using materials that cost something (not to mention tools, which you presumably didn’t get for free) and of course you spend more time. Since you wired up a bunch of stuff, you spend even more time troubleshooting. If you’re not already an expert, you probably damage a few parts along the way, adding even more cost (unless you spend plenty extra buying spares), and more time, compounded by the time and cost of driving again to the store again or ordering more parts if you damage something without a spare (which added cost if you did have it).

          If you’re already an expert, you already have all the parts and tools, and experience wiring up circuits quickly (without costly errors), and you’re extremely proficient at troubleshooting circuitry, then maybe building an LED blinking project costs less than $30. But even for the most experienced builders, it take significant, start-to-finish, to put together a custom built LED blinker that does something moderately complex pattern (perhaps a Morse code message) using 555-based circuits? I seriously doubt many people can do it in less than 3 hours, where after paying for the cheaper parts+materials, the savings works out to be better than working at minimum wage!

          Even after going to all that work, you end up with a hard-wired LED blinker than can’t easily be changed to blink some other way. What if you want to change that 555-based Morse code LED message?

          I happen to be what most people would consider an electronic expert, with 20 years of professional electrical engineering experience and many more years building hobby stuff. I also make Teensy, and Arduino compatible board, so admittedly I have plenty of spare boards laying around. If I were designing a LED blinker for volume production, certainly I’d invest the time to design a minimal circuit. But if I just just wanted to blink one little LED for some special occasion (maybe a gift or a favor for a friend) or even as a proof-of-concept for that high-volume product, there’s no way I’d waste my time building a minimal circuit. For a complex pattern, even I probably could not do it in less time than the equivalent of working at minimum wage!

          It’s NOT OVERKILL to use an Arduino or similar board just to blink one LED for a single build project. If you’re only ever going to build one, or even 2 or 3, and especially if you might change the blinking pattern, using an Arduino-like board is a smart way to save time.

          Permission is granted to copy and repost this message, especially on Hack-a-Day, or where ever haters try to ridicule someone’s smart use of technology to get a one-off project done quickly and easily!

          1. Because some people that have EE experience and know how to build an r/c circuit to make a led blink, therefore they think all other methods are pointless and irrelevant.

            Then there are the EEs with people skills that recognise that everyone has got to start somewhere, with something, whether it’s an arduino, an rc circuit or someone covering a lamp with their hand.

            For myself, as long as it makes your project work for you, then it’s a valid method.

  2. Thank you for the good comments !! Some of them . The price for the Hardware is < then 100 € , the most parts i build out from old hardware like a DMX light controller or a old Labtop.If i finished with all bugs in the sourcecode , i will release it on my Page FOR FREE.

    Special thanks to Fritoeata , Greenaum and Ultrawipf

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