Midi console (is it feasible)

Hello everyone,

I've never used arduino / development boards, i'm not a programmer didn't work much with electronics ( i used to solder/desolder components on electronic boards at my last job, check polarity, orientation and other things.However, i'm a fast learner, do understand how electronics work, etc.

I'm having a dream about building my own midi console (midi controller) to use it with a specific daw ,because i cannot find what i want.

It's a 16 Channel console with :

  • 416 Pots
  • 288 LED buttons
  • 80 buttons (no light)
  • 48 leds
  • 32 faders

But, there's a but, but first i wanna build only one channel strip.Now, this channel strip has:

  • 26 pots
  • 3 leds
  • 16 led buttons
  • 2 faders
  • 5 buttons

I did some research on the internet and i've found out that arduino mega 2560 has the most I/O and if i want more, i gotta use additional hardware or build my own custom pcb and i don't have the skills, tools and knowledge to make one.

But, after my calculations one board is not enough. I read about multiplexers and it scares me a lil bit lol.
For a newbie like me, sounds like that will complicate things.

Is this project possible (one channel strip) with one arduino mega 2560 and other things that would expand the I/O?

Is there anyone here that builds custom pcb's that could help me or knows a company that would do it?

I've attached a picture with what i dream about.

Thank you everyone , really, every answer helps :slight_smile:


I know about doepfer usb64 and OpenDeck, buying boards needed for this project would get really really expensive.

The biggest issue is the 26 pots and 2 faders. These require analog input so you need 28 analog inputs. The Mega only has 16. The external hardware is either several 16 channel analog to digital converters or several 16 channel MUX chips. Either solution will enable to to read all the analog inputs.

Since you have never used an arduino, this project seems very ambitious. I would recommend installing the IDE and getting a board (Uno/Mega/Nano) and working through all the wonderful examples that come with the IDE. Learn how to connect an LED
Make it blink
Add a second LED and make it blink at a different rate along with the first one
Learn how to wire up a button properly.
Learn how to read a button state properly with debouncing
Learn how to wire up a pot.
Learn how to read an analog signal

Start building all this up. You don't learn how to run without first crawling and then walking.

Yo don’t need to make a PCB for this sort for project, you can solder it all up using strip board.

While I do have the skill to design and make PCBs I very seldom do unless I want more than ten or so of a board. Strip board is just as good.