The MIDI Dashboard is a rack-mountable hardware device that translates MIDI messages into information displays. Eight full-colour, high resolution screens can be driven based upon received MIDI data. The first firmware implementation simulates analog VU meters which respond to MIDI Control Change messages. This is simply taking the value for a particular controller, in the range 0-127, and translating that into a needle angle. The needle is overlaid on a PNG image licensed from a stock photo website. Creating new display types entails expanding the drawing capabilities of the microcontroller, creating PNG background images, and mapping the particulars of each message type received into a drawing routine specific to the message.
I envision having multiple graphical displays for each type of MIDI message, selected either with a front panel control or MIDI 2.0 property messages. The device hardware consists of 8 x 240 x 240 pixel full-spectrum colour displays, mounted on a custom carrying board. The microcontroller is a Teensy 4.0, a powerful ARM M7 embedded processor. Other custom boards include a breakout board for the Teensy, a MIDI DIN input module, and a USB pass-through that provides power via a USB-B connector. Arduino was used for creating the firmware. For testing, other hardware was developed to output MIDI Control Change messages in response to audio signals, and some code generating varying CC messages automatically.