10 MIDI Controllers You Can Build With an Arduino

Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI for brief, is an outdated know-how utilized in all types of recent music-making machines. From keyboards to launchpads and every thing in between, this mega record covers among the coolest Arduino MIDI controller initiatives round. All that you must get began is an Arduino and some buttons.

This venture, by Crius Digital Studio, showcases a easy, no-fuss DIY MIDI controller. Utilizing an Arduino Nano at its coronary heart, this system provides you entry to eight rotary potentiometers, that are—in different phrases—only a bunch of dials.

Whereas the video is in Greek with no subtitles, the maker’s web site offers a incredible information in English that features the code. The simplicity of the circuit can also be nice for anybody seeking to get a primary MIDI controller up and operating quick. Final however not least, our favourite a part of this construct is the slick selection of florescent inexperienced potentiometers which might be constructed right into a white plastic panel.

Easy, aesthetically-pleasing, and highly-practical, this venture is a good one to get began with.

2. Expanded 27 Controller MIDI Mixer

This venture is the subsequent step up from the earlier with a whopping 27 potentiometers to regulate your combine. They’re divided into 18 dials and 9 sliders, providing you with loads of controls to assign to your digital devices. As soon as once more, you may want an Arduino Nano—however this time, you’ll require two HC4067 analog multiplexers to increase the Arduino analog inputs.


You could find the construct information on the Crius Digital Studio web site. Nevertheless, you’ll have to workshop your individual concepts for housing the electronics. You probably have a number of woodworking instruments round, the picket design used on this venture may offer you some inspiration.

This venture, by seasoned designers Adafruit, is a clone of the ever-popular Novation Launchpad. That includes an 8×8 grid of 64 backlit buttons, this venture is not for the faint-hearted.

Admittedly, it is most likely cheaper and simpler to only buy the actual deal. However as a venture, it is very cool. What’s even cooler is that Adafruit has generously supplied a invoice of supplies and construct directions, together with numerous clear pictures.

You will want a laser cutter to supply the case, however a 3D-printed model is accessible from Thingiverse person Digital Grenade.

Designed for controlling guitar results pedals, this MIDI foot controller from YouTube channel “Workshy” has some spectacular options. With 4 operate buttons, a number of banks, seven-segment LED show, and the power to decide on latching or momentary switching, this spectacular construct has greater than sufficient options to maintain you occupied, even when your palms are full!

There is not any construct tutorial, however the Arduino code is supplied in an on-line doc. Wiring some switches should not be too troublesome, and our information to Arduino shows ought to enable you select the suitable show.

Whereas technically an Arduino appropriate, and never a “true” Arduino board, this venture is just too cool to exclude. Coming as soon as once more from Adafruit, this venture makes use of a capacitive contact sensor and an array of 16 NeoPixel LEDs.

A wonderful on-line construct information is equipped on the Adafruit web site, however this construct does contain some complicated steel fabrication and 3D printing.

There is not any motive that you simply could not swap out the steel for plastic elements, although.

6. MIDI Piano

This cool tutorial comes from YouTube creator Digital Tasks. This ingenious venture makes use of cardboard and paper clips to supply a very customized, Arduino-powered MIDI keyboard.

Do not be delay by the marginally scary quantity of wiring required; you may simply scale back this by making a smaller keyboard. Observe the creator’s clear tutorial video above, and you will be making music very quickly!

Coming straight from YouTuber Simon Mackinnon, this MIDI controller customers arcade buttons to regulate all issues music! Whereas this mannequin “solely” has six buttons, it might be simple to increase for those who wished to.

Not solely has the creator supplied a wonderful written tutorial, however they’ve additionally recycled a plastic container because the chassis.

The Stranger Issues-style music solely makes this venture all of the cooler. Good job, we are saying!

This Arduino MIDI controller tutorial from avid music maker Fraganator takes the idea of arcade buttons one step additional. Not solely has the creator applied 12 buttons organized in a 4×3 array, however they’ve additionally included 4 rotary dials and two faders.

There is not any restrict to what you may obtain with this controller. The proprietor has written an impressive tutorial, and together with written directions, and good clear pictures, they’ve additionally supplied reducing templates for making your individual case—no 3D printing required!

Designed particularly for Ableton Dwell, this controller does not have a flowery field or buttons like so many different initiatives.

Coming from the YouTube channel Starfire Know-how, this stripped-down venture is a wonderful option to study the fundamentals. With just a few strains of code, you may construct this straightforward controller with out even soldering something. Bear in mind, although, that it is best to most likely perceive the fundamentals of soldering if you wish to strive.

10. Wood MIDI Music Machine

This spectacular venture was made by YouTuber Uglybuckling. With a stupendous Oak and Walnut case, 40 arcade buttons organized in an 8×5 grid, and containing varied different buttons and controls, this venture is actually a giant one.

Working on an Arduino Mega, this venture is considerably completely different from the others. Just like the MIDI piano above, this machine produces word values. Designed in order that even novices could make tunes that sound good, that is one cool-looking controller.

Except for the code, the construct information does cowl the bodily manufacturing of the unit and why sure selections have been made.

What Arduino MIDI Controller Do You Use?

These initiatives present simply how artistic you will get with simply an Arduino. Whereas most of those controllers ought to work wonderful with any digital audio workstation (DAW), most of them will work greatest with the type of beat-matching, song-skipping talents of Ableton Dwell, so make sure that to take a look at our Ableton Dwell Information if you have not already.

Should you discover that constructing your individual MIDI system isn’t for you, then you may try our information to the very best USB MIDI controllers for musicians.

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Keyboard with red, green, and blue lights above its keys.
5 Causes Why You Ought to Use Your Keyboard as a MIDI Controller

Earlier than your subsequent recording session, think about using your keyboard as a MIDI controller to enhance your sound.

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