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Bome Software Released 3 Major Product Updates

To celebrate the last day of May is MIDI Month, we are happy to announce 3 major product updates.

Florian Bomers (Founder of Bome Software)

New BomeBox Firmware 1.5

As of today, Bome Software has released version 1.5 of the BomeBox firmware. It is a free download for BomeBox owners and adds a number of new features:

  • new MIDI processing capabilities (see MIDI Translator Pro update below)
  • remote access to each MIDI device connected to the BomeBox (see Bome Network update below)
  • connect up to 32 USB devices using USB hubs (previous limit was 8)

The BomeBox is available for sale world wide in (online) shops, and in the manufacturer’s web shop:

https://www.bome.com/shop

The updated firmware is available for owners of the BomeBox here:

https://www.bome.com/products/bomebox#downloads

What is the BomeBox, anyway?

The BomeBox is a versatile hardware MIDI router, processor, and translator in a small, robust case. Connect your MIDI gear via MIDI-DIN, USB, Ethernet, and WiFi to the BomeBox and benefit instantly from all its functions. It’s a solution for your MIDI connection needs on stage or in the studio.

In conjunction with the desktop editor software Bome MIDI Translator Pro (sold separately), you can create powerful MIDI mappings, including layerings, MIDI memory, and MIDI logic. A computer is only needed for creating the mapping. Once it is loaded into the BomeBox, a computer is not necessary for operation.


New Bome MIDI Translator Pro 1.9

Today, Bome Software has released version 1.9 of the flagship product Bome MIDI Translator Pro. The tool allows flexible MIDI mappings, MIDI routing, timing, MIDI logic and processing, and much more. These translation projects also run stand-alone on the BomeBox. On desktops, you can set up translations for MIDI to keystrokes and to mouse movement and clicks, for controlling non-MIDI applications.

This new version allows for even more dynamic control on desktop (Windows and macOS) and in the BomeBox:

  • dynamic processing depending which other application is currently active
  • modify MIDI routing on the fly
  • dynamic processing depending on plugging in or unplugging MIDI devices
  • improved integration with the YouTube video tutorials
  • enhanced keystroke emulation options


This update is free for owners of Bome MIDI Translator Pro.

A free trial version and more information is available here:

https://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator


New Bome Network 1.4


The Bome Network tool allows connecting your computer to one or more BomeBoxes via Ethernet and WiFi. Any MIDI application can send MIDI to the BomeBox and receive from it.

BomeBoxes are auto-discovered, and once you’ve established a connection (“paired”), it is persistent across reboots and BomeBox power cycles.

Today, Bome Software has released version 1.4 with these enhancements:

  • A new user interface makes managing your network of BomeBoxes and other MIDI devices much easier
  • Remote Direct MIDI: directly access all MIDI devices connected to a BomeBox or a remote computer
  • MIDI Router lets you define manual MIDI routings
  • Add-On: Unlimited Named MIDI Ports lets you define named virtual MIDI ports to be used with the MIDI Router
  • Dark Mode support

Bome Network is a free download for Windows and for macOS:

https://www.bome.com/products/bomenet

If you like to set up network MIDI connections from computer to computer, use the Add-On Bome Network Pro.


Bome Software

https://www.bome.com

More Playful Products with MIDI at NAMM 2022

Join MIDI Association President Athan Billias, artiphon’s Emma Supica and Oddball’s Pasquale Totaro for a discussion of playful (and round) products that use MIDI from the June 2022 NAMM show 

Follow the bouncing ball as it sends out MIDI messages and learn how music teachers in Anaheim are getting kids to express their emotions with MIDI. 



Playful Products with MIDI at NAMM 2022

Join MIDI Association President Athan Billias, Big Ear Games Aviv Ben-Yahuda , Playtronics’ Sacha Pas and Playtime Engineering’s Troy Sheets for a discussion of playful products that use MIDI from the June 2022 NAMM show. 

Sorry, it took awhile to get this interview up. But it was an entertaining conversation. Just remembering how great it was to get everyone together at the June NAMM show has us looking forward to April NAMM 2023 and the 40th anniversary of MIDI!



A very MIDI Christmas and Happy Holidays 2021 to all

The Santasizer – MIDI Controlled Santa madness

Sam Battle (LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER) released a new MIDI creation just in time for Christmas- “The Santasizer.” It’s a choir of toy Santas that can be played from a MIDI keyboard.  Add some MIDI and modular synths for the sound track and you have everything you need to have a very MIDI Christmas. 

Happy Holidays to all and sincere wishes for a joyous New Year in 2022!




Bome Software Released 3 Major Product Updates

To celebrate the last day of May is MIDI Month, we are happy to announce 3 major product updates.

Florian Bomers (Founder of Bome Software)

New BomeBox Firmware 1.5

As of today, Bome Software has released version 1.5 of the BomeBox firmware. It is a free download for BomeBox owners and adds a number of new features:

  • new MIDI processing capabilities (see MIDI Translator Pro update below)
  • remote access to each MIDI device connected to the BomeBox (see Bome Network update below)
  • connect up to 32 USB devices using USB hubs (previous limit was 8)

The BomeBox is available for sale world wide in (online) shops, and in the manufacturer’s web shop:

https://www.bome.com/shop

The updated firmware is available for owners of the BomeBox here:

https://www.bome.com/products/bomebox#downloads

What is the BomeBox, anyway?

The BomeBox is a versatile hardware MIDI router, processor, and translator in a small, robust case. Connect your MIDI gear via MIDI-DIN, USB, Ethernet, and WiFi to the BomeBox and benefit instantly from all its functions. It’s a solution for your MIDI connection needs on stage or in the studio.

In conjunction with the desktop editor software Bome MIDI Translator Pro (sold separately), you can create powerful MIDI mappings, including layerings, MIDI memory, and MIDI logic. A computer is only needed for creating the mapping. Once it is loaded into the BomeBox, a computer is not necessary for operation.


New Bome MIDI Translator Pro 1.9

Today, Bome Software has released version 1.9 of the flagship product Bome MIDI Translator Pro. The tool allows flexible MIDI mappings, MIDI routing, timing, MIDI logic and processing, and much more. These translation projects also run stand-alone on the BomeBox. On desktops, you can set up translations for MIDI to keystrokes and to mouse movement and clicks, for controlling non-MIDI applications.

This new version allows for even more dynamic control on desktop (Windows and macOS) and in the BomeBox:

  • dynamic processing depending which other application is currently active
  • modify MIDI routing on the fly
  • dynamic processing depending on plugging in or unplugging MIDI devices
  • improved integration with the YouTube video tutorials
  • enhanced keystroke emulation options


This update is free for owners of Bome MIDI Translator Pro.

A free trial version and more information is available here:

https://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator


New Bome Network 1.4


The Bome Network tool allows connecting your computer to one or more BomeBoxes via Ethernet and WiFi. Any MIDI application can send MIDI to the BomeBox and receive from it.

BomeBoxes are auto-discovered, and once you’ve established a connection (“paired”), it is persistent across reboots and BomeBox power cycles.

Today, Bome Software has released version 1.4 with these enhancements:

  • A new user interface makes managing your network of BomeBoxes and other MIDI devices much easier
  • Remote Direct MIDI: directly access all MIDI devices connected to a BomeBox or a remote computer
  • MIDI Router lets you define manual MIDI routings
  • Add-On: Unlimited Named MIDI Ports lets you define named virtual MIDI ports to be used with the MIDI Router
  • Dark Mode support

Bome Network is a free download for Windows and for macOS:

https://www.bome.com/products/bomenet

If you like to set up network MIDI connections from computer to computer, use the Add-On Bome Network Pro.


Bome Software

https://www.bome.com

Playtronica’s Orbita Makes Making MIDI Music colorful and easy

Playtronica makes playing with MIDI easy

We have always been a big fan of Berlin-based Playtronica. They have done MIDI installations for Hermes and Issey Miyake.



A real laboratory became alive in the upcoming new Hermes shop, in Manhattan, New York.
Each objects of new Hermes’ Home and jewelry collection became a musical instrument on which Playtronica’s musicians performed improvisations parts during 3 hours.



 Back on Labor Day 2020, we covered the Watermelon jam from MEZERG that used Playtronica to turn watermelons into MIDI controllers.


...

Watermelons, Summer and MIDI from MEZERG –  

Sometimes you just need to relax and do something cool. So on Labor day weekend 2020 we shared this video from MEZERG enjoying some cool watermelon, some bright sun and a dip in the pool. Oh yeah, and MIDI of course!


Orbita – transforming colors into music 

Orbita is a truly playful way to create music because it is so visual.  People of any age can enjoy it and the more you know about music and tech the more you can do with Orbita.  The user interface is simple, You place magnets on a spinning disc and synths and samples are triggered from Playtronica’s proprietary Web App. 

There are four track “orbits” and a”scratch mode” and timing can be adjusted with the spinning wheel like a classic turntable pitch control. 

But Orbita is also a USB-C compatible MIDI Controller that works with all MIDI compatible music software. There is even an extension that will convert the MIDI into Control Voltage so you can integrate Orbita with your modular synths. 

In Playtronica’s universe, everything should sound. Our past products, TouchMe and Playtron, let people turn any object into an instrument – even touching another person. With Orbita, we bring sound to color through a device that can be used for education, performance, meditation, or just jamming with friends

by Sasha Pas, founder of Playtronica


Blast from the past 

Anyone remember this MIDI product- The Yamaha DJX BII

Is okay to say “What goes around comes around” when talking about a turntable?

LEET Synth is everything we love-DIY, 3D Printable, Open Source, Modular and MIDI

You can make Johan Von Konow’s new modular synth for about $6!

“I have designed a keyboard, drum pad, chord keyboard, arpeggiator and a step sequencer. One special feature is that the units have RGB LEDs for each key, enabling playback visualization (so each device is both MIDI out and in). This is helpful for music training and editing, but it also looks great. They can be used as input devices to any computer with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Ableton, Logic, Cubase, Garageband etc. It will run on Windows, Mac or Linux (including Raspberry Pi). They can even be connected to your mobile phone (Android or iOS), providing a tactile super portable music development platform.”

by Johan Von Konow


The devices are easy to build and anyone with a 3D printer and basic soldering skills should be able to replicate them. They are designed to use few components that are easily accessible and affordable (one keyboard cost around $6). 

3D printed core (3DPCB)


Everything is open source and built with the easy to use Arduino framework.

Sourcecode written in the free to use Arduino IDE.



 For more information on how to build this project, check out Johan Von Konow’s website. 

Respiro from ImoxPlus turns your breath into an expressive instrument

Respiro is a new generation software synthesizer using physical modelling that contains a “state of the art” sound engine able to reproduce the sound and behaviour similar to wind-instruments. It has sonic capabilities of woodwinds and can also create ‘never heard before’ sounds. It turns your breath and/or touch into a unique experience, providing amazing musical vibrations!

by imoxplus


Overview

Respiro is available as Standalone, AU and VST3 64-bit plugin for macOS and Windows.

It is designed to work with MIDI controllers  that can send Pressure (Breath) via AT, CC02, CC11 etc… and note on/off including:

Aodyo Sylphyo

Emeo digital practice sax

Odisei Music TravelSax

Akai EWI

Berglund NuEvi

Lekholm DM48

Roland Aerophone

Warblre.corder

Cantux eCorder

Vindor

Tec Breathcontrollers

Hornberg MIDI breath station

New-Type.asia. ID;001 breath controller

coming up – Photon intelligent mouthpiece

It also works also with any keyboard especially when combined with a breath controller such as the TEControl.

The Aodyo Sylphyo
Roland Aerophone,

Specifications:

  • Latest version has 150 instruments + variations.
  • Automation & MIDI CC mapping.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Pure physical-modelling synthesis for maximum expression and timbre variations.
  • Wavetable synthesis.
  • No pre-recorded samples used, fast loading.
  • Designed for wind, breath and MPE MIDI controllers.
  • Highly responsive to tonguing and breath pressure.
  • Easy to shift and morph timbres by using automation or CC mapping.
  • MPE (single channel) support.
  • Hi-Resolution pressure input.
  • Load your own Impulse Response reverb.
  • Microtuning support (keyswitches or CC102-113).




...

Imoxplus – plugins for wind controllers

Imoxplus is a provider of VST and AU instruments specialised for wind & breath controllers.

Watermelons, Summer and MIDI from MEZERG

Sometimes you just need to relax and do something cool.

So on Labor day weekend 2020 we shared this video from MEZERG enjoying some cool watermelon, some bright sun and a dip in the pool.

Oh yeah, and MIDI of course! 


Want to try it yourself ? Playtronic makes it possible

Playtron is a new type of music device.

Connect Playtron to fruits and play electronic music using online synthesizers or use it as a MIDI controller with any music software and conductive objects.

by Playtronic


...

Future of human touch – gadgets for musical tactility

Buy Playtron or Touchme, two gadgets that lets you play music on any object. We are an international studio dedicated to creating meaningful interactive audio experiences, in collaboration with brands, marketers, museums, galleries, and artists.

Build a MIDI Controller with Arduino

Hi everyone! In this article I will teach you how to build your own Arduino powered MIDI controller. MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and it is a protocol that allows computers, musical instruments and other hardware to communicate. If you follow each and every step of this tutorial you will be able to make music with an Arduino!

What you are going to learn from this article:

  1. Chose the right components for this project.
  2. Sketch an interface with the right dimensions and build it.
  3. Read the circuit schematics and connect/solder every component to the Arduino.
  4. Chose the right software to connect the MIDI Controller with the DAW you are using.
  5. Mapping the MIDI Controller.

Make sure you watch the video because it´s more illustrative. Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don´t miss out on new project and to help me grow! 



Step 1: Gather All the Material 

Here is a list of the material and tools we need to complete this project:

1 x Arduino Uno Starter Kit

12 x Arcade Push Buttons

4 x Pot Knob Potenciometer

2 x Sliding Potenciometer

Material to build the case ( I decided to build a wooden case )

I chose the Arduino Starter Kit because this kit provides a lot of useful material for this project such as resistors and all the wiring and connectors. Also, if you are a begginer like me, other material with this kit can help you getting started with electronics

I bought the Arcade Buttons from the link above but if I were to buy again, I would buy THESE BUTTONS instead because I wanted to give a pattern to the interface and it was impossible with single colored buttons so I had to paint them.

Tools you will need:

  • Hobby file
  • Sand paper
  • Screw driver
  • X-acto knife
  • Caliper
  • Ruler
  • Wood bits
  • Spade bit
  • Jumper wires
  • Insulation tape
  • Varnish
  • Paint
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire cutter
  • Saw
  • Power drill
  • Mini Axe Saw
  • Dremel
  • Super glue
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Soldering paste

You can check the pictures for more details.



Step 2: Sketching and Building the Interface 

I highly recommend sketching your interface so you are sure of the dimensions you need to build the case.

I projected my interface on a A4 sheet, using a pencil a ruler and a compass. You can see the result in the picture below. By sketching the interface, you get to know the dimensions you need to install all the components. My Push Buttons have a 29.7mm diameter so I am going to drill a 30mm hole to install it. Every hole is spaced by 10mm. Basically each circle center is spaced by 40mm (diameter = 30 + space = 10).

Pot Knobs have a 10mm diameter. It is recommended to drill with increasing diameter bits to make sure not to crack the wood. I also left a 10mm space between buttons and pot knob potentiometers.

And finally, the sliding potentiometers. From the data sheet I know their travelling distance is about 80mm. You should use a Dremel to open the slots to fit in the sliding potentiometers, a.k.a. FADERS. If you don´t have this specific tool you can always do it as I show on the video. Think about a slot with 80mm length and 3mm wide.

This was my COVID-19 quarantines project. I was determined to find a productive way to spend my time and the Arduino that was left in a drawer came to mind. I went to my local store to buy wood to make the enclosure and as I bought it I was told they weren´t cutting wood because of the lack of personnel and due to this whole self-isolating/lockdown. So, I decided to buy the wood and cut it at home with the material I had available.

After removing the splinters with sand paper and preparing the surface I applied varnish paint. Two coating were applied. After I chose a color to paint the enclosure. You can check the pictures to see the result!



Step 3: Circuit Diagram and Connections

I decided to Illustrate the circuit diagram instead of drawing the conventional circuit diagram because it can get very confusing. I used several colors to separate jumper wires so you can understand where each wire belongs.

The chip used on the Arduino contains internal pull-up resistors, so there´s no need to wire resistors for each of the arcade buttons. This greatly simplifies the controller wiring.

All we need to do is choosing one leg of the Arcade Buttons to be the ground, the other will be power, which will be connected to one of the digital inputs on the Arduino board.

Faders have three legs, the first one (counting from the bottom) is the ground (-), second is power (+) and the third one is the signal.

For the Pot knob potentiometers its the following: left leg is ground (-), middle leg is the signal and right leg will be power (+).

The Arduino is going to be the brain of the MIDI Controller. It is going to send MIDI instructions to the software, depending on the button pushing input.

The interior is going to get very messing because of all the wires, I would advice you to structure the soldering process. For example, I decided to solder all the ground wires first, the power and finally I soldered the signal jumper wires.

After soldering and connecting all the pins to the Arduino board, we can close the enclosure. Have a look at the pictures to see the final outcome!


Step 4: Softwares and Programming 

You will need three pieces of software in order to be able to make music with your Arduino.

First, you need to download the Arduino IDE software to start writing your own code and upload sketches to the Arduino board.

Secondly, you need to download the LoopMidi software which is essentially a virtual midi cable.

Finally, to send your midi serial data to the LoopMidi software you will need the Hairless Midi to Serial Bridge software. This software is great to let you know if your wiring is correct because you can see the data flux exchanged between the MIDI Controller and the Hairless Midi Serial.

First step is opening the Arduino software and the code I am attaching to this Instructable (called MIDI_Controller). Credits are given to the Author Michael Balzer. You should not need to modify the code. Just verify the sketch which is kind of like a “debug” and when you get the message that the compilation is complete you can send it to the Arduino board.

Then head to the LoopMidi and chose a new port name. Once you chose one just press the plus button which will create the new port. After this step open the Hairless Midi Serial Bridge and start by selecting the MIDI In port that you have just created. Then select the same MIDI Out port. Finally chose the serial port of your computer (usually COM#). Congratulations, you have just enabled your MIDI Controller to communicate with the computer!


Step 5: Mapping the MIDI Controller 

 If you got this far Congratulations!!! You are just a few steps from start making music with Arduino and playing with your MIDI Controller!

Now you want to head over to your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and set the settings to recognize the external input which is your MIDI Controller. The example I am providing is with Ableton Live. You need to go to

Options >> Preferences : The Input Midi Port should be the one you defined earlier and you need turn the track and remote toggle button on.

Now if you press any button on your MIDI interface you should see a light flashing at the top right corner of the DAW which means the software is receiving the midi signals you are sending! To map the MIDI Controller just click on the “MIDI” button and the DAW color should turn purple. Now click over any slot and then press any button, you will see a note/control associated to it which means the button is mapped!

And you are done! Congratulations! Great project and great job! Let me know if you made it!

Jammy EVO, a next-gen stringed MIDI controller, on Kickstarter now

On its mission of creating the right MIDI device for those who feel more comfortable with 6 strings than with 25 keys, Jammy Instruments is launching a compact stringed MIDI controller Jammy EVO that allows playing any instrument like playing guitar.

The Kickstarter campaign is already live on the link. Jammy EVO raised the goal of $50,000 in just one hour, and $100,000 in two days. 

Jammy EVO translates the guitar skills into any instrument to create in any genre by connecting to a laptop or smartphone with DAW. So anyone with even basic guitar playing skills can play the whole orchestra using just one device. And in self-isolation times, Jammy EVO is more relevant than ever, allowing music enthusiasts to be a one-man-band.

Yet another thing that makes EVO stand out is its portability: being disassembled in half, the device is only 17″. With its new collapsible frame design, EVO can be even more compact than its predecessor, so it can be used on the go, or when not played, it doesn’t take up much space in the bedroom studio. Further, improved ergonomics with more comfortable neck profile, optimized string spacing, more reliable construction of latch mechanisms make playing extremely delightful.

Jammy EVO is going to have a set of next-gen optical sensors that will reduce the MIDI latency to 8—10 ms, and also improve MIDI tracking. New mappable hardware controls will be added to the current push knob and accelerometer. Also, there will be a long-awaited lefty version.


Jammy Instruments – a music tech start-up, focused on building and bringing to market innovative musical hardware and software solutions aimed to make music practice and creation mobile and accessible. Jammy Instruments has achieved its initial success with their first product — Jammy Guitar. It has raised more than 260.000 USD during its 2017 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and received Best In Show award at the Summer NAMM 2018 — the world’s largest music trade event. Now, equipped with feedback from the Jammy Guitar users’ community, Jammy Instruments is ready for the new endeavor.

Roland Announces “MIDI 2.0 Ready” A-88MKII MIDI Keyboard Controller

Roland (LVCC Central Hall, Exhibit #10719), one of the co-founders of the original MIDI specification, introduces the A-88MKII, a powerful new 88-note MIDI keyboard controller for studio and stage. The latest in a long line of professional MIDI controllers from Roland, the A-88MKII is supremely playable, with modern creative tools for today’s musicians and producers. Slim and ergonomically designed, the A-88MKII comes equipped with an acclaimed, weighted-action keyboard, plus cutting-edge features like USB-C connectivity, RGB-lit controls, and more. It’s also MIDI 2.0 ready, making it the first Roland instrument to support the new MIDI standard. 

by Roland

Standard Features

  • Unmatched playability with Roland’s own PHA-4 keyboard
  • Built-to-last with wood and premium materials for years of dependable performance
  • Eight RGB-lit assignable knobs, eight RGB-lit pads, and three pedal inputs
  • Three customizable zones, onboard arpeggiator, and chord memory
  • Thin design with shallow depth fits today’s studio environments
  • Control application for deep customization and instant recall
  • USB-C connectivity and bus power
  • MIDI 2.0 ready

Visit the MMA at the Roland CES booth (LVCC Central Hall, Exhibit #10719)

The MIDI Manufacturers Association will be spending most of our time at CES in the Roland booth (LVCC Central Hall, Exhibit #10719) so if you are at CES and are interested in MIDI 2.0, please come by the Roland booth and say hi. 

We’ll be the ones with the MIDI Manufacturers Association CES show badges. 

For more information about the A-88MKII visit the Roland website below.  

For more information about MIDI 2.0, this website is the place for the latest information about the anything that relates to MIDI. 


...

Roland – A-88MKII | MIDI Keyboard Controller

A-88MKII: MIDI Keyboard Controller – Play. Control. Rejoice.

Elk Audio OS for everyone!

Elk releases open source version of award winning Audio Operating System and Development Kit for Raspberry Pi. 

 We’ve covered ELK innovations on the site before. Check out these articles on Steinberg and the  Elk Powered Retrologue desktop synth and the collaboration between Fishman, Arturia and MIND Music Labs and the band MUSE.


...

How Fishman, Arturia and MIND Music Labs Followed their MUSE to a State of the Art Synth Guitar in 30 Days –  

British mega band MUSE is currently on tour promoting their latest album Simulation Theory performing in sold out stadiums all over the world. Each night frontman and guitarist Matt Bellamy brings out a one of a kind guitar with a special history to


...

Powered by ELK Retrologue synth –  

MIND Music Labs announced the continuation of the official partnership with music and media production products provider Steinberg — by bringing a brand-new, co-developed desktop synth prototype with full MIDI support to SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9

Elk Audio OS is the award-winning Audio Operating System from Elk (formerly known as MIND Music Labs) that allows you to run existing VST and other plugin formats on hardware instruments and audio devices in real time with ultra low latency. 

A beta version of the Elk Audio Operating System is being available under a Dual licensing model (open-source & commercial). The Elk Audio OS SDK & documentation is available and is free for anyone to start using. 

Also available on is an Elk Audio OS Development Kit for Raspberry Pithat includes a customElk Pi Audio Hat.

The Elk Pi Hat alone is one of the most advanced pro Audio Hats in the markets with down to 1 ms latency, multichannel and support for Raspberry 4 coming up in the very near future. 

“The idea behind the Elk Audio OS is to make a whole new generation of connected musical instruments possible. Instruments that can connect people around the world and spur new kinds of musical creativity. We believe there are so many potential instrument makers out there who could create fantastic things if they just had the right tools, and it is for them we have created Elk. So today I’m very happy to announce that we have reached a major milestone in our company, when we can make Elk available to everyone through the open source release.”

by – Michele Beninicaso CEO at Elk (former MIND Music Labs)


Elk Pi Hat for Raspberry Pi

  • Texas Instruments PCM3168 audio codec, 24 Bit, 48 / 96 / 192 kHz
  • 6 fixed analog audio inputs (2 configurable audio/CV inputs)
  • 6 fixed analog audio outputs (2 configurable audio/CV outputs)
  • Headphone stereo output w/ adjustable volume
  • Stereo Input jack
  • 2 fixed Control Voltage outputs
  • 2 Gate/Trigger inputs
  • 4 Gate/Trigger output
  • 16 analog sensor inputs
  • 32 digital inputs
  • 32 digital outputs
  • 5-poles DIN MIDI In/Out
  • 1 I2C interface

The Elk Pi Hat is compatible with your Raspberry Pi 3b / 3b+ 

To get started developing and prototyping with Elk, you need to download the Elk SDK from the Elk Audio Git Hub, 


...

Elk Audio OS · GitHub

Code & packages for Elk Audio OS. *Disclaimer*: only docs & SDK available now, binaries for the RPi and source code repositories will come soon. – Elk Audio OS


...

Elk Audio OS for the masses!

Elk is an ultra low latency OS (down to 1ms round-trip) that is officially supported in the VST3 SDK. Elk has additional support for JUCE and is available under a dual license (open-source & commercial).

Skwitch: Connect to your iPhone and start making music

Skwitch: It’s an iPhone accessory

David Skulina from Edinburgh, United Kingdom founded Skoogmusic  and in 2015 ran a successful funding campaign on Indiegogo and released it’s first original tactile music interface, Skoog. Skwitch is Skoogmusic’s newest offering and it is has a unique approach. It clips on your iPhone and uses onboard magnetic sensors to create a very low cost MIDI controller.

Skwitch: It’s a one button controller

Skwitch has a unique tactile interface. The 20mm of squeezable depth is let’s you press on the button for expressive control. 

Skwitch: It’s expressive

Skwitch uses patented magnetic sensing technology allowing you to vary your sound using filters and effects, or pitch-bending between notes and chords. 

Skwitch: Comes with an app

Skwitch is powered by the Skwitch Music app. It’s where you pick how and what you want to play. Choose songs, create riffs, set up your button, or get creative with other apps and devices. Whatever you choose, our app makes it easy and fun!

by Skoogmusic

Skwitch:  It’s an MPE MIDI controller !

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL HARDWARE CONTROLLER

The Skwitch Music app lets you connect to other devices using Bluetooth MIDI so that you can use Skwitch as a wireless hardware controller for apps, DAWs and plugins. With separate MPE, modulation and fx control modes, it’s easy to create a fully customised hardware-software setup.

Skwitch is compatible with the leading Bluetooth MIDI compatible apps and DAWs:

by SkoogMusic




Skwitch: For more information, check it out on Indiegogo


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Skwitch: the one-button music-making gadget & app | Indiegogo

Exclusive opportunity to influence new features & apps for this ready-to-ship | Check out ‘Skwitch: the one-button music-making gadget & app’ on Indiegogo.

Monogram Creative Console – A Modular MIDI Controller

Creative Console is a MIDI controller and much, much more

 Creative Console integrates with all your typical DAW software

  • Logic Pro X
  • Cubase
  • Ableton Live
  • FL Studio
  • Reaper

But it also features native integration with the most popular graphics programs including: 

  • Adobe Lumetri
  • Premiere Pro
  • After Effects.
  • Lightroom Classic,
  • Photoshop,  
  • Capture One by Phase One
  • and more.


Orbiter- A first-of-its-kind input device designed for expressive and precise control of 2D and 3D interactions

Orbiter

 Pressure Sensitive Disc

  • Dual Tilt/Press mechanism: tilt for expressive and confident control in X/Y directions, or press down as a large pressure sensitive plate in Z direction
  • Monogram M3D™: patent-pending sensing technology detects sub-millimeter disc deflection and is immune to dust and debris, where trackballs require cleaning
  • Ergonomic hand position: low-profile height and no more trackball flicking
  • X and Y axis individually assignable functions
  • Adjustable sensitivity and range
  • Flexible setups: combine multiple Orbiters or just use one for quick edits on set
  • Portable: easily take apart and take with you

Infinite Encoder Ring

  • 68mm (2.7″) diameter ring: designed for fine adjustments and smooth scrolling
  • High resolution optical encoder
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Soft touch finish: comfortable non-slip grip
  • Internal 47mm industrial-grade ball bearing: weighted, smooth and oil-damped feel (yes we know it’s overkill)

Example Applications

  • Video editing: color wheels, jog & timeline navigation, clip position, animation
  • Photo editing: dual temp/tint, dual hue/saturation, crop, straighten, transform
  • Music production: dual expression/modulation, dual frequency/resonance, velocity-sensitive pads




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Monogram: A Modular Productivity Tool For Creative Pros by Calvin Chu — Kickstarter

Calvin Chu is raising funds for Monogram: A Modular Productivity Tool For Creative Pros on Kickstarter! Simple. Powerful. Adaptable. Monogram is a versatile creative console flexible enough to fit your workflow and boost productivity

Tristan Calderbank made a drum robot for acoustic music

Tristan is an acoustic musician and a coder so he combined his skills in this musical performance.  


What worked and what didn’t 

Tristan tried a number of different types of motors for his robot including Car Door Locks, Stepper Motors and Solenoids, but they were all too noisy for the acoustic application he was going for. 

He finally settled on  Hitec HS-311 servos normally used for RC cars/airplanes. 


System Diagram 

The key thing here is that the Arduino controller maps MIDI note values to servo angles, and midi velocity values to the speed at which we move to those angles. For example if I sent a MIDI message (note: C2, velocity: 120), then every 1ms the controller will step the servo towards the C2 angle using some increment size determined by the velocity value.

by Tristan Calderbank


For more details…..

Tristan has more details of his project on his web page and has made the Arduino code available on his Github.  


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midi-serv/midi-serv.ino at master · tristancalderbank/midi-serv · GitHub

Control servos using MIDI notes + Arduino. Contribute to tristancalderbank/midi-serv development by creating an account on GitHub.

Re.corder re.invented as a MIDI Controller

 re.corder gives you three different ways to play. 

  • Play acoustically, with or without the application running. It’s a regular recorder. 
  • Play digitally (you can mute it with the supplied mute-plug) silently and use the sounds of the app’s library, alone or play with up to three other friends! This will allow you to to practice everywhere, day and night, without annoying anyone!
  • Use the re.corder as a MIDI wind instrument controller. The re.corder features BLE wireless MIDI connectivity


The breath sensor is an high performance pressure sensing device, that can measure the strength of your blow, and transform this information into an expression parameter. This is used by the app, and most softwares, as a modifier for modulation or other sound characteristics. The mouthpiece of the re.corder can also sense your lips, understanding when you really want to play or not!

Under every note hole there’s a single or dual touch sensor that detect your finger and the note that you want to play. The software can be modified to swap fingering styles or to allow impaired mobility players to have their own custom fingering map.

We didn’t left out anything and in fact, to allow extreme expressivity and many other applications, we implemented an inertial platform with a 3D accelerometer MEMS. This sensor is capable of interpreting the movement and the attitude of the product, opening the possibility of modifying the sound following the player’s gestures.

by artinoise


Different ways to be expressive 

With breath and lip sensors  plus a 3D accelerometer has plenty of expressive capabilities as MIDI controller.  Here a few examples of what you can do with the re.corder. 




For more info, checkout the re.corder kickstarter page.  


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the recorder, re.invented by Artinoise — Kickstarter

Artinoise is raising funds for the recorder, re.invented on Kickstarter! A modern take on one of the widest used educational instruments in school. Stimulating music learning and creation.

Audio Assemble-Video Tutorials, Product Reviews, & Pro Tools

There are lots of websites that offer information on DAWs and music production.  Audio Assemble takes a unique approach by offering articles, videos, reviews, interviews and information on schools that offer degrees in music and music production. 

The database they have put together about music schools is impressive and they also have a listing for the top 25 audio engineering schools. 

Audio Assemble has a lot of articles about Pro Tools, but they also cover a lot of MIDI topics especially in their list of top MIDI products for different categories. 

Here is an example of what an Audio Assemble MIDI Controller review looks like

6. Komplete Kontrol S88

Best for Pianists

Komplete Kontrol S88

The latest release of Native Instrument’s flagship MIDI controller, the Komplete Kontrol S88, brings a plethora of new additions to the already elite system. Some of the improvements are long-awaited quality-of-life changes, such as the ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, a unique touch strip for advancing tracks and tweaking synth elements, and Smart Spring memory foam damping for the fully weighted 88 hammer keys.

In addition to the smaller improvements, NI’s real innovation comes with the newfound access to all of your production tools, right at your fingertips. With this latest release, the Komplete Kontrol S88 now has two high-res color screens- allowing for visualizing, mixing, and editing, all from the hardware.

The dual screens allow for in-depth sound design and creative applications, such as a sampler on one display and a synthesizer mid-tweak on the other. For those who know of the convenience of using dual screens in everyday production, this elite system will quickly become the center of your production setup.

In addition to the 1:1 keyboard experience, the Komplete Kontrol S88 comes pre-loaded with the Komplete 12 Select Bundle- containing Massive, Monark, Drumlab, Phasis, Replika and more. Three sound packs are included with said bundle, offering the “True School,” “Velvet Lounge,” and “Deep Matter” sound packs.

Lastly, the Komplete Kontrol S88 offers out-of-the-box integration with MASCHINE, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Cubase, Nuendo, and GarageBand. For users of FL Studios and other DAWs like Reaper, only a few driver downloads are required before you are ready to master your production.

Price: $1,049

Features:

  • Keybed: 88-key hammer-action Fatar keybed with a real piano feel
  • Pitch Bend / Modulation: two rotary wheels with anti-slip coating are featured above the pads.
  • Pads: 16 velocity-sensitive RGB backlit drum pads with out-of-the-box Ableton Live integration.
  • Build: Lightweight, low profile.
  • Knobs: eight 360 degree fully-customizable knobs.
  • Faders: None.
  • Pedal Inputs: expression pedal and footswitch inputs.
  • Octaves: Up and Down.
  • Extra Features: Comes with KOMPLETE 12 SELECT: 14 premium instruments and effects, including THE GENTLEMAN, Massive, Monark, Drumlab, Phasis, Replika, Reaktor, and more.


Here is an example of what an Audio Assemble MIDI Pad review looks like.

iRig Pads [$149.95]

Pioneers in the “making music with iOS” category, IK Multimedia has a host of midi controllers for iPads or iPhones. One highlight in its iRig collection is the iRig Pads. The iRig Pads is a fully-functional pad controller with a 4×4 layout with multiple programmable peripherals.

Features:

  • 16 RGB Backlit Trigger Pads
  • Velocity-sensitive
  • Programmable slider
  • 2 Assignable Push Buttons
  • 2 Programmable Knobs
  • 1 Assignable Push Rotary Encoder
  • USB Port to use with non-iOS devices
  • Expression/Sustain Pedal Input


Here is an example of what an Audio Assemble MIDI Foot Controller review looks like. 

5. Keith McMillen Instruments 12 Step Chromatic Keyboard

See Current Prices

Overview

This lightweight chromatic keyboard controller from Keith McMillen Instruments packs everything you need for a dynamic MIDI experience into a sturdy one-pound unit. When plugged into your on-stage setup via MIDI or connected using USB, this versatile device brings a whole new level of functionality and energy to your performances. Use it to control MIDI interfaces, sound modules, and soft synths throughout each show, taking advantage of the velocity-sensitive pedals to create a variety of unique tones. Bright backlighting makes it easy to see the controls onstage so that you’re always in control of your effects.

With the capability to store up to five notes per key, the 12 Step can crank out multiple complex chords on demand. Enjoy endless musical possibilities with the dozens of factory presets and the ability to create many more of your own.

Features

  • 13 velocity-sensitive keys
  • Touch responsive operation
  • Backlighting for keys and display
  • Program up to five notes per key
  • Made from strong, long-lasting carbon fiber
  • 59 factory presets
  • Up to 128 user presets



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Best Music Schools in the United States | 2019 Rankings

Use our filtering tool to find a music school that fits your needs. Filter by state, student population, school type, and more!

GenkI Instruments Wave Ring is Now Shipping

Genki Instruments announced that they were shipping Wave, the ring that lets you control sound with motion. With three easy-to-use buttons, Wave allows musicians to easily change sounds, parameters and effects using gestures. Since being funded on Indiegogo, many well known musicians have used the Genki Wave on stage and in the studio. 

Bergur Þórisson used the Wave on the Björk’s Utopia Tour in 2018.

“Wave adds a new dimension to musical creativity. It took me a while to realize that the best thing about Wave is not only that it can replace some of the tools you already have to control stuff when you are making music, but that it can make you control stuff in a completely different way, therefore making decisions that you would have never made without it. It’s a cool tool for all creatives and I can definitely recommend adding it to your workflow, whether you use it to replace your old techniques or invent new ones.”

by Bergur Þórisson

Richard Devine, electronic musician, producer and sound designer also uses Wave along with Wavefront, the Eurorack receiver also developed by Genki Instruments. 

Wave has 6 functions you can use individually or mixed together to control your sounds. 

Four different motions allow you to control any parameter in a new way. By tapping any surface you can trigger notes or samples. Easily accessible buttons on the ring allow you to cycle between presets, send commands and simply pause Wave so you can move your hands freely without changing anything.

You can easily customize each function to suit your setup. You can for example customize

  • Movement range
  • Sensitivity of taps (how hard you need to hit the surface)
  • CC values of output
  • Which note values are sent out by taps and button clicks
  • And more…

It’s compatible with: 

Hardware

A computer with built in bluetooth 4.0+

Mac OSX 10.10+

Windows 10 v.1809

iOS 8+

Android 6+

Software

All DAWs that can map MIDI

All iOS Applications that can map MIDI

All Android applications that can map MIDI

You can find more information on the Genki website.

Bitmi – New USB MIDI Drum Pad

Hello everyone, my name is Diego Leroux. I´m from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I would like to share with the community a new product I’ve been developing for the past 3 years.

It’s called Bitmi, a USB MIDI velocity sensitive drum pad. Bitmi was designed to be simple and effective as a tool to record percussive MIDI tracks.

It’s class compliant so no drivers are needed. Works with PC, Mac and iOS devices (Apple camera kit needed)

They are hand assembled at my shop and they are built to last. The case is made of solid wood and then lacquered in three choices of finishes, black, red and green. You can also mount it on any 8mm cymbal stand.

2 year warranty and shipping worldwide with Fedex.

You can check all the info at www.bitmishop.com

Lay down your MIDI tracks faster than ever



Plug and play

A great add on to your studio or live setup.

Practice anywhere

Plug it to any iOS device and you can play on the go.

Accesories

6ft. USB cable, locking nut and padded bag.

Blokas Midihub Standalone MIDI Processor & Router

MMA Member Blokas releases a USB to MIDI router with built-in MIDI processing 

Midihub has 4 MIDI DIN inputs, 4 MIDI DIN output ports and a USB port for power supply and/or communicating with the PC and its software. Using the dedicated 
Midihub Editor lets you customize Midihub’s processing as well as setup and store detailed MIDI routing between all the connected devices.

Here is some of what can you do with the processing inside of the Midihub. 

Midihub Editor 

You can download the Midihub editor and look at all the possibilities on the Blokas website.  Here what you can put together, but of course the effects don’t work until you have connected the Midihub.  One of the very cool things about the MIDIhub is that once the effects have been programmed and stored into one of the eight selectable Presets in the box, you can just take the MIDIhub to your gig without the need for a computer.  It’s like a programmable MIDI effects pedal. 

Midihub Youtube videos 

Here are two Youtube videos.  One from Blokas is an overview of the Midihub and the other is from Loopop and shows how you can use the Midihub to emulate some of the ideas that Olafur Arnalds has developed in his work. 

Ólafur Arnalds’ MIDI Generative effects and Pianos that go Bleep Bloop

Ólafur Arnalds didn’t start out playing keyboards. He started out as a drummer in hard rock bands. He is not alone. Yoshiki from the legendary Japanese hard rock band X Japan comes to mind. Many people forget that the piano is classified as a percussion instrument along with marimbas and vibraphones. 

He has unique approach to music that combines technology and a traditional almost classical approach to composition. He also is one of the few people still using the MOOG Piano bar, a product developed by Bob Moog and Don Buchla (now discontinued) to turn any piano into a MIDI device. 

Photo: Richard Ecclestone


What’s behind bleep bloop pianos

In many interviews, Ólafur says that his acoustic pianos bleep and bloop. 

In these two Youtube video, he explains how MIDI technology is a core part of his creative process. What is is interesting is how organic and emotional the resulting music is.  The technology nevers get in the way of the art and only compliments it. 

This video explains how the three acoustic pianos are connected by MIDI. 

I am in constant search of new ways to approach art with technology, interaction and creativity.

by Halldór Eldjárn

Halldór Eldjárn is another Icelandic artist who worked on the All Strings Attached project and developed some robotic MIDI instruments for the project. 


Ólafur Arnalds on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts 

To see a complete performance of this unique use of MIDI processing,  listen to this performance on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts. 


How to Bleep (and Bloop) yourself

Arnalds has released a library of sounds for Spitfire Audio recorded at his studio on his  ‘felted’ grand piano along with added content in the Composers Toolkit. 

Recently MIDI Manufacturer Association member Blokas released the Midihub, a MIDI router and processor.  In our article on the MIDIhub, Loopop explains how to use the Midihub to create some Olafur Arnalds inspired MIDI effects of your own. 

Jamstik Shares Plans for New Studio MIDI Guitar

The newest Jamstik, the Studio, is a full-size, MIDI-capable electric guitar allowing producer-guitarists to create seamlessly in DAWs and music apps.

Guitarists and piano players have an equal appetite for music production, but guitar players have been left wanting due to previous technological barriers in the digital guitar market. Jamstik, leaders in innovating and modernizing the MIDI Guitar market, today share plans to expand its product offerings with the Studio—a MIDI-capable, DAW compatible electric guitar.

“When Jamstik was founded in 2009, our goals were to educate the next generation of guitar players, and open up the creative potential of MIDI compatibility to the world of guitarists,” said Matt Cannon, Jamstik’s Director of Growth. “While we’ve made strides in both areas with our existing Jamstik portable guitar controllers, the Studio is a product we’ve wanted to launch since the beginning; and one we know many customers and partners are equally excited for.”

The Jamstik Studio edition has 24 frets with standard 25.5″ scale-length, but its headless design and minimal body put it at about 3/4 the size of a standard electric— making it studio and travel-friendly. 

The Studio MIDI Guitar includes the following features:

  • Dual Electric-MIDI Capabilities: Record audio, track MIDI, or do both simultaneously.
  • Analog Audio: Includes standard 1/4” to plug into amps, pedals, and interfaces as usual.
  • Versatile I/O Ports For MIDI Processing & Charging:
    • USB C for MIDI Out & Charging
    • 3.5mm TRS-MIDI Out option
    • Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity for BLE-MIDI In/Out
  • DAW Compatible: Works out of the box with all MIDI capable DAWs and plugins.
  • Dedicated VST: Jamstik will provide a custom-built VST which will include a curated library of specifically designed sounds for the Studio guitar (also compatible with previous Jamstik models). 

Product Backstory: The Studio full-size MIDI guitar has always been a dream of the team of developers at Jamstik. Having recently completed a crowdfunding campaign for the Jamstik 7 and Jamstik 12, advances in digital signal processing gave the team a choice: press on with the 12 as designed or move the technology into a truly powerful, full-size instrument. The decision was made to move ahead with the time-honored full guitar format. All Jamstik 12 backers will be receiving the upgraded Studio model upon release. 

Pre-Order Coming Soon: Join the email waitlist at jamstik.com/studio to reserve your spot. Additional information and assets are available on the Jamstik Press Page and on Vimeo

About Jamstik 

The Minneapolis-based team has created a new format for guitar learning & music production; helping grow the digital channel of the traditional guitar market. The evolving company looks to capitalize on profound changes in technology and culture—to support innovative classrooms, studios, and stages. Learn more at jamstik.com 

Media Contact: Meredith Cannon: meredith@zivix.net 

Business Inquiries: sales@zivix.net

ROLI BLOCKS-Modular Wireless MIDI Touch System


BLOCKS is a modular music making system made up of 5 components


Seaboard Block Super Powered Keyboard

  • Multi-award-winning Seaboard interface
  • 5D Touch technology
  • 24 keywave, two-octave playing surface
  • Hundreds of free sounds
  • Suite of music making software for desktop and mobile
  • Wireless and portable for making music on the go
  • Connects to other Blocks


Lightpad Block Expressive Musical Touchpad

  •  Touch responsive soft silicon playing surface
  • LED illumination reconfigures Lightpad M for different notes and scales
  • Adaptable surface can become a drum pad, fader bank, effects launcher and more
  • Hundreds of free sounds
  • Suite of music making software for desktop and mobile
  • Wireless and portable for making music on the go
  • Connects to other Blocks


Perform with the Live Block

 The Live Block is for performance. The buttons let you switch scales and octaves, trigger chords and arpeggios, and sustain notes in real time.


Touch Block-Add Expression Faster

Touch Block helps you adjust the expressive behavior of your Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block. Turn up or turn down the responsiveness of the surface to the Strike, Glide, Slide, Press, and Lift dimensions of touch. Maximize the depth of expression available through pressure, or minimize the pitch-bend effect of sideways movements. Customize your control of any sound in real time and on the fly.


Loop Block-Produce Faster
 

Loop Block helps you produce a track faster. Record loops and play them back. Set your tempo, and quantize your loops so they’re always in time. 



ROLI Dashboard 

Customize BLOCKS and the Seaboard RISE for your workflow 

Blocks become open-ended MIDI control surfaces through ROLI Dashboard. Customize the LED-illuminated Lightpad Block by loading different apps, including a note grid, a bank of faders and more. Use Control Blocks as CC controllers for your favorite DAW. 



IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O

MIDI Controller/Audio Interface for mobile musician

The iRIg Keys I/O comes in two version a a 25-key MIDI controller version and a 49-key MIDI controller version.  Both feature built-in audio interfaces with 24-bit/96kHz sound quality, a Neutrik combo input, and phantom power and eight touch-sensitive RGB LED backlit drum pads.

iRIG I/O 25

iRIG I/O 49


Complete suite of music production software included

 The iRig Keys I/O 25 comes with all the software you need to start creating music. Ableton Live Lite is the perfect DAW to get started with and IK Multimedia adds RackS Deluxe with 10 i mixing and mastering tools and  SampleTank 3 with 4,000 rinstruments, 2,500 rhythm loops, and 2,000 MIDI files. If you are mobile musician, SampleTank iOS for iPad and iPhone is a full-featured mobile sound and groove production studio.

Ableton Live lite

Sample Tank 3

T-RackS Deluxe


IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 49 Features:

  • MIDI controller with 49 full-size, velocity-sensitive keys
  • 8 touch-sensitive RGB LED backlit drum pads for beat creation
  • Touch-sensitive sliders and buttons plus touch-sensitive rotary controllers for controlling soft synths and other apps
  • Built-in USB audio interface features excellent 24-bit/96kHz sound quality
  • Neutrik combo input with phantom power handles nearly any microphone or instrument
  • Stereo line output and headphone jack provides ample monitoring options
  • Mac/PC/iOS compatible (MFi certified, lightning cable included)
  • Powered via USB (Mac/PC), batteries (iOS), or optional power supply (sold separately)
  • Includes full versions of T-RackS Deluxe, SampleTank 3, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE, Ableton Live Lite, and SampleTank iOS for iPad and iPhone
  • iOS stand is included

K Board Pro 4- Expressive Smart Sensor Keyboard

With K-Board Pro 4 we’ve taken the format of a traditional keyboard and updated it for the 21st Century. With our SmartFabric™ Sensors underneath each key you can tweak any synthesis parameter in real time by moving your fingers while you are playing. The MIDI MPE Standard is the future for expressive controllers and we have designed the K-Board Pro 4 to be the ultimate MPE Controller.

by Keith McMillen


Multidimensional Expression

The Keith McMillen Instruments K-Board Pro 4 is a 4-octave MIDI keyboard controller with multidimensional touch sensitivity in each key. K-Board Pro 4 supports MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) that allows additional gestures individually on each key.  You can wiggle your finger horizontally to generate MIDI CC commands,  slide vertically to open up a filter, or apply pressure to control volume. For non-MPE synths, the K-Board Pro 4 provides fully featured polyphonic aftertouch. The data from each gesture is completely assignable and sent individually per note.


Keith McMillen Instruments K-Board Pro 4 Features: 

  • Provides a level of expressiveness previously attainable only with acoustic instruments
  • Expressive Smart Sensor Keyboard Fabric technology
  • Support for MPE (MIDI polyphonic expression) protocol
  • SmartFabric sensors underneath each key
  • Transmits attack and release velocity and continuous pressure, as well as horizontal and vertical position data
  • 48 resilient silicone keys and no moving parts for superior durability
  • USB powered; class compliant
  • MacOS/Windows, iOS/Android compatibility

SmartFabric sensor technology 

Under each key is Keith McMillen Instruments’ patented Smart Sensor Fabric technology which let you tweak any synthesis parameter in real time simply by moving your fingers while you are playing. 

The K-Board Pro 4 is USB powered and class compliant to ensure compatibility with MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, as well as all MIDI-enabled hardware.

Editors in OSX, Windows and Web MIDI formats 

 Keith McMillan Instruments provides editors for OSX and Windows, but you can also edit and update your K Board Pro 4 directly online using Web MIDI.



IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard

Bluetooth LE MIDI Pedalboard for controlling iOS and Mac apps

The IK Multimedia Blue Board uses the new BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) MIDI specification so you can control your music apps wirelessly with your feet! 


If you’re using iOS apps such as IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube, you can now send control messages to them for up to 32.8 feet via Bluetooth MIDI connection.


There are two expansion TRS jacks for expression pedals to give you more control over your sound.  


IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard Features:

  • Wireless Bluetooth technology that functions up to 10 meters (32.8 feet)
  • 4 backlit control pads with additional LEDs that light when the pad is active
  • 2 expansion 1/4″ TRS jacks for additional expression pedals
  • Compatible with Mac and iOS devices
  • Powered by 4 standard AAA batteries
  • Small enough to fit in a laptop bag


Roland Brings Wireless MIDI to Digital Wind Instruments!

As one of the inventors the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, Roland has continued to push the boundaries of the now 36-year old protocol(!) by continuously developing MIDI-based applications which bring totally new creative opportunities to musicians. One such application is the Roland AE-05 Aerophone GO, a unique digital wind instrument which uses MIDI (and Audio) over Bluetooth to dramatically expand the playing experience.

Connecting to a compatible iOS or Android mobile device using Bluetooth allows the Aerophone GO to interact with a range of apps including Roland’s own Aerophone GO Plus and Aerophone GO Ensemble.  

With Aerophone GO Plus, a player gains 50 new sounds triggered by MIDI over Bluetooth and can jam along to their favorite songs from their smartphone. In addition to an integrated metronome, the app also allows for customizing the connected Aerophone to suit the player’s technique, with all changes being communicated by MIDI over Bluetooth. 

A second app, Aerophone GO Ensemble, connects up to 7 players with a single mobile device for group performance using a common bank of sounds, all facilitated by MIDI over Bluetooth. Whether the application is a lesson with teacher, a duo performance, or a complete ensemble, MIDI over Bluetooth supports a unique wireless playing experience that would have been difficult to imagine 30+ years ago! 


Not only the volume but also the sound itself is dynamically affected by the force with which you blow into the mouthpiece and the strength with which you bite it, providing a natural and richly expressive sound. 

by Roland


The Aerophone has tons of internal sounds and built-in speakers, but it is also a great MIDI controller. Here are some of the parameters you can control on the Aerophone AE-10. The Bite Sensor can control pitch and vibrato. The strength of your breath effects not only volume, but other parts of the sounds 





...

Roland – Aerophone GO | Digital Wind Instrument

Aerophone GO: Digital Wind Instrument – Explore the Inspirational World of Wind Instruments

Moritz Simon Geist aka “Sonic Robots” creates Techno Music Robots!

 At SXSW 2019, Moritz Simon Geist performed and presented several workshops on using robots and MIDI.  His new EP is created completely with MIDI controllers controlling robots he created himself. 

A latency control concept for midi driven mechanic robotic instruments

Geist is deeply into MIDI. His blog details a proposal for how to overcome the latency caused by physical movements of robots using MIDI and Cycling 74′ Max.  

DrumSpider – MIDI -> Light Interface for beginner drummers


          Group of passion electronics and musicians created DrumSpider – the device to learn how to play the drums in 5 minutes.

They just launched Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.


DrumSpider is the device which mounted on your drum kit will show you exactly how to play any song you wish. 8 ultra bright LED diodes fixed on flexible legs will highlight the drum kit component which needs to be hit in that time. It comes with application which allows you to play any popular song from MIDI format with possibility to adjust the song tempo to your individual needs. Playing the drums was never so easy before.

Drum Spider is the MIDI – light interface.

You can use it with any DAW program or any application to play MIDI files. When you connect / pair it wireless with your computer, tablet or smartphone it will be recognized as standalone MIDI device.

MIDI is the standardized format to save the music in digital format as notes used e.g. for Karaoke.

You can generate MIDI Files e.g. from tabs.

You can also find hundreds of thousands free MIDI files in internet. There is almost every song there.

You will get free sample database of very popular rock songs with DrumSpider.

It comes also with DrumSpider application which allows you to play MIDI files with possibility to adjust the speed/tempo.

The MIDI file or only selected section of it can be played both on DrumSpider and your headphones at the same time so you can see and hear what to play.

DrumSpider is using different colors to show you what exactly should you do with hi-hat (open/pedal/closed) and ride (middle/bell) .

Ultra bright LED diodes will highlight all of your drum set components very well in proper time. 


If you want to see more information or support the campaign it’s available under link on the top.




MIDIWrist turns your Apple Watch (and soon Siri) into a MIDI Controller

Geert Bevins’ watch app lets you wear your MIDI controller on your wrist

Geert Bevin (who was one of the main people who developed MIDI Polyphonic Expression)  recently released MIDIWrist.  MIDIWrist truns your Apple Watch intoa MIDI controller. 

Here is a pre-release demo using the Moog Model D iPhone app (Geert does a lot of work for Moog).


The Apple Watch has some real advantages as a MIDI controller because it provides  haptic feedback (the use of touch to communicate with users). 

MidiWrist turns your Apple Watch into a wireless MIDI controller.

The tactile feel of the digital crown combined with haptic feedback, gives you control over any MIDI synthesizer by touching your wrist, even when you’re not looking.

MidiWrist makes no sound on its own and requires an Apple Watch to function.

Any CoreMIDI application or device can be controlled by MidiWrist. This includes Virtual MIDI, Network MIDI, Bluetooth MIDI and Physical MIDI Devices through a supported MIDI hardware interface.

Features:

• Four knobs can be controlled with the digital crown

• Macro control over multiple synth parameters from the Digital Crown

• Remotely Play / Stop / Record / Rewind your DAW from your Watch

• Knobs can be controlled individually or simultaneously

• Knobs can be linked to preserve their offsets

• Four buttons can be toggled by tapping the Watch

• Buttons can either be stateful or momentary

• Program changes through the digital crown or by tapping the Watch

• Transport control over MIDI Machine Control (MMC) or Mackie Control Universal (MCU)

• Scrub transport with the digital crown

• Save / Undo / Toggle Cycle / Toggle Click through MCU

• XY pad with individual messages for each axis

• Optional haptic feedback for all Watch interactions

• Optional value display on the Watch

• Configurable colors for all knobs and buttons

• Configurable labels for knobs and buttons

• Configurable MIDI channels and CC numbers

• Hide the Watch pages that aren’t needed

• Save your configurations to preset for easy retrieval

• MIDI learn for easy controller configuration

• MIDI input to sync the state of the controllers with the controlled synths

• Advertise as a Bluetooth MIDI device

• Connect to other Bluetooth MIDI devices

• Monitor the last MIDI values on the iPhone

• Low latency and fast response

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by Geert Bevin


SIRI voice control coming soon 

Soon MIDIWrist will allow you to control SIRI bringing voice command control of MIDI to your DAW.   We always find it amazing how MIDI adopts to the newest technologies to always stay relevent. 


MIDIWrist Screenshots 



...

‎MidiWrist on the App Store

‎Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about MidiWrist. Download MidiWrist and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Roland GO:PIANO with Alexa Voice Controlled MIDI

World’s First Alexa Controlled Digital Piano Translates Alexa Skills to MIDI Commands

At CES 2019, Roland announced the first MIDI digital musical instrument able to be controlled by the Amazon Alexa. 

Like all Roland GO products, the Roland GO:PIANO features both audio and MIDI Bluetooth connectivity.  With built-in speakers, battery power and built-in Bluetooth, the GO:PIANO lets you connect to your smartphone, store your performances to the cloud and practice and perform music on the GO. 

The Roland GO:PIANO with Alexa Built-In was one of the “Top Innovations” of #CES2019. 

By combining the GO:PIANO with Alexa Built-in digital piano with Roland’s powerful Alexa Skill, aspiring musicians at any level can enjoy simple voice operation of their instrument while their hands play music. Additionally, Alexa Built-in and Roland’s Alexa skill open up a world full of cloud-based creative possibilities, from enjoying libraries of play-along music across the widest variety of genres to sharing recorded personal performances with family and friends around the world. Moreover, Roland will continue to update and expand the capabilities of the Alexa Skill to embrace new instruments and new benefits for novice and experienced musicians alike.

by Roland


GO:PIANO, Alexa Skills and MIDI 

At CES 2019, we caught up with Corey Fournier, Market Development Mgr. at Roland and he shared how Alexa and MIDI work together to provide hands free, voice controlled MIDI. 


Roland is also looking at updating their Piano Partner app to utilize Alexa skills and translate those Skills into MIDI commands. 

Piano Partner 2 Smart Phone App 

The Piano Partner 2 app for iOS and Android mobile devices has a host of features to help you practice and record music. 

DigiScore Lite show the piano’s internal music collection on your device’s display,

Rhythm and Flash Card help you build your musical skills. 

Recorder and Diary functions store your practice times to the cloud and help you evaluate your performances and keep track of your daily practice activities.

The Top 5 MIDI to CV Converters in 2018

If you want to use MIDI with either pre-MIDI analog synths or with modular Eurorack analog synth systems, you need to convert digital MIDI signals into analog voltages.  Fortunately, there are lots of options. 

We’ve selected the top 5 MIDI to CV convertors, but there are tons of choices.  The first three are Eurorack solutions.  So you’ll need to a Eurorack to use them.  The Kenton PRO SOLO Mk3 MIDI To CV Converter​ is a standalone box so it can be used with pre MIDI monophonic anlaog synths as well as in other studio situations. 


Polyend Poly MIDI and USB to CV/Gate Eurorack Module

 The Polyend Poly module is a polyphonic MIDI to CV converter Eurorack module and is one of the most complete MIDI to CV converters on the market.  It has USB and 5 Pin DIN MIDI inputs and lots of CV outputs

It has three performance modes. First and Next mode are designed for use with an external controller while Channel mode is designed for use with external sequencers or your DAW

  • Polyphonic universal MIDI to CV converter Eurorack module
  • Supports the MPE standard for use with innovative controllers like the LinnStrument, the Seaboard series, and more
  • Inputs include MIDI DIN, USB A (5-volt), and USB B
  • 8 Gate outputs (0–12 volts)
  • 8 Pitch outputs (0–12 volts, V/oct)
  • 8 Velocity outputs (0–12 volts)
  • 8 Modulation outputs (0–12 volts, CC value can be set 0–127 via dip switches on back panel)

Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms MIDI 3 Eurorack MIDI-to-CV Converter Module

 

The Midi 3 Midi to CV converter has mono and duophonic midi response modes, assignable CC and dedicated velocity outputs.  Monophonic has several different keyboard modes – Last note priority, low note priority, and high note priority and all are available with and without gate retriggering.

Ir also has a built-in Arpeggiator that can be clocked using tap tempo, midi clock, or external gate.with lots of features. . Speaking of the clock, the Midi 3 Module has 3 Clock Modes:

Internal Clock – The Midi 3 clock has a tap tempo button to change the tempo of the internal clock.

External Midi Clock – The external midi clock responds to midi start/stop messages and midi tempo from an external midi clock source. 

External Gate Clock – The external gate clock responds to gate signals patched into the CLOCK jack. The external gate clock is used to clock the arpeggiator. 

ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF THE MIDI 3:

Assignable Midi Channel – The Midi 3 can be assigned to respond to all channels or any individual midi channel.

Assignable Pitch Bend Range – The range of pitch bend can be set to +/- 2 notes, +/- 5th, +/- 1 octave, +/- 2 octaves.

Control Change Output – CC response of 0-5v.

Assignable Control Change Channel Assign – Assign the midi CC channel the Midi 3 responds to.

Velocity Output – Velocity response of 0-5v based on active note. 


Doepfer A-190-4 Eurorack USB/MIDI to CV/Gate/Sync Interface Module

The A-190-4 module offers MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB, CV1, CV2, Gate, Clock, and Reset ports. 


Kenton PRO SOLO Mk3 MIDI To CV Converter 

If you are looking for something standalone that doesn’t need a Eurorack ( for example if you just want to control and pre MIDI mono analog synth.  The Kenton PRO SOLO Mk3 may fit the bill. 

Here are the features from the Kenton website.​

  • Designed to control all types of mono-synth
  • Super-fast response time
  • Rugged brushed aluminium case
  • CV output uses high specification 16 bit D/A converter for rock-steady pitches
  • Runs from standard 9 volt power supply, 2.1mm centre positive
  • CV/Gate/Aux outputs on 3.5mm jack sockets (3.5mm to 1/4″ cables are available in our cables section)
  • MIDI IN socket
  • MIDI THRU socket can be switched to become Sync 24
  • Any MIDI channel can be selected
  • Switchable for V/oct & Hz/V & 1.2V/oct scaling systems
  • Fine tune & scale are controllable using the edit buttons & settings can be stored
  • Transpose (coarse tune) – up & down 12 semitones
  • Adjustable pitchbend range
  • Programmable Gate V-trig (up to 15v) or S-trig (with or without pull-up)
  • Multiple and single trigger modes
  • Note priority selection – newest / lowest / highest
  • Old notes are remembered to facilitate trill effects and increase playability
  • Portamento – fixed rate or fixed time modes
  • Auto Portamento mode selectable (where legato playing turns on Portamento)
  • Portamento Controller is selectable
  • Three programmable Aux variable analogue outputs, controllable by any MIDI controller
  • Programmable LFO – 9 wave shapes inc. random
  • LFO can modulate pitch &/or Aux 1 output
  • Separate Controllers for LFO to CV and LFO to Aux 1
  • LFO can be synchronised to MIDI clock
  • LFO sync point can be selected
  • Key-on can reset LFO
  • Aux outputs can output clock, with two individual dividers to choose from
  • All parameters are controllable in real-time by SysEx
  • 32 setups can be stored in non-volatile memory for easy recall
  • MIDI Analyser mode – for easy MIDI troubleshooting
  • Power supply included – UK / EU / USA / Australian types available

What’s new or different about the Mk3?

  • Aux 2 & Aux 3 are now continuously variable analogue outputs and are presented on 3.5mm jack sockets
  • Expanded selection of Controllers available for the Aux outputs
  • The Aux outputs now have adjustable slew rate (rise/fall time) to enable you to smooth out any controller jumps
  • Built-in ADSR envelope generator (the controls for which can be assigned to MIDI CCs)
  • Drum Trigger mode – Aux outputs can be set to produce a velocity-variable trigger pulse for drum synths, each with its own dedicated trigger note
  • Dual clock dividers, which can be used simultaneously on different outputs, including the DIN socket when not used as MIDI out
  • Variable gate-off time for re-trigger (multiple trigger)
  • 32 program memories which can store and recall setups
  • MIDI Program Changes can be used to recall setups
  • Pre-loaded setups for many of the most popular synths
  • Pitchbend range increased to 48 notes up & down
  • Flash upgradable using SysEx when updates become available
  • 32 bit ARM processor
  • Brushed aluminium case with black text

DIY MIDI to CV

If you want the least expensive MIDI to CV option and you’ve got some DIY chops, you can build one yourself.  There are many DIY MIDI to CV projects on Maker and other DIY sites, but we found this DSP synth site from Jan in Sweden.


...

DIY USB-MIDI to CV Board | DIY Synthesizer

The preprogrammed Digispark DIY USB-MIDI to CV board is now available in the webshop. http://webshop.dspsynth.eu

 The blog tells you how to build it yourself and provides all the code and details you need. 

But if you want to just focus on music,  you can also buy it from the store. 

OceanSwift Xbox Midi Controller

Main Features

VST 32/64BIT & STANDALONE WINDOWS ONLY CONTROLLER

 

 Officially supports Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Aimpad controllers

Standalone and VSTi in 32 and 64 bits
Run it Standalone or in your DAW or choice.

Control any MIDI-capable Hardware or Software

Control your favourite hardware and software, simply and easily! Control Music software, hardware instruments, your favourite VST plug-ins, Light system, you name It…

Improved looks, code, functionality and compatibility

 v2.5 is now more powerful than ever, now supports Xbox, PS and even Generic* *Support in Generic controllers is NOT Guaranteed

Clean, clear, simple and focused


midiBeam v2 ADVANCED WIRELESS MIDI TRANSMISSION SYSTEM


pandaMidi Solutions announces midiBeam v2

 

This two-box system connects any controller having a standard 5-pin MIDI Out socket to any of the following devices:

  • any synthesizer, sound generator, effect device, computer having a standard MIDI In socket,
  • any laptop or desktop computer having a USB connector,
  • any iOS 7+ device (iPhone, iPad) with a Camera Kit.

The Novel Features of Kara MIDI Controller

After seeing the energetic guitar playing of Muse’s Matt Bellamy, I wanted to give electronic musicians a tool to achieve similar playing style with high visual impact. Easily, without years of training. And make them move.

Reinventing The Wheel 

In early concepts player would start a sound by rotating a wheel. Rotational speed would define the velocity for the sound. The rotation could be stopped by palm muting. The direction would define MIDI channel.

As the note layout of a guitar fretboard is quite complicated for many, the conventional keyboard layout was copied and mirrored.

Scratch That 

After numerous design iterations, coding and testing sessions, breadboard connections, deformed 3D printed parts, PMMA fumes from laser cutter, layers of paint, wasted adhesives, PCB rats net corrections, capacitive touch calibrations and CNC machining hours… Kara prototype was finally ready in May, 2018.

Trigger Happy 

​The notes are selected from fingertip-sized pits. The prototype has a four-octave Pitboard.

With Note Triggers, the selected notes are played by strumming or tapping.

Strummed notes are sustained indefinitely. There’s no need to touch them any longer; player can freely select new notes without affecting the strummed ones. If nothing has been selected from the Pitboard, strum action repeats the previously selected notes.

When tapping, player touches one or more Note Trigger(s) and the selected notes are played via the touched channel(s). If there are strummed notes playing on the channel, tapping stops them.

When Motion Trigger is touched, data from motion sensor is read.

Touching a Note Trigger, selects the associated MIDI channel.

The note layout was designed for easy memorization and for effortless selection of basic chords.

Command and Control 

​The usage of Note Triggers made a dual role for the Pitboard possible. The controller can recognise whether player has selected notes for playing, or values for MIDI Control Change messages.

Hence, double-tapping a pit sends various MIDI CC messages as described in the image below. After the initial double-tap, only one tap is needed.

Octaves 1 and 2 are reserved for sending values from 0 to 127 for MIDI CC number 60.
Octaves 3 and 4 are “switches” for MIDI CC numbers between 70 and 81.

To access a specific channel, MIDI CC messages from Octaves 1 to 3 are sent via the selected MIDI channel.

As DAWs have some global functions such as starting a recording, MIDI CC messages selected from Octave 4 are always sent through channel 5.

Show – Don’t Tell 

​To see the novel features in action, there’s a video below. For some reason, that performance gave me a 60s live concert vibe.   

To see videos with less noise and not so frantic drummer, please visit: http://www.deomo.com  

Here are some points of interest.

In the beginning, percussive sounds are played on MIDI channels 1 and 2 by tapping. Then, Raging Bass from Waldorf Nave on channel 3 is added to the mix.   

At 0:33, Breakbeat loop clip is launched by double-tapping a pit. The double-tap sends a MIDI CC message that has been mapped to the Breakbeat loop slot. Later, at 3:39, the clip is toggled off in similar manner.

Starting at 1:22, Pitch Bend and MIDI CC 76 messages are sent based on data received from motion sensor.

Around 3:00, moving Kara does not affect the sound. Only after touching Motion Trigger at 3:04, the values from motion sensor are used.

At 3:32, strumming a note so that it stays on. There’s no need to reach for that Panic Button, this is by design. 🙂

In the end around 4:21, no, Kara is not altering the sound although it looks like it.


That’s a Wrap 


...

The Home of Kara MIDI Controller

For more information, please visit:

To drop me a line, please use: tomi@deomo.com 

MIDI Bag Pipes

It always amazes us that you can find a MIDI version of almost any instrument. So we decided to look at what’s available for MIDI bagpipes.

There are actually a good number of choices.  

The technochanter

The Technochanter is portable and fits its in your pocket. It’s also battery powered and runs on one standard AAA 1.5V alkaline battery or one AAA 1.2V NiMH rechargeable battery. It includes authentic onboard bagpipes sounds including drones sound with different drone configurations

You can listen to the sounds and built-in metronome via the headphone output so you can practice bagpipes anywhere without disturbing anyone. 


Redpipes 

The drones, the chanter and the overblowing function of the Redpipe are pneumatically controlled by pressing the bag. The leather bag is stuffed with filling material.


Sounds:

Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes

Smallpipes

Medieval Bagpipes

Gaita

Fingering: 
Open
Half open (GHB)
Extended (chromatic)
Renaissance
Medieval Bagpipe in minor
Gaita


Other features:

    • Metronome.
    • Pitch adjustment.
    • MIDI output so you can control software instruments such as Studio Piper.
    • The capability to switch from just scale to the well tempered scale.
    • Ability to overblow by 1/2 Octave by opening the upper thumb hole or by putting more pressure on the bag.
    • Realistic vibrato playing has been implemented.
    • Switchable between the mixolydic and the ionic mode.
    • Runs on two AA 1,5 V Akali-Mangan-Batteries.


MIDI Bagpipes Control Surface 

 

This app is a Irish/Scottish Bagpipes fingering based MIDI control surface for the iPad that can be used to play your hardware MIDI synthesizer/sampler modules or other MIDI apps.

The chanter fingerings are based on either those used for the Irish Uilleann or Scottish Highland bagpipes.

The app doesn’t produce any sound on its own, it is designed for playing hardware and software VST-style MIDI synthesizers via a CoreMIDI compatible interface connected to the dock connector or virtual MIDI instruments like Roland Sound Canvas for iOS, Universal Piper, or Sonosaurus ThumbJam running on your iPad.

The app supports sending data on two independent MIDI channels, one for the chanter and the other for the drones. 


Universal Piper 

Universal Piper is a software synth dedicated to bagpipe that claims to have the largest bagpipe library available. It’s available as  OSX Audio Unit and VST and Windows VST 32 and 64 bit as well as on iOS.  You can try it for free and one license allows you to use the software on any platform. 

  • A library of 15 bagpipes
  • Natural tuning of every bagpipe
  • Genuine drones start
  • Chanters and drones recorded note by note
  • Extended two octaves range for every bagpipe

BEGINNERS

ADVANCED

  • Build your own bagpipe
  • VST and Audio Unit Plugin with automation
  • Advanced midi setup

Universal Piper list all the MIDI bagpipe hardware that is available and comes pre-configured to work with most of these. 

MIDI INSTRUMENTS

Universal Piper is compatible with every MIDI instruments.

For quick start, Universal Piper is provided with pre-configuration for most of the MIDI practices and bagpipes with their corresponding fingerings:

  • Degerpipe : standard, extended,
  • Degerpipe II : standard, extended,
  • Degerpipe II+ : baroque, bechonnet, medieval, gaita, gaita extended,
  • E-Pipe 15 : standard,
  • Master Gaita : standard, asturian, french, GHB, galician, galician extended,
  • OpenPipes : Bb3=MIDI 60,
  • Redpipe : GHB standard, GHB minimal, GHB extended, France, gaita extended,
  • Technopipe : GHB, asturian, galician closed, galician open, french half-closed, veuze, welsh, SSP, baghet, biniou, belarus, swedish, estonian, medieval, northumbrian, bulgarian, english
  • Trino : Standard,
  • Hevia : Standard
  • P2chanter : GHB and smallpipes
  • Generic Midi Chanter : Bb3=MIDI 70
  • Blair chanter : this chanter is not yet included by default in Universal Piper installation. 

If your MIDI chanter is not in the following list, you still can configure Universal Piper to use it.

Not compatible with technochanter, which is NOT a MIDI chanter. 

Jammy-A MIDI controller with real steel strings and authentic tone.

 New MIDI Manufacturer Association member RnD64 funded their development of the Jammy MIDI controller via Indiegogo and raised $218,872. 

Jammy is a super portable steel string digital guitar that fits in your backpack. – 15-fret extensive sound range – Onboard guitar FX – ¼” and ⅛” direct audio outputs to your headphones or an amp. 

It’s also a MIDI controller. You can connect MIDI via USB or via a wireless Bluetooth connection. 

The Jammy won Best of Show at the Summer NAMM 2018 show. 


...

Jammy – Portable Guitar with Real Strings & Audio Output

Jammy is a digital guitar with the realistic look and feel. It can be disassembled into two parts which makes it an ultimately portable guitar.


...

Jammy – Super Portable Digital Guitar | Indiegogo

Just take it out of your backpack, plug your earphones in and play—no additional equipmen | Check out ‘Jammy – Super Portable Digital Guitar’ on Indiegogo.

Oddball- A bouncing ball MIDI controller

Kickstarter has been a place where some of our favorite MIDI controllers started whether it’s Mogees or the Artiphon (one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time). 

Our friends at A3E, the  Advanced Audio + Application Exchange sent us a link to this new Kickstarter about Oddball,  a ball you cab bounce with a purpose-built app that also can be used as a Bluetooth MIDI controller. 

Making music is an incredibly powerful way to use your imagination. Musicians are very lucky in this sense, but not everybody has the opportunity to make music.

We wanted to give everybody the opportunity to create music the same way musicians do. With OddBall, making beats is easy, intuitive, fun and can be done where ever you are.

To get all the experimental musicians excited, we made it possible to use Oddball as a velocity sensitive Bluetooth MIDI controller, so you can connect it to any DAW software on your laptop (such as: Ableton, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, etc.) and control your favourite plugins.

2


by The Oddball Team


...

This bouncy ball is a MIDI controller you can use to make beats – The Verge

A new Kickstarter called Oddball is aiming to put a new spin on making music. Comprised of a ball about the size of a lacrosse ball and an accompanying app, the ball behaves as a percussion trigger, making noise whenever it’s bounced off a surface.

Sonoclast: Plastic Pitch Plus – Using MIDI to Experiment with Microtonality

I created the Plastic Pitch Plus (PPP) to experiment with microtonality.  My primary design goal was to create a physical interface that gives immediate and independent control of pitches in a scale.  One way of doing microtonality involves generating lists of frequencies or ratios. In contrast, I wanted something that would naturally engage my ear and provide an intuitive way to experiment with pitches.

Here are some technical details.  The PPP provides two microtonal scale modes.

1) A twelve-tone scale mode in which the twelve knobs are used to tune up or down each of the twelve notes in a scale.

2) An equal divisions per octave mode in which the keys of a MIDI keyboard are remapped to an integer number of equal divisions per octave between 5 and 53.

The two scale modes are implemented in two ways.

1) Using MIDI pitch bend.  This is somewhat of a MIDI hack intended to support microtonality with any MIDI keyboard.  In short, each key is mapped to a microtonal pitch as specified by the knobs.  The PPP listens for incoming MIDI notes and sends out MIDI pitch bends and notes that correspond to the microtonal pitches.  To support polyphonic playing, the outbound pitch bends and notes are carefully distributed to multiple MIDI channels so that each note can have its own pitch bend value.

2) Using the MIDI Tuning Specification.  This is my first time playing with this relatively new specification.  (It works great!)  The PPP acts as a controller–no MIDI input is required.  When the knobs are turned, corresponding SysEx messages are sent out to retune the synthesizer’s internal tuning table.

See my website for more information and how to buy one.

http://sonoclast.com/products/plastic-pitch-plus/



GRIDI is a large scale physical Midi sequencer

GRIDI is a large scale physical midi sequencer 

 

Gridi is a large scale physical midi sequencer (2.80 X 1.65 Meters) with embedded LEDs. It
was created by music producer Yuval Gerstein with the simple aim, to allow visitors to create
a musical composition in an accessible and intuitive way. GRIDI translates the methodology
of composing electronic music inside a computer software, into an interactive physical
installation. It could easily act as a permanent stand alone installation, as well as part of an
art exhibition or event. GRIDI could also have a role in music education, as a tool for learning
musical concepts in a non threatening, intriguing way.
Visit GRIDI for more info: http://www.gridi.info

Credits: 
Yuvi Gerstein – Creator
Michael Zeron – Electronics & Programming
Ronen Peri – Programming Max/MSP
Nadav Vainer – Industrial design
images by – Andreas Mueller

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...

Create Big Music Mashups on This Enormous MIDI Sequencer Board | Make:

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but for an interactive sound work called GRIDI a picture is worth infinite midi loops!


...

GRIDI midi sequencer created by Yuvi Gerstein

Gridi is a large scale physical midi sequencer for music composition and collaboration.Featured on Make.com, Arduino.org and more.


SoulPedal® Beta Testing Begins – A Wearable Expression Controller with MIDI in your Shoe?

SoulPedal® (SP) is a wearable controller that slips inside your shoe (as an insole) and wirelessly controls effects for musicians. In this YouTube demo, local Beta Tester and Musician, Kody Raine of Chandler Arizona, explains how he’s using MIDI Change Control messages from SP’s wireless controller to modulate his own gear. Not so obvious in the video is that he’s a Guitarist (with a great voice). And I thought MIDI was for keyboards… what do I know.

SP isn’t likely going to market until 2019, but we’ve got a couple functional Beta units on hand if you’re the right people in the neighborhood, as these are still mostly hand built at home. It’s all about usability and engaging with other creative types who like to move around on stage or add a new degree of control to their show. (Musicians don’t like control, do they?) But don’t think of this as just another MIDI controller or another thing just made wireless because we could. I honestly believe every band member could up their game on stage here, and that’s not just another cliché marketing comment as you might be thinking. I can’t wait to see what vocal artists will do with this (and the crowd won’t even know they’re in control). Really, any automation is fair game. The combination of Control, Expression, and Mobility are what what makes this unique.

This whole project started one day in 2011 because my old 120 VAC Morley Wah fried a light bulb and I couldn’t find a replacement in time for band practice. So I wired in an FSR (Force Sensing Resistor) to replace the light sensor, taped it inside my shoe, and it worked! So then Jimmy, our rhythm guitarist said… “That’s cool, you should make it wireless!” (Sometimes I wish he hadn’t encouraged that thought.) As inventor, my original goal was to move away from a rocker type pedal to allow for improved expression on stage… anywhere on stage. It just made sense to lean into a string bend or volume swell, and it turned out to be a very easy and natural movement for a better show. Oh, and with MIDI of course. 

True story, when we designed the Alpha unit in 2014, there were three keyboardist friends that insisted on MIDI. I had no idea why, so I contacted the founders at Source Audio but they couldn’t really tell me what features I should include either. It was almost like everyone had it, just in case. I thought, why would any keyboard player need a wireless pedal when standing right there at their keyboard? Perhaps a Keytarist? And what guitarist used MIDI? But we had already hacked out the code so it became an experiment. Creator Brockett Parsons of the Piano Arc (with Lady Gaga)… ya, he liked it. REO’s keyboardist Neal Doughty – nope, but he was curious. My keyboard friend thought it would might nice because his pedals could annoyingly slide away, but then someone came out with a clamp for that. MIDI just had that standard format to hook up to whatever. I was up for “whatever” and this demo was just my first result. I also didn’t expect the comment “I love that I don’t have to look down to find my pedals when I’m getting into a groove.” I didn’t expect that either, so the experiment continues.

In the beginning, the prototype was a total hack using a Texas Instrument Chronos Watch encapsulated by an insole made from a glue gun, a torch, and a putty knife. (Arduino wasn’t mainstream and I just wanted a CPU and Radio in a single chip to make it small. So it’s still in the Sub-1 GHz radio frequency, and may eventually have Bluetooth for configuration management. Turns out lower frequencies have better range so we’ll see.) For now, it’s got some cool knobs that shape the control response “feel” (offset and curve), along with some unique analog features on the Wah (thanks to posts from Anderton). I’m now redoing the Wah PCB by adding Buffered Drive, Volume Swells, and Exp Out as a 10K pot (and all analog is opto-isolated). It uses foot gesture recognition to turn on/off but I can’t wait to open that capability up for some real integration like tap control for Tempo. Foot tracking is something I’ve experimented with several times so multi-pedal control is definitely possible, but it’s too soon for that just yet.

Funny thing, I first engaged with this MIDI organization at NAMM in 2015 where I sat down with President Tom White who liked the idea and had this advice: “In the music industry, it’s got to work really well and you probably won’t make any money.” The Indiegogo crowd-funding launch later that year was our first clue that he was right, but then Shark Tank called me up for an Audition. Having a lack of sales made it a tough road for that stage without at least an emotional story and we had neither. Since that “learning experience”, our team went from seven members to just three with only myself actually working on it. I did take two years off to create other stuff at Tech Shop, but I kept coming back to SP with a few more tools in my chest.

What’s different is this whole time, we never actually had someone use it outside our circles, and willing to pay for it. That’s mostly because it had to work really well as one hick-up on stage and it could be game over. After all, what could possibly go wrong with a wireless product while jumping up and down on the electronics? Not to mention a good fit that’s also lightweight and low cost. I think the only reason this isn’t already on the market is because of these Engineering challenges and associated risk with big change. Plus it’s just not for mass market (yet) because we all know people love their gear and a $69 Wah or Effects Controller is just fine for most, or is it? Who woulda thunk people would trade-in their Honda Accord or Civics for a $59K Model 3 Tesla? Ya that just happened – in numbers. (Ya, I’m Elon inspired.)

You can check out some SoulPedal® history and updates on Facebook and visit SoulPedal.com to hook up. It’s just way too cool to quit now. If all goes well, the plan is that Kody will be using SP on stage next weekend (Sept  2018), MIDI controlling a Boss DD-500 for delay at will. We can figure this out together. 

SoulPedal® is “The Pedal that Moves with You! “™, CleanStage LLC, Patented, Copyright 2014, all rights reserved. 



Tirare – MIDI String Instrument

The Tirare is a custom performance interface. In Italian, Tirare means: (to) throw, (to) to pull. The name refers to the primary performative action employed in order to generate sound. Initially, I was trying to create a form of MIDI concertina. I wanted to pull and push the interface to generate sound, similar to a concertina. I also made the intentional choice to not use a myriad of interface sensors like buttons, switches, sliders, etc. My goal was to create a simple interface that could handle all operations without the need for excessive methods of control.

I decided to use a Gametrak as the primary hardware for this interface (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gametrak). I have used the Gametrak in previous performances as a controller. This time I set out to assimilate the pieces of the Gametrak into a new interface. I used only one of the joysticks in my final design.

The Gametrak is a video game controller created by In2Games. The Gametrak controller consists of two three-dimensional (3D) joysticks. Each joystick generates X, Y, and Z data (when the string is pulled out of the interface), so each joystick control works like three faders that are interdependent of one another. Each joystick can be manipulated on its X, Y, and Z axes. Each axis outputs an integer. The uniqueness of the Gametrak lies in the three-dimensional joystick. The handle on both 3D faders is connected to a string-pot that pulls out of the box. A string-pot is simply a potentiometer that is turned by pulling a long, spring-wound spool of string. This pulling of the string-pot turns the potentiometer which outputs data. According to In2Games, the mechanisms can determine position, “to an accuracy of 1 millimeter anywhere within a 3 meter cube around the unit, with no processor overhead or time delay.” This level of responsiveness and precision was essential for the controller’s original purpose — to control a virtual golf swing! This level of precision and responsiveness is also well suited for use as a real-time performance interface.


I disconnected the main logic board in the Gametrak and connected one of the joysticks directly to the analog inputs on an Arduino Pro Micro. Since the Arduino’s ADC is 10-bit, the values genrated by the joysticks range from 0-1023. I scaled these values in the Arduino software to a range of 0-127 to conform to MIDI 1.0. Each axis of the joystick outputs two MIDI CC values. I programmed this feature to allow the Tirare to function with MPE software. 

The next step was to reassemble the pieces into a new form. I looked for an old concertina thinking I could insert the Gametrak pieces but this search was unsuccessful. After several attempts to create my own bellow for the Tirare, I realized copying the physical form of a concertina would not work because there would be no way to keep the bellow from resting on the string. I decided to find a new physical form to house the Gametrak pieces. Ultimately, I chose to use two small round pieces of wood (craft store), basic drawer handles (Home Depot), and a small strainer (dollar store). I initially intended this design to be a working prototype and not the final product. However, I have yet to find a better way to embody the joystick. 

I used the flywheel from the unused joystick to reroute the string from the potentiometer. This was necessary because I wanted the joystick as close to the center of the piece of wood as possible. However, the size and shape of the wood and the parts left me few options for assembly. It was important to route the string from the bottom of the joystick becue the IC board on the joystick prevented any other way of routing the string. 

Data is generated when the joystick is moved or the string is pulled. The Arduino scales the incoming data and generates MIDI CC values. The Arduino sends MIDI data over USB to MaxMSP. I use MaxMSP to receive the MIDI data from the Tirare and route that data to Kyma to generate sound. 

The string-pot also generates MIDI CC values during performance. I use MaxMSP to detect the direction the string is moving at any time, and I map that data to different destinations. I basically get two unique data streams from a single movement. In MaxMSP, I set thresholds at various points along the movement of the string in order to generate events that are used to trigger notes (see photo below), CC values, and control messages for Kyma. 

My software is very simple. I use the view on the left (below) to initialize the Tirare and turn on the three axes. I use the view on the right (below) during performance to monitor the values from each axis and to monitor where the string values are in relation to the triggers I set up for controlling notes, expression, and control for Kyma.

The Tirare is only a controller and does not generate sound. The combination of physical interface, software mapping layer, and sound production software make up the entire Data-driven Instrument for live performance.

Next Steps…

The next step for this projects is to allow for MIDI over USB or Bluetooth. I am currently working on a Max patch that will allow the Tirare, when connected, to change the way it transmits MIDI — USB or BLE. I also still have hope that I will dream up a better physical form for the Tirare.

***Video Coming Soon! 

Virtual organ console unit: how to let your MIDI devices play as an organ

Introduction

We have started our project to find a way how to build full-featured organ console out of available MIDI instruments. One of our project goals was to extend the coverage of the “virtual organ” from software also to the hardware. We have turned it into “virtual organ console”.

Virtual pipe organ technology (VPO) has been well established and accepted by the market. It has many tremendous benefits, to name a few:

  • Many sample sets of famous natural pipe instruments are available
  • Acceptable organ setup costs
  • No organ maintenance costs applicable
  • No organ accessibility issue
  • Flexibility of adjustments and configurations
  • Easy hardware expandability


The VPO software generates organ sounds from waveforms. Sampling method processes registers, pipe-by-pipe, and creates a sample for each note. Modelling method simulates air movement in a pipe, so the waveform is a result of the computation. Variation of physical parameters in the algorithm creates different pitch and colour of the sound. Nearly the same approach is used during real organ voicing and intonation.

With our device the user may connect available MIDI keyboard, guitar, sequencer, etc. and use them as a console of the organ. It is important to add: the console is able to control ensembles of different instruments. It applies organ function principle and manages communication between instruments the same way as digital or modern pipe organs do. For example, couples octaves of one instrument together or plays a melody on all devices. The only thing needed is a central connection and control module and we have developed it.

Virtual Organ Console Unit: connections, functions, design

VOCU

Figure 2: VOCU – rear panel

Description

The presented device is a four-manual organ console controller. It supports Great (HW), Choir (CW), Swell (SW) and Pedal (PW) divisions. Push buttons toggle functions, usually available in every pipe or digital organ. They are octave couplers, unison off, tutti, bass, melody, manual couplers, and general cancel. There are, of course, other features demonstrated on the videos later on.

We have designed VOCU to recognize all types of MIDI messages. It processes and routes MIDI data from four inputs. Internal logic elaborates incoming MIDI messages and distributes them to outputs. “Unused” commands are not lost; the unit forwards them to outputs unchanged. VOCU holds information about all playing notes in each organ division. It generates extra commands required, for example, if a new coupler is toggled while a chord is played.

External Connections

The unit has MIDI input/output pairs. Connect your instruments to inputs to control dedicated division. For example, piano controls Great division and other keyboards control Swell and Choir. You may connect divisional outputs to separate sound generators or other MIDI instruments. 

USB Serial Interface

Figure 3: USB interface connection diagram

You may connect the unit to your PC using the USB/Virtual-COM port. The bus speed is set to 115200 baud, which is four times higher than the native MIDI interface speed. It is a preferred connection if a virtual organ simulator is used. USB output transmits commands coming from all instruments and pushbuttons. The composite MIDI data provides all required information to organ simulator. 

Composite MIDI output

Figure 4: Composite MIDI output connection diagram

The module has a composite MIDI output, which merges all divisional outputs together. This output connects the module to a single sound generator, sequencer or voice bank. The information on this output is exhaustive. Each note event is transferred while pushbuttons commands are not. They may not be recognized by the external hardware, so the best solution is to send the really played key events.

Divisional MIDI outputs

Figure 5: Divisional MIDI outputs connection diagram

The divisional MIDI outputs are used with dedicated MIDI sound generators – each organ’s division has a standalone sound generator. They send data from corresponding inputs and coupled events. This is required when each division should get a dedicated sound production and amplification system. For example, when the virtual console is a part of the geographically spreaded stage equipment or stays in a big concert hall or a church. 

Implementation

The VOCU is a completely custom design. The core processing component is based on a field programmable gate array chip. We avoided the usage of microcontrollers or platform modules to get clock-cycle-accurate control over timing and physical resources of the chip. We had to cut latency and synchronize data transmission from different MIDI queues. Standard devices usually do not have enough number of UARTs for MIDI interfaces or free pins to control push buttons and LEDs.

We have developed and manufactured two prototypes. The first one has a limited number of controls but all interfaces to keep PCB size as small as possible. This device was used to check the idea and prove the ability of the FPGA chip to fit the complete design.

Functional Prototype

Figure 6: Prototype #1 – front view

Figure 7: Prototype #1 – rear view

Figure 8: Prototype #1 – Internals

Pre-production Prototype

Figure 9: Prototype #2 – front panel with illuminated push buttons

Figure 10: Prototype #2 – connections and processing PCBs

Figure 11: Prototype #2 – central processing board

Summary

Virtual organ console unit extends a set of MIDI instruments. It brings pipe organ functions to them maintaining their natural behaviour. The VOCU adds organ principle to home, studio and stage equipment.

It is not easy to achieve an organ usually. It is a real challenge to find an instrument to practice. The VOCU solves this problem as well. You may use it with any digital music instruments.

The unit helps to play the organ without heavy investments. Professionals, beginners and even children may use it easily and extend their performance. The module also increases creativity. It can change the sound of a small ensemble with the genuine sound of a big pipe organ without bulky equipment.

The module is compact and takes a little space. It is flexible in operation with organ simulation software. We tested it to work with Hauptwerk and GrandOrgue packages.

The unit also provides many connection possibilities. Parallel and composite MIDI outputs and USB interface cover major user requirements.

Further unit descriptions and demonstration videos are available on YouTube.

We are open to questions, comments and requests. Feel free to visit our website and follow us on Twitter OandV_Systems to get recent product updates and announcements. We look forward to your comments and proposals. If you are interested in obtaining products or discuss other cooperation possibilities please contact us using email address info@oandv-systems.com.

XT Synth

XT Synth-The expression of a violin, the playability of a guitar, with the power of a MIDI controller that shines. 

“The XT Synth is a mix of guitar, violin and midi controller. My inspiration was to make an instrument that could be played like a guitar, with the expression of a violin, with the sounds of a synthesizer. The neck has 4 soft potentiometers that can be played similar to an string instrument. They can be tuned however the player wants. Because instead of strings it has soft pots, the instrument is not tempered, like a violin, allowing vibratos, portamentos, and microtones.”

The XT Synth was a finalist at the Guthman New Instrument Competition 2018.

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by Gustavo Silveira


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XT Synth

Music, programming, electronics and other nerd musical related stuff.

Curve – by Nathan M. Asman

This custom-built instrument is called Curve, and is named after the shape and contour of the interface itself. I wanted to create something that had a myriad of different sensors and ways of controlling different musical parameters, while also maintaining the functionality and traditional idioms of other controllers, interfaces, and instruments that are around today. It’s kind of my take on a grid/keyboard/controller hybrid, or something along those lines, but that has far more options and possibilities for musical control and expression. I wanted it to be ergonomic as well, hence the final shape and layout.

I designed and fabricated Curve over the course of about 6 months, from the initial 3D model (done in Blender, https://www.blender.org) to the final version that you see now. The physical interface consists of one large laser-cut piece of clear 1/4″ acrylic to which I have adhered 20 FSR’s (force sensitive resistors, aka pressure sensors, https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9376), two touch-potentiometers (faders, https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8679), a keypad (https://www.adafruit.com/product/419), and a 9-degrees of freedom motion sensor (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13944). I have also affixed 60 RGB LED lights (DotStars, https://www.adafruit.com/product/2240) that are individually addressable and correspond to various inputs from the sensors for an added layer of visual feedback. The black cubes that cover each of the FSR’s are made out of a semi-dense foam which when attached to its corresponding FSR allow me to have a far greater range of pressure and interaction than I otherwise would have had with just the FSR on its own. Each of the sensors, lights, and keypad are connected to an Arduino Mega microcontroller (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Introduction, https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-mega-2560-rev3) that allowed me to completely customize the programming and functionality of each individual sensor and light.

Software-wise, I programmed all of the electronics using the Arduino IDE, which then connects via USB serial to Max/MSP where all of my data-mapping and data-processing happens. From Max/MSP, the data is then sent as MIDI data to Ableton Live, where all of my sound design and musical composition was done. I relied heavily on Max for Live instruments and devices for the majority of my sound design, leaning heavily towards a synth-based musical soundscape for my first piece with Curve.

It is important to note that while the hardware controller itself does not generate sound, Curve is nonetheless a comprehensive instrument in its own right when coupled with the customized software that I have designed in Arduino, Max/MSP, and Ableton Live. The individual components only form the complete instrument when they are all working together, similar to the way that a modular synthesizer operates. Curve (as an instrument) consists of the hardware, data-mapping, and sound design layers all functioning together as a complete package.

My Étude No.1, for Curve is the first of many pieces I hope to write for Curve. Being the first ever composition using this new interface, it imbued a unique set of qualities to the compositional process; accordingly, I am calling this piece an étude. To study and explore the control, performative possibilities, and affordances that this new interface offered me, I needed to study the options that Curve provided. However, I did not simply want to compose a study using the interface, but a substantial musical piece in its own right. To that end, the piece is broken up into four different sections, each highlighting a specific and unique performative technique that I developed for the instrument. Each section is denoted by a different method of physical interaction with the instrument, as well as a unique lighting mode designed to correspond and emphasize each performative technique.

For my biography and more of my works, please visit http://nathanasman.com


    Building & Designing Curve


Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

We recently sent out a MIDI Message newsletter and asked people to describe their favorite MIDI project.  Harry Williamson from the Federation Bells in Melbourne, Australia sent us this message. 

Favorite MIDI Project-
The Federation Bells, Birrung Marr, Melbourne. 39 Bronze up-turned bells play compositions 3 times daily from a MAX/MSP driven schedule from playlists comprising works composed and sent in by the public, and professional composers alike. I chose MIDI as the final driver language because its ubiquitous, simple and hard to crack. We designed and built the 16 channel bell controllers, the fft audio analysis program that listens to bells and tells us if they are working well or not, and many many other specialised functions in Python and other public domain languages. The free Federation Bells app for iOS and Android allows the user to play the bells locally via WiFi (and down the chain, MIDI) when schedules are not playing. It’s a world first interactive musical instrument/sculpture. Check it out. Write something on the app’s sequencer/player and send it to us. If we like it we will play it publicly.

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by Harry Williamson

So here is our challenge to MIDI Association members.  Download the free app and compose a song for the Federation Bells.  The app let’s you share your MIDI file via email so you can send it to us at info@MIDI.org.  We’ll collect up all the entries from The MIDI Association and send them to the people who run the bells and maybe your composition will be played live in Australia!

Here is the links from the Federation Bell website. 

Download for Apple

The App for iPhone and iPad is now working well (make sure you update to Version 1.5)

An Android version of the app is Beta. 

Download for Android

The Fed Bells iOS App

Here’s the explanation of how the Federation Bells work from the FAQ on their website –  http://federationbells.com.au

How does it play by itself?

The bells are controlled by a computer located on-site. Musical compositions composed via this website are coded in MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Each composition is a computer file that is scheduled to play at an allocated time. The MIDI data is converted into a series of electronic pulses that are delivered to each of the 39 bells. Within each bell is a solenoid that triggers a hammer to strike the inside of the bell.

Are there any others like this?

There are many sets of bells throughout the world. Typically called carillons these sets of bells are played by a single player via a keyboard. However, the Federation Bells are unique as a set of public bells that are played via a computer. The Federation Bells can also be played via a smartphone or tablet (from 2015), or by plugging in a MIDI keyboard.

Check out the Federal Bells in action!

MPE MIDI Live! Chat Podcast

On May 26, we held the very first  MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists. 

We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast. 

Listeners were not only able to send in questions via text but were able to actually join the discussion and interact directly with the panelists. Roger Linn demoed his Linnstrument live from his studio in Los Altos.

DIscussions included the differences between the original MPE spec and the final MMA specification, MPE checklists, and test sequences, and the requirements for obtaining an MMA MPE logo that is under development.

We’ve already started planning for the release of the MIDI-CI speciffications so stay tuned to the MIDI Live! channel for future events!



Roger Linn-Roger Linn Design

Geert Bevin-Moog Music

Ben Supper-ROLI

Athan Billias-Yamaha

Pat Scandalis from moForte demonstrates GeoShred

Geert Bevin’s software checker for MPE

 MoForte MPE compliance check list


Mixtela- A MIDI Stylophone Business Card, Music Box, and 5 Pin DIN Synth

MIDI Stylophone Business Card

Last Sunday we were looking at bookmarks we had made while searching the Internet for blog topics.  We had booked marked Mixtela.com a few months ago because of all the cool MIDI DIY projects.  But then we found WaitingForFriday’s website and decided to do an article on the MIDI Stylophone first. Imagine our surprise we we dicovered this on the Mixtela website this week. 

It’s not just a business card, it’s a fully functional Stylophone MIDI controller!

Printed Circuit Boards as a business card are a great gimmick. I’d seen ones with USB ports etched into them, which enumerate as a keyboard and then type a person’s name or load up their website. It’s just about possible to build them cheap enough to hand out as a business card, at least if you’re picky about who you give them to.

A couple of years ago I took a stab at making one for myself, but I didn’t want it to be pointless. I wanted it to do something useful! Or at least entertain someone for longer than a few seconds. I can’t remember quite how I got the idea of making a MIDI-stylophone, but the idea was perfect. A working midi controller, that’s unique enough in its playing characteristic to potentially give some value, while at the same time costing no more than the card would have done otherwise, since the keyboard is just a plated area on the PCB, as is true on the original stylophone.

by Tim Alex Jacobs

Tim even referenced the WaitingForFriday’s website is his complete description of the process of making his stylophone business card.  Tim has some of the most amazing MIDI DIY projects we’ve ever seen and also does incredibly detailed posts on exactly how it does his intricate engineering projects and usually includes assets. 


MIDI Music Box


In March, Tim created a MIDI Music Box.  You can drive the music boxes’s tines with a paper tape with holes punched in it.   This concept is identical to the rolls from Player Pianos described in this article. The MIDI Music Box is really an amazing piece of engineering and you can read all the details on the Mixtela website


World’s Second Smallest MIDI Synth

A number of people have claimed to make the world’s smallest synthesizer. It’s a pretty silly ambition because at this level the size makes it extremely impractical, and fiddly to pull out of the socket. Nevertheless, I have created something which is just about as small as a midi synth could ever be. It’s physically smaller than an ordinary midi plug!

by Tim Alex Jacobs

Fro more details on these projects and others ( Midi Monotron, Touch Screen as a MIDI Ribbon Controller, Mini Pitchbend Joystick and more) check out the Mixtela.com website.  

How to make a MIDI compatible Stylophone

The Original Dubreq Stylophone

The Dubreq Stylophone was invented in 1968 by Brian Jarvis.  It was originally designed as a toy, but the fact that it was portable and easy to play and it’s distinctive synth sound soon made it popular with some of the most iconic musicians of the late 60’s. David Bowie used it on the track ‘Space Oddity’ and it made it’s way on to recordings by the Beatles, Kraftwerk, Queen, Vangelis, The Osmonds and more.

The thing that really sets the  Stylophone design apart is plated circuit board touch-pads that you play with a stylus, thus the name Stylophone.

David Bowie with his Dubreq Stylophone

In 2003, Dubreq Ltd, a British company was formed to keep the legacy of the Stylophone alive and you can buy Stylophones at almost any large music store. 

They have even come out with BeatBox version. This demo by British comedian Brett Domino got 1.8 million hits on Youtube. 


The Stylophone Studio 5 with MIDI

But at MIDI.org, we are only interested in MIDI instruments, so we were happy to find The Stylophone Studio 5 on the website WaitingForFriday. 

The Stylophone Studio 5 is a project to recreate the original 1968 Dubreq Stylophone which sounds and reacts just like the original (and even contains a replica of the original circuitry) however it also fully supports both MIDI in and MIDI out over USB and can be controlled by studio software such as Cubase.

by Simon Inns

Everything you need to make your own MIDI controlled Stylophone is available on WaitingForFriday’s website including a zip file containing  the AVR Studio 5 firmware project and the Eagle CAD board and schematic files for the project. 

The Story of SMOMID

Nick Demopoulos started out as a jazz musician and played with legends like Chico Hamilton.  But then he began exploring the possibilities of using MIDI and that led him to a new path as a DIY maker and creator of some fascinating and unique MIDI devices. 

HIs website (Smomid.com)  is named after the first instrument he ever built. Smomid is an acronym for String Modeling Midi Device.

Nick also created software that works with his instruments and allows him to approach music in a totally unique way, from the samples and sounds used, to the way beats are played, to the way loops are recorded and manipulated.

by Snomid.com

Here is an example of the music Nick makes with his DIY instruments.  All of the sounds are made by instruments of his own design.  He has released several recordings with Exegesis, a group that mixes jazz and electronic music. In 2008, the band toured Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, U.A.E and Kuwait on behalf of the State Department.  You can hear the influence of that trip on this piece, Smoment in Time. 

My Body is MIDI Controller by Daði Freyr

When we saw this YouTube video of Daði Freyr using the Genki wave MIDI controller, we knew we had to post it right away. 

The Wave MIDI controller from Genki has been …. well making waves.  

Wave adds a new dimension to musical creativity… It’s a cool tool for all creatives and I can definitely recommend adding it to your workflow, whether you use it to replace your old techniques or invent new ones.”

 


by Bergur Þórisson, recording engineer, producer, and live musician (Björk, Sigur Rós, Damien Rice, Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannson)

It’s a great example  of how a new MIDI specification ( BTLE MIDI) can spark a new generation of innovation. 


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Genki Instruments Wave Controls Sounds with Motion –  

MIDI Bling with wireless rings There are a number of MIDI rings on the market. IK Multimedia makes one and so does Enhancia . Here are links to articles on those.  The Enhancia Ring MIDI Controller was at CES 2018. ; The newest entry is Genki Wave Ring. 

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Cabot- MIDI Cahon

At SXSW, we got a chance to check out the Cabor MIDI cahon.  Cabot is a project of UTSUWA, Inc., a Kyoto, Japan based tech start-up. 

The Cabot percussion robot was conceived by Hideaki Iio, Director of the Cabot development team and guitar player/singer.

“I wanted to create a product that would rev up my solo performance.”

 


by Hideaki Iio

The Cabot team went through a long process of prototyping and improving the design. At SXSW, they showed a new prototype that looked much closer to a production version. You can subscribe on their website for updates on a launch date. 

Cabot’s target market is solo perfomers who want to add cahon accompaniment to their live solo performances. A foot pedal allows you to select different MIDI patterns in realtime. 

The Cabot has a 4 pin DIN plug on its body which is not a standard MIDI connector, but it sends and receives standard MIDI messages.  

There are two ways to program patterns for the Cabot. There is an iOS app that is under development and you can also connect the Cabot to your DAW. 


Here are some videos of the Cabot MIDI Cahon in action 




AIR DJ controls Music, Visuals, and Lights with Motion

Air DJ displays new MIDI Controller at SXSW

There were some interesting new MIDI products introduced at SXSW.  One of them was the wireless BTLE MIDI controller for DMET Product Corporation. 

It can control sound, DJ Video software, and lights. Of course, it is all done by mapping MIDI signals and in some cases translating them to different protocols. 

Here is a video of the Air DJ in action at SXSW.




 It’s amazing how many Bluetooth MIDI products have been developed since the new BTLE MIDI spec was made official a few short years ago.





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AirDJ by Dmet Products

AirDJ, a wearable controller that will change the style of performance.Simply by your motion, this palm sized device lets you control music, visual and lights.See you at SXSW 2018!

Genki Instruments Wave Controls Sounds with Motion

MIDI Bling with wireless rings

There are a number of MIDI rings on the market. IK Multimedia makes one and so does Enhancia. Here are links to articles on those. 



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The Enhancia Ring MIDI Controller at CES 2018 –  

For the past several years a MIDI product has always been in the Best of CES product list including the Roli Seaboard and the Zivix JamStick.  It seems that MIDI and innovation naturally go together.  2018 was no exception with a number of

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Wearable MIDI controllers –  

​One of the most interesting types of MIDI controllers are ones that you can wear.  From pants to jackets to rings and watches, get your MIDI fashions here in a roundup of wearable technology.  The iRING from IK Multimedia IK Multimedi


But there are a number of unique things about the new Genki Instruments  Wave.  It was designed in Iceland and was first used on stage at the at the Iceland Airwaves music festival. Genki is also the only Icelandic music company with a Japanese name (Genki means healthy in Japanese!). 

Wave is an Indiegogo project and has already passed it’s funding goal.  It’s scheduled to ship in December 2018. 


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Wave – control sounds with motion | Indiegogo

Wearable MIDI controller to control sounds, effects and send commands with the motion of your | Check out ‘Wave – control sounds with motion’ on Indiegogo.

 


Here are two Youtube videos showing what the Wave can do.  


The Enhancia Ring MIDI Controller at CES 2018

For the past several years a MIDI product has always been in the Best of CES product list including the Roli Seaboard and the Zivix JamStick.  It seems that MIDI and innovation naturally go together.  2018 was no exception with a number of unique new controllers introduced at the CES show. 

The Enhancia Ring MIDI Controller

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The Enhancia Ring is one of the generation of controllers that use advanced sensors with accelerometers to allow more natural control of MIDI via gestures.  Enhancia is part of that trend as new sensors  provide more data to control MIDI  with several different gestures at once.  For example, wiggling from side to side will produce vibrato and moving up and down can mapped to control volume or filter cutoff. 

We wanted to create the shortest path between musical intention and musical creation

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by Damien Le Boulaire, CEO and one of Enhancia’s four co-founders from Grenoble, France.from an article in Engadget. 


...

The Enhancia ring turns your gestures into musical effects

Enhancia consists of a rubber ring that you wear while playing the keyboard, connected to a larger hub. Its purpose is to augment whatever tune you’re playing w…

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...

Enhancia | MIDI Ring Controller

Enhancia is developing a connected ring that revolutionizes your relationship with music. It interprets the subtlest movements of your hand in order to enhance control of your digital instrument

Herrmutt Lobby

​We got several entrees for suggested content from the December 2017 MIDI Association newsletter.  One was for an article on CTRLCap from Edwin Joassart. We did a little more research and decided to do an article not just on CNTRLCap, but on the developers behind it -Herrmutt Lobby. 

Herrmutt Lobby has created not just music, but hardware and apps to allow people to interact with music. After all, their mission is Empowering Real-Time Electronic Music. 

They have four major projects- 

  • Playground-Music At Your Fingertips
  • BEATSURFING-The Organic MIDI Controller Builder
  • Le U (20syl)-The Interactive Skateboarding Ramp
  • CTRLCap, the cap you squeeze to control FX

Founded in 2003, Herrmutt Lobby is a collective of musicians, handymen, and programmers. Since 1997, the individual members of the group have released music on various labels – DUB, Studio !K7, Vlek, Eat Concrete, Thin Consolation, Catune – and across genres.

Alongside music, they’ve also devised and built various softwares, controllers, and apps that help musicians perform live with the freedom to express at the moment’s inspiration/instinct.

Their ever-changing musical universe grows through encounters with musicians from diverse horizons, most recently the Belgian jazz player Stéphane Mercier and UK rapper Lord Rao.

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by Herrmutt Lobby Website


CNTRLCAP-The cap you squeeze to control FX

Ever tried to add FX while scratching without breaking your flow? With both hands busy controlling the fader and the record, it’s pretty much mission impossible…
Unless you own a CTRLCap.

With its cutting edge technology, CTRLCAP adds an expressive touch to your fingertips!




...

CTRLCAP – Pressure-Sensitive Cap For Next Level Control – ctrl-cap

Control FX, signal shaping, sound triggering and more by a simple pressure with CTRLCAP, the most advanced fader cap ever.


PlayGround • Organic Remix




RHETTMATIC World Famous Beat Junkies



BEATSURFING The Organic MIDI Controller Builder

 

This Application lets you to draw a 3-dimensional controller which you can use, like any other, by tapping. But Beatsurfing allows more: you design your own paths until they suit you, follow routes, take turns and cuts with your fingers and collide with objects along the way, triggering melody, beats, effects . Movement is what it’s all about.

It can control any MIDI-enabled device (Software, Hardware, or even selected iPad apps), features a very intuitive in-app editing system and integrates seamlessly in any existing Studio or Live setup.
Objects Behaviours can be set to link objects together and multiply the available commands on the surface of the iPad.


LE U – Interactive Skateboarding Ramp by 20syl

Skateboard culture and electronic music, those are the two mail components of 20syl’s artistic construction. He has practiced these disciplines for twenty years or so and has never stopped building bridges between them. Today, along with La Région des Pays de la Loire and les salles de musiques actuelles(places dedicated to modern music­ VIP, Stereolux, Chabada, Fuzz’Yon, 6par4, Oasis), he presents a project which could be the achievement of this crossbreed: a Sound Ramp, a “U” turned into a sensitive and visual surface allowing the skater to perform music that the artist has composed.




We want to thank Edwin Joassart from Herrmutt Lobby for reaching out to us and hopefully you enjoyed this quick tour of the many Herrmutt Lobby MIDI projects.  MIDI is often at the heart of these kinds of innovative projects. 

Wiggle Kit: A Motion Controlled Effect Instrument for Singers

Tech company OWOW just launched a new wireless motion controlled instrument for singers. Named the Wiggle Kit, it consists of a mobile App and a small white remote controller which turns gestures into vocal effects. By twisting and moving the Wiggle in different directions, singers can add digital effects to their voice and control the intensity.


For home use, the Wiggle Kit comes with a dedicated app. By simply holding the Wiggle close to a phone or tablet, it automatically connects to the app via Bluetooth. Users can pick one of the 20 plus built-in effects, ranging from simple reverbs and delays to the most complex auto-tune and vocoder effects, sing into the built-in mic of a phone or headset and share their creation with the world.

The Wiggle Kit is now available on Kickstarter and already reached 75% of its funding goal. With only 8 more days to go, there’s still some time left to get your Wiggle Kit for an Early Bird price of €79,-. 


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Wiggle Kit – A New Instrument For Singers by OWOW —Kickstarter

OWOW is raising funds for Wiggle Kit – A New Instrument For Singers on Kickstarter! The first truly wireless instrument which enables singers to control effects on their voice through expressive movements.

MICROTUNING AND ALTERNATIVE INTONATION SYSTEMS

MICROTUNING VIRTUAL AND ELECTRONIC HARDWARE INSTRUMENTS: AN OVERVIEW OF FORMATS AND METHODS FOR USING ALTERNATIVE INTONATION SYSTEMS

For those electronic hardware synthesis enthusiasts, as well as computer based musicians and composers who wish to explore the vast expressive possibilities, new harmonies and melodic potentials of using alternative intonation systems in their music creation processes (just intonation, temperaments, non-octave, historical microtunings, etc.), they will inevitably face the complexity of dealing with the different kinds of popular microtuning formats, including: various types of tuning tables, MIDI SYSEX, scripts, etc., required for retuning their hardware and software instruments.

Since there currently are no universal methods for changing the intonation of electronic musical instruments, the task for microtuning ensembles of virtual or hardware instruments to a single intonation system, much less a dynamic intonation environment, can often be a daunting chore for newcomers to the field of xenharmonic and microtonal music composition.

The primary concern of this short article are music software and hardware developers who offer products that feature what is often referred to as full-controller, or otherwise, full-keyboard microtuning, and some of the currently popular methods for changing their underlying intonation to tuning systems other than the well-worn and ubiquitous 12-tone-equal-temperament that has been the defacto standard in Western music since the 19th century.

Essentially, full-keyboard microtuning gives musicians and composers complete, unrestricted control over how the pitches of intonation systems are directly mapped to MIDI Notes on their controllers, and enables mappings that can have less, or greater than 12 notes that repeat across the range of the instrument, as well as allowing the use of systems that have repeat intervals other than the typical 2/1 octave at 1200 cents.

Starr Labs Microzone U-648 Generalized Keyboard

Among the ways that the complexity of microtuning ‘format overload’ may manifest for electronic musicians and composers are as follows:

Buyer beware and be informed: There are a bewildering number of different microtuning implementations…

12 Note Octave Repeating Microtuning

Some virtual and hardware instruments, as well as some DAWs (for example, Alchemy, and the other virtual instruments featured in Apple Logic), may only permit retuning 12 pitches within a 2/1 octave boundary of 1200 cents. It’s important to recognize that although these instruments may be capable of generating a huge range of amazing timbres and sound-designs, this restricted kind of tuning implementation is not capable of full-controller, or full-keyboard microtuning, and therefore has far less utility for serious microtonal and xenharmonic music composition, since their design remains locked into thinking about musical instrument intonation in terms of 12 octave-bound notes repeated across the musical range, and are therefore incapable of being used for intonation systems that feature more or less than 12 notes, or otherwise ones that may not repeat at the interval of octave at all.

Among the many possible examples, 12 Note Octave Repeating Microtuning would prohibit the use of such popular microtunings as Bohlen-Pierce, which divides the 3rd harmonic into 13 equal parts and has a repeat interval of a 3/1 at 1901.955 cents:

Bohlen-Pierce: ED3-13 – Equal division of harmonic 3 into 13 parts

0: 1/1 0.000000 unison, perfect prime

1: 146.304 cents 146.304230

2: 292.608 cents 292.608460

3: 438.913 cents 438.912690

4: 585.217 cents 585.216920

5: 731.521 cents 731.521150

6: 877.825 cents 877.825390

7: 1024.130 cents 1024.129620

8: 1170.434 cents 1170.433850

9: 1316.738 cents 1316.738080

10: 1463.042 cents 1463.042310

11: 1609.347 cents 1609.346540

12: 1755.651 cents 1755.650770

13: 3/1 1901.955001 perfect 12th

The restriction of 12 Note Octave Repeating Microtuning would also preclude the use of the famous Wendy Carlos, Alpha (78 cents step size), Beta (63.8 cents step size) and Gamma (35.1 cents step size) systems, none of which feature a repeat interval of a 2/1 (Tuning: At the Crossroads, Computer Music Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, Microtonality, Spring, 1987).

There are countless other such examples of historical and contemporary musical instrument intonation systems that would be able to easily illustrate the glaring shortcomings of being restricted to only 12 notes repeating at the 2/1. For musicians and composers to be able to encompass the full range of expression and compositional possibilities of using alternative intonation systems in their music – including, but not limited to, 12 Note Octave Repeating Microtunings – it is advised to support those visionary developers who have implemented full-keyboard microtuning in their instruments. With correctly implemented full-keyboard microtuning functionality, there is no compromise in the way that one may microtune their hardware or virtual instruments.

Xfer Records Serum supports full-keyboard microtuning with the TUN format

The Scala SCL/KBM Specification

Some microtuning implementations may allow retuning instruments with more or less than 12 tones, but provide no uniform method for independently configuring the Key For 1/1 (the MIDI Note on which the microtuning will start) and Reference Frequency (the MIDI Note on which the reference pitch will be mapped, for example, the concert standard of 69.A at 440 Hz). Such is the case with the widespread implementation of the Scala SCL format, where the linear KBM (keyboard mapping) part of the standard has been omitted, a topic which we will explore more in depth ahead.

Native Instruments Kontakt Script Language: KSP

Native Instruments Kontakt, which in theory enables full-controller microtuning, may have encrypted commercial sample libraries that strictly prohibit changing the intonation with its KSP scripting language. Moreover, KSP scripts may be used for sophisticated key-switching, or other such articulation schemes, that might prevent using a full-keyboard microtuning KSP script at the same time. Users of Kontakt should be fully prepared and equipped to program their own KSP scripts, sample instruments and libraries to ensure that they can be fully microtuned, as many developers of Kontakt libraries may not be empathetic to the requirements of microtonal and xenharmonic music composition, and very well may have designed their instruments with no, or extremely limited, ability for full-keyboard microtuning with the KSP language. In other words, they may be entirely ’12-locked’, and incapable of rendering music with intonation systems other than 12-tone-equal-temperament.

Full-Keyboard Microtuning: TUN and MTS Formats

Virtual instruments that can more easily achieve high-precision full-controller microtuning are those where developers have implemented the use of either the TUN or MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) microtuning formats, which enable saving all of the microtuning mapping information into a single tuning data file that may be loaded directly into the instruments, or in the case of MTS, also be transmitted from the timeline of DAWs that allow transmitting SYSEX, such as for example REAPER and Bitwig.

Microtonal music software developers may have their own unique data-management strategies for working with microtuning files.

Some developers may have designed their microtonal software synthesizers and samplers so that microtuning format files may be loaded into their virtual instruments from any directories on the user’s computers, which empowers computer musicians and composers to use and maintain a single centralized global microtuning directory for all virtual instruments, while others may require that the microtuning data files be stored within the plugin’s directory.

Where developers have employed the latter method of requiring users to store microtuning files within the plugin’s directory only, and do not permit loading them from any directory on the computer; this will require that users of the software maintain multiple concurrent microtuning archives for each plugin that uses this method, such as in the case of the excellent u-he virtual instrument line (Diva, Zebra, Bazille, ACE), thereby adding another layer of complexity for working with microtunings and managing the tuning file data.

u-he Zebra 2 Tunefiles directory

Microtuning Formats: A Closer Look

Let’s more closely consider here some of the currently popular methods for microtuning computer music based virtual instruments and some hardware instruments, with this brief overview of their features and benefits:

TUN

The TUN format, invented by visionary developer, Mark Henning, is currently among the most popular and widely used microtuning formats for computer music virtual instruments. He is also the developer of the AnaMark VSTi synthesizer, which was first published with TUN support on February 19, 2003, making it among the earliest VSTi supporting full-controller microtuning tables. The TUN format is an elegant solution for retuning MIDI controlled virtual instruments to alternative intonation systems, because both the MIDI Note Number on which the 1/1 starting note of the microtuning will be placed, as well as the MIDI Note Number on which the Reference Frequency will be mapped, can be freely and independently specified, and is embedded within a single text file that is read by the instrument.

Mark Henning invented the TUN microtuing format and introduced it in his Anamark VSTi in 2003

Pros:

  • TUN is a high precision microtuning-table text format that includes the scale and MIDI Note mapping information in cents.
  • Users can specify both the Key For 1/1 (the MIDI Note on which the microtuning will start) and Reference Frequency (the MIDI Note on which the reference pitch will be mapped, for example, the standard concert pitch of 69.A at 440 Hz). Typically these critical parameters are configured and the data exported using dedicated microtuning applications such as Scala, which enables users to save versions of scales with different mappings as required of the music at hand.
  • Virtual instruments can be fully microtuned using a single TUN file.
  • Human readable with a text editor.


Cons:

  • No dynamic, real-time microtuning.
  • To change to other intonation systems, a new TUN file must be manually loaded by the user for every instrument being used in a composition that requires it.


Some virtual instrument software developers that have implemented the TUN microtuning format in their products: Big Tick, Linplug, MeldaProduction, Plugin Boutique, Rob Papen, Robin Schmidt, Spectrasonics, TAL Software, u-he, VAZ Synths, Xfer Records.

Scala SCL/KBM

Also popular is the SCL/KBM format from the developer of the versatile Scala microtuning application, Manuel Op de Coul, and is an excellent and flexible text based format that is ideal for archiving intonation systems, which may be expressed in ratios and or cents.

Scala: The musical instrument intonation analysis and microtuning format file creation application by Manuel Op de Coul

Pros:

  • Virtual instruments can be fully microtuned using both the SCL and linear KBM files. SCL is the part of the standard that contains the intervals of the scale, while the linear KBM part is what determines how the pitches are mapped directly to MIDI Notes on the controller.
  • Human readable with a text editor.
  • The Key For 1/1 (the MIDI Note on which the microtuning will start) and Reference Frequency (the MIDI Note on which the reference pitch will be mapped, e.g., the standard concert pitch of 69.A at 440 Hz) can be independently specified and freely changed using the linear KBM (Keyboard Mapping File).

Cons:

  • No dynamic, real-time microtuning.
  • To change to another intonation system, a new SCL and a linear KBM file must be manually loaded by the user for every instrument.

An important note regarding the Scala SCL/KBM format

Both the SCL and linear KBM parts of the Scala specification are required to achieve full-controller microtuning and provide users the ability to fluidly change how intonation systems are mapped to their controllers. The reality is that very few developers have correctly implemented both SCL and linear KBM functionality, so where instruments are only able to load the SCL file, without the linear KBM part, it may not always be possible to independently change the Key For 1/1 (the starting MIDI Note of the microtuning) and the Reference Frequency (the MIDI Note on which the reference pitch will be mapped, e.g., the standard concert pitch of 69.A at 440 Hz).

Often, without the ability to load the linear KBM files, such as in the case of the Cakewalk and Image Line virtual instruments, Reveal Sound‘s Spire, and all of the Applied Acoustics VSTi (sadly, their great sounding Chromophone physical modeling instrument included), which use only the SCL part of the Scala specification without the linear KBM, the Key For 1/1 and the Reference Frequency are often treated as one in the same. Other such worst-case-scenario implementations of SCL may map any loaded microtunings to start on middle C (MIDI Note 60.C), and provide no convenient method for changing the mapping of an intonation system at all.

For example, it would be virtually impossible in these virtual instruments to load a Scala SCL microtuning and have the Key For 1/1 start on MIDI Note 60.C, and at the same time have the Reference Frequency on MIDI Note 69.A @ 440 Hz, because, without the KBM file, the Key For 1/1 and Reference Frequency are configured by a single parameter: set the reference note to 69.A 440 Hz, and both the Key For 1/1 and Reference Frequency are mapped on MIDI Note 69.A @ 440 Hz. Likewise, when setting the reference note to 60.C @ 261.625565 Hz, both the Key For 1/1 and Reference Frequency for the microtuning are mapped on 60.C @ 261.625565 Hz. This may be all well and fine for many Equal Temperaments, but with a universe of other types of intonation systems that feature different step sizes and intervals under modal rotation (MOS, just intonation, microtonal-modes-of-limited-transposition, etc.), the SCL-without-KBM microtuning mapping paradigm immediately fails to be able to accurately render microtunings with discrete Key-for-1/1 and Reference Frequency parameters, and will not sound in tune with ensembles of instruments that are microtuned this in this manner.

As we can see, in cases where developers have naively omitted the linear KBM part of the Scala specification, this causes a huge complication for musicians and composers endeavoring to easily microtune ensembles of virtual instruments to a common intonation system, where the requirements of specialized MIDI controller mappings, as well as the music at hand, are that the Key For 1/1 and Reference Frequency need to be independently specified for all of the instruments being used in a particular microtonal or xenharmonic compositional scenario.

The ability to freely map these two parameters of microtunings becomes especially critical when working with various kinds of hexagonal array keyboards, such as the Starr Labs Microzone U-648 Generalized Keyboard, C-Thru Music AXis-64 and AXis-49, as well as grid-based MIDI controllers like the excellent Roger Linn Design LinnStrument and the Novation LaunchPad Pro. It would also be crucial for mapping microtonal tunings to Elaine Walker’s Vertical Keyboards, which feature Halberstadt-style MIDI key-beds with customized key arrangements that are designed to accommodate a wide range of microtonal tunings and ergonomic fingering requirements.

There is hope: Modartt Pianoteq gets it right

Among the most elegant (and correct) implementations of the Scala SCL and linear KBM microtuning format, is found in the excellent physical modeling Modartt Pianoteq virtual instrument, which enables musicians and composers to directly load both Scala SCL microtunings and the KBM Keyboard Mapping files from its user interface.

Modartt Pianoteq 5 correctly implements the Scala SCL and linear KBM specification

Below are a couple of linear KBM file examples to illustrate the microtuning mapping flexibility embodied in the Modartt Pianoteq implementation of the Scala SCL/KBM specification:

60-440-69.kbm | This KBM file would place the Key For 1/1 on MIDI Note 60.C, while mapping the Reference Frequency to MIDI Note 69.A at a frequency of 440 Hz:

! 60-440-69.kbm

!

! Size of map:

0

! First MIDI note number to retune:

0

! Last MIDI note number to retune:

127

! Middle note where the first entry in the mapping is mapped to:

60

! Reference note for which frequency is given:

69

! Frequency to tune the above note to (floating point e.g. 440.0):

440.000000

! Scale degree to consider as formal octave:

0

! Mapping.

52-262-60.kbm | Here the KBM file would place the Key For 1/1 on MIDI Note 52.E, while mapping the Reference Frequency to MIDI Note 60.C at a frequency of 261.625565 Hz:

! 52-262-60.kbm

!

! Size of map:

0

! First MIDI note number to retune:

0

! Last MIDI note number to retune:

127

! Middle note where the first entry in the mapping is mapped to:

52

! Reference note for which frequency is given:

60

! Frequency to tune the above note to (floating point e.g. 440.0):

261.625565

! Scale degree to consider as formal octave:

0

! Mapping.

When advocating for the Scala microtuning format…

Let’s hope that this information will help to illuminate the issues around full-keyboard microtuning with Scala files, as well as to inspire musicians and composers advocating for the Scala SCL format to include the crucial KBM part in their advocacy, and that developers will see how critically important the combination and correct implementation of both the SCL and linear KBM parts of the Scala specification are to serious microtonal and xenharmonic music composition.

Some virtual instrument software developers that have correctly implemented the Scala SCL/KBM format in their products: Modartt Pianoteq, ZynAddSubFX 2.4.1, amSynth (Linux), UVI.

MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard)

The MIDI Tuning Standard is an ultra-high-resolution specification for microtuning MIDI instruments agreed upon by the MIDI Manufacturers Association, and was developed by visionary microtonal music composers Robert Rich and Carter Scholz. The standard includes both Bulk Dump and Single Note microtuning with a resolution of 0.0061 cent, which essentially divides the octave into 196,608 equal parts. It remains among the best and most flexible real-time microtuning formats available today.

Dave Smith Instruments excellent synthesizer line features MTS full-keyboard microtuning support

Pros:

  • Virtual instruments can be fully microtuned using single MTS files.
  • Has been a part of the MIDI Specification since the 1990s.
  • Single, as well as entire ensembles of virtual instruments, can be fully and dynamically microtuned in real-time within DAWs, or using sequencers, that support the transmission of MIDI SYSEX data to instruments, without the need to manually load new microtuning files by hand in the manner required with TUN and SCL/KBM.


Cons:

  • The format is MIDI SYSEX data, and therefore is not human-readable.


Some virtual instrument software and hardware developers that have implemented the MTS microtuning format in their products: Dave Smith Instruments, E-mu, Ensoniq, Native Instruments, MOTM, Synthogy, Tubbutec, WayOutWare, Xen-Arts, Yamaha.

An important consideration and current reality for the MTS format, is that not all DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) allow the transmission of MIDI SYSEX to plugins from their timelines, although some, such as REAPER and Bitwig do. Also, the new VST3 format has tragically dropped a lot of the MIDI functionality that was among the most fascinating possibilities of the VST 2.4 SDK, rendering VST3 a huge unknown factor in the future of microtuning virtual instruments.

Xen-Arts IVOR2 (x86) VSTi for Windows features full-keyboard microtuning with the MTS format


MIDI Note Number-Hertz-Cents and Octave Table



MIDI
Note Number
Hz Cents MIDI Standard ISO 16:1975 Cakewalk
      Middle C: C3 Middle C: C4  Middle C: C5
0 8.176 0 C -2 C -1 C 0
1 8.662 100 C#, Db -2 C#, Db -1 C#, Db 0
2 9.177 200 D -2 D -1 D 0
3 9.723 300 D#, Eb -2 D#, Eb -1 D#, Eb 0
4 10.301 400 E -2 E -1 E 0
5 10.913 500 F -2 F -1 F 0
6 11.562 600 F#, Gb -2 F#, Gb -1 F#, Gb 0
7 12.25 700 G -2 G -1 G 0
8 12.978 800 G#, Ab -2 G#, Ab -1 G#, Ab 0
9 13.75 900 A -2 A -1 A 0
10 14.568 1000 A#, Bb -2 A#, Bb -1 A#, Bb 0
11 15.434 1100 B -2 B -1 B 0
12 16.352 1200 C -1 C 0 C 1
13 17.324 1300 C#, Db -1 C#, Db 0 C#, Db 1
14 18.354 1400 D -1 D 0 D 1
15 19.445 1500 D#, Eb -1 D#, Eb 0 D#, Eb 1
16 20.602 1600 E -1 E 0 E 1
17 21.827 1700 F -1 F 0 F 1
18 23.125 1800 F#, Gb -1 F#, Gb 0 F#, Gb 1
19 24.5 1900 G -1 G 0 G 1
20 25.957 2000 G#, Ab -1 G#, Ab 0 G#, Ab 1
21 27.5 2100 A -1 A 0 A 1
22 29.135 2200 A#, Bb -1 A#, Bb 0 A#, Bb 1
23 30.868 2300 B -1 B 0 B 1
24 32.703 2400 C 0 C 1 C 2
25 34.648 2500 C#, Db 0 C#, Db 1 C#, Db 2
26 36.708 2600 D 0 D 1 D 2
27 38.891 2700 D#, Eb 0 D#, Eb 1 D#, Eb 2
28 41.203 2800 E 0 E 1 E 2
29 43.654 2900 F 0 F 1 F 2
30 46.249 3000 F#, Gb 0 F#, Gb 1 F#, Gb 2
31 48.999 3100 G 0 G 1 G 2
32 51.913 3200 G#, Ab 0 G#, Ab 1 G#, Ab 2
33 55 3300 A 0 A 1 A 2
34 58.27 3400 A#, Bb 0 A#, Bb 1 A#, Bb 2
35 61.735 3500 B 0 B 1 B 2
36 65.406 3600 C 1 C 2 C 3
37 69.296 3700 C#, Db 1 C#, Db 2 C#, Db 3
38 73.416 3800 D 1 D 2 D 3
39 77.782 3900 D#, Eb 1 D#, Eb 2 D#, Eb 3
40 82.407 4000 E 1 E 2 E 3
41 87.307 4100 F 1 F 2 F 3
42 92.499 4200 F#, Gb 1 F#, Gb 2 F#, Gb 3
43 97.999 4300 G 1 G 2 G 3
44 103.826 4400 G#, Ab 1 G#, Ab 2 G#, Ab 3
45 110 4500 A 1 A 2 A 3
46 116.541 4600 A#, Bb 1 A#, Bb 2 A#, Bb 3
47 123.471 4700 B 1 B 2 B 3
48 130.813 4800 C 2 C 3 C 4
49 138.591 4900 C#, Db 2 C#, Db 3 C#, Db 4
50 146.832 5000 D 2 D 3 D 4
51 155.563 5100 D#, Eb 2 D#, Eb 3 D#, Eb 4
52 164.814 5200 E 2 E 3 E 4
53 174.614 5300 F 2 F 3 F 4
54 184.997 5400 F#, Gb 2 F#, Gb 3 F#, Gb 4
55 195.998 5500 G 2 G 3 G 4
56 207.652 5600 G#, Ab 2 G#, Ab 3 G#, Ab 4
57 220 5700 A 2 A 3 A 4
58 233.082 5800 A#, Bb 2 A#, Bb 3 A#, Bb 4
59 246.942 5900 B 2 B 3 B 4
60 261.626 6000 C 3 C 4 C 5
61 277.183 6100 C#, Db 3 C#, Db 4 C#, Db 5
62 293.665 6200 D 3 D 4 D 5
63 311.127 6300 D#, Eb 3 D#, Eb 4 D#, Eb 5
64 329.628 6400 E 3 E 4 E 5
65 349.228 6500 F 3 F 4 F 5
66 369.994 6600 F#, Gb 3 F#, Gb 4 F#, Gb 5
67 391.995 6700 G 3 G 4 G 5
68 415.305 6800 G#, Ab 3 G#, Ab 4 G#, Ab 5
69 440 6900 A 3 A 4 A 5
70 466.164 7000 A#, Bb 3 A#, Bb 4 A#, Bb 5
71 493.883 7100 B 3 B 4 B 5
72 523.251 7200 C 4 C 5 C 6
73 554.365 7300 C#, Db 4 C#, Db 5 C#, Db 6
74 587.33 7400 D 4 D 5 D 6
75 622.254 7500 D#, Eb 4 D#, Eb 5 D#, Eb 6
76 659.255 7600 E 4 E 5 E 6
77 698.456 7700 F 4 F 5 F 6
78 739.989 7800 F#, Gb 4 F#, Gb 5 F#, Gb 6
79 783.991 7900 G 4 G 5 G 6
80 830.609 8000 G#, Ab 4 G#, Ab 5 G#, Ab 6
81 880 8100 A 4 A 5 A 6
82 932.328 8200 A#, Bb 4 A#, Bb 5 A#, Bb 6
83 987.767 8300 B 4 B 5 B 6
84 1046.502 8400 C 5 C 6 C 7
85 1108.731 8500 C#, Db 5 C#, Db 6 C#, Db 7
86 1174.659 8600 D 5 D 6 D 7
87 1244.508 8700 D#, Eb 5 D#, Eb 6 D#, Eb 7
88 1318.51 8800 E 5 E 6 E 7
89 1396.913 8900 F 5 F 6 F 7
90 1479.978 9000 F#, Gb 5 F#, Gb 6 F#, Gb 7
91 1567.982 9100 G 5 G 6 G 7
92 1661.219 9200 G#, Ab 5 G#, Ab 6 G#, Ab 7
93 1760 9300 A 5 A 6 A 7
94 1864.655 9400 A#, Bb 5 A#, Bb 6 A#, Bb 7
95 1975.533 9500 B 5 B 6 B 7
96 2093.005 9600 C 6 C 7 C 8
97 2217.461 9700 C#, Db 6 C#, Db 7 C#, Db 8
98 2349.318 9800 D 6 D 7 D 8
99 2489.016 9900 D#, Eb 6 D#, Eb 7 D#, Eb 8
100 2637.02 10000 E 6 E 7 E 8
101 2793.826 10100 F 6 F 7 F 8
102 2959.955 10200 F#, Gb 6 F#, Gb 7 F#, Gb 8
103 3135.963 10300 G 6 G 7 G 8
104 3322.438 10400 G#, Ab 6 G#, Ab 7 G#, Ab 8
105 3520 10500 A 6 A 7 A 8
106 3729.31 10600 A#, Bb 6 A#, Bb 7 A#, Bb 8
107 3951.066 10700 B 6 B 7 B 8
108 4186.009 10800 C 7 C 8 C 9
109 4434.922 10900 C#, Db 7 C#, Db 8 C#, Db 9
110 4698.636 11000 D 7 D 8 D 9
111 4978.032 11100 D#, Eb 7 D#, Eb 8 D#, Eb 9
112 5274.041 11200 E 7 E 8 E 9
113 5587.652 11300 F 7 F 8 F 9
114 5919.911 11400 F#, Gb 7 F#, Gb 8 F#, Gb 9
115 6271.927 11500 G 7 G 8 G 9
116 6644.875 11600 G#, Ab 7 G#, Ab 8 G#, Ab 9
117 7040 11700 A 7 A 8 A 9
118 7458.62 11800 A#, Bb 7 A#, Bb 8 A#, Bb 9
119 7902.133 11900 B 7 B 8 B 9
120 8372.018 12000 C 8 C 9 C 10
121 8869.844 12100 C#, Db 8 C#, Db 9 C#, Db 10
122 9397.273 12200 D 8 D 9 D 10
123 9956.063 12300 D#, Eb 8 D#, Eb 9 D#, Eb 10
124 10548.082 12400 E 8 E 9 E 10
125 11175.303 12500 F 8 F 9 F 10
126 11839.822 12600 F#, Gb 8 F#, Gb 9 F#, Gb 10
127 12543.854 12700 G 8 G 9 G 10

THE TOP MIDI DIY RESOURCES ON THE WEB

We collected up links to the top MIDI DIY resources from around the web. Links are embedded in the logos, the pictures and the text in blue. Clicking on a link takes you to the site’s search engine with the keyword MIDI so the latest MIDI DIY projects will always appear.

Instructables: Hundreds of DIY MIDI Projects

Learn how to make anything with Instructables. Easy to follow step-by-step instructions, online classes, and a vibrant maker community.


...

A curated list of MIDI DIY projects on Instructables 

​We have gone through the many MIDI DIY projects in Instructables and picked our some of our favorites.


  • Makezine MIDI Projects-Over 700 MIDI projects
  • From electronics to crafts to robots with a side of drones, the Make: edit team picks the latest products, projects and tools to make you a better maker.

Sparkfun 

SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible.


MIDIBox-Non-commercial DIY Projects for MIDI Hardware Geeks


DJ tech tools helped start the whole MIDI DIY revolution.  
Read more about it in this article.

Hackster-Hackster is a community dedicated to learning hardware.



...

MIDI Processing, Programming, and Do It Yourself (DIY) Components –

We created a list of companies that sell MIDI DIY components and programming tools. Check it out in the article link below. 

Mind To MIDI

What if you could control MIDI with your brain? Does that sound like science fiction? Actually there are lots of people who have been exploring how to connect brain waves Electroencephalography (EEG) to MIDI. 

Let’s take a look at how that works. 

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a method to record electrical activity of the brain. Typically electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure voltage fluctuations caused by ionic current within the neurons of the brain.

  • Delta is the frequency range up to 4 Hz. It is usually the highest in amplitude and the slowest  It is seen normally in adults in deep sleep and in babies. EEGs are different for different ages, but we are focused on adults

Delta wave

Beta is the frequency range from 15 Hz to about 30 Hz. Beta activity is related to movement and  beta waves with multiple  frequencies is associated with busy thinking and active concentration.

Theta wave

Theta is the frequency range from 4 Hz to 7 Hz. Theta is  associated with relaxed, meditative, and creative states in adults

Beta wave

  • Alpha is the frequency range from 7 Hz to 14 Hz. Alpha waves are directly related to  relaxation, and attenuate with mental exertion. 

Alpha wave


So what does all this have to with MIDI.  Years ago EEG machines were really expensive, but recently there are wireless EEGs like the Mindset and the Muse that are inexpensive and wireless 

Brain2MIDI convert brainwaves into MIDI signals. Apply filters and algorithms to the frequencies and generate MIDI to control your favourite music production software, synthesizer or visual effects software.Brain2Midi is an Android software that produce Midi notes and controls change signals using brainwaves. Midi is transmitted from an Android 4.4 device using either a USB to MIDI cable to any compatible physical input, or using Wifi or Bluetooth to a computer on the Windows 7 platform. The Muse headband from InteraXon is used as an input source for brainwaves, then informations are analyzed and converted into melodies or CC parameters. Brain2Midi can be used to create music that is influenced by the state of mind of the person wearing the headband or it can be used to create visual animations in any Midi compatible VJ software.

by Brain2MIDI


The OpenEEG project is a website with resources for making plans and software for do-it-yourself EEG devices available for free (as in GPL). It is aimed toward amateurs who would like to experiment with EEG.


MindMIDI is a revolutionary way of making music, with your brainwaves, in real-time. Brainwaves are like radio stations, with each station working on a different layer, and all the stations are always playing. MindMIDI works like a radio, allowing you to hear your brain’s amazing electrical symphony. The music can be influenced with intention, and you can hear the immediate musical feedback. The MIDI can be routed to any DAW so you can have realistic sounding sampled musical instruments, or synthesizers. You can have multiple instruments, and each instrument can be controlled by a different band of the brainwave spectrum. For example, your Delta and Theta waves could be controlling a cello, Alpha waves could be controlling a piano, and your Beta and Gamma waves could be playing a violin. Best thing is MindMIDI is free!

by Aaron Thomen, MindMIDI



The People Who Created the DIY MIDI Revolution

Do It Yourself MIDI

​With the boom in open-source electronics platform like Arduino and the growth of 3-D printers, it’s become easier and easier to create your own MIDI controller. We wanted to introduce you to some of the people and companies who helped create the DIY MIDI revolution.


Moldover- The Godfather of Controllerism

Moldover is the acknowledged godfather of controllerism.  He has been a long time supporter of The MIDI Association and we featured him as a MIDI artist in 2016. He was one of the first people to develop his own DIY MIDI controller. 


...

Moldover-The Godfather of Controllerism –

Controllerism In 2005, Matt Moldover and Dj Shakey (Julie Covello) coined the term Controllerism to describe Moldover’s performance style.


Ean Golden- DJ Tech Tools

Ean Golden  (who now runs djtechtools) wrote an article  about Moldover “Music Maneuvers: Discover the Digital Turntablism Concept, Controllerism, Compliments of Moldover” in the October 2007 issue of Remix Magazine.

Soon after that he put out a Youtube video on how to make your own MIDI controller and started djtechtools

DJ Tech Tools continues to update their YouTube channel with videos on how to make your own MIDI controller.



Shawn Wasabi

Shawn Wasabi has 574,651 subscribers and 54,314,415 views on his Youtube channel. He started combining multiple 16 button MIDI Fighters together and combining them with game controllers.  Eventually he convinced DJ TechTools to make him a 64 button version of the MIDI Fighter with Sanwa arcade buttons. 




Evan Kale

Evan Kale is a young  creator who has 2,736,359 views on YouTube.  Here is how he describes himself on his Youtube channel. 

I break stuff. All things Arduino, guitar, ukulele, MIDI, mods, music, explosions, and hacks.

by Evan Kale



...

Evan Kale – YouTube

I break stuff. All things Arduino, guitar, ukulele, MIDI, mods, music, explosions, and hacks.
@EvanKale91


Notes and Volts has some really nice videos on Arduino, MIDI and building your own synths. 



Livid Instruments

Livid Instruments has been at the forefront of MIDI controller experimentation since 2004.  They have a number of manufactured products.

minim- mobile MIDI controller

Guitar Wing MIDI controller

Ds1 MIDI controller

But Livid also makes some great components for DIY projects like the Brain V2. 

Easily create your own MIDI controller with Brain v2. Brain V2 contains the Brain with a connected Bus Board for simple connectivity. Connect up to 128 buttons, 192 LEDs, and 64 analog controls. Components are easily connected with ribbons cables and we’ve created the Omni Board to allow dozens of layouts with a single circuit board.
Brain v2 supports faders, rotary potentiometers, arcade buttons, rubber buttons, LEDs, RGB LEDs, LED rings, encoders, velocity sensitive pads, accelerometers, and more.

by Livid



Links to MIDI.org resources for DIY MIDI projects so you can DO IT YOURSELF!



...

Arduino MIDI Output Basics –

IntroductionThe Arduino UNO is a popular open-source microcontroller that, in many respects, is a perfect complement to the extensible nature of the Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) protocol. Microcontroller platforms such as Arduino, Teensy



...

A curated list of MIDI DIY projects on Instructables –

​ Instructables is a site which hosts DIY projects and is a platform for people to share what they make through words, photos, video and files. We have gone through the many MIDI DIY projects  and picked our some of



...

MIDI Processing, Programming, and Do It Yourself (DIY) Components –

Companies and products listed here do not imply any recommendation or endorsement by the MIDI Manufacturers Association. MIDI Processing, Programming, and Do It Yourself (DIY) Components These are just examples of such products — we make n


Copy of MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) Specification Adopted!


One of the biggest recent developments in MIDI is MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). MPE is a method of using MIDI which enables multidimensional controllers to control multiple parameters of every note within MPE-compatible software. 

In normal MIDI, Channel-wide messages (such as Pitch Bend) are applied to all notes being played on a single MIDI Channel. In MPE, each note is assigned its own MIDI Channel so that those messages can be applied to each note individually.

The newly adopted MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) specification is now available for download By MIDI Association members.


MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) Adopts New MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) Enhancement to the MIDI Specification 

 

Los Angeles, CA, January 28, 2018− Today marks the MIDI Manufacturers Association’s (MMA) ratification of a new extension to MIDI, MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression). MPE enables electronic instruments such as synthesizers to provide a level of expressiveness typically possible only with acoustic instruments.

Prior to MPE, expressive gestures on synthesizers—such as pitch bending or adding vibrato—affected all notes being played. With MPE, every note a musician plays can be articulated individually for much greater expressiveness.

In MPE, each note is assigned its own MIDI Channel, so that Channel-wide expression messages can be applied to each note individually. Music making products (such as the ROLI Seaboard, Moog’s Animoog, and Apple’s Logic) take advantage of this so that musicians can apply multiple dimensions of finger movement control: left and right, forward and back, downward pressure, and more.

MMA President Tom White notes that “The efforts of the members (companies) of MMA has resulted in a specification for Polyphonic Expression that provides for interoperability among products from different manufacturers, and benefits the entire music industry.”

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut of ROLI concurs. “The MPE specification paves the way for a new generation of expressive controllers and music software, providing many creative opportunities for live musicians and producers. MPE remains fully compatible with MIDI.”

The MPE specification will be available for download in the coming weeks. To obtain a free copy, join the MIDI Association, the global community of people who work, play and create with MIDI, at www.MIDI.org. 

MPE Press Release Downloadable PDF



The Basic Features of MPE

(Reprinted from the MIDI Manufacturers Association MPE Specification document’s Background Section)
(Note: not all devices may support all features)

The MPE specification aims to provide an agreed method for hardware and software manufacturers to communicate multidimensional control data between MIDI controllers, synthesizers, digital audio workstations, and other products, using the existing framework of MIDI 1.0.

These proposed conventions define a way of distributing polyphonic music over a group of MIDI Channels, making multiple parameters of different notes separately controllable. This will enable richer communication between increasingly expressive MIDI hardware and software.

Briefly, what is defined is as follows:

  — Wherever possible, every sounding note is temporarily assigned its own MIDI Channel between its Note On and Note Off. This allows Control Change and Pitch Bend messages to be addressed to that particular note.

  — A Registered Parameter Number is used to establish the range of Channels used for sending or receiving notes. Two messages control the division of MIDI Channel space into sub-spaces called Zones, so that multi-timbral playing is still possible using only one physical MIDI interface.

  — When there are more active notes in a Zone than available Channels, two or more notes will have to share the same Channel. Under such circumstances, all notes will continue to sound, but will no longer be uniquely controllable.

  — Each Zone has a dedicated extra Channel, called the Master Channel, which conveys common information including Program Change messages, pedal data, and overall Pitch Bend. These messages apply across the entire Zone.

(The MPE specification also defines how to handle Pitch Bend, Aftertouch and CC messages to provide maximum interoperability.)

The full MPE MIDI specification will be available soon for download in the Specs section of the site. 


Digital
audio workstations (DAWs) 
Company Link
Bitwig 8-Track & Studio Bitwig https://www.bitwig.com/en/home.html
GarageBand
macOS
Apple https://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/
Logic Pro X Apple https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/
Reaper Reaper https://www.reaper.fm
Steinberg
Cubase
Steinberg https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/
Steinberg
Cubasis 2 
Steinberg https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/mobile_apps/cubasis/start.html
Tracktion
Waveform
Steinberg https://www.tracktion.com/products/waveform
Cakewalk BandLab https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk
   
Software synthesizers  Company Link
crusher-x accSone https://www.accsone.com
Poly-Ana Admiral Quality http://www.admiralquality.com/product/poly-ana/
Logic Pro X
Instruments
Apple https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/plugins-and-sounds/
MainStage
Instruments
Apple https://www.apple.com/mainstage/plugins-and-sounds/
Quanta Audio Damage https://www.audiodamage.com/collections/plugin-instruments/products/ad046-quanta
Max (and any
MPE instruments created in Max)
Cycling 74 https://cycling74.com/products/max/
“Play
5″ Sample Engine
East West Sounds http://www.soundsonline.com/Play-Software-Download
Strobe2 Fxpansion https://www.fxpansion.com/products/strobe2/
Cypher 2 Fxpansion https://www.fxpansion.com/products/cypher2/
Sektor Initial Audio https://initialaudio.com/product/sektor/
Audio
SynthMaster
KV331 https://www.kv331audio.com
Aalto Madrona Labs  https://madronalabs.com/products/aalto
Kaivo Madrona Labs  https://madronalabs.com/products/kaivo
Kontakt Native Instruments https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/samplers/kontakt-6/
Reaktor (and
any MPE instruments created in Reaktor)
Native Instruments https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/synths/reaktor-6/
WaveMapper 2 PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/wm2.html
WaveGenerator PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/wg.html
Phonem PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/phonem.html
Infinate Pro PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/infinitepro.html
Equator ROLI https://roli.com/products/software/equator-synth
Softube
Modular
Softube https://www.softube.com/index.php?id=modular
Omnisphere Spectrasonics https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/omnisphere/index.php
Trillian Spectrasonics https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/trilian.php
BT Phobos Spitfire Audio https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bt-phobos/
Addiction
Synth
Stagecraft Software http://www.stagecraftsoftware.com/products/addictionsynth/
Infinity Synth Stagecraft Software http://www.stagecraftsoftware.com/products/infinitysynth/
Cubase (5
instruments)
Steinberg https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/
Kyma 7 Symbolic Sound https://kyma.symbolicsound.com
The Legend Synapse Audio https://www.synapse-audio.com/thelegend.html
Bazille U-He https://u-he.com/products/bazille/
Ace U-He https://u-he.com/products/ace/
Diva U-He https://u-he.com/products/diva/
Hive U-He https://u-he.com/products/hive/
Repro-5 (5
instruments, downloadable sound files)
U-He https://u-he.com/products/repro/
Falcon UVI https://www.uvi.net/falcon.html
Auras Slate and Ash https://slateandash.com/products/auras
HALion Steinberg https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/halion_und_halion_sonic/halion.html
   
Mobile apps  Company Link
GarageBand iOS Apple https://www.apple.com/ios/garageband/
Quanta Audio Damage https://www.audiodamage.com/products/ad046-quanta
SpringSound Ankorage http://www.anckorage.com/spring-sound/
Gestrument Gestrument AB https://gestrument.com
SynthMaster
Player
KV331 Audio https://www.kv331audio.com/synthmasterplayer.aspx
GeoShred moForte Inc (Wizdom) http://www.moforte.com
Minimoog Model
D
Moog https://www.moogmusic.com/products/minimoog-model-d-app
Moog Model 15 Moog https://www.moogmusic.com/products/model-15-app
AniMoog Moog https://www.moogmusic.com/products/animoog
iFretless Bass Blue Mango http://ifretless.com/ifretless.php
Sax Blue Mango http://ifretless.com/ifretless.php
iFretless
Guitar
Blue Mango http://ifretless.com/ifretless.php
Volt Numerical Audio http://numericalaudio.com/volt/
Arctic
ProSynth
One Red Dog Media http://www.onereddog.com.au/arcticpro.html
WaveGenerator PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/iwg.html
WaveMapper PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/iwm.html
Phonem PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/iphonem.html
Infinate PPG http://wolfgangpalm.com/iinfinite.html
NOISE Roli https://noise.fm
Seaboard 5D Roli https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seaboard-5d/id1173937855?mt=8
ThumbJam Sonosaurus https://thumbjam.com
DrumJam Sonosaurus https://drumjamapp.com
GeoSynthesizer Wizdom http://www.wizdommusic.com/products/geo_synthesizer.html
SampleWiz Wizdom http://www.wizdommusic.com/products/samplewiz.html
Tardigrain HumbleTune http://www.humbletune.com/tardigrain/
Le Sound
Reshape
Le Sound https://lesound.io/product/reshape/
   
Hardware synthesizers and
Controllers
Company Link
Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 Artiphon https://artiphon.com/
MicroMonsta Audiothingies https://www.audiothingies.com/product/micromonsta/
Axoloti Axoloti http://www.axoloti.com
Kijimi Black Corporation https://www.deckardsdream.com/product/kijimi-built-preorder-run1
Deckard’s
Dream
Black Corporation https://www.deckardsdream.com
Endorphin.es
Shuttle Control
Endorphin.es http://endorphin.es/endorphin.es–shuttle.html
Expert
Sleepers FH-2
Expert Sleepers http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk
Futuresonus Parva Futuresonus https://futureson.us
Haken
Continuum
Haken https://www.hakenaudio.com
MOD Duo MOD https://www.moddevices.com
Modal
Electronics 001
Modal Electronics http://www.modalelectronics.com
Modal
Electronics 002
Modal Electronics http://www.modalelectronics.com
Modal
Electronics 002R
Modal Electronics http://www.modalelectronics.com
Modor NF-1
/ NF-1m
Modor http://www.modormusic.com
Polyend Poly Polyend http://polyend.com/product/poly/
Snyderphonics
MantaMate
Snyderphonics https://snyderphonics.com/mantamate.htm
Percussa SSP Percussa https://www.percussa.com
Seaboard Rise
Grand
Roli https://roli.com/products/seaboard
Blocks Roli https://roli.com/products/blocks/
LinnStrument Roger Linn Design http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/linnstrument.html
Expressionist EncoreElectronics http://www.encoreelectronics.com/cont_expres.html
Vermona:
PerFOURmer
Vermona https://www.vermona.com/en/products/synthesizer/product/perfourmer-mkii/
   
These
DAWs and synthesizer plugins can be used with certain MPE Controllers by
following the setup guides provided by the MPE Controller maker:
Company Link
Ableton Live Abelton https://www.ableton.com/en/live/
Audio Modeling
SWAM Engine
Audio Modeling https://audiomodeling.com
Digital
Performer
MOTU http://www.motu.com/products/software/dp/
FL Studio Image Line https://www.image-line.com/flstudio/
iZotope Iris 2 iZotope https://www.izotope.com/en/products/create-and-design/iris.html
Pro Tools Avid https://www.avid.com/pro-tools
Studio One PreSonus https://www.presonus.com/products/Studio-One
Kurzweil
V.A.S.T. Synthesizers
Kurzweil http://www.vintagesynth.com/kurzweil/k2000.php
Roland JV-80
(keyboard)
Roland http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jv80.php
Roland  JV-1080 Roland http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jv1080.php
Roland Integra
7
Roland https://www.roland.com/us/products/integra-7/
Roland JD-800
(keyboard)
Roland http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd800.php
Roland JD-990
(rack module)
Roland http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd990.php
Roland XP-50 Roland http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/xp50.php

The following products support one or more of the features of MPE:

 

Digital audio workstations (DAWs) 

  • Bitwig 8-Track & Studio
  • GarageBand macOS
  • Logic Pro X
  • Reaper
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Steinberg Cubasis 2.6
  • Tracktion Waveform

Software synthesizers 

  • Admiral Quality Poly-Ana
  • Cycling ’74 Max
  • Equator / Equator Player
  • FXpansion Strobe2
  • KV331 Audio SynthMaster
  • Madrona Labs Aalto
  • Madrona Labs Kaivo
  • MainStage
  • Native Instruments Reaktor
  • Softube Modular
  • Spitfire BT Phobos
  • Stagecraft Addiction and Infinity
  • Symbolic Sound Kyma
  • UVI Falcon
Mobile apps 
  • NOISE
  • Seaboard 5D
  • GeoShred
  • GarageBand iOS
  • Moog Model 15
  • AniMoog

Hardware synthesizers 

  • Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1
  • Audiothingies MicroMonsta
  • Axoloti
  • Deckard’s Dream
  • Endorphin.es Shuttle Control
  • Expert Sleepers FH-1
  • Futuresonus Parva
  • Haken Continuum
  • MOD Duo
  • Modal Electronics 001 / 002 / 002R
  • Modor NF-1 / NF-1m
  • Polyend Poly
  • Snyderphonics MantaMate

These DAWs and synthesizer plugins can be used with certain MPE Controllers by following the setup guides provided by the MPE Controller maker:

  • Ableton Live
  • Audio Modeling SWAM Engine
  • Digital Performer
  • FL Studio
  • iZotope Iris 2
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Pro Tools
  • Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Trillian
  • Studio One
  • U-he Diva
  • Le Sound Reshape

    MPE Live Chat 

    On May 26, 2018, we held the very first MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists.

    We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast.

    Listeners were not only able to send in questions via text but were able to actually join the discussion and interact directly with the panelists. Roger Linn demoed his Linnstrument live from his studio in Los Altos.

    DIscussions included the differences between the original MPE spec and the final MMA specification, MPE checklists, and test sequences, and the requirements for obtaining an MMA MPE logo that is under development.


    ...

    MPE MIDI Live! Chat Podcast –  

    On May 26, we held the very MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists. We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast.

    1


    Here is a collection of Youtube videos showing off how expressive MPE enabled instruments can be. 












    Links to online MPE resources


    ...

    Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression – Synthtopia

    Posts about Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression written by synthhead, Elisabeth, and Darwin Grosse


    ...

    Bitwig | The Future of MIDI

    Bitwig Studio is a multi-platform music-creation system for production, performance and DJing, with a focus on flexible editing tools and a super-fast workflow.

    MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) Specification Adopted!

    One of the biggest recent developments in MIDI is MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). MPE is a method of using MIDI which enables multidimensional controllers to control multiple parameters of every note within MPE-compatible software. 

    In normal MIDI, Channel-wide messages (such as Pitch Bend) are applied to all notes being played on a single MIDI Channel. In MPE, each note is assigned its own MIDI Channel so that those messages can be applied to each note individually.

    The newly adopted MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) specification is now available for download by MIDI Association members.



    Update Feb. 5 2019 -ROLI launches MPE website 

    The ROLI Seaboard GRAND, Seaboard RISE, and BLOCKS – including the Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block – send standard MIDI messages and can be used with any software or hardware instrument that responds to these messages.

    To take advantage of the five dimensions of touch the GRAND, RISE, and BLOCKS use MPE – MIDI Polyphonic Expression. This page lists MPE-compatible synthesizers and links to guides on using them with the Seaboard RISE, Seaboard GRAND, and BLOCKS. 

    Check out all the information that ROLI has assembled on over 100 products from different companies that support MIDI Polyphonic Expression. 


    Update Sept. 14, 2020 -KVR launches MPE forum



    MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) Adopts New MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) Enhancement to the MIDI Specification 

     

    Los Angeles, CA, January 28, 2018− Today marks the MIDI Manufacturers Association’s (MMA) ratification of a new extension to MIDI, MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression). MPE enables electronic instruments such as synthesizers to provide a level of expressiveness typically possible only with acoustic instruments.

    Prior to MPE, expressive gestures on synthesizers—such as pitch bending or adding vibrato—affected all notes being played. With MPE, every note a musician plays can be articulated individually for much greater expressiveness.

    In MPE, each note is assigned its own MIDI Channel, so that Channel-wide expression messages can be applied to each note individually. Music making products (such as the ROLI Seaboard, Moog’s Animoog, and Apple’s Logic) take advantage of this so that musicians can apply multiple dimensions of finger movement control: left and right, forward and back, downward pressure, and more.

    MMA President Tom White notes that “The efforts of the members (companies) of MMA has resulted in a specification for Polyphonic Expression that provides for interoperability among products from different manufacturers, and benefits the entire music industry.”

    Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut of ROLI concurs. “The MPE specification paves the way for a new generation of expressive controllers and music software, providing many creative opportunities for live musicians and producers. MPE remains fully compatible with MIDI.”

    The MPE specification will be available for download in the coming weeks. To obtain a free copy, join the MIDI Association, the global community of people who work, play and create with MIDI, at www.MIDI.org. 

    MPE Press Release Downloadable PDF

    The Basic Features of MPE

    (Reprinted from the MIDI Manufacturers Association MPE Specification document’s Background Section)
    (Note: not all devices may support all features)

    The MPE specification aims to provide an agreed method for hardware and software manufacturers to communicate multidimensional control data between MIDI controllers, synthesizers, digital audio workstations, and other products, using the existing framework of MIDI 1.0.

    These proposed conventions define a way of distributing polyphonic music over a group of MIDI Channels, making multiple parameters of different notes separately controllable. This will enable richer communication between increasingly expressive MIDI hardware and software.

    Briefly, what is defined is as follows:

      — Wherever possible, every sounding note is temporarily assigned its own MIDI Channel between its Note On and Note Off. This allows Control Change and Pitch Bend messages to be addressed to that particular note.

      — A Registered Parameter Number is used to establish the range of Channels used for sending or receiving notes. Two messages control the division of MIDI Channel space into sub-spaces called Zones, so that multi-timbral playing is still possible using only one physical MIDI interface.

      — When there are more active notes in a Zone than available Channels, two or more notes will have to share the same Channel. Under such circumstances, all notes will continue to sound, but will no longer be uniquely controllable.

      — Each Zone has a dedicated extra Channel, called the Master Channel, which conveys common information including Program Change messages, pedal data, and overall Pitch Bend. These messages apply across the entire Zone.

    (The MPE specification also defines how to handle Pitch Bend, Aftertouch and CC messages to provide maximum interoperability.)

    The full MPE MIDI specification is available for download in the Specs section of the site. 


    MPE Live Chat 

    On May 26, 2018, we held the very first MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists.

    We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast.

    Listeners were not only able to send in questions via text but were able to actually join the discussion and interact directly with the panelists. Roger Linn demoed his Linnstrument live from his studio in Los Altos.

    DIscussions included the differences between the original MPE spec and the final MMA specification, MPE checklists, and test sequences, and the requirements for obtaining an MMA MPE logo that is under development.


    ...

    MPE MIDI Live! Chat Podcast –  

    On May 26, we held the very MIDI Live! chat with a panel of MPE specialists. We recorded the session and it is presented here as a podcast.

    1


    Here is a collection of Youtube videos showing off how expressive MPE enabled instruments can be. 












    Links to online MPE resources


    ...

    Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression – Synthtopia

    Posts about Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression written by synthhead, Elisabeth, and Darwin Grosse


    ...

    Bitwig | The Future of MIDI

    Bitwig Studio is a multi-platform music-creation system for production, performance and DJing, with a focus on flexible editing tools and a super-fast workflow.

    MIDI and the Surface Pen

    Pens and stylus’ have been employed as computer interaction devices for quite some time now. Most commonly they were used along with peripheral graphics tablets to give a more natural flow to the artist or designer than a mouse could muster. With the release of the Surface Pro hybrid laptop by Microsoft in 2012 they brought a digital pen along to party that could work directly on the screen. It was intended to bridge the gap between the demands of desktop software and the tablet touch screen form factor. In a mouse and track-pad free computing environment how better to access the finer details that your thick fingertips couldn’t manage. 

    The advantages for the artist become quickly apparent. As the Surface Pro has evolved the graphical power has gotten to the point where it’s a completely competent sketching, drawing and design platform. But there’s another group of artists for whom the digital pen has an awful lot of potential, and that’s the musician. 

    This is probably most joyously demonstrated by the Windows 10 app Staffpad. Staffpad takes the idea of writing music completely literally and presents you with a blank sheet of manuscript paper and asks you to start writing. Combining the digital pen with hand writing recognition Staffpad is able to interpret your hand written notes into digital MIDI information directly onto a score. It can then be played back through a virtual orchestra. It’s a stunning piece of work and remarkably fluid and creative to use. 

    Most of us approach music creation in a more sequenced format. The pen has a lot to offer here as well. Entering notes into a piano roll immediately comes to mind, as does the editing of notes, the trimming of clips or moving blocks in an arrangement. Consider drawing in track automation, with a pen rather than a mouse. How much more fluid and natural could that be?

    In many ways the pen feels like it’s simply replacing the actions of a mouse – but it doesn’t quite work like that. The Surface Pen works through a combination of technology in the pen and a layer of corresponding technology on the screen. It’s not just touch-screen technology, you can’t take the Surface Pen and use it on another brand of screen, it will only work on Surface products. While that affords the technology a great deal of power it can also trip up software that isn’t able to interpret the technology properly. In many cases the pen works just like a mouse replacement, but in others it can cause weird or no behaviour at all.

    When PreSonus first released their new touch-enabled version 3 of Studio One the reaction to the Surface Pen when running on the Surface Pro 3 was to get quickly confused and then lock up. In Cakewalk Sonar, again touch-enabled, there were areas in the software that completely refused to acknowledge the presence of a pen on the screen. Both of those DAWs have far better support for it now. Ableton Live appeared to work with both touch and the pen without any trouble except that when grabbing a fader or knob control the value would leap between the maximum and minimum making it impossible to set it accurately. Adding support for “AbsoluteMouseMode” in a preferences file cured that particular oddity. 

    Where it’s been most unflinchingly successful is within Steinberg’s Cubase and Avid’s Pro Tools neither of which has expressed any interest in touch or pen interaction – but it simply works anyway. From entering and editing notes to drawing in long wiggly lines of modulation and automation the pen becomes a very expressive tool.

    However, for the full immersion that the pen can offer, this tends to mean eschewing the keyboard. When you are leaned in, as I mentioned earlier, having to then pull back to use a keyboard shortcut can be rather jarring and interrupting to your workflow. There’s a certain amount you can do with the on-screen virtual keyboard but it can completely cover what it is you’re trying to edit, so it’s not ideal. This highlights what I see as being the current flaw in the Surface Pen workflow – the lack of a relevant, customisable toolbar.

    When editing notes or an arrangement with the pen the ability to do simple tasks such as copy and paste become cumbersome. You can evoke a right-click with the squeeze of a button and then select these task from the list, or you can glide through the menu system but neither of these options are as elegant as a simple Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. You can quickly extend that to other actions – opening the editor, or the mixer, duplicating, setting loop points there’s a whole raft of commands that are hidden away behind menus or keyboard shortcuts that are annoying to reach with just the pen for input. Adding a simple macro toolbar with user definable keyboard shortcuts would greatly enhance the pen’s workflow. It’s possible to do this with third party applications but it really needs support at the OS level.

    This is something Dell have considered with their Canvas touch-screen and digital pen system. They have incorporated floating “palettes” that are little toolbars to access useful keyboard shortcuts. Some DAWs, such as Bitwig Studio and PreSonus Studio One, have fingerable toolbars that can perform a similar function – but something more global would be helpful.

    With the release of the Surface Pro (2017) Microsoft have introduced an improved Surface Pen with 4 times the resolution of the previous version. Although more relevant to the artist who draws, it’s interesting to see pen support improving in many DAWs. It’s usefulness is becoming more apparent and if you consider the Dell Canvas and the iPad Pro Pencil, along with the development of the Surface into the larger Surface Studio and laptop form factors, it’s also becoming more widespread.

    At the time of writing only one DAW manufacturer has stepped up to push the digital pen into more than just emulating mouse tasks. Bitwig Studio has some special MPE (Multidimensional Polyphony Expression) functionality that allows you to map the pen pressure to parameters on MPE compatible virtual instruments. More on that in another article, but hopefully more creative uses will emerge as this gains popularity.

    The digital pen offers many creative opportunities. It unhinges you from the mouse/keyboard paradigm and pushes you into a more natural and fluid way of working. It lacks support in some software and there’s some work to be done on optimising the workflow by combining it with a toolbar, but it offers a different and creative approach to musical computer interaction.

    Here’s a video of me reviewing the Microsoft Surface Book for music production which has a lot of pen use and examples in it. There’s plenty more on the YouTube channel:

    BLE-MIDI, Sonar and Zivix Jam Stick- A New Way to Enter MIDI into your DAW

    This is an article that was originally posted on the Cakewalk blog and they kindly gave us permission to excerpt it here on MIDI.org. 

    Greetings! My name is Mike Green, Music Product Specialist at Zivix, we make the jamstik+ portable SmartGuitar & PUC+ wireless MIDI link. I’m primarily a guitar player, and in my 15+ years of musical composition, MIDI has enabled me to write and record quickly. In full disclosure; I’m a lousy keyboardist. The jamstik+ and Bluetooth MIDI’s availability for Windows 10 has revolutionized what used to be a point-and-click endeavor. Now I can use virtual instruments in Cakewalk’s SONAR software controlled by the jamstik+ digital guitar so I can enter in data wirelessly via Bluetooth MIDI – using the guitar skills that come most naturally to me.

    by Mike Green, Music Product Specialist at Zivix


    Make Sure Your PC is Bluetooth 4.0 Compatible.

    With recent updates in the Windows 10 OS, SONAR’s DAW takes advantage of using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE) to connect Bluetooth enabled MIDI devices. Now, almost all operating systems have this capability, so the performance is only going to get better from here, and more controllers will start “Roli” ‘ing in (haha). Check the specs on your PC (look for Bluetooth in Device Manager) to see if your PC is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible. If not, you can always try various BLE Dongles like this one by Asus.

    Connecting is easy

    1. Pair to Windows 10
    2. Open SONAR
    3. Enable your MIDI Device In/Out Check-boxes in Preferences
    4. Select your Soft-Synth
    5. Play!
    For more on Sonar, Zivix and BLE-MIDI, check out the full article below and look for links to special deals. 

    MIDI and Robots Part 2- Super Booth 2017

    There has recently been a surge in robotic MIDI devices as Arduinos and low cost CPUs make it easier and easier to develop MIDI-controlled robotic components. 

    At Super Booth 2017, there were a number of significant MIDI robot introductions. 


    Felix Thorn

    From a very early age Felix was inspired by both visual and sound arts. He studied both drawing and painting and piano in his formative years, but he never seemed to be able to settle on more traditional artistic paths and was always looking to combine sonic and visual arts together. Felix creates new experiences that combine real objects, music and design. 

    Felix’s Machines are not intended to replace human-made music, but like Conlon Nancarrow, Felix focuses on how machines can exceed human’s ability to perform because of their mechanical nature. 

    “Although my medium focuses on the development of acoustic sounds, I am continually inspired by electronic music – the countless abstractions act as blueprints for the construction of its acoustic counterparts. I aim to build a space where artificial and dream-like environments can become a reality.

    by Felix Thorn

    Bastl Instruments

    Okay, technically this isn’t MIDI, it’s control voltages, but we just didn’t think it was right to have a piece on robotics and not include Bastl.  In any case, their new Thyme effect is MIDI controllable and it’s a sequenceable robot-operated digital tape machine.

    DadaMachines

    Inspired in part by Felix Thorn, Johannes Lohbihler created a Kickstarter to develop DADA Machines. The dadamachines automat toolkit lets anyone create robotic orchestras with everyday objects. Automat is open source, hackable and Arduino compatible. 

    The center of each toolkit is the automat controller. Plug in your favorite software or hardware MIDI input directly into the controller. For output, automat controller has 12 universal DC outputs to connect motors, solenoids, LEDs – whatever you want to start playing. The automat is plug & play – offering unlimited possibilities. Simply connect your favorite MIDI hardware device, music App or DAW and trigger the actuators of your choice to create a composition.

    by Dada Machines

    Prototypes of DADA Machines were used in this German production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


    ...

    dadamachines: music machines for everyone! by Johannes Lohbihler —Kickstarter

    Johannes Lohbihler is raising funds for dadamachines: music machines for everyone! on Kickstarter! The dadamachines automat toolkit enables you to tap, move and bang to make sound with the world around you. Hackable & open-source!

    Polyend Perc Pro

    Polyend was only started in 2015, but they have been working hard on their ideas to expand musicians’ creativity

    PERC PRO, a MIDI-controlled device that mechanically plays any percussive surface. It make a drumming machine out of anything.  Aphex Twin, Daedelus, and Dan Deacon have all utilized the Perc Pro in their work. Any percussion instrument you strike with a stick or your bare hands works with PERC PRO. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Congas, xylophone, sauce pan?


    Each PERC PRO kit includes:
    – 3 beaters (you can choose silicon, aluminum or wooded striker for each beater)
    – controller (capable of playing up to 3 beaters)
    – 3 clamps
    – USB cable
    – Power cable

    PERC Controller IN/OUT:
    •1x MIDI DIN in
    •1x MIDI USB in
    •3x Drum Gate in
    •3x CV Velocity in
    •1x MIDI DIN thru
    •1x MIDI DIN out
    •3x PERC Ball out

    At Super Booth 2017, Polyend introduced tempos so fast for the Perc Pro that the drum rolls became audible pitches. 

    Yamaha reface robot

    Yamaha also showed a robot at Super Booth 2017.  Designed in collaboration with Anno Labs, a design company from Fukuoka, Japan.  Here is a little bit about the reface robot and annon labs and then a couple of Youtube videos about the reface robot project.

    “#refacerobot”. Custom-made robot for reface CS dynamically controlling all sound parameters. From it’s fierce and full-blast performance you will experience unheard sounds freed from conventional two-handed tweaking.

    by Yamaha

    “#annolab”. anno lab is an emerging creative group focused on media art and interactive design. Most of their works aim at inspiring curiosity and fun for people in their daily life.

    by anno lab

    A Web Developer’s Tale of the Octapad Revival

    Two months ago, I was tasked with presenting a talk on the Web MIDI API to an amazing crowd of music-loving web developers. Obviously, I wanted the presentation to be exciting, so my first idea was to find a cool MIDI controller that I could use to demo the API with. What kind of controller could fit the bill? What about an old… keytar? Yes, that would be awesome! Nobody’s using those anymore so they will be dirt cheap, right? So I hit eBay and here’s what I found…

    An original Yamaha KX-5 carefully laid out on purple velvet. It couldn’t get any more perfect than that, could it? But wait, are they really asking 350$ for it? Plus 130$ for shipping! That’s 500$ US dollars… which means about 630$ in Canadian dollars! Whoaaa, there is no way I’m spending that kind of money on a 45-minute presentation.

    What then? Hmmmm.

    This is when I remembered the era before I became a web developer when drumming was my whole life. More importantly, I remembered that I already had a cool MIDI controller in my possession: my good old Roland Octapad II. The Octapad is an eight pad percussion controller made by Roland starting in the 80s. How about using that for the demo? That would be cool. But where on Earth did I put this thing? After a few hours of searching, I finally found it hidden in the garage. I plugged it in and it powered up. Oh yeah! I started playing it and then I realized that time had taken its toll. No matter how hard I stroked the pads, the hits barely registered. Damn, this thing is busted. Should I be surprised? After all, this device is at least 25 years old and has been sitting in a damp garage for over 10 years.

    But still, it would be so cool to use it for the conference demo. So I started digging around on the Internet to see if this thing could be revived somehow. After an hour or so of reading outdated forum posts and barely-related blog articles, I stumbled upon a post from this guy who said the problem is easy to fix. The piezos are dead he said. Just get new ones and you will be good to go. What have I got to lose, right?

    A bit of Googling tells me that piezos are simple vibration-sensitive sensors, precisely the kind you would expect in a percussion controller. Because I had no idea what kind or size of piezos I should buy, I decided to open the unit up. Surprisingly, this was very simple. All it took was a Phillips screwdriver and I was in.

    I soon realized that it was a good idea to first check inside. Being an 8-pad controller, I was expecting to buy 8 piezos. However, as you can see on the picture above, 10 piezos are needed. I’m guessing the extra 2 are used to counter any crossover that could happen between the pads through the casing. Furthermore, opening it allowed me to measure the size of the piezos. In the end, I ordered twelve 35mm piezos from Digikey. I bought an extra 2 to be on the safe side.

    While getting inside the unit wasn’t hard, getting to the piezos was a little bit harder. As you can see, two of the piezos are hidden under a board which needs to be removed in order to gain access to them. As a matter of fact, the whole unit pretty much needs to be dismantled to be able to extract the old piezos and put in the new ones. If you are attempting this operation, I urge you to do as I did and take pictures all the way through the operation. This way you will know which screws (there are various types and lengths), connectors and daughterboards go where. I’m soooo glad I did!

    The dismantling operation wasn’t hard but I was extra careful in the way I handled all the various pieces. I didn’t want to lose anything or forget where something was going. Then, at one point, I realized that the only way to go further was to actually desolder the piezos from the central board strip (a.k.a. Pad-8 Sensor Board). This was the point of no return. As you can see in the picture below, in order to remove the sensor board and get to the pads, you must desolder the piezos, there’s no way around it. So I did. 

    Note that all the white wires are connected to the board’s center strip while the black wires have their own strip leading to separate cables on the left side. This makes sense: one common ground for all and separate signal wires for each pads.

    Once the sensor board is removed, you can unglue the piezos from the pads. This can be quite scary. Especially when all you are left with is a pile of dead piezos and the conviction that you are never going to be able to put all this back together…

    As you can see above, the piezos are affixed to the pads using some sort of double-sided tape. I had no idea which kind of tape was appropriate so I bought Scotch-Brand 3M 1″ Permanent Mounting Squares (cat. 111C). If you use them, you will want to trim the corners of the squares so they fit snuggly inside the center circle of the piezo. The idea is for the outer ring to vibrate freely.

    Obviously, you also need to solder the new piezos to the sensor board. The piezos I bought came with short and flimsy wires which I did not trust. So I opted to use sturdier wiring. I had some speaker wires on hand so I used that. Just be sure to make the right connections. The inside ring of all piezos should be connected to the shared central strip on the sensor board while the outer rings of each piezos should be connected to their own individual strip. In the end, my soldering job was a bit messy but I made sure the connections were solid and not touching other conductive strips (this is very important!).

    I then put the Octapad back together, plugged it in and crossed my fingers… Guess what? It worked. In fact, it might now be working better than ever before. Nice.

    Obviously, I used it during my talk and I had a blast. Attendees also had a great time witnessing how a 25 y/o piece of hardware (brought to this world before the Internet was even invented) could trigger sounds and visuals inside a web page running in Google Chrome.

    The moral of the story, I guess, is that well-designed and proven technologies can, and often do, withstand the test of time. They might need a little love along the way but don’t we all?

    If you are musician paying the bills doing web development work, I urge you to dust off your old MIDI devices and hook them up to your browser. You will be amazed at what can be done with the Web MIDI API. If you are curious to know how this is possible, check out the library I created that makes it very easy to use the Web MIDI API. You can also take a look at the slides from my presentation.

    Arduino MIDI Output Basics

    Introduction

    The Arduino UNO is a popular open-source microcontroller that, in many respects, is a perfect complement to the extensible nature of the Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) protocol. Microcontroller platforms such as Arduino, Teensy, and others, make it relatively easy to develop custom MIDI controllers that respond to light, pressure, sound, and many other forms of input. In this way, microcontrollers provide a unique way to expand the possibilities of MIDI into the physical realm. MIDI musicians can now envision and create an astounding array of custom hardware devices from custom controllers to algorithmic composers and beyond.

    Note that this article focuses on the basics of MIDI output on an Arduino UNO. Future articles will cover MIDI input on the Arduino and Teensy platforms as well as the use of potentiometers, switches, and other components for real-time MIDI control.

    Transmitter Circuit

    It is necessary to utilize a MIDI interface in order to send MIDI messages from an Arduino to a synthesizer, Digital Audio Workstation, or other MIDI device. Fortunately, it is easy (and inexpensive) to create a simple circuit that can handle MIDI output. The circuit can be mocked up on a solderless breadboard for experimentation or a permanent version can be soldered to solderboard. Users who are new to electronics might want to consider a commercial version such as the SparkFun MIDI Shield, offered at a nominal cost by SparkFun Electronics and other vendors.

    As is evident in Figure 1, a circuit that was documented in David Miles Huber’s The MIDI Manual, the circuit for MIDI output is relatively simple and consists of:

    • a connection from the 5V pin of an Arduino through a 220-ohm resistor to pin 4 of a standard MIDI DIN jack,
    • a connection from the GND pin of an Arduino to pin 2 of a MIDI DIN jack,
    • a connection from the TX pin of an Arduino through a 220-ohm resister and 7404 Hex inverter to pin 5 of a MIDI DIN jack. 

    Figure 2 demonstrates one way that the transmitter circuit could be configured on a solderless breadboard. Note that the top rail of the solderless breadboard is connected to the 5V pin on the Arduino and the bottom rail is connected to the Arduino GND pin.

    MIDI Output Sketch: “Old School” Approach

    While it is generally more convenient to use a MIDI library to program MIDI sketches on an Arduino, we will start with a low-level “pure” sketch in order to demonstrate how MIDI bytes are handled. If you have ever programmed MIDI applications for Windows, OS X, or Linux you are in for a pleasant surprise because MIDI output can be achieved with just a few lines of code on an Arduino. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to download the Arduino Software (Integrated Development Environment) from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software. Next, run the Arduino software and select File…New and enter the code that is described in the following paragraphs.

    Boilerplate Code

    While the basics of C and C++ programming are beyond the scope of this article (and covered in detail in my own Arduino for Musicians as well as numerous other books and online resources), rest assured that the basics of coding a simple MIDI sketch are not unduly difficult. Start by typing the functions shown in Listing 1 which form the basis for all Arduino sketches. Note that the term function is used to describe a block of “functional” code denoted by the function name and opening and closing braces:

    Listing 1 Boilerplate functions


    void setup()
    {

    }

    void loop()
    {

    }

    The setup() function is called once when your sketch is first run on an Arduino. You will use that block of code (between the opening and closing braces) to establish the serial transmission rate and any other initialization required by the sketch. The loop() function is where the action happens. As the name of the function implies, the loop() function continues to loop throughout the duration of your sketch unless you pause it with a delay() function or some other blocking activity.

    Establishing a serial connection

    To establish a serial MIDI connection between the Arduino and a MIDI receiver, add the code shown in Listing 2 to the setup() function. The Serial object represents a class (an object or pre-programmed chunk of code) that handles all of the low-level details of establishing and maintaining a serial connection. Note that the Serial class provides a function (typically called a method in the context of a class) titled begin() that takes the baud rate as a parameter. In this example, serial transmission is set to 31250 baud, the expected MIDI transmission rate as per The Complete MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification (available from the MIDI Association at midi.org).

    Listing 2 Setting up a serial connection


    void setup()
    {
    Serial.begin(31250);
    }

    Writing a MIDI output function

    Although there is nothing wrong with writing code for sending MIDI data in the loop() function, custom functions can help to produce code that is extensible and easier to read and maintain. Listing 3 demonstrates one approach to sending Note-On messages. Notice how the function takes three bytes that correspond to the MIDI channel, note, and velocity. The only tricky part of the code is the first line which translates the expected MIDI channel range of 1-16 to the range of Note-On status bytes starting at 0x90 (hexadecimal). The Serial.write() method is used to transmit the status byte and data bytes that form a Note-On message:

    Listing 3 Custom function for outputting MIDI Note-On messages


    void playMIDINote(byte channel, byte note, byte velocity)
    {
    //MIDI channels 1-16 are really 0-15
    byte noteOnStatus = 0x90 + (channel-1);

    //Transmit a Note-On message
    Serial.write(noteOnStatus);
    Serial.write(note);
    Serial.write(velocity);
    }

    Outputting Notes

    Now that a convenience function is available to handle the transmission of Note-On messages, it is easy to fill in some simple code in the loop() function to output a series of notes. Note that this example uses a blocking delay—generally a bad idea for more robust applications—but the use of timers is beyond the scope of this article and would only serve to obfuscate the underlying concept of sending MIDI data via a serial connection. In Listing 4, a “for loop” is used to output MIDI Note-On messages in the range of 60 to 72. The function delays and then the transmits the same note with a velocity of zero—which is functionally equivalent to sending a corresponding Note-Off message.

    Listing 4 Outputting a chromatic scale


    void loop()
    {
    //Play a chromatic scale starting on middle C (60)
    for(int note = 60; note < 72; note++)
    {
    //Play a note
    playMIDINote(1, note, 100);
    //Hold the note for 60 ms (delay() used for simplicity)
    delay(60);

    //Turn note off (velocity = 0)
    playMIDINote(1, note, 0);
    //Pause for 60 ms
    delay(60);
    }
    }

    Uploading a Sketch to the Arduino

    The complete sketch is shown in Listing 5. Once you have typed or copied the code into the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE), click the leftmost check button to ensure that the sketch is free from errors. If you are relatively new to programming it might be helpful to remember that C code is case sensitive. It is also easy to omit an opening or closing brace or semicolon which can create any number of error messages. A final step is to connect the Arduino to your computer via a USB cable and select the upload button to upload the code to the Arduino. Assuming you have connected a valid MIDI output circuit, the chromatic scale should be received by any MIDI receiver device that is connected to the circuit via a MIDI cable.

    Listing 5 Complete listing


    void setup()
    {
    //Set up serial output with standard MIDI baud rate
    Serial.begin(31250);

    }

    void loop()
    {
    //Play a chromatic scale starting on middle C (60)
    for(int note = 60; note < 72; note++)
    {
    //Play a note
    playMIDINote(1, note, 100);
    //Hold note for 60 ms (delay() used for simplicity)
    delay(60);

    //Turn note off (velocity = 0)
    playMIDINote(1, note, 0);
    //Pause for 60 ms
    delay(60);
    }
    }

    void playMIDINote(byte channel, byte note, byte velocity)
    {
    //MIDI channels 1-16 are really 0-15
    byte noteOnStatus=0x90 + (channel-1);

    //Send notes to MIDI output:
    Serial.write(noteOnStatus);
    Serial.write(note);
    Serial.write(velocity);
    }

    Coding Challenge

    That’s it—Arduino MIDI output can be achieved with just a few lines of code! Consider how you might use the boilerplate code in this example to develop a simple algorithmic generator (perhaps using the Arduino random() function) or a sketch that outputs chords, exotic scales, or drum beats.

    Next Steps

    Although this introduction is necessarily limited, it forms the basis for many exciting possibilities including algorithmic composition, automation, and real-time control. As you will see in future articles, a basic MIDI output circuit can also be used for useful applications such as using a potentiometer to send continuous controller messages to a DAW or a two-axis joystick as an expressive real-time controller. As noted in the introduction, detailed coverage of Arduino MIDI and audio concepts are provided in Arduino for Musicians: A Complete Guide to Arduino and Teensy Microcontrollers as well as other books online resources.

    Happy coding!

    The Great American Horn Machine GAHM

    The loudest MIDI instrument ever ?  

    Dana Dolfi has created what is probably the loudest MIDI controlled instrument ever made out of recycled ship, truck and train air horns and steam whistles. 

    Dolfi, a pipe-fitter and project manager for Chapman Corp. in Washington, Pennsylvania sets his 3-ton, red, white and blue atop a car trailer and performs at Maker Faires, July Fourth events and graduation parties. 

    But his contraption (It’s great when you can use an old-timey word like contraption in it’s proper context) creates some limitations in where he can perform.  The GAHM is as loud as a jet engine and so Dana marks off a 100 yard perimeter around the instrument and even then recommends ear plugs.  It’s no wonder it is so loud as it is powered by a gasoline-powered air compressor and a 620-gallon air tank blows the horns and whistles. 

    Among the horns and whistles Dolfi has collected are a large horn from the USS Mississinewa, a Naval replenishment oiler; horns off a Coast Guard cutter and an ocean-going dredge; a horn that was used on a California drawbridge; a set of horns from a Great Lakes ore freighter; whistles from the Donora American Steel and Wire Works; an 1890s whistle from a fire hall in Gloucester, Mass.; a whistle from an antique popcorn machine, and several train and towboat horns and whistles.

    by Karen Mansfield
    Staff Writer for the award-winning Observer-Reporter. a daily newspaper headquartered in Washington, Pa., the newspaper has been part of Southwestern Pennsylvania since the early 1800s.

    The Great American Horn Machine has performed at lots of Maker Faires and here are a couple of video examples. 

    Happy Memorial Day-2016

    A curated list of MIDI DIY projects on Instructables

    Instructables is a site which hosts DIY projects and is a platform for people to share what they make through words, photos, video and files. We have gone through the many MIDI DIY projects  and picked our some of our favorite projects.  To see all the MIDI projects that are available on the site, just click here. 


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    What is MIDI?

    MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol developed in the 1980’s which allows electronic instruments and other digital musical tools to communicate with each other.  The advantages of MIDI include: compact -an entire song can be stored within a few hundred MIDI messages (compared to audio data which is sampled thousands of times a second) easy to modify/manipulate notes -change pitch, duration, and other parameters without having to rerecord change instruments -remember, MIDI only describes which notes to play, you can send these notes to any instrument to change the overall sound …


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    Intro to MaxMSP

    MaxMSP is a visual programming language that helps you build complex, interactive programs without any prior experience writing code. MaxMSP is especially useful for building audio, MIDI, video, and graphics applications where user interaction is needed. This Instructable is part of a 3-part workshop I’m running at Women’s Audio Mission, it’s part one of three Instructables that I’ll be publishing over the course of the next week. (Part 2 – intermediate MaxMSP) (Part 3 – getting Max to talk to hardware) MaxMSP is split into several parts – Max handles discrete operations and MIDI, this is the easiest place to start getting familiar with the tool. MSPdeals with signal processing and audio. ;And Jitter is for graphics rendering and video manipulation. This course will cover Max and MSP. Here are some examples of awesome things you can do with Max.


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    Intermediate MaxMSP

    This Instructable is a continuation of Intro to MaxMSP, a three part workshop I’m teaching at Women’s Audio Mission here in San Francisco.This Instructable build upon the topics discussed in Intro to MaxMSP and introduces some ways to work with audio in Max. Part 3 of the workshop focuses on how to get Max to talk to hardware.; First off, here are some examples of the types of things you can do with audio in Max: Fornant synthesis – using filters to recreate human vocal sounds Audio to MIDI, Granular Synthesis- cutting up a sample into tiny grains and pieces the grains together to make new sounds


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    Draw MIDI

    Draw your own musical keyboard with pencil on paper, using Arduino and capacitance sensing. Here is a demo and explanation of a finished project: More on this project (and paper circuits in general) can be seen here at the Science of Music blog. 


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    Laser Midi Controller – (Laser Triggered Midi Keyboard)

    Project goal:Construct a laser triggered midi controller, using standard electric components and a recycled midi keyboard.
    ;Step 1.Find a recycled midi keyboard / controller.
    Step 2.Construct a laser triggered switch.
    Step 3.Connect midi device, measure components (shorts), and test device.
    You can now play instruments, beats, loops and samples by interrupting the laser.- have fun


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    Arduino MIDI Controller

    A MIDI controller is any piece of equipment that generates and transmits MIDI data to MIDI-enabled devices. In short, if you have buttons on your MIDI controller, you can program those buttons to any sound you want through musical software (ex.: Ableton, Garage Band, etc.). You can also program potentiometers to control effects, volumes, etc..This instructable will show you how to create your own MIDI Controller using Arduino. With a MIDI controller, you are rarely limited with what you can do. There is endless possibilities and endless fun.


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    Musical Melodyian MIDI Robot

    Greetings Earth! This Instructable will show you how to build your very own Melodyian – an Arduino-based, 3D-printable robot that can move around, light up, and make music! It’s also a MIDI robot, and can be wirelessly controlled via MIDI over Bluetooth.This robot is part of a larger transmedia production called The Musical Melodyians. The Melodyians are musical aliens who eat music and travel through space to save the universe’s musics. Visit our webular portal to watch videos featuring these Melodyian robots, listen to Melodyian music, read our graphic novel, and more! NOTE: This project is suited for makers with at least an intermediate amount of experience with Arduinos, soldering, general electronics, and at least a basic familiarity with MIDI. 


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    Flame Controlled MIDI Controller

    One huge issue in the world of digital music production is keeping that analog warmth (that resonated from reel-to-reel systems and tubes) in modern day digital music. Many swear that analog systems have a sound that can never be replicated by bits, and hope is lost for digital music to match that analog quality. Virtual Studio Technologies (VSTs) have tried to replicate the authentic analog sound, but they (being entirely digital) cannot give you the true sound. In this instructable, I’ll share with you how we can bridge the gap between digital and analog music production by creating a Flame Controlled MIDI Controller using an Arduino micro-controller.Fire is awesome. Flames sway, crackle, and waver which makes them a perfect medium to capture a room’s atmosphere, and ultimately to create a great analog signal. These characteristics are optimal because even when the signal is converted into digital MIDI signals, it will …


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    Sugarcube MIDI Controller

    This project is a portable, Arduino-powered, grid-based MIDI controller that boots up into a variety of apps to do lots of things with sound. It has 16 backlit buttons, used as both inputs and outputs to give the controller some visual feedback. 2 potentiometers give analog control, depending on the app the pots are assigned to tempo, MIDI velocity, pitch, and scrolling (making the avaible grid space larger than 4×4). An x/y accelerometer and an x/y gyroscope add some playful, gestural control to the device; most of the apps implement a “shake to erase” control and several respond to tilt in various ways. It boots up into 7 different apps (described below), though it has the potential to boot up into 16 total. This device is primarily a MIDI controller, but I’ve also written an app that allows you to pull the button and analog data into MaxMSP and to …


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    13 Note MIDI Laser Harp

    The laser harp is an electronic instrument that is played by blocking laser beams. Several laser beams are produced, and a note is played when one of the beams is blocked by the player, similar to plucking a stick on a real harp. The device must therefore produce a laser beam for each note and also have a sensor for determining when a beam is blocked.I constructed a MIDI laser harp controlled with an Arduino for Spectra, an optics group at Washington University in Saint Louis. This instructable goes over the commercial parts used, design of electronics, mounting parts that were 3D printed, and the frame. This project is also listed on my website with other projects


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    Build MIDI Bass Pedals for About $150

    MIDI bass pedals, similar to pedals organists use to play bass notes, but instead used to play a MIDI synthesizer or sound module, have been popular for the last few decades. In addition to keyboard players, many electric bass players, such as Geddy Lee of Rush, have used them to expand the palette of bass sounds they use. But they can be quite expensive.These were my main costs for building a set of bass pedals:$35 Bass pedals from a Conn organ bought on eBay$35 Shipping for the bass pedals$44 Arduino Mega 2650 R3 controller board$20 Sparkfun MIDI Shield$7 9V 1000 mA AC adapter for Arduino boards_______________________________________________$141 TOTALIn addition to these I used some miscellaneous stuff like wire, solder, contact cleaner, tie wraps and cables I already had. A good place to to get the Arduino components and the MIDI Shield is the Robot Shop.


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    Antique Light Bulb Organ – MIDI/OSC Controlled

    Create your own antique light bulb organ to add nostalgic ambiance to any midi instrument! 12 light bulbs correspond to the 12 notes in an octave (minus the octave note). The rectangular box unfolds to position the light bulbs vertically for display, while at the same time providing a platform for the keyboard in use. Playing a note on the keyboard directly via midi, or through the usb port illuminates the light bulb for a particular key. Releasing the note, releases the key. Pedal presses are also recognized and keep the bulb maintained. The bulbs can be controlled without a computer by using the front mounted midi port, or via computer which allows for remote control via midi or osc messages. More about that later… The light organ was built for and is currently in use by the band Future Dancing , see the video below to see it in action!