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Topic: Thoughts on a costum midi controller (what should I use) (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hey guys and girls,

I'm having this idea to create a midi controller that works with Resolume Arena 4.
For you guys that don't know resolume, its a VJ program, you can see it as a mixing software for video clips

I did some thinking and first off all I'm going to have a lot of analog and digital components to give you guy's a list:

  • 28 x Pot-meter (analog in)

  • 3x Red LED (analog out)

  • 3x Green LED (analog out)

  • 5x Slide Pot-meter (analog in)

  • 48 x Push buttons (digital in)

  • 48 x R LEDs (indiactors) (digital out)

I draw something very quickly in photoshop so you can see where all the components come

Now my questions are:

whats the best board I use for this (a cheap as possible solution in general please) and is there some thinks I need to watch on like example external power supply for all the LEDs, extra ICs for port expansion etc.

not to forget: I want this build to be work with midi and it has to be midi over USB,(no Serial to MIDI conversion)
the VJ software takes a lot of resources so I don't want to waste any more cpu time on serial to MIDI conversion

I hope you guys can set me off on the right track

Grtz Thyvo


Nov 13, 2013, 01:04 am Last Edit: Nov 13, 2013, 02:25 am by DVDdoug Reason: 1
It looks like you are trying to make a "Control Surface" (example).   But, MIDI is digital (until you get to the instrument that's generating sounds), and you've got lots of analog ins & outs.  Is this analog audio, video, or what?

I never built anything with MIDI, and if it was me I'd start by experimenting with something smaller...  Maybe build & test one of your functions or "modules" at a time before trying to put everything together in a big project like that.


the analog in/output is for lets say dry/wet effect so how bigger the value how intenser the effect its going to be

the data sended and received by the arduino is purly midi messages ( with channel information control information and the intense value)

the software side is not realy an issue, I have done some tests before and it works like a charm (but with serial to midi conversion)

now i'm looking for a micro controller that has a build-in midi capability over usb (no external serial to midi conversion or extra programs running to do this conversion)

maybe some IC's to expand the analog and digital in/outputs

I'm asking this because I don't to much experience with hardware and I want to do it right from the first time so I don't spent a lot of money on the wrong components


4067 ic for 16 analog inputs
75hc595 for 8 led outputs
4021 for 8 buttons 
all on an arduino Uno. About the usb-midi thing, i don't know, i like the good old midi din 5


if you use a arduino that is based on Atmel ATmega32U4 this chip could be your USB Midi thing.
there are some finished libs for Mouse and Keyboard - but as far as i know no lib for Midi -
one option is to check LUFA (there are midi examples)
but i dont know if it is possible to get this in combination with the normal Arduino IDE...

if you have an UNO with the 8U2 you can use the dualMocoLUFA

i hope now you have some starting points...

sunny greetings

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