need start-up aid


i have absolutely no experience with all this microcontrolling-stuff, but i want to get into that topic for a current project:
I want to create a musicpiece, which will be perfomed on stage. for that i need several little motors (i thought about at least 4, better 6 to 8), which i can control with Max/MSP. I found this kit at amazon
, but don't know, if this is the right thing for me. I think, it's ok to get some experience, but is the arduino one "big" enough for my requirements? What do i need?
Thanks for your help,

A starter kit is a lot of fun, but it is cheaper if you buy the things you need.

The Arduino Uno is the easiest Arduino board. You should definitely start with that one.

How do you control the motors with Max/MSP ?
Do you know the maximum current (the stall current) for the motors ?
How do you power the motors ?

For something with music, I see most of the time servo motors on youtube. What are the motors for ?

thanks for answering,

The idea is, that the motors move some little items (pieces of plastic), which produce sound by scraping and rubbing each other. To get various rhythms i need several motors. The rest is done with gear-wheels by lego. Because one motor has to move a mic, this should be a stepper (so i can set it up at certain angles).

reffering to your questions:

  • i thought this is the job of the arduino-hardware? I think, there are max-patches for free and some tutorials in the internet, so i will look after that, when i have the hardware... first of all i have to understand, how this arduino-stuff works, then i will try to control it with max.
  • no - i don't even know, which motors i should buy
  • uuh...... i guess, "battery" is not the answer you want to have, is it?

I think, when i have the right stuff, i can learn it fast (i have programming-experience and i am good at physics and maths) - so i would like to buy the right things for my project directly to save money... at the moment i just don't know, what i have to pay attention to.


Is Max/MSP using a serial port ?
This is the page about the Serial library, Serial - Arduino Reference
Or is it using midi ?
This is the playground section about midi, Arduino Playground - InterfacingWithHardware

To get certain angles, a servo motor is a lot easier.
This is the Servo library, Servo - Arduino Reference
The Arduino can be connected directly to the signal wire of the servo motor, without extra hardware. The servo needs a seperate power supply, since the 5V of the Arduino board can't supply that much current.

For a stepper motor you need stepper motor driver hardware.
But there is even a library for stepper motors included with the Arduino software, Stepper - Arduino Reference

The driver of the motors depends on the maximum current of the motors.
You can get some ideas at Sparkfun.
Motor drivers,