Arduino to the rescue !!
Computer sciences and programming are great, but meeting and discussing with real people is even better !!
That’s a friend of mine that talk to me the first time about the Arduino solution.
Okay, i’m making some advertising, but you really should check out the website of his team Akwariom, they are creating amazing light control and audio technical solutions for live shows. YOU RULES DUDES !
So for those who don’t know about Arduino, in short, it’s an opensource hardware solution for creating small electronic device that can control pretty much everything ranging from stepper motor’s control, sensor data extraction to MIDI processing !
There are many variation of the Arduino platform, but the most used one is the Arduino Uno.
The Arduino Uno platform is mainly two things:
- An hardware platform build around an Atmel AVR (ATmega328p) processor which is an 8 bit Risc microcontroller
- A software solution that simplify the development process on this platform using a simplified programming language and several wrappers library.
As i want to develop this project in pure C/C++, i’m going to use only the hardware platform, and develop my own tools for replacing the software solution, including the build toolchain and the wrappers library.
Arduino source code for the software solution and the wrapper library are available on GitHub: https://github.com/arduino/Arduino
Get rid of the Hardware side !
As i’m not an hardware specialist, i’m always disappointed when it come to solder resistors… But thanks to the Arduino platform, lots of company have developed hardware extension slot (called shields) for the Arduino platform.
Among them, there is one, SparksFun that have developed an extension shield that provide all the necessary MIDI circuitry needed for reading MIDI data and sending MIDI data:
It provide 3 MIDI connectors:
- A MIDI IN which allow the Arduino to read MIDI data comming from an external device (in my case the Gaia SH01)
- A MIDI OUT which allow the Arduino to send MIDI data to external device (again in my case, the GAIA SH01)
- A MIDI THRU which is often present in MIDI powered device and which duplicate what come in the MIDI IN connector
Sounds like a great start no ? !
Nothing to solder and i like it !
Here is a picture of both the Arduino Uno and the MIDI Shield: