Posts with «arduino midi» label

Custom weather station enhances and modifies electronic music

While the environment is important for any musical performance, generally it’s not an active part of the show. Adrien Kaeser, though, has come up with a device called the “Weather Thingy that integrates weather directly into electronic music performances. It’s able to sense wind direction and speed, light intensity, and rain, translating this data into MIDI inputs.

The system, which was created at ECAL, consists of two parts: a compact weather station on top of a portable stand, as well as a small console with buttons and knobs to select and modify environmental effects on the music. 

Hardware for the project includes an Arduino Mega and Leonardo, a small TFT screen to display the element under control and its characteristics, an ESP32 module, a SparkFun ESP32 Thing Environment Sensor Shield, a SparkFun MIDI Shield, high speed optocouplers, rotary encoder knobs, and some buttons.

Be sure to see the demo in the video below, preferably with the sound on!

Turn an Atari 2600 into a MIDI drum machine

While not known for its musical prowess, John Sutley decided to turn an Atari 2600 into a simple four-note drum machine dubbed “SYNDRUM.”

While an interesting exercise in creating a custom cartridge out of repurposed components, pushing buttons to activate four tones and an onscreen VU meter can only keep one’s attention for so long.

To turn this project’s musical entertainment level up to 11, he programmed an Arduino Nano to take MIDI signals and translate them into the equivalent electrical signals that would normally come from a controller. 

The results, as seen in the video below, are spectacular. If you’d like to try something similar yourself, code for the SYNDRUM can be found here.

Neon skulls illuminate to the MIDI beat

LEDs, whether single-color or programmable, have enabled makers to create a wide variety of vibrant projects at a reasonable price. Neon sign projects, which require sophisticated glass making techniques as well as high voltage for control aren’t as common, but do still have their adherents. Some have even experimented with making them sound reactive.

Up until now, sound control meant using a microphone to detect audio signals and flash accordingly. David Garges, however, is using an Arduino Leonardo equipped with an Olimex MIDI shield to individually activate three neon skulls, crafted by artist Dani Bonnet. 

His setup can be programmed via MIDI directly, or can use beat analysis software to activate the proper lights depending on audio output. 

There has been much desire in the Neon Art community for clean and responsive musical interaction with high-voltage Neon Signs. Currently, the existing infrastructure uses a microphone to detect audio and flash accordingly. Unfortunately, due to this method of processing the Neon always responds with a small delay. Clapping and shouting can also disrupt the interaction when using an on-board microphone.

This project solves that problem by transmitting musical data via MIDI protocol to a controller which activates then activates Neon Tubes accordingly. I have designed and built a system that takes a slightly different approach but accomplishes what the Neon Art community desires.

This project offers two performance modes: one that allows for electronic artists to perform seamlessly using MIDI instruments, and one that allows DJs to feed BPM analysis to the system to synchronize the Neon flashing with actual recorded music which enables Real-Time Audio-Controlled Neon.

Be sure to check out the demo in the video below!

SMOMID is a Mega-powered MIDI guitar

Nick Demopoulos is a guitarist, sound designer and musician. He is also a Maker and the creator of the “SMOMID” — an Arduino Mega-based MIDI instrument that resembles a touch-sensitive guitar with several joysticks and other sensors. Not only does it just look cool, it can even flash LEDs in sync with the music being played for some wild effects and visual feedback for the performer.

This instrument was created out of necessity because despite the fact that the guitar is the most popular instrument in the world, there are almost no guitar-like midi controllers commercially available. The SMOMID is not a guitar, nor is it a substitute for a guitar, but rather it is a new and unique interface. Like all musical instruments, it has its strengths and weaknesses, and requires patience and practice to master.

Its software allows the performer to control numerous aspects of a performance, including the playing of melodies and harmonies, the direction and pattern of a melody, controlling beats, controlling bass lines, triggering samples, manipulating audio files, and more. All aspects of a performance can be controlled from the grid on the fret board and the buttons on the instrument body. Additionally several custom made synths can be chosen as sounds and several tunings are available. The instrument can be played like a fretted guitar, like a fretless guitar, with twelve notes to the octave, or other variations like twenty four or forty three notes to the octave. In addition to emitting sound, the SMOMID also emits light that is rhythmically in sync with the music the instrument is then creating. The lights also provide visual feedback for a performer that can indicate if an effect is engaged, the rhythm of a delay or the section of a composition among other facets of a performance. The SMOMID connects to any device or software that can receive MIDI information via a USB cable and is bus-powered.

You can read all about the project here, and check out some SMOMID performances below!