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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.

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