Reverse Engineering the Arturia KeyStep Firmware #ReverseEngineering
The Arturia KeyStep is a small MIDI keyboard with a set of buttons that allow you to shift the octave up or down. These buttons blink when the octave is currently shifted, with faster blinking meaning more of a shift. Daniel S. Gruss looks into the issues:
Why is that is a problem? First of all, it’s hard to convey in video form how bright these LEDs are. Worst of all, the rate of flashing isn’t connected to anything musical, which means the sequencer can be set a certain tempo and the octave buttons will happily continue flashing to their own beat (which appears to be a subdivision of a second). Which causes the lights above.
It’s like when two car alarms are going off and they just. can’t. get. in. time. Except now it’s flashing lights in your face while trying to make music. I’m probably just too closed-minded to be able to achieve this polyrhythmic enlightenment, but I’m not the only one who has had an issue. Luckily, we can put off getting better at music by tackling this mundane issue in depth!
The post looks in-depth at reverse engineering the device. The microcontroller is a STM32F103 and VCT6, which is an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M3 CPU. And this appears to be the “LQFP100” package version. Each firmware version is hosted on Arturia’s Website as a “.led” file.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
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.