Arduino BoardA few friends of mine have been going on about how great the Arduino is, so I decided to get myself one to try. I want to build some of my MIDI controller ideas, and this seemed like a good way of doing it.

I’ve been playing with some of the examples and I’ve been looking around the net at other peoples sites, in particular the TodBot Blog. He’s got a lot of great examples there and some stunning visual effects.

For myself, the best thing about the Arduino is that its IDE is available on OS-X, this means no windows VMs to be able to code for it. I have a native IDE that I code in, compile in and program in, superb!

The other great thing is that it’s USB driven, both the power and programing. It’s also small and portable, so I can take it with me where ever I go and put a bit of coding in when I fancy.

Now, as I want to build a MIDI controller I needed to build myself a little board with MIDI on and some LED’s and various other bits to try some of my ideas. Rather than buy a ‘shield’ for my board I had a go at building one, with some strip board and some ‘pins’ (which are actually off cuts of resistor/LED/Capacitor legs).

Home grown MIDI Shield

As you can see there’s just a single MIDI socket, and it’s a MIDI out. There’s also three LEDs and a couple of piezo sensors, All of which are essential for my controller ideas. Eventually I’d like to make a board, with MIDI In, MIDI out, more LEDs, some Switches and some analogue inputs, perhaps even a potentiometer/slider or two.

I’ve written a simple bit of code which cycles the LEDs, inspired by TodBots Ambient Orb I wanted to do the same but without the PC attached. If you picked one red, one green and one blue LED you’d have a very psychadelic effect, slow the speed down and it’d be a great bit of ambient lighting!

Anyway, here’s the .pde file for other Arduino nuts – Fading2.pde

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