The aim of this post is as a starting point for making your own DIY MIDI controller. Although many MIDI controllers can be purchased off the shelf, there may be times when a DIY approach is more economical or more appropriate in terms of specific design and mapping.
This is one of the simplest MIDI controllers that I can think of – it is just a pot (i.e. “knob”) that sends USB MIDI continuous controller data on CC#1, channel 1.
• 1 x Teensy board with pins
• 1 x USB A to B mini cable
• 1 x 100kΩ B-type potentiometer
• 1 x mini breadboard
• 3 x breadboard jumpers (can use a jumper kit for instance)
• Arduino IDE
• A digital audio workstation (DAW) such as Ableton Live
The Teensy is a complete USB-based microcontoller development system, in a very small footprint! All programming is done via the USB port. No special programmer is needed, only a standard “Mini-B” USB cable and a PC or Macintosh with a USB port. This is the latest version, 2.0.
USB can be any type of device
AVR processor, 16 MHz
Single pushbutton programming
Easy to use Teensy Loader application
Free software development tools
Works with Mac OS X, Linux & Windows
Tiny size, perfect for many projects
Available with pins for solderless breadboard
Comes with assembled Teensy board (ATmega32u4 with bootloader preinstalled) and header to allow easy breadboarding. We suggest using AVR-gcc (like WinAVR) with the LUFA library or ‘Teensyduino’ Be sure to check out the multiple resources available at PJRC!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.