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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Arduino
DIY MIDI Controller - VU meters
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supercollider



Joined: Oct 08, 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:36 am    Post subject: DIY MIDI Controller - VU meters
Subject description: Using Arudino - best option?
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I am building a MIDI controller for a friend. I am already thinking about the Mk2 design even though Mk1 has just left the design board...

For Mk2 I would like to implement VU meters to the fader strips. This would mean having the host Sequencer backtalk to the controller and send the relavent data. I researched the best method and came to the conclusion that the best (or only) way to do this is using an Arduino (no idead which) and writing a lot of code (which I cannot do). Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

Thanks a lot!


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capicoso



Joined: Nov 19, 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

With an arduino UNO you'll be fine or MEGA if you don't want to expand the digital io with shifters... but even the MEGA has only 14? analog inputs, so you'll still need to expand the analogs.
About the MIDI connection, you want it to have classic DIN 5 MIDI jack? Or want to make the connection via USB?
I always prefer DIN 5, because all my synths have this, and it's easier to make a standalone circuit with the atmega328(the microcontroller) and don't have to solder the USB part...
The good thing about USB is that you have both midi in and out with a single cable, so this would be good for the led feedback... having to connect another cable just for the leds would be annoying i think...

You have lot of potentiometers, arduino only has 6 inputs for pots, so you'll need to read about multiplexers... i use 4051 and 4067, 4051 expands it to 8 more inputs, and 4067 to 16. They work the same, 4067 has one more bit. You can put many daisy chained...
http://playground.arduino.cc/learning/4051

For connecting it with USB you'll need http://projectgus.github.io/hairless-midiserial/ the user will have to open that to connect the controller to the DAW or any program.
Or use Hiduino and make it native https://github.com/ddiakopoulos/hiduino

the VU part isn't very hard. But it depends how you want to make it... if the program being controlled can send back for example, a CC 7(volume) with the volume of the track or whatever it's using, it'll be good. You need a row of leds that respond to that message... you could make it respond to audio too but it seems annoying...
for MIDI you can use the MIDI library, search it in the arduino playground
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1509
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 14

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You'll want to look at LM3914 Display Driver chip as well, it may simplify the details.

I strongly encourage using the MIDI library, it's not particularly fun to try and deal with the corner cases and vagaries of MIDI implementation differences yourself.
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supercollider



Joined: Oct 08, 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, this is great. Thanks very much!

I am reasonably familiar with shifters, but will definitly read up on the page you posted.

The machine will be USB, for sure. It will be for connecting to a computer. If during development I decide I want to use both, do you think that would be viable?

I would much rather make it native, I do not mind reading up on a bit of Arduino programming, but like I say, I have no experience with it, can you point me in the direection of good arduino books for beginners / intermediates?

Regarding Vu meters, They should respond to a CC message, rather than actual audio for sure.

I'll go dig around the arduino playground!

Thanks again, and a recommendation of books would be great Smile
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elmegil



Joined: Mar 20, 2012
Posts: 1509
Location: Chicago
Audio files: 14

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You might check out Teensy as well. I've seen it used commonly when USB interfaces are desired, and it is somewhat compatible with the Arduino environment (I think it requires a plugin). It doesn't work with shields because it's more on the form factor of a nano, but I'd say it's worth a look.
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capicoso



Joined: Nov 19, 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think the arduino learning tutorials are enough, go one by one, understand them, modify them. There's the Arduino cookbook too, and other one written by Massimo Banzi...
Understand how it works, the functions, for(), if(), while(), millis(), arrays... etc
I'm not sure if you can have both DIN 5 and USB interface... i suppose you can...
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MusicMan11712



Joined: Aug 08, 2009
Posts: 734
Location: Upstate New York USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

capicoso wrote:
I'm not sure if you can have both DIN 5 and USB interface... i suppose you can...
Unless its been changed, I believe the hairless usb-midi bridge only uses TX0/RX0; so with a mega I believe you could use TX1/RX1, TX2/RX2, and/or TX3/RX3 for 5-pin din I/O. I have not tested them at the same time, though. I have no idea if the arduino midi library supports multiple ports, but that would be a factor.
Steve
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