starting with arduino !

hy there,

newbie question before I get an arduino…
Is it really necessary to get an arduino starter kit (like the one on PBC) with breadboard and stuffs to start using the arduino?
is it possible to get an arduino and start using sensors and max/MSP directly?

well I’m a MAX user but what is the best way to start using and playing with arduino?? please tell me !!!


To “start” using the arduino, all you need is the board ($35 or so) and a USB cable. With that you can make the LED on the board blink (yay!). Then add your own LEDs, a button or two, turn them on and off.

To use sensors, chips, or interface with most other components, it’s really a lot easier to put them (and any needed other components) on a breadboard. I like the proto shield offered by; you do have to solder it together but it’s pretty simple.
Add tiny breadboard:
A set of jumper wires (or three) is really handy; so the starter kit isn’t that bad a deal:

I’m interested in the opposite question. What do I need to get started with max/msp? Do I have to buy the environment? I guess I can try it for 30 days for free, but I’m afraid I’d like it and then be obligated to spend the $500 (ouch!).

You can use PD (Pure Data) in stead of MAX

It’s an open source alternative to MAX developed by one of the original MAX developers.
It’s not as advanced as MAX, but it’s constantly being improved. I don’t have much experince with it myself, but i know quite a few people who do and i Think the consensus is that it is easy to use and quite capable.

It’s available for Windows, MAC, and serveral Linux variants including Ubuntu.

well thanks forn the answer
The thing is with arduino I’m afraid to spend to much time playing with wires, and electronic stuffs instead of creating music and patches in Max
What I want is put sensors on a danser plug them to a box and then spend time in Max/MSP creating patches.
is arduino made for artist or only for electronic technicians??? that’s the question for me …

About MAX or Pure Data… that is true that PureData was created by the guy whom created Max. Personnaly I have started with Max because I didn’t know PureData at this moment, so I’m not gonna change now… but if I had to begin with this kind of software now because of the price (free!) for sure I would start with PureData. I have some friends working with it in music and video, and it seems to be a bit more accessible than Max but as much effective.

The thing is with arduino I’m afraid to spend to much time playing with wires, and electronic stuffs instead of creating music and patches in Max

Nothing wrong with that. Experimenting with it could help you come up with new ideas to creat novel ideas for music.

yes ok . But I 'm a bit afraid with learning another new programming language like the arduino processing one…
I’m not a developper coder. Is it really accessible for a newbie coder? what’s the best way to start this all?

isn’t it possible to plug sensors directly on the arduino (like the or ones) and manage the data flow …only… with out playing with the breadboard and the resistances … and programming the microcontroller…?


Don’t be afraid of learning a new language. You’ll find it’s a lot easier to code for the arduino than you might think, even if your not a skilled programmer. And be excited about the blinking LEDs, aka the arduino “Hello World”. It’s not an unimpressive achievement. Be inspired by it and keep learning.

You shoud spend some time getting used to writing Arduino code to interface with the sensors you need.

This will make it easier to get the right data in the right format back to PD or MAX.

Theres so much Arduino code available here and in other places, that i guarantee that you will almost always be able to find either what you need, or some code you can use as a starting point for your own code writing.

Also never be afraid to ask questions here. I have seen very few questions that have not been answered in a constructive manner in this forum. The collective electronics and coding knowledge in here is rather amazing :slight_smile:

Almost no matter what your project is, someone has done something similar enough to help you get started.

well thanks a lot for all these informations and motivations.
This forum is very usefull. I’m gonna seek for already made projects and codes as you advice… and then get an arduino starter kit…
it is a bit more clear by now.

to be continued…