Experiences with serial to MIDI


A few days ago I tried serial to MIDI from this tutorial: Serial_MIDI and now I want to share my experience with it.

I used it to send MIDI from my Arduino UNO to FL Studio on a Win7 64 bit PC.

  1. Setup: That was pretty simple. The MidiYoke setup crashed when I started it the first time, after a quick search I found out that i has to be installed in 32 bit compatibility mode. After a restart, setting the ports and restarting again it was working.

  2. Using the Serial-Midi converter: Being written in processing it just needs to be started and works "out of the box" especially after carefully reading the instructions :slight_smile: .

  3. General usability: It's not using the standard MIDI baud rate, so you have to make some changes in the MIDI library (if you're using it). Every time you want to upload a sketch, you have to quit the serial-Midi converter and restart it afterwards, which takes a lot of time when done often. Also FL Studio was kind of infested with bugs thanks to MidiYoke :frowning: (could be because it is not written for 64 bit cpus, still strange).

  4. Summary: It's okay for playing around when you want to try MIDI before buying specific hardware. But dont expect it to be a perfect substitute for "hardware"-MIDI. Also I think that absolute beginners would despair completely, so its more suitable for users with a little experience in Arduino. If you're going for a more serious project, get some MIDI-hardware (I did), it is a lot more comfortable and most important, you don't have to go trough a long journey of adjusting settings when you're using it on another computer.

Feel free to share your experiences if you are using or were using it.

Hey that is pretty neat! I made something similar, except in hardware. I programmed an Arduino UNO so that it received "MIDI" commands at 9600 baud from a program running on my computer and converted them to 31250 baud where it then interfaced with a MIDI chip containing sound banks. I probably could have saved some time using Spikenzie's program instead of making a converter.

I would have done away with the converter entirely but openFrameworks (which is what I built my program with) doesn't support a baud rate of 31250. Bummer.

Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and if you're interested in what I built that needed a converter, Here's a link:


It's a project where I take a robot plushie and attach an accelerometer onto it which moves a drawing of the plushie on a program I built with openFrameworks. I also created the program such that musical notes will play when the drawing collides with balls surrounding it.

Nice and fun project! That there's no support 31250 baud in Openframework is really sad. Another solution could be processing, to create the animation and communicate with one of the virtual MIDI ports created by MidiYoke and send MIDI data to a software synth that way, just like the serial-MIDI converter from Spikenzielabs. If you're doing it that way there's (obviously) no need for the serial-MIDI converter, since your own program would handle it. Sending MIDI from one application to another via the virtual ports also works great, I tested it with Synthesia to Fl Studio and vice versa.

I would definitely love to try it out with Synthesia. Funny, it didn't even occur to me that I could potentially use it for my project. Thanks!
I'm thinking of getting Max/MSP as well. It looks like a fun platform to do some development on...and you can even do some animation work as well!

Something with Max/MSP would defintely make a cool project. I just managed to play my Commodore 64 via Synthesia, my friends gave me a lot of funny looks XD .

Whattt???? That's awesome!

Do you have a video of that?

I don’t have a video yet, but it’s on my list. Btw.: I used a MSSIAH module. They’re about 50 bucks from here: www.8bitventures.com